On August 14th 2017 a dedicated cadre of Rotarian bike riders left Crescent City California with a common goal,"End Polio Now!"  First, the good news - so far this year there are only eight reported cases of Polio worldwide!  Yet like the deadly small pox epidemic, once there are no more reported cases children yet to be inoculated in high risk areas will still need to be vaccinated for three additional years to be sure it has been eradicated completely (the 7.5 billion world population grows 1.1 percent annually).  Better news - at the Rotary International Convention in Atlanta last month Bill Gates Jr. announced  the Bill and Melissa Gates Foundation will continue the 2:1 match, and have INCREASED the match to $50 million (from $35 million) and extended it for 3 years.
 
 
 
Lead by District 5130 Governor Bob Rogers, the riders began their 350 mile plus journey to reach the finish line in Petaluma California by Saturday August 19th.   Each day started with a joyful song by Bill Sauber (Rotary Club of Sebastopol):
 
Oh, what a beautiful morning. Yeah!
Well, what a wonderful day. I want ya'll to know, oh now.
I've got a beautiful feelin'.
I got everything, everything's goin' my way.”
  
Starting off with 14 riders and picking up more along the way (over 30 at the finish line), the Rotarians rode down Highway 101 averaging 50 miles a day, ascending over 5,000 vertical feet on some days.  Supporting Rotary Clubs provided lodging, meals and the spirit of community along the way. As our fearless, selfless riders reached the finish line at Lucchesi Park in Petaluma, a local band and over one hundred supporter cheered their accomplishment and worthy contribution to END POLIO NOW.  And with another month to go, Rotary District 5130 is well on the path to reach its $84,000 donation goal plus another $168,000 from the Gates foundation - that's $252,000 and along with hundreds of other Rotary Districts, really MAKES A DIFFERENCE!
 

For more (including the names of the riders), please see the District 5130 website:
 
 
And check out the fun-filled video of the riders during their six day sojourn:
 
 
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