Cyclists raise over $4 million in Miles to End Polio ride

The campaign to eradicate polio got a major financial boost from the annual Miles to End Polio bike ride, held as part of El Tour de Tucson, on 21 November in Arizona, USA. Rotary General Secretary John Hewko and a team of eight RI staff members helped raise $4.4 million. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will match the funds 2-to-1, bringing the total contribution to PolioPlus to more than $13.5 million.


European Parliament backs increased polio funding

The European Parliament passed three budget amendments on 28 October that explicitly identified polio eradication as an activity that could receive financial support from the European Union, signaling a renewed commitment to ending the disease.The parliament’s action builds on a written declaration signed earlier this year by over 400 of its members and comes at a critical time, as the global initiative works to expand on recent milestones to finish the fight against polio. 

Activities roundup

More than 1,400 music lovers, including RI President K.R. Ravindran, International PolioPlus Committee Chair Michael K. McGovern, and Global Polio Eradication Initiative Director Hamid Jafari, along with other business and community leaders, turned out for a 1 November concert in Lucerne, Switzerland. Called Music for Life and performed by the Chamber Orchestra of Basel under the direction of Giovanni Antonini, the event raised $300,000 for polio eradication. The three Rotary districts covering Switzerland and Liechtenstein raised more than $600,000 for polio eradication in 2015.

Rotary’s third annual World Polio Day event on 23 October in New York City netted more than $194,000 in online contributions. This year’s milestones in the fight to end polio were also shared and celebrated widely across Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and other social media outlets. Here are a few highlights from events around the world.

The Rotary Club of Pays de Vitré, France, and Le Conservateur Group, a Paris-based asset management firm, raised more than $21,000 by entering a 40-foot sailboat, Le Conservateur, in a 5,400-mile trans-Atlantic race from Le Havre, France, to Itajaí, Brazil. The vessel, which displayed the End Polio Now logo, beat eight other boats in its class to win the race in a little over 24 days, 8 hours. Each click on Le Conservateur’s Facebook page generated a 1 euro donation to fight polio.

District 7630 (Delaware and part of Maryland, USA) raised more than $15,200 through a bike ride covering 240 miles along the eastern shore of Maryland and Delaware.

The Rotary Club of Glasgow North & Bishopbriggs, Strathclyde, Scotland, netted more than $1,800 through a fashion show.

The Chelsea High School Interact Club in Chelsea, Michigan, USA, raised more than $1,700 as part of an End Polio Now promotional event.