On November 14th, 2019, our program speaker was one of our own members, Kathi Hoffer. She spoke on the importance of Rotary’s Polio Plus program. Kathi not only gave a history of the disease but also invoked personal memories from many of our members as to the first attempts at polio’s eradication in the late 1950s and early 1960s.

Kathi gave a detailed explanation of what makes polio such a devastating disease, along with some facts about how it is spread. She then moved on to discuss the fantastic efforts that Rotary has made to eliminate and prevent polio worldwide.

Rotary has helped immunize more than 2.5 billion children in 122 countries and has contributed more than $1.8 billion toward eradicating the disease worldwide to date.
Today, polio remains endemic only in Afghanistan, Nigeria, and Pakistan. But Kathi reminded us that it’s crucial to continue working to keep other countries polio-free. If all eradication efforts stopped today, within ten years, polio could paralyze as many as 200,000 children each year.

Kathi perfectly introduced our first “Karaoke Night for Polio” night, a Southtowne fundraiser for Polio Plus, held the following evening, November 15th. A great turnout of Southtowne members sang and attempted to sing. We had loads of fun, and the best part was raising more than $9,700 in just one night!

Southtowne Rotary is happy to be part of this amazing program, and looks forward to continued support for years to come!