OVER 28,000 POLIO VACCINATIONS FUNDED by WATERTOWN ROTARY February 29, 2020
 
On behalf of the Watertown Rotary Foundation Committee we wish to thank Watertown Rotary Club Members, our Board of Directors, Swimarathon fundraisers and our many donors for a successful 2020 Swimarathon. Our event of February 22nd successfully exceeded our goal by raising funds of $5,670 towards Polio eradication. Of note, The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation will match these funds 2 for 1 when Rotary International meets the 2019-20 goal of raising $50 million towards eradication. Each vaccination costs just $0.60.
 
Extermination of the wild poliovirus type 3 was celebrated on World Polio Day on October 24, 2019, when Rotary International and its partners the WHO and the Gates Foundation confirmed the strain was eradicated. It is only the third human disease-causing pathogen ever eradicated after small pox and the type 2 wild poliovirus strain. Only the type1 strain of wild poliovirus continues to affect humanity. The fight continues!
 
In light of the these results I am excited with renewed hope that our Rotary International partnership of 35 plus years will see polio eradicated sooner than later.
 
Recent news of the possible peace talks in Afghanistan along with the unique efforts in Pakistan to vaccinate their children allows me to dream of the day that our world and this 73-year-old Rotarian will live to celebrate the event!    
 
Thank you all for your donations and hard work. Our success is due to your willingness to support the Rotary Motto of “Service Above Self” and your desire to join the effort to eliminate Polio forever.
 
To date, 99.9% of the world is Polio free. We are “this close”, as indicated by holding thumb and index finger slightly apart, to eradication.