Rotary International Has Been Waging War to End Polio for 33 Years

Phyllis Carr

As a founding partner of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative, polio cases have fallen 99.9 percent since the first project in 1979 to vaccinate children in the Philippines. Since then, more than 2.5 billion children in 122 countries have been immunized as Rotary has contributed over $1.8 billion to eradicate the disease. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation joined the effort in 2007 and adds $2 for every $1 contributed by Rotarians.

Today, for the first time ever, there is no polio in Africa. It remains endemic only in Afghanistan and Pakistan. If eradication efforts stopped today, within 10 years, polio could paralyze as many as 200,000 children a year.

Locally, over the last five years, Sun Lakes Rotary has collected more than $17,000 for global polio eradication. One of our members, Judi Edmunds, traveled to Mexico to help administer the vaccine. To support those efforts or to make a donation, visit or send an email to [email protected]

At recent Sun Lakes Rotary meetings, speakers included Amanda Nosbisch with One Small Step Clothes Cabin charity, who shared details of the work her organization does with community outreach. Kristine Schultz spoke about various missions she has arranged for middle and high school youth through her work with youth ministry. And on Sept. 22, we heard from Chandler Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Terrie Kimble. Our final speaker was Caryn Shoemaker, also with One Small Step.

Terrie Sanders was the September Rotarian of the Month. A most-worthy recipient. Terrie works endless hours with the Dolly Parton Imagination Library and worked with San Marcos Elementary School to provide water bottles for every student after water fountains were shut off due to concerns over health risks due to coronavirus. Terrie also coordinates efforts of Interact (High School Rotary) and Rotaract (Arizona State University’s version of Rotary) and coordinates efforts for youth-focused events at Chandler Unified School District high schools.

Our guiding principles in Rotary are as follows:

“Is it the TRUTH?

“Is it FAIR TO ALL concerned?

“Will it build GOODWILL and better friendships?

“Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?”

For more information about club meetings through Zoom, until we can reunite at Palo Verde Country Club, please contact Club Membership Chair Chuck Hawkins at 503-502-7562 or [email protected] or visit our website,, or our Facebook page.