Rotary push to eliminate polio
Chronicle readers can do their bit next week to help the Rotary Club of Matamata eradicate polio worldwide.
Until it is eradicated, polio is simply a plane ride away from these shores.
Every post office in New Zealand will have Rotarians outside between 11am and 1pm next Tuesday, October 25, and Matamata will be no different.
The Rotarians will be collecting donations to help them in the final push towards ridding the world of this crippling and often fatal disease.
While October 24 is World Polio Day, with clubs worldwide conducting awareness-raising activities that day, the Labour Weekend holiday will see New Zealand Rotarians mount their campaign the following day.
Since 1985, Rotary International has contributed more than $1 billion and countless volunteer hours to the protection of more than two billion children in 122 countries.
The disease remains endemic in four countries – Afghanistan, India, Nigeria and Pakistan.
The Bill and Amanda Gates Foundation has contributed a US$355 million challenge grant to the international service organisation with Rotary needing to do its part by raising US$200m by June 2012.
‘‘ We are close to reaching that goal with $185 million raised to date,’’ District Governor Raewyn Kirkman said.
‘‘We’re hoping to raise $10,000 in our district (9930) alone next week.’’