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April 19, 2010 - John D'Agostino
It was one of the most memorable moments for area Rotarians on April 13.
On that day, polio survivor Jan Nichols spoke to more than 70 members of the clubs from Dunkirk, Fredonia and Westfield-Mayville in Shorewood Country Club. Jan, who grew up in the Syracuse area, spoke about her battle with the disease as a child. One that her brother lost.
For years, Rotary clubs in our area and worldwide have worked to eradicate polio, which is a virus that invades the nervous system and can cause paralysis. Members worldwide have contributed more than $900 million and countless volunteer hours to the effort and are now working aggressively to raise $200 million needed to match $355 million in challenge grants from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. All of the resulting $555 million will be spent in support of eradication activities. The money is needed to help close a funding gap that could undermine two decades of progress.
In addition to the presentation on polio, the Dunkirk and Fredonia clubs donated $1,600 to a school in Belize to build a room for the computers. Doug Manly, who led a Group Exchange to Belize for the club, noted how worthwhile the donation was.
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