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Emmetsburg Rotarians Join The Fight Against Polio

By Staff | Apr 9, 2009

ROTARY FUNDRAISER -- To help raise funds in the fight against polio, the Emmetsburg Rotary Club is holding a fishing contest and a whole hog barbeque in Emmetsburg on Saturday, April 25. Polio, a crippling and sometimes fatal disease, still paralyzes children in four countries. As long as polio threatens even one child anywhere in the world, all children remain at risk. Pictured, Robert Anderson, RN, is getting ready to give a polio vaccination to a smiling Paige Truog.

The Emmetsburg Rotary club is one of 33,000 Rotary clubs in more than 200 countries. In 1985, Rotary clubs worldwide made eradicating polio its top priority. Since then, Rotary clubs have contributed more than $700 million and countless volunteer hours to immunize more than 2 billion children in 122 countries. Rotary’s efforts have slashed the world’s number of polio cases by 99 percent. When eradication of polio becomes a reality, polio will become only the second major disease in the world to be eradicated. Small pox was the first.

To help Rotary achieve the goal of polio eradication, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation announced a $100 million challenge grant in 2007 to Rotary Clubs around the world to help underwrite Rotary’s commitment. Rotary’s challenge was to match the $100 million in three years. In January of 2009, the challenge was increased to a match of $200 million when the Gates Foundation gave an additional $255 million dollars to the cause. This is one of the largest grants ever given by the Gates Foundation and the largest ever received by Rotary.

The Emmetsburg Rotary club is asking the community to help us fight the cause to eradicate polio. To raise money towards the Gates Challenge, the Emmetsburg Rotary Club will be sponsoring a fishing contest and whole hog BBQ in Emmetsburg on Saturday, April 25.

The fishing contest will be held from 8 a.m. to 12 noon at Five Island Lake in Emmetsburg. Registration begins that morning at 7 a.m. at the Five Island Golf Course. Registration fee is $10 for adults and $5 for children age 12 and under. An awards ceremony will be held after the catch-and-release tournament. For questions about the fishing contest, contact John Allen at 712-852-3400, extension 501.

A whole hog barbeque will be held at the Holy Family Parish Center in Emmetsburg on Saturday, April 25, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. The free-will event will include Iowa Pork Sandwiches and all the fixings. All proceeds from the fishing contest and the barbeque will go towards the Polio Plus campaign.

Emmetsburg Rotary members are encouraging businesses, civic organizations, and individuals to join in the fight against polio by making donations or holding fundraisers for this cause in the month of April.Contributions to this cause can be brought to the barbeque fundraiser or mailed to Iowa Trust & Savings Bank, Attention Rotary PolioPlus, 2101 10th Street, Emmetsburg, IA 50536. This account will be open through the month of May.

Polio is a crippling and sometimes fatal disease that still paralyzes children in Africa, Asia and the Middle East and threatens children everywhere. Eradication of polio will be one of the most significant public health accomplishments in history and Rotary is committed to that goal. Since Rotary launched the PolioPlus program in 1985, the number of polio cases has decreased by more than 99 percent and the number of polio-endemic countries has fallen from 125 to 4. The number of polio cases globally was an estimated 50 percent less in 2007 compared to 2006. In the four polio-endemic countries (Afghanistan, India, Nigeria, Pakistan), wild poliovirus circulates in very limited geographic areas. The polio cases represented by that final 1 percent will be the most difficult and expensive to prevent for a variety of reasons, including geographical isolation, armed conflict, and cultural barriers. That’s why it is so important to generate the funding needed to finish the job. To ease up now would be to invite a polio resurgence that would condemn millions of children to lifelong paralysis in the years ahead. The bottom line is this: As long as polio threatens even one child anywhere in the world, all children-wherever they live-remain at risk.

Rotary, a volunteer service organization of 1.2 million men and women, made a commitment to immunize the world’s children against polio in 1985 and became a spearheading partner in the Global Polio Eradication Initiative three years later. The other partners are the World Health Organization, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and UNICEF. Rotary’s primary responsibilities include fundraising, advocacy, and volunteer re