Rotary has been working to eradicate polio for more than 35 years, and the goal of ridding the world of this disease is closer than ever. As a founding partner of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative, Rotary has reduced polio cases by 99.9 percent since their first project to vaccinate children in the Philippines in 1979.
Rotary members have contributed more than $2.1 billion and countless volunteer hours to protect nearly three billion children in 122 countries from this paralyzing disease. Rotary’s advocacy efforts have played a role in decisions by governments to contribute more than $10 billion to the effort.
Today, polio remains endemic only in Afghanistan and Pakistan. But it’s crucial to continue working to keep other countries polio-free. If all eradication efforts stopped today, within 10 years, polio could paralyze as many as 200,000 children each year.
Every year the Rotary Club of Cochrane raises fund to support the fight against polio. Clubs in our District 5360 / Southern Alberta promote the “Move for Polio” initiative, and as a Club Polio Champion it is my job to come up with fund raising ideas. Well, what could be more fun than playing mini-golf, and so “Putting for Polio” was born.
On Tuesday September 19 a group of us headed over to the Cochrane Golf Club. In total, we had 27 participants, including 14 club members, Chris and Kirsten’s grandsons Nathan and Owen, Dan and Marlene (District Committee Chair of “End Polio Now”) from the Rotary Club of Calgary West, Mel from the Rotary Club of Cochrane Rocky Mountain, and guests Diane and Lee and kids who have just moved to Cochrane. Everyone collected their putters and coloured golf balls from Walter, and then it was around to the mini-golf course for a shot-gun start. At 5.30 p.m. everyone had taken their positions, the whistle blew and balls of all colours were flying everywhere.
After the 18 holes we all headed into the WOW Store at the Golf Club and had drinks and pizza. Marlene said a few word about the status of eradicating polio. We then announced the results of the “Putting for Polio” event. In total there were 21 holes-in-one’s and Marlene had five of those…..Amazing! Finally, we had a draw for the six bottles of wine kindly donated by Suzanne from Vintner’s Cellar. Funds were raised by donation to Rotary’s “Polio Plus” campaign, and we all agreed that we should have the 2nd Annual “Putting for Polio” in 2024.
If you are interested in becoming a member or learn more about the Rotary Club of Cochrane then please email us at [email protected] .
© 2023 Martin Parnell