Greetings District 5495 Rotarians. The time is flying by and we are now in October, one quarter of the way through the Rotary year. October is Economic and Community Development month. In District 5495 October is also Polio Month, with October 24th being designated World Polio Day.
As October begins, I have completed 35 club visits. I continue to be amazed at what I am seeing on these club visits. Most inspiring is the improvement that I have noticed in some clubs since my last visit to these clubs a couple of years ago! That is not to discount, however, all the amazing efforts each of our clubs is making in their local communities. I shudder to think where some of these communities would be without their local Rotary club.
At the end of August, our District was tops in Zone 26 for membership growth with a plus 21. Keep up the good work. And I am going to challenge you to remain tops in the Zone for membership growth throughout the year. We can do it, I know it.
As mentioned earlier, in District 5495 October is Polio Month. As you should know by now, particularly if you have seen my DG message at your club, Polio and Polio eradication are my main emphases for this year. As I write this there have been thus far this year 17 cases worldwide involving the wild poliovirus. Thirteen of these cases are in Afghanistan and four are in Pakistan. A year ago at this time we had 10 cases, so year over year we are up 70 percent. Now perhaps our last case in Pakistan, with onset of paralysis on August 1, will be our last case. We can only hope, but I suspect this will not be what we find. Last year we had 22 cases for the year. Sadly, we are on pace to exceed that this year.
 I am asking each Rotarian in the District to make a donation to the PolioPlus fund of $50. This will be matched 2-for-1 by the Gates Foundation so your donation becomes $150 to fight this terrible disease. At the end of August, District 5495 was toward the lower end of District giving to PolioPlus within Zone 26. So, as I like to say, “There is room for improvement.” 
Whether you have a My Rotary account or not, you may use this link to donate to PolioPlus. I am hoping that a good number of our members will make that $50 donation to PolioPlus in October, perhaps even making the donation on Wednesday October 24th to recognize World Polio Day.
I have received a number of comments about last month’s Governor picture. Yes, for you doubters that is me. This month, the Delorean is broken and Doc and Marty are unavailable for repairs. Hence, I’ve had to dig into my private stash of photos. This one was taken in India in 2004 as I administered the two drops of the vaccine to a child. A very moving experience indeed.
Don’t forget to watch the Governor videos. Access them on the District website or on You Tube. The name of the channel is District 5495 Governor. And please remember to make that $50 donation to PolioPlus. Thanks for all you do!