BYRON – Byron Mayor John Rickard declared Oct. 24 “World Polio Day” in Byron in recognition of the work of the Byron Rotary Club and Rotary International to eradicate polio.
In 1988, Rotary establish the Global Polio Eradication Initiative, which today includes the World Health Organization, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, UNICEF, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, to immunize the children of the world against polio. Through the work and contributions of local clubs, the Initiative has helped to immunization more than 2.5 billion children across the globe. Though the incidence of polio has been reduced by 99.9 percent, until the disease is fully eradicated, within 10 years as many as 200,000 new cases could occur around the world every year.
No child anywhere is safe until every child is vaccinated. Polio is a highly infectious, paralyzing and potentially deadly disease, spread through contaminated food and water in areas with poor sanitation. Mainly affecting children under five, there is no cure for polio, but it can be prevented with a vaccine.
Worldwide, Oct. 24 is World Polio Day. In proclaiming the recognition locally, Mayor Rickard honored Rotary’s motto of “Service Above Self” noting that clubs and members have, to date, contributed nearly $2 billion toward the goal of polio eradication in 122 countries.
Rotary Club of Byron sponsors events fundraising events, including “Pot of Gold” held in March every year, to help raise funds dedicated to polio eradication and locally, to provide grade schoolers with free milk, books and dictionaries, to help fund the Byron High School food and hygiene pantry as well as many other community projects.
Rotary Club of Byron meets the second and fourth Thursdays of each month at noon at the Byron Public Library – visitors are always welcome. Check us out on Facebook at Rotary Club of Byron.