Elgin Rotary, Elgin Breakfast Rotary Club to mark historic progress toward polio-free world Oct. 24

Elgin Rotary members are taking action on World Polio Day on Sunday, Oct. 24, to raise awareness, funds and support to end polio, a vaccine-preventable disease that still threatens children in parts of the world today.

When Rotary and its partners launched the Global Polio Eradication Initiative in 1988, there were 350,000 cases of polio in 125 countries every year.

Today, polio cases have been reduced by 99.9 percent and just two countries continue to report any cases of wild poliovirus: Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Rotary has contributed more than $2.2 billion to ending polio since 1985, including over $200,000 donated by the two local Elgin Rotary Clubs - The Rotary Club of Elgin (Noon) and the Elgin Breakfast Rotary Club.

With polio nearly eradicated, Rotary and its partners must sustain this progress and continue to reach every child with the polio vaccine.

Rotary has committed to raising US$50 million each year to support global polio eradication efforts. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has pledged to match that 2-to-1, for a total yearly contribution of $150 million.

You may be asking why it is important to polio is eradicated? Because a more virulent strain could re-emerge worldwide. In today's world, a virus is as close as your nearest airport.

The Rotary Club of Elgin meets at 12:05 p.m. Mondays at Holiday Inn & Suites Chicago Northwest, 495 Airport Road in Elgin. Learn more at or

The Elgin Breakfast Rotary Club meets at 7:15 a.m. Tuesdays at the Elgin Country Club, 2575 Weld Road, Elgin. For information, visit or

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