World-Changing Information – There are Two
It was great to see so many Brookings Rotary Club members at the District Conference in Deadwood October 14-16! There were wonderful learning sessions, plenty of fellowship, and it was inspiring to hear of all the work our clubs are doing in our communities – including here in Brookings.
But there was one incredible piece of information that was news to me, and others, present at the conference – there are two known cases of the wild polio virus remaining in the world.
Over the years, Brookings Rotarians have heard the constant plea to make a financial contribution to PolioPlus. Our club has faithfully answered the call. When Rotary and its partners formed the Global Polio Eradication Initiative in 1988, there were 350,000 cases of polio in 125 countries every year. Now there are two this year – one each in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Rotary members have contributed more than $2.1 billion and countless volunteer hours to protect more than 2.5 billion children. While we’re not claiming victory, clearly victory is in sight.
We’re not giving up. Rotary is pledging $50 million each year to continue to vaccinate children around the world – funds that are matched with $100 million from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
November is Rotary Foundation Month. Again, we’ll be asked to give our time and financial resources to The Rotary Foundation (TRF). This five-star rated foundation with outstanding financial oversight transforms lives close to home and around the world. The Rotary Club of Brookings has been the recipient of several District Grants over the years – funds that are returned to local clubs after we donate them to TRF.  When you hear the talk this year about making a contribution, please remember – we are changing lives through our donations to Rotary, and PolioPlus is the example of our efforts.