A packed theatre audience helped raise $7,800 towards wiping polio off the planet recently.
Two-hundred Nowra, Bomaderry and Berry Rotarians and family members, along with Shoalhaven Rotaractors and friends of Rotary enjoyed a Polio Plus fundraiser at the Roxy Theatre to see the premier of “Murder on the Orient Express” last week.
Information and statistics on the Polio Plus campaign was shared by Ken Hutt from Rotary Berry before the movie got underway.
When the Global Polio eradication campaign was started by Rotary International in 1985 350,000 people mainly children around the world were contracting polio each year.
When the audience couldn’t answer Ken’s question “How many people around the world have so far contracted the crippling disease in 2017?” he announced that it was only 13 cases so far.
This means there has been a 99.9 per cent reduction of cases of polio since the campaign started.
Ken said on the current trend and with a concentrated effort in the home run, total eradication of polio from the planet should happen within two years, but the last few were proving to be the most difficult as they often occurred in very remote areas.
Ken told his audience that from 18-22 September this year 250,000 volunteers vaccinated 38,000,000 children under five in Pakistan.
Since the campaign began 46 billion people have been vaccinated and it is calculated that 16,000,000 people would not be walking today had they not been vaccinated.
With ticket sales and a loose coin bucket collection at the end of the evening $2,600 was raised.
With the Gates Foundation contributing $2 for every dollar raised by Rotary the evening raised $7,800 for the campaign.
Rotary thanked the Roxy Theatre management, businesses that donated refreshments and prizes and all Friends of Rotary attending for supporting the event.