Rotary continues fight against polio

UPSTATE — The President-Nominee of Rotary International, John Germ, was the keynote speaker at Rotary International’s 110th birthday celebration held at the Spartanburg Marriott at Renaissance Park on Saturday, Feb. 21.

Germ presented the highlights of Rotary’s fight to eliminate polio off of the face of the earth. Rotary’s effort to eliminate polio began in 1985.

Today, with the help of the United Nations and countries throughout the world, the courageous fight has resulted in polio now being endemic in only three countries: Nigeria, Pakistan and Afghanistan. Tangible progress continues to be made. Afghanistan and Nigeria have not reported a case of polio this year. Unfortunately, Pakistan has reported seven new cases.

Nevertheless, Rotary and the rest of the world are very close to ending the terrible, debilitating disease that has over the years caused death or severe disability to so many people, particularly in developing countries.

Rotary International is a service organization with 33,000 Rotary Clubs worldwide with a

3 mission of “Doing Good in the World.” Rotary District 7750, which includes Pickens County, was the sponsor of the 110th birthday celebration. This Rotary year, Rotarians in this District have contributed or pledged more than $72,000 to the End Polio Now! Rotary campaign.

The Gates Foundation is providing a two-for-one match for every dollar contributed by Rotarians for this admirable cause. Rotary District 7750 encompasses the western half of South Carolina with 53 Rotary Clubs and 2,636 members. In addition to their determination to eliminate polio, South Carolina Rotarians are serving their local communities through a wide array of service projects as well as providing clean water, workforce education, and medical support to Haiti, Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala.

The Pickens Rotary Club is actively involved in the End Polio Now! campaign, as well as many local and international service projects. For more information about Pickens Rotary, contact club president Karen Culley at