October 24th is World Polio Day. Polio ravaged the lives of hundreds of thousands of people every year, mostly children, before Rotary made a commitment to eradicate polio. Thanks to the commitment of Rotarians since then, we now have fewer cases of polio than at any time in history. Only three countries are still polio-endemic; wild virus still circulates in only one remaining reservoir, on the border of Afghanistan and Pakistan. The success of this work has come as the result of decades of concerted and sustained effort by Rotary and all of our partners in the Global Polio Eradication Initiative. Rotary’s involvement has been wide-ranging: we have raised over 1.9 billion dollars to date, and have contributed countless volunteer and staff hours to the practical work of eradication, including immunization, fundraising, and advocacy. Our success has been tremendous, and we are confident that our work will soon be complete. Yet significant challenges remain, and the need for continued funding is acute. Until eradication is certified—at least three years from the time the last poliovirus is found anywhere in the world—every single child must be immunized, at a continuing cost of hundreds of millions of dollars per year. If any of that work is slowed or stopped, if any of our momentum is lost, we risk losing everything we have worked for, for so many years. Visit EndPolio.org to learn more.
Rotary District 5100 District Governor Larry Hatch was the guest speaker at last week’s club meeting. He talked about the district’s initiatives and goals for the 2018-19 Rotary year. He also presented a Rotary Club Champion award to Phil Sperl, in recognition of his tireless efforts in seeking out international projects for the club to support. Recent projects include collecting and donating much-needed medical supplies, as well as ambulance and fire equipment, to fire departments in Mexico. These projects were accomplished with support from several other Rotary clubs in Oregon. Congratulations Phil!
Last week’s club meeting featured a “tabletop service” project rather than a speaker. We assembled goodie bags for women in local homeless shelters using items donated to Simply Birthdays. This group provides monthly birthdays to children in local homeless shelters, and distributes goodie bags to women and children at these parties. Thanks to all who came and helped with this project (including a visiting Rotarian), and please be thinking of other similar projects we can take part in at a club meeting.
Joan Toone is a frequent keynote speaker on the topic of the history of polio and progress towards eradication. As a polio survivor, she has first-hand knowledge about the scourge of polio in our world before eradication efforts began. The Salem Rotary Club (downtown club) will be hosting Joan’s talk on Wednesday, October 17th at their lunch meeting at the Salem Convention Center. All Salem-area clubs are invited to attend this very interesting and motivational talk. The club meeting will start at 12:10, and if you would like to eat lunch, the cost is $15. Please let Catherine Carlson know as soon as possible if you plan to have lunch there, so we can notify the downtown club in advance.
The dictionaries that local Rotarians annually distribute to fourth grade students in the area were labeled today at a work session held at Mission Mill. An enthusiastic group of Rotarians from area clubs finished the task in about 30 minutes. Thanks to all of the East Salem Rotary Club members who took part: Pat and Ted Mack, John King, Russ Lipetzky, Kris Trachsel, Eric Larson and Maureen Casey. The dictionaries will be distributed to east Salem schools during the month of September.
To learn more about the District 5100 Youth Exchange Program, click here to go to the District 5100 Youth Exchange website. If you have questions regarding the Youth Exchange Program contact Russ Lipetzky or Sparky Vaubel.
Rotary has 1.5 million members worldwide, and 35,000+ clubs. Rotarians provide approximately 16 million volunteer hours each year, transforming communities locally and around the world. 2.5 billion children have been immunized against polio.
Last Friday we got a chance to see and hear about the human history of Oregon as seen through the eyes of William Sullivan, the author of several hiking books as well as some fiction and historical books. Bill zoomed us through 14,000 years of history, from the finding of the first sign of human habitation in the Americas (a pair of sandals found near Ft. Rock) to the present and even the potential future earthquake and its after effects. He was available to sign copies of his books that were available for purchase.
This coming Friday finds us visiting the Oregon State Hospital on Center Street as Russ Lipetzky has arranged for us to visit the new Museum of Mental Health. This museum is one of only two of its kind in the nation. It is “dedicated to telling the stories of the Oregon State Hospital and the people that have lived and worked here. Our 2,500 square foot museum, located in the oldest building on the Oregon State Hospital campus includes permanent and changing exhibits.” Currently, the changing exhibit focuses on the movie “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest,” which was filmed at the hospital. Please report promptly at noon for the tour. There will be no lunch offered as the facility has no suitable space. There is a reduced entrance fee of $3.
Please be sure to attend our installation banquet on Friday, June 17. Dave and Pam Leonard have again graciously offered us the use of their historic barn. This banquet will take the place of our usual Friday luncheon. More details will be announced in the future.
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