Walk to help end a different deadly virus

Vashon Rotary Club invites islanders to walk to end Polio on Friday, Oct. 23 and Saturday, Oct. 24.

  • Saturday, October 17, 2020 12:06pm
  • Opinion
Amy Huggins

Amy Huggins

Because we’re still in a pandemic, facing a global virus that’s affecting our entire lives and businesses negatively, we need good news about disease eradication.

Poliovirus is very nearly eradicated (eradication means no traces of poliovirus in sewer systems for three years) with limited cases only in Pakistan and Afghanistan in 2020. In the midst of this pandemic, in August, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared that all 47 countries of Africa are polio-free!

Vashon Rotary Club invites all islanders, from three to 100 years old, to walk to end Polio, over the weekend of Friday, Oct. 23 and Saturday, Oct. 24. Walk any distance, anywhere you live, with three to five people in a group. But walk masked, or six feet apart for safety, and only during the best weather conditions. Walkers donate $10 each, and/or get sponsors for $10 more. Ask your neighbors to sponsor you, and donate online at VashonRotary.org, or send a check to Amy Huggins, President, 8605 SW Dilworth Rd., Vashon, WA 98070.

Poliovirus is spread from person to person, typically through contaminated water. It’s highly infectious, usually affecting children age five and under, by attacking the nervous system and leading to paralysis. There is no cure, but there is a highly effective vaccine — just what we’re looking for to treat the coronavirus — one which Rotary and our worldwide partners have used to immunize over 2.5 billion children worldwide since 1988.

In 1988, there were 325,000 cases in 125 countries every year. This is many more cases than coronavirus deaths, children who never were able to walk, run, skip, hop, climb or dance. Learn more about the story of Polio eradication by watching this TEDxPurdueU talk from Jennifer Jones, Vice President of Rotary International, on YouTube online at youtu.be/28RMR8MnwDQ.

Until we eradicate Polio globally, your sons, daughters and grandchildren are still at risk.

Every donation helps obtain the support, transport and materials needed in the fight against polio. Every donation is matched 2:1 by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Every donation makes a HUGE difference.

You may not realize that Rotary is a global service organization, a family committed to Service Above Self. Our vision is:

Together, we see a world where people unite and take action to create lasting change across the globe, in our communities, and in ourselves.

If you’re a woman, JOIN ROTARY!

We’re hard at work elsewhere on the island during this time as well. Join us to create lasting change: We need your skills within Vashon Rotary Club’s Task Force on Racial Justice. Lead by artist and community activist Lin Holley, the Task Force is partnering with our Latino Community and Vashon Island School District this winter to build a Little Spanish Library, next to IGA and Vashon Pizza, with books and more in Spanish, Spanish/English, and ESL materials available for free. It will be sustainably serviced by the school district and may move to that property in the future.

Join our Virtual Fundraising Team to create a dynamic and effective event for Vashon Youth and Family Services on Nov. 21. Join us to expand your network, receive online training, and together, we will create lasting change in you, your community and across the globe!

We meet from 11:45 a.m. to 1 p.m. every Thursday via Zoom. To join a meeting, follow this link: us02web.zoom.us/j/81780259124.

Please check us out!

Amy Huggins is an islander and Vashon Rotary Club President.

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