We have made enormous progress in our drive to eradicate polio, but we must continue to vaccinate the world’s children to keep them safe until polio is completely eradicated. This is expensive. World governments, health organizations, the Gates Foundation and Rotary have pledged about $1.5 billion over the next three years to eradicate polio. Rotary is responsible for funding just 10% of this, so every dollar we contribute has the power of $10.
Last week I made a personal gift of $5,000 to Polio Plus. I encourage each club to give at least 5% of all the money they raise to Polio Plus this year ... and every year until the job is done. We owe it to our collective children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren to finish the job that was begun by our predecessors 30 years ago. We honor their philanthropy and dedication through our own contributions to bring their vision of a polio-free world to completion.
Our own Past District Governor Bob Hagan was recently named the End Polio Now Coordinator for our entire Zone. When Bob was District Governor he personally contributed $250,000 to Polio Plus. I certainly couldn’t match Bob’s generosity and you may not be able to match mine, but I urge your club and you personally to support Rotary’s most important priority. If you contribute, you too will be able to tell your children and grandchildren proudly that you helped rid the world of polio.