World Polio Month ready to roll

PDG Bob Aitken AM
RI End Polio Now Coordinator, Zone 8

There is an air of expectation around World Polio Month in October this year.

The challenge of COVID-19, Zoom meetings and virtual events underline a newfound spirit in Rotarians, who are no longer prepared to ‘buckle under’ and sit on their hands as a result of community restrictions and lockdowns.

This issue of RDU contains a potted history of Rotary International’s PolioPlus campaign from RI PolioPlus Director Carol Pandak. And to help you celebrate the ongoing success of the polio eradication campaign in October, here are a few special initiatives Rotarians and clubs can launch this month:

  • A PowerPoint presentation for clubs to launch World Polio Month or as a special Zoom meeting program during World Polio Week.
  • Every club to launch their own Clem Renouf or Bill Boyd End Polio Now Club within their own club to change the face of polio personal giving by Rotarians throughout Australia and New Zealand – just $10 per member annually.
  • Stage a special meeting (Zoom or face-to-face) to highlight the presentation of US$1500 to End Polio Now – as requested by President Shekhar Mehta this Rotary year. Senior leaders in RI Past Presidents Ian Riseley and Bill Boyd, RI Director Jesse Harman, RI Past Directors Noel Trevaskis and Stuart Heal, and Zone 8 Polio Coordinator Bob Aitken are all available on request to address such special meetings and highlight the one off cash donation.
  • District 9800, Vic, has launched its innovative Rotary Walk with Us to End Polio event again and hopes to repeat last year’s outstanding success.
  • Sydney’s outstanding Ride the Train for Polio awareness event has been postponed until Rotary’s birthday on February 24 next year to beat the COVID challenges.
  • New Zealand’s Polio All transit ride – trains, buses and ferries – for D9910 and D9920 is scheduled for October 29, assuming the country reaches Level 1 in the COVID lockdown. If not, the program will be rescheduled for February 2022.
  • Many other high-profile events – walkathons, cycle marathons, lawn bowls days, virtual dinners, etc. – will add to the fun of the month and fundraising success.

A ‘how-to’ email was distributed to all district governors for sharing with all Rotary clubs in mid-September to explain the mechanics of these major events. If your club has not received such information, please contact your district governor.