Saturday, January 26, 2013

A Very Worthy Cause -- Fighting Polio World Wide

One of the Clubs that I participate in, on behalf of the Hawthorne Hotel, and because I believe very strongly in its mission, is the Salem Rotary Club.

This year, Salem, MA Rotary Club Members John Hall, Joanne Scott and Dr. Viktoria Talebian will represent the Salem Rotary Club in the POLAR PLUNGE being orchestrated by ROTARY DISTRICT 7930

This will be the third annual Polar Plunge and will take place on Saturday February 9, 2013 at Long Beach in Gloucester at 11:30 A.M.  The event is part Rotary International’s ongoing campaign to eradicate polio in our lifetime.

The event is expected to see more then 250 people plunging into the cold waters off Cap Ann adjacent the Cape Ann Motor Inn.  The Gloucester Rotary Club is the host for this event.  Last year close to 160 people braved the icy waters in an effort that is considered one of fellowship, public awareness, and fundraising. Last year’s efforts raised more then $34,000. Polar Plunge and Polio Chairman Bob Gravino of the Ipswich club has set this year’s goal at $100,000.  That amounts to $2,100 per club for 48 clubs from Boston north to Salem NH and East to the Cape Ann communities of Gloucester, Rockport, Essex and Manchester.

The district is also utilizing an electronic fundraising process this year in efforts to help clubs and members raise the targeted $100,000.  Supporters are encouraged to log on to: and make a pledge to help Rotarians lead the way to eradicate polio in the world – a dreaded disease that is nearly wiped from the earth – but not completely – which is why we need to continue this effort. 

For as little as 60 cents per dose, your donation can make the difference in changing a person’s life.  Please support Rotarians across 48 clubs in more then 50 communities north of Boston as they brave the icy waters off Gloucester to help their fellow humankind eradicate polio in our lifetime.   The public is welcome to attend.  Hot refreshments will be served by high school students composed of local Interact clubs (formerly junior Rotarians).  More than 1,000 people are expected to attend the event. 

If you would like to help out or participate in some way please feel free to contact Committee Chairman Bob Gravino or Josh Arnold the Event’s Public Relations Chairman at

Since 1985, Polio has become the signature cause for Rotary International as it has teamed up with partners including: The Global Poverty Project, The Global Eradication Initiative, The World Health Organization, and The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to name a few.   The disease was prevalent here in the United States in the years following the first two world wars.  Since then, efforts spearheaded by Rotary International to eradicate Polio from the Philippines in 1985, and then based on the success of the Philippines endeavor, Rotary International (R.I.) embarked on the mission to eradicate Polio from the world entirely. 

Since that time, more then a billion dollars has been raised by Rotary clubs worldwide with a large contribution from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.  When R.I. took on the battle against this disease more than 350,000 people spanning 125 countries were impacted.

Today there are three countries left where it has not been eradicated, namely Pakistan, Afghanistan and Nigeria.

The year 2012 was an historic year in the battle against polio as 429 million children have been vaccinated against polio.  Less then 300 cases of polio were reported in 2012.  That figure represents a decline of more than 60% from 2011. In order for a country to be certified as having the disease eradicated, it must sustain three successive years of zero new cases of polio reported within its population.


I hope you will consider helping out in this worthy event.


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