Rotary Efforts Result In $145K To Fight Polio



The Rotary Club of Los Alamos is among 39 Rotary clubs throughout Rotary District 5520, which includes New Mexico and west Texas, that recently raised awareness and money in support of Rotary International’s polio eradication effort.  

Friday Oct. 24, local members gathered at Los Alamos schools to share information about the drive to eliminate polio from the globe, to paint pinkies purple, and to accept donations. All money raised was matched by an anonymous Rotarian in the District up to $20,000. Rotary District 5520’s contribution will be matched 2-to-1 by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The end result is $145,800 that will be focused on the fight against polio.

“This was a very commendable effort that substantially raised awareness in our community and will have an enormous impact on the fight against Polio,” Los Alamos Rotary President Troy Hughes said.

Rotary International has partnered with the World Health Organization, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Unicef, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and others to immunize more than 2.5 billion children against the polio virus across the globe.  

“We may never know how many lives have been saved by our local efforts,” said Rotary District 5520 Governor Lonnie Leslie, “but I’m so proud of our Rotarians for taking an active role in something that benefits the whole world.”  

Polio cases have been reduced by 99 percent worldwide. The eradication of polio will be a historic achievement, making polio only the second human disease in history – after smallpox – to be eradicated worldwide.  

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