Meeting Minutes – August 10, 2021

Compiled by Diane Ekberg

The August 10, 2021, meeting was called to order at the Boone Courtyard Marriott by former President Chuck Eyler at 7:43 a.m.  There were 28 in person and 6 Zoom attendees.  

After the Pledge of Allegiance, Sergeant at Arms Nick Friedman introduced guests Joseph Sisto of Johns Creek, GA,; Harvey Wiggins, of Southport, NC (and former Boone Sunrise Rotarian); and returning visitor Eli Stroud.  Joseph Sisto exchanged club banners with Nick and Chuck.  

After introductions, Nick shared humor, facilitated the 50/50 drawing and collected Happy Dollars.

Announcements

Brian Crutchfield thanked the Back2School Festival volunteers, including at least 19 Rotarians and their spouses/significant others.  The Festival served 1335 children, which is 30% of the Watauga School District enrollment.  Brian expects that another 100 students will be served throughout the year from the extra supplies.  Next year’s Festival will be the tenth.

Ben Henderson made the group aware of an opportunity to order Alaskan salmon.  He’ll email details re ordering.

Caroline Poteat announced the Bourbon and Barbeque event benefiting the Women’s Fund of the Blue Ridge.  The event will be on Thursday, 9/16 at 6 p.m. at the Blowing Rock American Legion, 333 Wallingford Road.  Call 828-264-4002 or visit womensfundoftheblueridge.org for more information.

Bob Gates promised dues invoices this week.

Hanes Boren announced that the Club’s next 5th Tuesday will be held at the Lost Province patio at 5:15 p.m. on August 31, 2021.  Members are encouraged to bring a guest and reminded that there will not be a morning meeting that day.

Brian Crutchfield announced that Lost Province will be giving its second Tuesday donation August 10 to the Back2School Festival.  The donation is 10% of the day’s sales.  

Chuck Eyler reminded everyone that masks are again mandatory indoors in the Town of Boone, effective August 10.

Lynne Mason reminded members to keep track of volunteer hours.  She’ll be creating a tracking spreadsheet.

Speaker

Brian Irving introduced John Cooper, who spoke on the topic of Polio Plus.  John shared his personal polio, the short Rotary “Drop to Zero” video and updated information regarding the fight against polio.  John’s presentation is at the bottom of this post.  

Rotarians have donated over $2.1 billion in the fight against polio.  These donations have spurred over $10 billion in funding from various governments.

Even though polio is now only found in Pakistan and Afghanistan, it’s important to keep fighting the disease.  It’s estimated that, if eradication efforts stopped today, 200,000 children would be paralyzed by the disease within 10 years.

In 2021-22, the Gates Foundation will again match Polio Plus donations 2 to 1.  John will also match the Club’s donations 1:1, so every $100 donated by Club members becomes $400.  Bob Gates will include Polio Plus donations in dues for anyone interested in giving.

At the end of John’s presentation, Chuck Eyler reminded the membership to put their change in the CART buckets to help fund Alzheimer’s research.

After the 4 Way Test, Chuck adjourned the meeting at 8:30 a.m.

John Cooper’s Presentation

I had polio in 1950. I was one of the lucky ones, through quick detection and good care I was able to recover, recuperate and lead a pretty normal childhood. When I came down with polio I was one of 4 children, but the only one in the household to have contracted the disease. I spent a terrifying 3 months in the isolation wing of the local children’s hospital. I saw people in iron lungs, which fortunately, I never had to use. After three months I left the hospital unable to walk, much less, hold a spoon. You see, the polio virus binds on motor neurons, and through growth of the virus, can completely destroy the motor nerves that control muscle movement. Many people from all walks of lif have had polio. Joni Mitchell, Neil Young, Francis Ford Copola, Ishak Perlman, just to name a few. But the best known victim of polio was Franklin Delano Roosevelt. It was through his efforts that the March of dimes was founded that raised millions and provided the funds to find a vaccination to start the eradication of Polio that we are continuing.

I looked at close to a dozen videos to try to find one that is meaningful and will help provide insight into the significant role that Rotary has played in this important cause. This one has executives with World Health Organization, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and other entities proclaiming the vital and important role that we have played in eradicating Polio.

To sum up the video: 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.

As a founding partner of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative, we’ve reduced polio cases by 99.9 percent since our first project to vaccinate children in the Philippines in 1979.

Rotary members have contributed more than $2.1 billion and countless volunteer hours to protect nearly 3 billion children in 122 countries from this paralyzing disease. Rotary’s advocacy efforts have played a role in decisions by governments to contribute more than $10 billion to the effort.

Today, polio remains endemic only in Afghanistan and Pakistan. But it’s crucial to continue working to keep other countries polio-free. If all eradication efforts stopped today, within 10 years, polio could paralyze as many as 200,000 children each year.

While one dose of the polio vaccine costs just 15 cents, the investment in health care workers to deliver the vaccines, plus ongoing awareness campaigns, are more costly.

Polio Plus Amounts by Rotary Year:

Last calendar year (2020-2021): Our club donated $2,030.00 through member donations. –  (Ck dated November 30, 2020)

This year the District Governor’s goal is $45/member, so that would be $2025 based on 45 members.

I checked with past district Governor and Current District Secretary, Tiffany Irving and she related that it was announced in 2020 that Bill Gates would match up to 150 million for another 3 years. So any gift you make will be matched 2 for 1. And I will match all gifts made by this club on a 1 for basis. That means if you contribute $100, your gift will provide $400 to support Rotary’s effort to end polio.

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