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Niagara-on-the-Lake
Monday, December 5, 2022
NOTL Rotarians walk, bike to raise $13K for polio
With the help of generous donors, NOTL Rotarians raised over $13,000 for polio. Pictured with Lord Mayor Betty Disero, centre, are Martin Quick, Ken Schander, Cosmos Condina, Bill French, Carol Lipsett, Fran Boot, Barb Babij and Lorna Penman. Sharon Frayne

A group of Niagara-on-the-Lake Rotarians pedalled and walked their way to raising $13,000 last week to help eradicate polio worldwide.

NOTL Rotarians, including Martin Quick, Ken Schander, Cosmos Condina, Bill French, Carol Lipsett, Fran Boot, Barb Babij and Lorna Penman, joined together in the Participate for  Polio campaign on Friday, Sept. 30.

Bikers rode to Queenston and back, a 23-kilometre trek, and walkers hiked 30 minutes along the Upper Canada Heritage Trail and back, said French.

Lord Mayor Betty Disero officially proclaimed Oct. 1 as World Polio Day in NOTL.

Rotary has been working to eradicate polio for more than 35 years and “our goal of ridding the world of this disease is closer than ever,” French said.

“As a founding partner of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative, we’ve reduced polio cases by 99.9 per cent since our first project to vaccinate children in the Philippines in 1979.”

Rotary members have contributed more than $2.1 billion and countless volunteer hours to protect nearly 3 billion children in 122 countries from this paralyzing disease.

The group’s advocacy efforts have played a role in decisions by governments to contribute more than $10 billion to the effort, he added.

Today, polio remains endemic only in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

“But it’s crucial to continue working to keep other countries polio-free. If all eradication efforts stopped today, within 10 years, polio could paralyze as many as 200,000 children each year.”