Did you know that Rotary International began polio immunization in India in 1978?
The 1985 international convention received a plea from Doctor Salk asking Rotary to start a program to immunize all the world's children against polio. Rotary started the program and between 1986 and 1988, and announced that Rotary had raised over 2.3 million dollars to purchase vaccine. In 1989 the Rotary International foundation made $20 million available for the vaccine. Rotarians across our country and around the world have dug deep and given millions of dollars to eradicate polio in the world.
It was reported that Rotary and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation committed a combined total of $200 million, and that by 2009 the amount raised was $555 million for polio eradication. To date the combined donations for polio eradication exceed one billion dollars worldwide.
We still have a few cases in the war countries of Afghanistan, Nigeria and Pakistan. Our local Rotary clubs have had a hand in helping to secure these funds. Our past international director, Jerry Barden, participated in a trip to India and gave drops to children in India that has led that country towards being polio free. I wanted to point out to you how community people like Rotary in Madera, and around the world, are working to eradicate polio.
If we could combine their efforts to restore the lives of our young men and women and help them out of the gang operations, we could vastly improve our community. We now have a family man, Rick Farinelli, born, reared and schooled in Madera, who is a leader in our city and county who has announced his commitment to work towards helping young people restore their lives and be an outstanding person in our city and county. The people in Madera County should call Mr. Farinelli and offer to help him build this program.
Gary D. Giersch, P.E.