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Rotary Club teams with Gates to fight polio
Waymon Hale, third from left, presents a facsimile of a check for $20,200 to Rotary International president John Germ at last Thursdays meeting. Pictured, from left, are past Rotary district governor Don Collette, local Rotary International Foundation chair Dr. Mike Roberts, Hale, Germ, Noon Rotary president Dr. Mike Netherton, and governor of Rotary District 6780 Fred Heitman.
Teaming with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, members of The Rotary Club of McMinnville may be protecting more than 100,000 children from the scourge of polio, Rotary International president John Germ told the local civic organization last Thursday.Noon Rotarians, responding to an appeal from longtime member Waymon Hale, donated $20,200 to the Rotary-led Polio Plus campaign.Thanks to a 2-to-1 challenge grant offer from the Microsoft co-founder and his wife, the local donation blossoms into a gift totaling $60,600 to Rotary International’s signature project aimed at eradicating the polio virus from planet Earth. Hale announced two weeks ago he hoped to raise $10,000 in honor of Germ’s visit to McMinnville, but by the time the Rotarians wrote their checks his initiative soared well past the goal.“With your donation and the match from the Gates Foundation, 101,000 children will not get polio,” said Germ, an engineer, after doing a quick calculation of the number of oral-drop inoculations the money would provide.When Rotary leaders launched the polio eradication campaign in 1979, Germ said, they underestimated how long the effort would take and how much it would cost. But the campaign has learned many lessons as it grew, and is now administering the drops to some 400,000 children a year, despite adverse conditions in some parts of the world.