Polio Plus

The Rotary Club of Peoria North received the District 5495 End Polio Now Champions Award for 2021-22 at the 2022 district conference.
 
The district conference was held May 13-14 at the Prescott Resort & Conference Center in Prescott, Arizona.
 
The award recognizes the club with the highest per capita in contributions over the past year to Rotary's End Polio Now campaign.
 
The award was presented to the club by Past District Governor Jim Erickson, chair of the district's End Polio Now Committee, and Nicolle Karantinos, president of the Rotary Club of Mesa. The Rotary Club of Mesa was the recipient in 2020-21.
 
Accepting the award on behalf of the club were District Governor Bret McKeand, Ken Parsons, Assistant Governors Gary Connelly and Lou Rotundo.
John Germ, chair of The Rotary Foundation Board of Trustees, visited District 5495 April 1-2 as part of his "Two Drops Tour" to encourage Rotarians to continue their focus on supporting Rotary's End Polio Now campaign.
 
The district hosted two small receptions for John and Judy Germ at the Doubletree Resort Tempe. During both receptions, John provided a brief update on current contributions made to the foundation, as well as the status of Rotary's 40-plus year efforts to eradicate polio.
 
"We're so very close, with only two nations left where the wild polio virus still exists," said Mr. Germ. "But the remaining challenges are incredible, and we need everyone's support now more than ever."
 
John predicted the virus would be eliminated by 2023 and declared completely eradicated by 2026.
 
He also thanked District 5495 for its strong support this year for both The Annual Fund and the End Polio Now campaign.
 
John Germ is the retired board chair and CEO of Campbell & Associates, Inc. He is a member of the Rotary Club of Chattanooga, Tennessee.
 
He joined Rotary in 1976 and served as RI President in 2016-17. In 2013 the White House recognized him as a "Champion of Change."
 
A video of DG Bret McKeand interviewing Mr. Germ on the current status of Rotary's initiative to end polio and other issues can be found here.

The 2021 Michael J. Harris Memorial District 5500 Ride to End Polio Results

A big thanks to District 5500 Governor Hank Huisking for her unwavering support, both financial and moral.

Thanks to Darrell Stewart, Co-chair and coordinator of our Pre-Ride Dinner.

Thanks to Charlotte Harris, who led the Indoor Ride to End Polio to a 12 year record.

Thanks to Gary Friedman and the clubs along the I-19 Corridor for taking over the Rotary Aid Station in a brand new location, and with no prior experience.

Thanks to Natasha Wrae and the Tucson Sunset Club for a great job at the Finish Line Booth.

Thanks to Chair-elect and PDG Kirk Reed for coordinating the fund raising effort

Thanks to Clare Monroe and the folks at Rotary International for their assistance in so many ways.

And a huge thanks to our Presenting Sponsor, the Cycling to Serve Fellowship for their contribution to help us meet our operating costs for the ride.


AND NOW THE RESULTS

The Indoor Ride to End Polio included 25 teams with approximately 250 participants. The highest Indoor Ride fundraiser award goes to Calgary West, where 34 clubs helped raise more than $91,000. Second place went to Stoughton, WI who raised more than $27,000. In total, the Indoor Ride, including all sites, raised a record $505,642 (all figures quoted with the Gates Match).

The Ride to End Polio in Tucson saw 100 cyclists registered, which is close to the norm for our ride. Considering we skipped a year and concerns over COVID, this is a great result. Riders came from 12 states and at least one rider rode in every distance.

The 2021 Ride to End Polio raised a total of $2,996,868 including all donations from all sources.

This is the 12th year Rotary has participated in El Tour de Tucson, and over that time, our cyclists have raised $56,296,868.

Thank you to every cyclist who rode Indoors or in Tucson. To friends and family who came out and supported their rides with contributions and moral support. But in the end, let's all remember why we ride.
 
Three Rotarians from District 5495 were among Rotarians from around the nation who traveled to Tucson Nov. 20 to compete in the annual Ride to End Polio Fundraiser.
 
The Ride to End Polio is part of the larger El Tour de Tucson bike ride, held every year in Tucson, Arizona.
 
Over the years, the event has raised millions of dollars to support Rotary's efforts to eradicate polio.
 
District Governor Bret McKeand and Rebecca Wilks, both members of Peoria North Rotary Club, took part in the 28-mile race. Bret's wife,  Michelle, joined in the effort.
 
Past District Governor and District 5495 Foundation Committee Chairman Charlie Tegarden also participated -- although not in Tucson. Charlie raised funds via a "virtual" bike ride.
 
All donations to Polio Plus are matched 2-to-1 by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Donations raised by the trio, when matched by the Gates Foundation, totaled more than $45,000.
 
The Rotary Club of Sedona and Rascal Restaurant and Bar are taking action on behalf of World Polio Day to raise awareness, funds, and support to end polio, a vaccine-preventable disease that still threatens children in parts of the world today.
 
On Dec. 5, Mercer Mohr, chef/owner of Rascal Restaurant and Bar will donate 10 percent of dinner revenues to Rotary International’s Polio Fund.
 
Rotary and its partners launched the Global Polio Eradication Initiative in 1988.
 
There were 350,000 cases of polio in 125 countries every year. Today, polio cases have been reduced by 99.9 percent, and just two countries continue to report cases of wild poliovirus: Afghanistan and Pakistan.
 
Rotary clubs are making a special push this year to finish this job. 
 
Please join us and let's end this!
  
Rascal Restaurant & Bar 
 
2250 W State Route 89A, Sedona, AZ 86336
 
Happy Hour 4-5:30 p.m. every day
 
Rotary gives special thanks to Mercer and his team!
 
By Salman Mubarak DGN District 3272
 
Eradicating Polio from the world has been the dream of all Rotarians for more than three decades. With only one case each reported by the only two Polio-endemic countries, Pakistan and Afghanistan, we are very close to the finish line.
 
We as Rotarians need to encourage, motivate and double our efforts so our dream becomes a reality. Most importantly we need to recognize our Polio workers who are covering long distances under tough conditions and defying weather of extreme cold and scorching heat.
 
These are our real heroes working passionately, risking their lives day and night on low salaries of as little as $100 a month so planet earth gets rids of this crippling disease. No amount of donation can compensate them as more than 100 polio workers have been killed. They have sacrificed their lives for a better world for us and for our children.
 
To solidify our resolve a joint meeting was organized by Rotary International Districts 5495 Arizona and 3272 Pakistan which was well attended by Rotarians of both districts including Trustee and National PolioPlus Chair PDG Aziz Memon who graciously agreed to be interviewed.
 
Past RI Trustee and International Steve Brown interviewed Mohamed Ishaq, chair of the Afghanistan National Polio Plus Committee. The idea of a joint meeting was conceived by my District 5495 friends PDG Abe Feder and PDG Barb Feder.