In commemoration of the first donation of $26.50 to the Foundation, the members of the BEL club donated $26.50 to Polio Plus. Each got a purple pinkie so we could officially give Polio the finger!
In 1985, when Rotary International launched PolioPlus, the first and largest internationally coordinated private-sector support of a public health initiative, more than 125 countries were polio endemic and more than 350,000 people a year were infected.  Today, in partnership with the World Health Organization and with support from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the number of endemic countries is down to two: Pakistan and Afghanistan, and so far this year there have only been 26 reported cases.
On 24th, the World recognized “World Polio Day”, a day to celebrate how far we have come but also to remind ourselves that we cannot stop until the job is done.  It is hard to believe, but the last time Polio affected a child in Europe was last summer!  In 2015 two children in the Ukraine were diagnosed with paralytic polio, and the way the disease can spread , no place on earth is safe until polio is eradicated everywhere.  There are other examples of finding polio outside of Pakistan and Afghanistan.  In 2014, just before the World Cup of soccer in Brazil, the polio virus was identified in the sewage system of the Sao Paulo Airport.  Through genetic testing the virus was traced to Equatorial Guinea.
BEL Rotarians are officially giving polio the finger! In developing countries, the pinkie finger of children who are immunized with the polio vaccine is marked with indelible purple dye as a way of tracking the immunization process.  BEL Rotarians are donating to the cause and in turn having their pinkie finger painted with purple nail polish.  They celebrated their contributions at the annual Foundation Dinner on November 7th.
Members Brian and Dorothy Menton will travel to Nigeria in November to participate in National Immunization Days.  They will visit remote villages and give the children of Nigeria the gift of a life free from the threat of Polio. 
“We will not stop until the job is done” said BEL president Tony Davidson, “the children of the world deserve it!”.