Rotary Club members worldwide, including those in Costa Mesa and Newport Beach, are cautiously celebrating a milestone in the global effort to eradicate polio.
India, until recently an epicenter of the wild poliovirus, has gone one year without recording a new case of the crippling, and sometimes fatal, disease.
Rotary International has been a spearheading partner in the Global Polio Eradication Initiative since 1988, along with the World Health Organization, UNICEF, and theU.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is also a key supporter of the initiative.
Sporting their signature yellow vests and caps, the nearly 119,000 Rotarians, from India and around the world, have helped distribute vaccines to Indian children.
"With the support of their Rotary brothers and sisters around the world, Indian Rotarians have worked diligently month after month, year after year, to help organize and carry out the National Immunization Days that reach millions of children with the oral polio vaccine," said RI President Kalyan Banerjee, of the Rotary Club of Gujarat, India.
Contributions during the past five years to the End Polio Now fund from local Rotary Clubs include $29,642 from Newport-Balboa, $4,938 from Newport Beach Sunrise and $9,585 from Newport Irvine. Rotarians worldwide have raised and contributed over one billion dollars over the past 25 years.
"Marching ahead, the goal is to sustain this momentum," he added, describing as potentially "decisive" the upcoming immunization rounds this month and in February and March.
Neighboring Pakistan, which has reported 189 cases so far for 2011, is a threat to India's continued polio-free status. Last year, an outbreak in China, which had been polio-free for a decade, was traced genetically to Pakistan.
"We are this close," said Newport-Balboa Club President Bill Hossfeld, holding two fingers about an inch apart.
Lions honors members
Harbor Mesa Lions presented two of their members with Melvin Jones Fellowship awards at the recent District 4L4 dinner, which was in honor of the founder of Lions International, Melvin Jones.
The current president, Carol Proctor, and Vice President Eileen Jensen received this award, which is the highest honor a club can present to a member. Both of these members have earned these honors with many service hours and chairing projects that benefit the community.
Lions International is the world's largest service organization and has clubs in 206 countries.
There are three Lions clubs in Costa Mesa. These include the Harbor Mesa Lions, who meet on the first and third Monday evenings of each month, the Costa Mesa Orange Coast Lions, who meet every Thursday morning, and the Newport Harbor Costa Mesa Lions, who meet on the first and third Tuesday evening each month.
Thought for the day
"Everybody can be great. Because anybody can serve. You don't have to have a college degree to serve. You don't have to make your subject and your verb agree to serve...You don't have to know the second theory of thermodynamics in physics to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love."
— The Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.
SERVICE CLUB MEETINGS THIS WEEK
You are invited to attend a service club meeting this coming week to learn more about opportunities for service. Most clubs will buy your first meal for you as you get acquainted with them.
Noon: The Exchange Club of Corona del Mar meets at the Bahia Corinthian Yacht Club, 1601 Bayside Drive, Corona del Mar, for a business meeting.
6 p.m.: The 57-member Rotary Club of Newport Balboa meets at the Bahia Corinthian Yacht Club, for a presentation by Andi Querry, a crime prevention specialist with the Newport Beach Police Department. For more information, visit http://www.newportbalboa.org.
7 a.m.: The 20-member Costa Mesa Orange Coast Lions Club meets at Mimi's Café, Newport and Harbor boulevards, Costa Mesa.
Noon: The 45-member Kiwanis Club of Newport Beach-Corona del Mar meets at the Bahia Corinthian Yacht Club. For more information, visit http://www.newportbeachkiwanis.org.
The 95-member Exchange Club of Newport Harbor meets at the Bahia Corinthian Yacht Club for a program by Costa Mesa Police Sgt. Scott May. For more information visit http://www.nhexchange.org.
The Kiwanis Club of Costa Mesa meets at the Costa Mesa Golf and Country Club, 1701 Golf Course Drive, Costa Mesa. For more information, visit http://www.costamesakiwanis.org.
The 55-member Rotary Club of Newport Irvine meets at the University Club, 801 E. Peltason Drive, Irvine. Visit http://www.ni-rotary.org.
7:15 a.m. The 58-member Newport Beach Sunrise Rotary Club meets at the Five Crowns Restaurant, 3801 E. Coast Hwy., Corona del Mar, for a program on world energy Dr. Hans Linhardt. For more information, go to http://www.newportbeachsunriserotary.org.
COMMUNITY & CLUBS is published twice monthly on Wednesdays. Send your service club's meeting information e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun