During the 1950’s polio reached epidemic proportions here in the USA. Wytheville, Va. had more cases of polio per capita than anywhere in the USA and polio was most feared in our county second only to the atomic bomb.

Since 1985 Rotary and its partners have worked tirelessly to eradicate polio in the world. Recently, Roary announced its Countdown to History Campaign and the goal is to achieve 36 consecutive months without a case of polio. Only one decease has ever been eradicated (smallpox) and polio will be the second. The final push is on and we can see the end of polio in our lifetime. It is estimated that it will cost $1.5 billion dollars to finish the job. Commitments of $1.2 billion have already been made and we are working hard to fill the remaining gap.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt, famous golfer Jack Nicholas and actress Mia Farrow are among those who have suffered from polio and there are many who continue to suffer from polio syndrome in our region. Please share your personal recollection of the polio epidemic in our country. Send to: Rotary Club of Bluefield West Virginia, PO Box 121, Bluefield, West Virginia, 24701.

Sharing your experience will help build awareness of polio during our Countdown to History campaign to end polio and could be used in an upcoming publication. Join Rotarians from around the world with your support so that no child will ever be crippled by this horrible disease no matter where they live.

The mothers, fathers and children of the world thank you.

Jim Ferguson
District Governor Elect
Rotary International, Dist 7550