Alberta Rotarians Trigger $2.1 Million donation for Worldwide Polio Eradication by 2018

LETHBRIDGE, Alberta, April 11, 2014 /CNW/ - Members of Alberta's Rotary clubs have played an instrumental role in generating $2.1 million in new money for Rotary International's polio eradication campaign. Alberta Rotarians have raised $350,000, which is being matched by the Province of Alberta, Ministry of Culture. The resulting $700,000 is being matched 2:1 by The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, taking the total to $2,100,000.

A cheque will be presented by Associate Minister Greg Weadick, Interim Minister of Municipal Affairs, at an annual Rotary conference on Friday, April 11th between 2:15 and 2:45 at the Lethbridge Lodge. Rotary, an international humanitarian service organization, is celebrating 100 years in Alberta.

Rotary has been dedicated to eradicating polio since 1985, and is a founding partner in the Global Polio Eradication Initiative, launched in 1988. The other spearheading partners are the World Health Organization, UNICEF and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Alberta Rotarians have been on the front lines raising funds, advocating with governments and others, and volunteering with vaccination teams in polio-affected countries.

Dr. Robert Scott, Chair of Rotary's International PolioPlus Committee, of Cobourg, Ontario, is a keynote speaker at the conference. He recently visited North Africa, Kenya, Pakistan and Brussels where he discussed polio with European Union officials.

Dr. Scott returned last weekend from India, after speaking at the Rotary Conclave on polio eradication, an event held in conjunction with the certification of WHO's South-East Asia Region – comprised of 11 countries with a total population of 1.8 billion -- as polio-free, a huge milestone.

2018 is targeted as the date for ending the disabling viral disease worldwide. Internationally, Rotary has contributed more than US $1.2 billion and countless volunteer hours to immunize more than 2 billion children in 122 countries.

Rotary District Governor Pat Killoran, of Southern Alberta, will be joined by District Governor Betty Screpnek, of Northern Alberta, to receive the cheques on behalf of Alberta Rotarians.

Rotary is a worldwide organization of business and professional leaders who provide humanitarian service and help to build goodwill and peace in the world. There are approximately 1.2 million Rotarians who belong to more than 34,000 Rotary clubs in more than 200 countries. Rotary's top priority is polio eradication.

Resources

For backgrounders and links to broadcast quality B-roll and stills of Rotary members immunizing children against polio visit News Room, Unimark Creative.

SOURCE Rotary International

For further information:

Robyn Braley, (403) 829-3340, Email: robyn@unimarkcreative.com; Doris Fleck, (403) 396 7417, Email: doris@unimarkcreative.com

http://www.rotary.org