Columbia Rotarians have joined hundreds of thousands of Rotarians from across the globe raising many millions of dollars in support of Rotary’s PolioPlus program. In 1985 Rotary International made a commitment to end this debilitating disease worldwide. More than 1.2 million Rotarians in 30,000 Rotary clubs located in 200 countries have joined together to raise more than $900 Million since the program began in an effort to stamp out polio. Joining with UNICEF, the World Health Organization and businesses, foundations and individuals from across the globe over two billion children have been immunized against this often fatal or disabling disease since the program began. The number of polio cases has declined 99% worldwide.
When Bill Gate’s foundation buys into a program you know it’s a good one. That’s just what happened to the Rotary International Foundation when Gates committed $355 million to their Polio Plus program in 2009. The hitch was Rotary had to raise another $200 million by June 30, 2012 from its friends and members if it was to get the Gates grant.
That’s where Rotary's 1.2 million members world-wide, including Columbia Rotarians, stepped in once again and raised more than $174.7 million as of May 31, 2011. The Rotary International Foundation’ Polio Plus program has mobilized to ensure that children are immunized against this crippling disease despite the poor infrastructure, extreme poverty and civil strife in many countries.