by Jim Boyle
Gary Campbell, governor of Rotary District 5960, urged Elk River Rotary Club members to tell prospective members how Rotary International is three countries away from eliminating polio in the world.
Campbell said Nigeria, Pakistan and Afghanistan are targets of Polio Plus, which is trying to rid the world of the disease.
A partner is the Bill and Malinda Gates Foundation that has pledged to double a $35 million per year Rotary contribution to Polio Plus for the next five years.
This Rotary project has the capability of touching every human life on the planet, Campbell said.
He said that a child can be vaccinated for life for 60 cents. When the project began 25 years ago, 325,000 people were paralyzed, mostly children. Last year, 250 were paralyzed in three countries.
The Minnesota Lynx professional basketball team will be promoting the End Polio Now campaign at its Sept. 14 game with the Chicago Sky when it will donate a portion of the ticket proceeds to fight the disease.
Campbell, who is a member of the Anoka Rotary Club, is planning to visit all 68 clubs in his district.
The theme for the International Rotary this year is “Engage Rotary. Change Lives.”
He urged the Elk River Rotarians to get involved in bettering the community and praised the club’s Strive program that works with Elk River high school students to enable them to graduate on time.
Campbell challenged Elk River Rotarians to find new members and discover what they are passionate about and get them involved in solving the community’s problems.