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Matt Brown
Mar 02, 2021
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Mar 16, 2021
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Welcome to our Club!
We meet In Person
Tuesdays at 12:00 PM
First United Methodist Church
Fellowship Center
72 Lake Morton Drive
Lakeland, FL 33801
United States of America
District Governor of Rotary District 6890, Mark Scolnick, and members of Lakeland area Rotary clubs receive a proclamation from the Lakeland City Commission recognizing World Polio Day on October 24, 2020
Why Is Rotary Still Talking About Polio?!?
Poliomyelitis is a paralyzing and potentially fatal disease that still threatens children in some parts of the world. Poliovirus invades the nervous system and can cause total paralysis in hours. It can strike people of any age but mainly affects children under five. Polio is not curable, but it can be prevented by vaccines and…polio can be eradicated.
For more than 30 years, Rotary and our partners have driven the effort to eradicate polio worldwide. Our PolioPlus program was the first initiative to tackle global polio eradication by vaccinating children on a massive scale. As a core partner in the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (“GPEI”), Rotary focuses on advocacy, fundraising, volunteer recruitment, and awareness-building.
When Rotary and its partners formed the GPEI in 1988, there were 350,000 cases of polio in 125 countries every year. Today, we have reduced polio cases by 99.9 percent, and just two countries continue to report cases of wild poliovirus: Afghanistan and Pakistan. Because of the efforts of Rotary and its partners, nearly 19 million people who would otherwise have been paralyzed are walking, and more than 1.5 million people are alive who would otherwise have died. The infrastructure we helped build to end polio is also being used to treat and prevent other diseases (including COVID-19) and create lasting impact in other areas of public health.
More than 1 million Rotary members have donated their time and money to eradicate polio. Rotary members have contributed more than $2.1 billion to polio eradication efforts. Funds raised by Rotary and partners such as the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation provide operational support, medical workers, lab equipment, and educational materials.  Hundreds of Rotarians every year work log countless volunteer hours with local health workers to vaccinate children in countries affected by polio, totaling more than 2.5 billion children vaccinated in 122 countries over the past 30 years. Rotary members work with UNICEF and other partners to prepare and distribute informational materials for people in areas that are isolated by conflict, geography, or poverty. They also mobilize to recruit fellow volunteers, assist in transporting the vaccine, and provide other logistical support. And, Rotary’s advocacy efforts have played a role in decisions by governments to contribute more than $10 billion to the effort.
Rotary and our partners have made tremendous progress against polio, but eliminating all cases is going to take even more progress and perseverance. Afghanistan and Pakistan face unique challenges, including political insecurity, highly mobile populations, difficult terrain, and, in some instances, vaccine refusal and misinformation. With sufficient resources, the commitment of national governments, and innovations that improve access to remote areas, we are optimistic that we can eliminate polio. Until that happens, we are all just one plane ride away from potential spread of this devastating virus.
We are thrilled that the City of Lakeland recognizes the importance of World Polio Day on October 24, 2020, because we are “this close” to eliminating polio from the face of the earth. How will you join the battle, and help Rotary end polio for good? 
On September 22, 2020, Past District Governor of Rotary District 6890 Darren "Kip" Kipnis hosted an awards presentation and celebration for his term as DG in 2019-2020. We were delighted and proud as our own Immediate Past President, Carol Wallace, was honored as the District's Club President of the Year! Under Carol's poised, focused, and determined leadership, our club received a Presidential Citation for the year and accomplished some amazing work, despite the curve ball thrown at us by the COVID-19 pandemic. Gracious as ever, Carol credited the heart and spirit of the Lakeland Rotary Club and its members for the great year. She said, "When asked to do something, the only answer our club members know is 'yes'!"
Congratulations, Carol, on an award and recognition that is so well-deserved!

The Lakeland Rotary Club was proud to present a check for $50,000 to Bonnet Springs Park, to be designated for two huge slides on the Great Lawn area. 
The gift was from proceeds from our annual event, Spring Obsession.  Our special thanks is extended to all the sponsors for Spring Obsession and to each Rotarian who generously supported this event. See the sponsor list here.