In 1985, Rotary International launched its PolioPlus program, the first initiative to tackle global polio eradication through the mass vaccination of children. “Rotary has contributed more than $2 billion and countless volunteer hours to immunize more than 3 billion children in 122 countries”, said Rochester Rotary President Tim Duncan.
Today, only two countries have not stopped the transmission of the wild poliovirus: Afghanistan and Pakistan. Six wild polio cases were confirmed worldwide in 2021, a more than 99 percent reduction since the 1980s when the world saw approximately 1,000 children paralyzed by polio every day. Even here in the United States, a few cases have popped up in unvaccinated people in New York State. The world has never been so close to eradication, so Rotary’s continued commitment and focus on polio eradication remains critical.
The Rochester Rotary Club has supported this program for over 30 years. Members contribute money to the Polio Plus program, and the Club holds several fundraisers throughout the year, with all proceeds going to the program. On October 17, the Club had a community Shred It event where individuals and businesses could bring paper to be shredded. On that single morning, $3,000 was raised! “Thanks to a double match from the Gates Foundation, our $3,000 with turn into $9,000”, said Linda Eastman, one of the Rotarians who worked on the project this year. 
The Rochester Rotary Club comprises about 100 individuals living or working in Rochester, Rochester Hills, or Oakland Township. The Club meets for lunch every Tuesday at the Rochester Community House. For more information on the Club, visit www.rochesterrotaryclub.org.
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