Upcoming Meetings & Events
Our President's Message

On October 24, Rotary International will recognize World Polio Day, and its efforts to eliminate Polio from the world. Our club contributed to those efforts last Wednesday, when we gathered to enjoy the Hershey Halloween Parade and make contributions toward ending Polio. That night we raised $411 for the PolioPlus fund. Well done, Rotarians!

Polio, or poliomyelitis, is a paralyzing and potentially deadly infectious disease that most commonly affects children under the age of 5. The virus spreads from person to person, typically through contaminated water. It can then attack the nervous system.

Rotary has been working to eradicate polio for more than 35 years. Our goal of ridding the world of this disease is closer than ever.

When Rotary and its partners formed the Global Polio Eradication Initiative in 1988, there were 350,000 cases of polio in 125 countries every year. Today, we have reduced polio cases by 99.9 percent, and just two countries continue to report cases of wild poliovirus: Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Rotary and our partners have made tremendous progress against polio, but eliminating all cases is going to take even more progress and perseverance. Afghanistan and Pakistan face unique challenges, including political insecurity, highly mobile populations, difficult terrain, and, in some instances, vaccine refusal and misinformation. With sufficient resources, the commitment of national governments, and innovations that improve access to remote areas, we are optimistic that we can eliminate polio. 

Rotary has committed to raising $50 million per year for polio eradication. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has pledged to match that 2-to-1, for a total commitment of $150 million each year. These funds provide much-needed operational support, medical workers, laboratory equipment, and educational materials.

More than 1 million Rotary members have donated their time and money to eradicate polio, and every year, hundreds of members work with health workers to vaccinate children in countries affected by polio. Rotary members work with UNICEF and other partners to prepare and distribute informational materials for people in areas that are isolated by conflict, geography, or poverty. They also mobilize to recruit fellow volunteers, assist in transporting the vaccine, and provide other logistical support.

I hope we will continue to work towards ending this disease and be able to say, before too long, that Polio has been eliminated from the world.

Pam Whitenack

Club Information

Serving Hershey and the Worldwide Community

We meet In Person
Mondays at 12:00 PM
Hershey Lodge & Convention Center
325 University Dr
Hershey, PA 17033
United States of America
Hershey Rotary Club meetings are held in person and online every Monday from Noon-1:00 pm. Members of the community are welcome to join us--please use the ‘Contact Us” tab to register for these weekly meetings.