Geneva IL – The Rotary Club of Geneva announced major progress in their global organization’s signature cause, the worldwide eradication of polio. Members of club have donated money for decades to fund the Rotary International public health campaign. The club channels member contributions to world polio eradication through the Rotary Foundation.
In 1985, Rotary Clubs worldwide targeted this crippling disease, which can be prevented by inoculating children. Since then, global Rotary club members have donated $1 billion to the cause and partnered with the World Health Organization, UNICEF and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control to mount extensive child vaccination programs on six continents. Since 1988, the incidence of polio plummeted 99 percent from 350,000 infections per year in 100+ countries to only 650 cases last year in four countries.
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, inspired by Rotary’s earlier work, gave a $355 million challenge grant several years ago with the understanding that Rotary would match it with $200 million. Having just surpassed the match, the Gates Foundation announced another $50 million dollar grant.
Club President Kathy Melone expressed pride in meeting the Gates Challenge Grant and global eradication progress. She noted the polio scourge in the 1940s and 1950s which terrified America and the Chicago area, and said Rotary members are deeply devoted to this cause.
The Rotary Club of Geneva meets at Riverside Receptions in Geneva on Tuesdays 7 am to 8 am and is involved in many service projects that benefit the local community as well. For information, check www.genevarotary.org or our Geneva Rotary Facebook page.
Geneva Rotary invites potential new members who live or work in the Geneva area to visit our club.
Rotary International is a global service organization with 1.2 million members in 34,000 Rotary clubs in 200 countries and geographic areas. Members are men and women who are business, professional and community leaders with a shared commitment to make the world a better place.