Southampton Rotary taking action on World Polio Day and dedicates new garden

The Rotary Club of Southampton will mark historic progress toward a polio-free world while urging the community to help end the paralyzing disease.

This event is among thousands to be held by Rotary clubs around the world on
World Polio Day, October 24th.  Rotary members worldwide  are taking action on this World Polio Day to raise awareness, funds, and support to end polio, a vaccine-preventable disease that still threatens children in parts of the world today.

This morning the Rotary Club of Southampton dedicated a new Garden area at Perkins Park to the ‘End Polio Now Campaign’. The club planted 75 special Red and Yellow Tulip Bulbs and some purple crocus to celebrate the 75th Anniversary of the United Nations and Rotary’s commitment to the children of the world to eradicate polio. This coincides with the recent declaration that the African region is now officially free of wild polio, leaving just two countries to eradicate the disease.

Club International Services Chair, Kevin Champion said, “This was a small gesture to mark this important anniversary and mark the club’s commitment end polio’. We will shortly add a Peace Pole to this garden to show our commitment to world understanding and peace. It will have the phrase ‘Peace on earth’ inscribed in the 6 official languages of the United Nations and First Nation language of Ojibway.”

The Tulip Bulbs were donated by Tony Sheard and the crocus by Susan Macdonald. Caroline Messier organized the planting and Kevin Champion fitted some vermin proof netting to deter animals from eating the bulbs.

About Rotary’s involvement with the UN

Rotary was involved in the establishment of the United Nations and today, Rotary holds the highest consultative status offered to a nongovernmental organization by the UN’s Economic and Social Council, which oversees many specialized UN agencies. The Rotary Representative Network maintains and furthers its relationship with several UN bodies, programs, commissions, and agencies. This network consists of Rotary International representatives to the United Nations and other organizations.

About Rotary’s End Polio Now Campaign

When Rotary and its partners launched the Global Polio Eradication Initiative in 1988, there were 350,000 cases of polio across 125 countries every year. We’ve made great progress against the disease since then. Today, polio cases have been reduced by 99.9 percent, and just two countries continue to report cases of wild poliovirus: Afghanistan and Pakistan. And we remain committed to the end.

With polio nearly eradicated, Rotary and its partners must sustain this progress and continue to reach every child with the polio vaccine. Without full funding and political commitment, this paralyzing disease could return to polio-free countries, putting children everywhere at risk. Rotary has committed to raising US$50 million each year to support global polio eradication efforts. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has pledged to match that 2-to-1, for a total yearly contribution US$150 million.

Rotary has contributed more than US$2.1 billion to ending polio since 1985, including a cheque for $2000 Canadian donated by the Rotary Club of Southampton today.

About Rotary

Rotary is a global network of 1.2 million neighbours, friends, leaders, and problem-solvers who unite and take action to create lasting change in communities around the globe. For more than 110 years, Rotary’s people of action have used their passion, energy, and intelligence to improve lives through service. From promoting literacy and peace to providing clean water and improving health care, Rotary members are always working to better the world. Visit to learn more about Rotary and the fight to eradicate polio.