Greetings District 6250 Rotarians!
Welcome to October – Where we Focus on Economic and Community Development… along with celebrate World Polio Day!
Rotary’s long-term, sustained battle against Polio has defined our organization for decades.  We have a right to be proud of all that we have accomplished through the years.
Our progress is real and noteworthy. In 1988, polio was endemic in 125 countries, with more than 350,00 new cases a year worldwide.  Since then, Rotary and our Global Polio Eradication Initiative partners have 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.  Over the years, Rotary has helped country after country move into the polio-free column.  This includes India, which some considered impossible not long ago.  Of the three types of poliovirus, type 2 has been eradicated and type 3 could soon be certified as eradicated.  As we celebrated last month, Africa has been declared polio free, we are now down to just one type of wild poliovirus in only one section of the world – Afghanistan and Pakistan.
World Polio Day is a time for Rotarians to come together, recognize the progress we have made In our fight against polio, and plan the action we must take to end polio forever.  The key word is action, because we still have important work to do.
Again this year, we have area clubs coming together to hold events around raising funds to help fund our fight against Polio.  The Madison area clubs are actively involved in their 2nd Annual “Pints for Polio” event that partners with Great Dane Brewery.  The Lodi Club is taking an interesting “twist” on the Pints for Polio idea – substituting Ice Cream for Beer (get the “Twist” reference?  I make myself chuckle at times. 😊 ) District Wide, the “Hungry to End Polio Now” event promises an “experience” of a Kids Against Hunger Food Pack to consume on a day of your choice – just the food and tap water.  $36 gets you a $35 donation to Polio Plus.  So many ways to get involved – if your club is doing something special to raise funds for Polio Plus or to celebrate World Polio Day, make sure you let us know – perhaps we can celebrate it on the District Social Media Platforms!
When we reach our goal, polio will become only the second human disease eradicated on the planet, and Rotary will receive international acclaim.  But what matters most is the children who will never again have to face this terrible, disabling disease.  Rotary must continue to open doors of opportunity in our world to eradicate polio.  It is up to us.  Let’s finish the job.
Bill Pritchard
6250 District Governor 2020-2021