Rotarian Chuck Johnstone teamed up with PDG Rich Kaye and incoming DG Melinda Osbourn to tout the Foundation.
 Chuck, shown here receiving his Paul Harris Fellowship pin last September had a great format for presenting the work of the Foundation, with banter back and forth with Past District Governor Rich Kaye. 
 Rich is a member of the Killeen Heights Rotary Club and is retired from the Army, now in defense contracting. 
He is the "go-to" guy in Rotary District 5870 for Foundation Matters. In addition to many statistics demonstrating the awesome work done by Rotary to eradicate polio, he had an interesting fact unknown to most Rotarians. Many of us (at least those born up to about the 1950's) recall the name Savin -- Dr. Albert Savin -- who created the oral polio vaccine from the original Salk vaccine (by Dr. Jonas Salk).

Fast foward now to 1985 when Dr. Carlos Canseco is the President of Rotary International.  Dr. Canseco was the instigator of the Polio Plus eradication program. How did he come to do so? He was a partner with Dr. Savin! No wonder he thought of it.


In 1988 there were 125 polio-endemic countries and only 71 polio-free. In 1985 Rotary launched a $120million fund-raising campaign and actually raised $247 million. 1991 saw the last of the wild poliovirus in the Americas. Rotary has contributed over $800 million and put feet on the ground in over 122 countries. 

Polio is now 99% eradicated. In 1985 thousands of children were struck daily. There were 350,000 cases in 1988. By 2008 there were fewer than 2,000 cases world-wide.

Last year there were only 385 cases, world-wide. If you eliminate Pakistan and Afghanistan (and the Afghan cases trace back to Pakistan), there were only 19 (Nineteen!) cases in the rest of the entire world.

Incoming District Governor Melinda Osbourn also joined us in the meeting. She is shown here in her usual animated speaking style while Rich -- the consummate coffee consumer -- stands by.

It's the Rotary Foundation that makes this possible, and more. In addition to ending Polio, Rotary International focuses on clean water, women's health, various humanitarian projects, world understanding, goodwill and peace. Basic education and literacy are also top priorities for Rotary International.

Rotarians learned about the financial operation of the Foundation which includes the fact that 100% of your contributed dollar goes to work after three years, that 50% of it can come back to the District, with 25% coming directly to our Club for projects we wish to do.