Rotary event raises $24,000 towards polio eradication

This community raised more than $24,000 to fight polio late last month.

  • Nov. 10, 2014 11:00 a.m.

This community raised more than $24,000 to fight polio late last month.

On Oct. 29, the Rotary Club of Ladysmith held a special event to raise money for the eradication of polio. Close to 100 people attended the event from Ladysmith, Chemainus and Nanaimo.

Joan Toone, a polio survivor and international speaker from Victoria, provided a moving presentation on the history of polio and what it meant to be a child who endured polio and as an adult now suffering from “Post Polio Syndrome.”

The combination of silent auction and live auction raised $4,400, and direct donations that evening raised another $1,680. The Ladysmith club matched membership donations to reach a total of $8,000. Then, to top it all off, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation matched that two-for-one to bring the total for the evening to more than $24,000.

“We had a terrific night, with people really opening their hearts and wallets at both live and silent auctions,” said Rotary Club Foundation Chair Gerry Beltgens. “We were not expecting such great results because the All Candidates Meeting ended up on the same night, but the organizers were very supportive and even put out a call for donations at their event.”

This comes at an important time in the fight to eradicate polio, which would be only the second human disease to be eradicated. Case numbers of the disease have never been lower, and only three countries (Nigeria, Afghanistan and Pakistan) have never stopped transmission of the wild polio virus.

However, a funding gap means immunization campaigns are being cut in high-risk countries, leaving children more vulnerable to polio. If polio isn’t stopped now, the disease could stage a comeback, affecting an estimated 200,000 children every year.

Rotary, a humanitarian service organization with nearly 34,000 clubs in more than 200 countries and geographical areas, made polio eradication its top priority in 1985. Rotary has since contributed $1.2 billion USD, and its members have logged countless volunteer hours to help immunize more than two billion children in 122 countries.

A highly infectious disease, polio still strikes children mainly under the age of five in parts of Africa and South Asia. Polio can cause paralysis and sometimes death. There is no cure for polio, but for as little as 60 cents worth of oral vaccine, a child can be protected from the disease for life.

Rotary Clubs International has already donated over $80 million towards the eradication of polio worldwide in 2014 alone.

The Ladysmith Rotary Club wishes to thank all of those who attended and all of the people and companies who donated silent and live auction items.

More details about the event can be found on the Rotary Club’s website at www.ladysmithrotary.org/ladysmith/ and the club’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/rotaryladysmith.

— Submitted by Ladysmith Rotary Club

 

Just Posted

Ladysmith Maritime Society wants to be known as the Friendliest Marina on the Coast

Group marks 33 years of marine preservation and community

Ladysmith proving once again, it’s a small town with a big heart

It takes a town full of volunteers to ensure no child goes hungry

Prosecution in Colin John murder trial wrapping up in Duncan

John on trial for stabbing death in Chemainus in 2016

15 new Indigenous teacher training seats added at Cowichan VIU campus

Thorne said the new Indigenous teacher education curriculum that is planned at VIU

Breakfast with Santa a Ladysmith staple

Nearly 700 people took part in this annual charity event

Man caught on camera allegedly trying to defraud ICBC

Auto-insurer warns B.C. drivers to record info after crashes

Warning issued as forecast calls for 20-foot waves in Tofino

Dangerous waves, strong currents and upper-shoreline flooding expected for Tofino-Ucluelet area

Oil tanker ban to be reviewed by committee

Indigenous groups for and against Bill C-48 travel to Ottawa to influence the Senate’s decision

An 800-pound pig named Theodore needs a forever home, B.C. society says

‘Theodore is not destined to be somebody’s bacon’

Teenager Alphonso Davies wins Canadian Men’s Soccer Player for the Year Award

Derek Cornelius and Chilliwack native, Jordyn Huitema were named Canadian Youth International Players of the Year

B.C. teen MMA fighter shows heart

Young Unity MMA competitors bring home Ws

2,000 Canadians died of an overdose in first 6 months of the year

New data from the Public Health Agency of Canada shows the crisis is not subsiding

Another B.C. city votes to ban single-use plastic bags

First six months of proposed ban would focus on education, not enforcement

Most Read