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Our Stories

Link to Stories Page and check out all of the presentations at our past meetings!

The Adrian Noon Rotary Club in Adrian, MI, features various guest speakers at each meeting. It is our goal to educate our members about the various services available so they can use the information to make our community better.

World Polio Day Events!

The group picture shown below was taken at the club's October 12th regular meeting in advance of World Polio Day which is scheduled for October 24. Every member made a contribution to RI's PolioPlus campaign in the organization's continuing efforts to eradicate polio that exists to this day in only 3 countries of the world!


Poliomyelitis has existed as long as human society, but became a major public health issue in late Victorian times with major epidemics in Europe and the United States. The disease, which causes spinal and respiratory paralysis, can kill and remains incurable but vaccines have assisted in its almost total eradication today.

In 1916, New York experienced the first large epidemic, with more than 9,000 cases and 2,343 deaths. The 1916 toll nationwide was 27,000 cases and 6,000 deaths. Children were particularly affected; the image shows child patients suffering from eye paralysis. Major outbreaks became more frequent during the century: in 1952, the US saw a record 57,628 cases.

In 1928, Philip Drinker and Louie Shaw developed the "iron lung" to save the lives of those left paralyzed by polio and unable to breathe. Most patients would spend around two weeks in the device, but those left permanently paralyzed faced a lifetime of confinement. By 1939, around 1,000 were in use in the US. Today, the iron lung is all but gone, made redundant by vaccinations and modern mechanical ventilators.

A major breakthrough came in 1952 when Dr Jonas Salk (L) began to develop the first effective vaccine against polio. Mass public vaccination programs followed and had an immediate effect; in the US alone cases fell from 35,000 in 1953 to 5,300 in 1957. In 1961, Albert Sabin (R) pioneered the more easily administered oral polio vaccine (OPV).


1979 - Rotary International begins its fight against polio with a multi-year project to immunize 6 million children in the Philippines.

1985 - Rotary International launches PolioPlus, the first and largest internationally coordinated private-sector support of a public health initiative, with an initial fundraising target of $120 million.

1988 - Rotary International and the World Health Organization launch the Global Polio Eradication Initiative. There were an estimated 350,000 cases of polio in 125 countries back then.

1994 - The International Commission announces that polio has been eliminated from the Americas.

2000 - A record 550 million children – almost 10% of the world's population – receive the oral polio vaccine. The Western Pacific region, spanning from Australia to China, is declared polio-free.

2003 - The Rotary Foundation raises $119 million in a 12-month campaign. Rotary's total contribution to polio eradication exceeds $500 million. Six countries remain polio-endemic – Afghanistan, Egypt, India, Niger, Nigeria, Pakistan.

2004 - In Africa, synchronized National Immunization Days in 23 countries target 80 million children, the largest coordinated polio immunization effort on the continent.

2006 - The number of polio-endemic countries drops to 4 - Afghanistan, India, Nigeria, Pakistan.

2007- The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation joined Rotary in its commitment to ending polio. Since 2013, the Gates Foundation has matched every $1 Rotary commits to polio eradication 2-to-1, up to $35 million per year. Rotary, with matching funds from the Gates Foundation, has contributed more than $1.6 billion to end polio.

2009 - In January, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation pledges another $355 million and issues Rotary a challenge grant of $200 million resulting in a combined $555 million in support of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative.

Rotary has contributed more than $1.6 billion and countless volunteer hours to immunize more than 2.5 billion children in 122 countries. In addition, Rotary’s advocacy efforts have played a role in decisions by donor governments to contribute more than $7.2 billion to the effort.


*We meet on Thursdays from 12PM-1PM.*

Contact us today for more information about our various speakers.