As your District Governor, at club visits, I have heard that more Clubs are working on virtual fundraisers, community projects, while still remaining extra careful and safe. Glancing over my Facebook page, I see that many Rotarians are trying out new recipes, as well as quilting and knitting; hobbies they have had little time for in the past. I heard that others are engaging in long walks, hiking, cycling; even reading a good novel or two. This is so beneficial for your health and well-being.
Yes, October has arrived, and Fall is trying to tiptoe, ever so gently, into our Desert Southwest.

Whenever I think of October, I have wonderful memories of pumpkin pie, mulled wine, cinnamon, nutmeg, colorful, falling leaves as well as Canadian Thanksgiving, Columbus Day, Halloween, and, of course, World Polio Day on October 24th.     This year, as your District Governor, I am challenging EVERY Club in District 5500 to recognize World Polio Day in some special way. Have you thought about joining our District 5500 World Polio Day, Saturday, October 24, 2020?  District 5500 will observe and celebrate the day with a program on Zoom from 9:00 am to 10:30 am Arizona time. The program will include a short history of the disease and Rotary’s pledge to eradicate it, an update on eradication efforts, the Global Polio Eradication Initiative’s plan for going forward, and how we Rotarians in D5500 can help.  Your District Rotary Foundation Committee and PDG Michael Drake, PolioPlus Chair will present the program. REGISTER HERE
     Only two countries, Afghanistan and Pakistan, have reported cases of polio this year. The recent news that WHO has officially declared that all 47 countries in the African Region to be free of the wild poliovirus was music to all our ears.  (In many countries, polio workers dye the little finger so they know who has received the vaccine.)
     When Rotary and its partners first launched the global polio eradication initiative in 1988 there were 350,000 cases every year of polio in 125 countries.  Our progress has been tremendous; today polio cases have been reduced by 99.9%. Nonetheless, without full funding and political commitment, this paralyzing disease could reappear in a polio-free country putting children everywhere at risk again.  We must continue! Mothers everywhere are thankful for Rotarians and their persistence in wanting to vaccinate all the children, all around the world, against polio.
     My question to you is, “Is your Rotary Club up for the challenge?” If you are considering registering for our District’s World Polio event, be sure to do so early because there is a limit on the number of Zoom attendees.
    Stay safe and have a happy October!