Tonawanda News —
“Some of the high school club volunteers, they contributed $1 to have their fingers painted when they were in elementary school, so it’s kind of come full circle,” he said. “They do a great job. They’re so motivated to try to help kids around the world, but they’re not that familiar with polio until they come across this project.”
Rotary has been involved in the polio eradication effort since 1985, Coon said, and has donated more than $500 million toward the fight.
Only three countries — Afghanistan, Nigeria and Pakistan — still have new cases, he said, and Rotary’s efforts have prevented at least 1 million childhood deaths and kept at least 5 million children from being paralyzed.
“We’ve put a huge dent in it,” he said. “New cases a year are down to less then 200, so we’re really, really close to eradicating it. And Rotary is one of the biggest partners of the organizations that are trying to make it happen.”