ShelterBox Fundraiser

Thanks to all who attended the fundraiser at Pietro’s Pizza to support ShelterBox, a disaster relief organization that provides emergency shelter for communities around the world devastated by disasters. Three Rotary inbound exchange students in the Salem area, including our student from Denmark, sponsored the event. They raised approximately $1340, including donations made by our very generous members at the May 3rd meeting.

ShelterBoxes contain family-sized tents specially designed to withstand the elements, and they contain other supplies as well, depending on the disaster and climate. Rotary exchange students usually take part in a ShelterBox fundraiser each year.

Medical Supplies Delivered to Mexico

Thanks to the work of the International Service Committee (Phil, Erik and Dagmar), fire equipment and medical supplies donated by several Oregon fire departments have arrived in Culiacan, Mexico to support their volunteer fire department. Supplies included turnouts, oxygen tanks, boots, helmets and various medical supplies. Erik Larson and Phil Sperl, along with Woodburn firefighters, loaded the equipment, and Phil drove the 26-foot truck to Nogales, Arizona. Some of the supplies were provided to the Nogales, Mexico volunteer fire deparment. Rotary club members and volunteer firefighters from Culiacan provided Phil with a certificate of appreciation and their Rotary club banner, which he presented to our club last Friday. The Rotarians from Culiacan look forward to more collaboration with us in the future.

Fire and Medical Supplies Headed to Mexico

Thanks to the work of our International Service Committee, fire equipment and medical supplies are en route to Mexico to support the Culiacan, Mexico volunteer fire department. These items have been graciously donated by the Portland Fire Department, Lane Fire District, Pleasant Hill Fire District and the Woodburn Fire Department. Phil Sperl drove the truck loaded with twelve pallets of supplies to Nogales, Arizona, where they will be transferred across the border. Below are photos of the equipment being loaded here with the help of the Woodburn Fire Department, and the unloaded supplies in a warehouse in Nogales. These donated items will not only aid in fire safety, but will also potentially save lives.

World Polio Day October 24

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 to learn more.

Rotary Club Champion

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!

Joan Toone, Polio Survivor and Motivational Speaker

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.