As October approaches, I would like to share with our community the importance of the upcoming World Polio Day on Oct. 24. Did you know that Rotary has been working tirelessly for decades in the long-term battle to eradicate polio from the globe?

Rotary’s progress is real and noteworthy, but we are not done! To date, we reduced the incidence of Polio by more than 99.9%, vaccinated more than 2.5 billion children against the virus, and prevented 18 million cases of paralysis. To many of us, polio has not affected our lifetime, yet many of us have parents or grandparents who grew up in a world where polio was a real threat. Thanks to Jonas Salk who came up with a vaccine against the virus in 1955, polio serves no threat in our region of the world.

Rotary is continuing the fight by administering vaccines in the those very limited areas of the globe where polio still remains a threat — specifically Afghanistan and Pakistan. We are committed to ending polio forever. World Polio Day serves as a reminder that our job is not finished.

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The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is mounting each dollar raised by Rotary 2 to 1. Each of our clubs worldwide is committed to supporting Rotary’s Polio Plus program and are donating funds to the cause. $100 donation becomes $300 thanks to the Gates Foundation.

We are not in this fight alone. If you wish to support Rotary in this effort, you can make a donation to the Westfield Rotary Foundation. 100% of funds raised go toward the cause. Not many charities can make that claim. Visit our website www.westfieldrotary.com and follow the link at the bottom of our home page “email our president.” You can also reach out to us on our Facebook page, Rotary Club of Westfield.

Together we can end polio!

Liz Ensslin
President Rotary Club of Westfield