Our END POLIO program started with the club meeting on Tuesday Oct 3rd. The meeting focused on END POLIO with Polio videos and update on Rotary International polio strategy. It included a inspirational speech from District Governor Brenda Halloran about polio and key facts about Rotary’s plan to eradicate Polio. Very moving as she discussed our efforts as an organization since 1979 and the latest issues surrounding the challenges of vaccinating children around the world.
With DG Brenda , President Norm and committee chair Rob - the club  recognized past president Jim Gibbons for his efforts in the early 1980’s for getting our club involved in the polio plan with our club(he was surprised).  Past President Peter Little (who was not in attendance today) will be recognized at a future date. Jim and Peter went to our Canadian Rotary meeting in Toronto at that time and developed the polio strategy for our district and club involvement. Thank you Peter and Jim.
During the meeting we held various draws and a live auction to raise funds for END POLIO cause—over $900 was raised thanks to the members contributions and many donations. Thank you the organizing committee of Gil, Don, Leanne, Sheri and Rob as we has a special meal and everyone was wearing “Red” or their END POLIO shirts to create awareness about Polio. Also our meeting Happy dollars $45 went to the END POLIO program
At the meeting our members were also asked to on “a volunteer basis”  to support our club and the END POLIO efforts. With that 16 members became POLIO PLUS SOCIETY members and 3 members made additional donations to Rotary Polio program. Over $2300 was raised for Polio with POLIO PLUS SOCIETY membership. Thank you to each member who participated. A formal induction of these members will occur in the spring. (I believe a few more members will also participate but could not attend the meeting so 50% of club members will be POLIO PLUS SOCIETY members)
We as a committee developed a communications and awareness campaign to our Fergus-Elora community. This included a formal press release on Polio, developing articles and ads for our local newspaper ( CW Advertiser), a communication in our electronic media (Elora-Fergus Today-thank you Sheri) and social media with facebook and Instagram (thank you Leanne) introducing the END POLIO club activities below and co-ordinating with Oct 24th World Polio day
  1. Our clubs END POLIO strategy included 4 other major activities
    1. PIZZA for Polio—our club partnered with Vito’s pizzeria in Elora  for the week. Each pizza purchased this week (when the customer mentioned POLIO)  went towards a donation to the END POLIO program-this had participation from our community and many club members (final results have not been totaled)
    2. PINTS for Polio-our club partnered with Brewhouse on the Grand (local restaurant managed by Dennis a club member) were we targeted Thursday Oct 5th for a club social event of lunch and community attended that day. Every person who mentioned END POLIO or Rotary and purchased a beverage went towards a donation from the restaurant to the END POLIO program (final results have not been totaled).
    3. PIES for Polio-our club partnered with Fergies bakery (our local bakery) we asked the community and members to purchase meat pies at Fergies. They pre-order their pies for pick up on world polio day Oct 24th. Best meat pies in the county. Fergies will make a donation to our END POLIO program(final dollars have been totaled )
    4. END POLIO Flag Raising at Centre Wellington greenspace in downtown Elora. On Friday Oct 13th at 10am we will have a END POLIO flag raising. We asked and received approval to have our END POLIO flag waiving for two weeks and tie in with WORLD POLIO DAY on OCT 24th. Both  President Norm from our club Fergus-Elora and President Ron from CW Rotary will attend

Thanks to all our club members participating (we have a small club of 39 members) and District Governor Brenda for helping to raise funds, create awareness of this terrible disease and support Rotary International goal to eradicate POLIO.

Rob Galloway- Chairperson End Polio program for Rotary Club of Fergus-Elora 2023