Rotary’s theme this month is Community Economic Development. There are many factors that come into play as to why economic development is such a challenge in areas of the world. One key factor is the health and well-being of a community’s families who provide the workers, as well as consumers, for a local economy. Thus, Rotary’s commitment to eradicate polio is just one part of helping communities grow and remain economically strong and stable.
As fall arrives so has World Polio Month with October 24th being World Polio Day. We have a lot to celebrate this year. As I write this, new cases of polio identified in the world this year are… 2! Yes, only two new cases – one each in Pakistan and Afghanistan. And, it’s been more than 35 weeks since the last case was identified! 
In 1988, when the Global Polio Eradication Initiative was launched, there were 350,000 cases of polio in 125 countries every year!
We are truly close to eradicating this disease from the world…thanks to Rotary and our partners. But, we cannot let up on our efforts…we must continue to reach every child with the polio vaccine until the World Health Organization proclaims us polio free!
One of my Rotary moments was participating in a polio immunization trip to India in 2018. What an amazing feeling to be able to hold a child and put the drops of vaccine in their mouth knowing they would not be affected by this disease! It was a life-changing experience for me, and eradicating polio became my Rotary passion.
In support of our polio eradication efforts, I will be bike riding 100 miles in the ”Ride to End Polio” in Tucson, AZ, on November 20. Several other Rotarians in our District will be joining me on the ride, including Joe Scheimer (Fair Oaks Rotary), Steve Brozosky (Folsom Rotary), John Messner (Folsom Rotary), and Martha Ng (Midtown Rotary) – we’ll all be riding to raise funds to continue our fight of this disease.
Your support of Rotary’s polio eradication efforts through this special event is much appreciated!  You can donate at: (or the fundraising pages of any of the other riders). 
To make your donation go even farther… there are matching funds available for you! 
A $100 donation will be matched 1:1 by D5180 (for a total of $200); and the District amount will be matched 50% by the RI World Fund (for a new total of $250).  And, that amount will be matched by the Gates Foundation for a total of $750!!! 
So, your donation of $100 turns into $750 after all of the matches to fight polio!!
Also, every penny you donate goes directly to polio eradication efforts (no service fees!).  And, your donation will be credited to your Rotary donor history…not mine…and count towards your Paul Harris Fellow.
Rotarians and their generous donations made over the years have helped us get to today where we can see the finish line. Together, we will achieve a world that is polio-free!
Yours in Service,
Desirée Wilson
District 5180 Governor