Rotary's US$200 Million Challenge for polio eradication is drawing broad support from the family of Rotary. The challenge is Rotary's response to the $355 million in grants received from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Rotary is committed to raising $200 million in matching funds by 30 June 2012.


Around the world, Rotarians, Rotaractors, Interactors, Rotary Foundation alumni, and others raised about $78.3 million in cash, District Designated Fund (DDF) allocations, and pledges in the 2008-09 Rotary year as of 15 May. Here is just a sample of their efforts:

Rotarians in more than 200 cities and villages in Switzerland sold packets of sunflower seeds on 13 September, National Day Against Child Paralysis, raising more than $669,000 with support from the general public.

  • A helicopter golf ball drop/raffle sponsored by District 6990 (Grand Bahama Island, Bahamas; part of Florida, USA) netted $45,500.
  • The Rotary Club of Washago and Area-Centennial, Ontario, Canada, chartered in 2005, is selling End Polio Now car magnets in a project aimed at raising C$10,000 (about US$9,000).
  • Several districts in Japan and Korea have set the pace in contributing more than 20 percent of their DDF, led by District 2780 (Japan) with a donation of US$200,000.
  • Among contributions made by several Rotary Fellowships, the Rotarians' Wine Appreciation Fellowship raised $15,000 by matching donations of $100 from the first 75 contributors.
  • Foundation alumni have contributed more than $100,000, including $6,200 received from the District 3450 Rotary Foundation Alumni Association (Hong Kong; Macau; Mongolia) through its India Night fundraiser.
  • The Interact Club of San Mateo, California, USA, raised almost $8,000 in an overnight campout and walk for PolioPlus that also featured a band, karaoke, movies, and other activities.
  • The Rotaract Club of Windsor, Ontario, Canada, sponsored a Fashion Fights Polio show, raising more than US$4,000.

"Now is our opportunity to capitalize on all these resources and get the job done," said 2008-09 Foundation Trustee Chair Jonathan Majiyagbe of the family of Rotary's role in helping to eradicate polio worldwide.

"We can't wait until the economic conditions improve to continue our fight. We must move ahead now," he added, urging the creation of  "fundraisers that involve the whole community."