The end of this month (June 2012) marks the close of Rotary’s Challenge for polio eradication.  Through the hard work of Rotarians around the globe, the Rotary Foundation has raised over $200 million, six months ahead of schedule, in response to $355 million in grants from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.  And this was accomplished during the worst global economy in years.  This is Rotary’s third major fundraising campaign for polio eradication; the previous two campaigns were in 1985 and 2003.  The fundraising goals were met and surpassed in those campaigns, but donations to the Foundation’s Annual Fund decreased.  This time donations to the Foundation’s Annual Fund increased during the challenge, and we were able to raise this additional money for polio at the same time.  This was achieved in part due to getting the community involved – Rotarians working with local leaders, holding pancake sales, swima-thons, bike rides – you name it, it’s been tried.  Per Rotary Foundation Trustee, John Germ, chair of Rotary’s $200 Million Challenge Committee, “We could not have done this without the tremendous support of individual Rotarians around the world”.  Now that we’ve reached this milestone, we need to build on our success by promoting the final push to end polio and continuing to raise funds until the world is certified polio-free.                       -excerpt from article in the June 2012 edition of “The Rotarian”