World Polio Day
October 24th marks World Polio Day. World Polio day is always observed on the 24th. That date is so random. Even though the 24th falls on a Saturday this year, why not the 1st, 10th 15th or 20th?
The truth of the matter is, the date isn't  really random. The 24th is Jonas Salk’s birthday - the one who discovered the polio vaccine.
So, how far have we come over the last 35 years? And, how far do we have to go to reach our stated goal of eradicating polio from the world?
Since the beginning, Rotarians have contributed nearly $1.5 billion. For the next three years, in partnership with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Rotary has pledged to raise $150 million per year. That is what we have done the past three years with the Gates Foundation.
The allocation of these funds is as follows:
39% is to get the vaccine to the children; 24% is for public awareness of polio; 19% is for the vaccine itself; 14% is for detecting polio; and 1% is for continuing research and development.
Rotarians have saved 19 million children from paralysis and 1.5 million from death. This is a very significant reason to keep going and never stop. For instance, if we were to stop vaccinating, it is estimated that there will be 200,000 new cases per year. This is unthinkable from where we have come.
Just a few weeks ago, the continent of Africa was declared wild polio free since there have been no case in the last three years. That leaves only Afghanistan and Pakistan.  Eradication has to remain our number one priority.
One of the ways we can still get the word out and do our part to bring polio to an end is to buy a "Good Bye Polio Thanks Rotary" bumper sticker from the Del Mar Club. The cost is only $.27 per sticker. They are cheaper by the dozen!
This would be a great way to show support as we head down the home stretch to eradicate that bad boy. Here is the link to purchase the bumper stickers:
As of August, over 400,000 of these bumper stickers have been sold all over the world. Let’s keep it going. Let’s sell another 100,000 to further do our part for eradication.
And by the way, displaying these "Good Bye Polio Thanks Rotary" bumper sticker is a great marketing tool to let people know who we are and what we do - what we are about. Maybe these bumper stickers will drive the curious to give us a “look see” and then join us.
Over the past few years, our District - you and me - have given over $1 million to end polio. Let’s make a pledge to do that again this year. Let’s take another step closer to our goal of eradicating polio.