Mt. Pleasant Noon Rotary drawing attention to World Polio Day, October 24!

On World Polio Day, Rotary draws attention to their goal of eradicating polio to protect the world’s children from this devastating disease. At the end of the 1980s, more than 350,000 children were paralyzed by polio every year. But together with partners, Rotarians, and supporters, we’ve reduced the number of polio cases in the world by 99.9% in the past three decades.

While we have made tremendous progress, now is the time to make polio the second human disease ever to be eradicated. In 2020, the World Health Organization’s African region was certified free of wild poliovirus, showing that eradication is possible even in very difficult circumstances. The wild poliovirus remains endemic in just two countries — Afghanistan and Pakistan.

But recent news reminds us that this fight is not over. Polio is being detected around the world in places where it hasn’t been found in decades. In the United States, an unvaccinated man was paralyzed by polio. In the UK, poliovirus has been detected in sewage samples. In Malawi, a child contracted polio. And Mozambique announced its first wild polio outbreak in 30 years. This shows that polio anywhere is a threat everywhere. Unless we eradicate polio, within 10 years as many as 200,000 new cases could occur worldwide every year.

Rotary is committed to making sure that doesn’t happen. Polio eradication efforts need additional funding to immunize more than 400 million children against polio every year, improve disease surveillance systems to detect any poliovirus in a person or the environment, and hire more than 150,000 health workers to go door to door to find every child.

Your Mt. Pleasant Noon Rotary Club is holding a fundraiser to support The Rotary Foundation in our fight to end polio. And you can help! We are selling fresh Minnesotan Balsam Fir Christmas wreaths for $25 each and all proceeds will go to Polio Plus, The Rotary Foundation fund committed to ending polio around the world. If you’d like to purchase a wreath, please contact any Mt. Pleasant Noon Rotarian by Friday, October 28. Delivery of the wreaths will be around Thanksgiving time.

For more information about Rotary or to find clubs in your area, please visit For more information on ending Polio, please visit Mt. Pleasant Noon Rotary meets at Iowa Wesleyan University at noon every Wednesday and we’d love to have you join us.