Dr. Philip Sandler, the District Polio Chair, reviewed the history of polio and the PolioPlus Program. Rotary launched its PolioPlus program in 1985. It was the first initiative to tackle global polio eradication. Rotary’s advocacy efforts played a role in decisions made by donor governments and in 1988, the Global Polio Eradication Initiative was formed. This organization is a public-private partnership including Rotary, the World Health Organization, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, UNICEF, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and governments of the world. Rotary’s focus is advocacy, fundraising, volunteer recruitment and awareness-building. After all these years, three countries remain with cases of polio. It has been an on-going battle, much of which relates to social and political beliefs. While the battle is being won, the Global Initiative will continue to monitor outbreaks and work tirelessly to eliminate them.
Dr. Sandler being presented a Sturbridge Rotary mug by President Dave.
The Dinner Dance was an overwhelming success. A fall decorating theme made the dining room at Cohasse Country Club sparkle. Hors d’oeuvres were plentiful and the meal with three choices on the buffet was excellent. Dancing was lively with lots of guests mingling and truly having fun. Raffle baskets and a 50/50 raffle were offered. The highlight of the evening was the check presentation to the Rev. Kenneth Cardinale, the new pastor at the Saint John Paul II Parish who oversees the Saint John Paul II Food Pantry. Rev. Cardinale spoke about the ever increasing need for food at the Pantry. The numbers of families fed each month from Southbridge and Sturbridge have grown dramatically and our check for $3,000 will certainly help to stock the Pantry shelves. This year was the 4th Annual Dinner Dance with proceeds to benefit the Panty. We are proud to say that to date, we have contributed over $12,000 toward this worthy cause.
Robert (Bob) Anthony, President of the Rotary Club of Wellesley, discussed a new RI initiative in addressing mental health and wellness and measuring significant improvement in knowledge, help seeking and attitude. This initiative is currently underway in the USA, Puerto Rico and India. Statistics so far reveal significant improvement in students who have been through this program and as a result, the program is spreading rapidly. Bob is looking for help from other Clubs in bringing the initiative into our local communities and to help its international success.
Bob (Left) with President Dave
For the past eight years Sturbridge Rotary has volunteered during United Way’s “Day of Caring.” We had two teams again this year. Team one served as runners delivering coffee and snacks in the morning and delivering lunches at noon to all the hungry volunteers at 12 different work sites. Team two worked at the Tantasqua Jr. High School weeding all the newly planted Chestnut trees, a science project by a group of students.
Phil, Astri, Pauline, Bob, Cynthia, Marguerite
Klaus, Glenys, Peter, Bill, Otto.