Posted on Mar 12, 2018
Our End-Polio Gala event on Saturday, 21 April was a huge success, turning out to be the biggest Fundraiser for the Club. There was a lot of happy energy at the Castle Royale, in Yonkers with over 200 people present, including Rotary International PolioPlus Chair Mike Michael McGovern, Zone 32 End Polio Coordinator Carol Toomey, District Governor Janet DiBenedetto, District Governor-Elect Krishnan Chittur, District Governor Nominee David Schribman, District Governor Nominee Designate Mahbub Ahmad, Y-EY President Alix Schnee and many other Rotary District and Zone Leaders. District PolioPlus Chair Shahid Latif did an outstanding job organizing the event with the support of Yonkers-East Yonkers Rotarians.and non-Rotarian friends. Consul-General Ejaz of Pakistan, Doug Martin Sturomski of the Peace Bell Foundation, Rev. Danny Garcia of the Global Walk Foundation were also present as was a representative of Yonkers City Council President Mike Khader, who presented a proclamation for the Club from the City Council.  A proclamation from Mayor Mike Spano was also presented to our Club.  
The Have Fun Do Good event began at 6 pm and was an evening of entertainment and a sumptuous buffet dinner.  Rotary International PolioPlus Chair Mike Michael McGovern and District Governor Janet Dibenedetto presented the Paul Harris Fellow awards on behalf of the District to Shahid Latif, Barbara Hanna, Parul Bhatnagar, Ghazala Asam and Rukshinda Hameedi of the Y-EY Club and to Zara Iqbal of the Organizing Committee.  Iqbal Latif was also recognized for his large contribution for the evening's proceeds.  A donated artwork was auctioned which garnered $15,000.
All proceeds from the event will go to the Rotary Foundation's PolioPlus Fund and will be matched  2-to-1 by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
The campaign to end polio began with the initiative of a Rotary Club in The Philippines in 1972.  After its great success, the program was replicated across the country and later in other countries.  The push from Rotary and its 1.2 million worldwide members sustained the campaign when through the participation of UNICEF, the World Health Organization and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the campaign gathered steam to reach its current stage.
  • Polio remains endemic in just two countries: Afghanistan and Pakistan, but has reappeared in Nigeria this year.
  • The annual number of polio cases has been slashed 99% over the last 25 years.
  • The campaign against polio has prevented 15 million childhood disabilities since 1988.
  • Infant and childhood vaccinations save an estimated 3 million lives every year.
  • A donation of $25 can vaccinate 42 children against polio.
  • UNICEF buys 1.7 billion doses of oral polio vaccine to reach 500 million children every year.