Posted by Steve Brown (Reprinted from NewsBits)
There is much to celebrate.  In this calendar year, there have been only 11 polio cases in the two remaining endemic countries -- six in Afghanistan and five in Pakistan.  We have come a long way since Rotary started its polio eradication campaign in 1985 when there were over 350,000 cases a year in 122 endemic countries.  Advocacy by Rotary and others has resulted in more than $7.2 billion donated by governments and more than $1.2 billion has been provided by Rotarians for this initiative.  
The end of this marathon is now within reach but it will take perseverance and persistence to cross the finish line.  To this end, the Gates Foundation has committed a 2 for 1 match to Rotary for polio eradication for up to $100,000,000 per year for the next three years, challenging Rotary to spend $50,000,000 annually for polio eradication to attain the full benefit of the matching proposal.  
Rotary clubs around the world are encouraged, in their own ways, to celebrate during the week that includes World Polio Day - October 22 through 28.  Certainly, an announcement at your club meeting regarding progress made to-date and that the end is in sight is encouraged.  Public awareness campaigns and events are encouraged as well.  Also, now is the time for clubs and Rotarians to "invest" in this historic initiative by making a contribution to the Rotary Foundation to the designated fund for polio eradication.  
This is such an important endeavor that Steve Brown stands by to help as Vice Chairman of Rotary's Countdown to History Committee with responsibility for the Western United States for Major Gifts to the polio Initiative.   Let's all do our part and we will succeed at eradicating Polio from the world.