GALLIPOLIS — While the world is currently experiencing a pandemic, the Rotary Club of Gallipolis has its sights focused on eradicating another disease.
“Rotary Club, internationally, has been working for over 30 years to end polio,” Angela Stowers, president of the Rotary Club of Gallipolis, said. “It is indeed a disease that can be completely eradicated.”
Oct. 24 is Polio Day, and throughout the month Rotary raises funds and awareness with the aim of eradicating the disease.
“With polio nearly eradicated, Rotary and its partners must sustain this progress and continue to reach every child with the polio vaccine,” the Rotary Club of Gallipolis said in a release to the Tribune. “Without full funding and political commitment, this paralyzing disease could return to polio-free countries, putting children everywhere at risk.”
This year, Rotary International hopes to raise $50 million, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is matching Rotary’s fundraising 2-to-1 for a total of $150 million.
In previous years, the Rotary Club of Gallipolis raised money by operating Trivia Night at the Colony Club, Stowers said. But with that venue no longer available and health concerns regarding in-person events due to the pandemic, Rotary changed plans.
“We had had discussions at one point to try to reorganize the trivia nights…, but with the pandemic we’ve chosen not to encourage gatherings,” Stowers said.
This year, collection boxes have been placed in various local businesses.
“You can stop by and drop off your change,” Stowers said. “It doesn’t have to be just pocket change. We’re not going to turn away any checks.”
Collection boxes are located in the Auto Trim Center, Carmichael Insurance Agency, Field of Hope Community Campus, Robin Fowler State Farm, Poppy’s, and Zack and Scotty’s.
“I don’t know if we’ll reach the same point as we did in the past, but any bit helps,” Stowers said.
The Rotary Club also does other fundraisers throughout the year to raise money for scholarships and local charities like Field of Hope and God’s Hands at Work. To learn more, visit the Rotary Club website, Rotary Club of Gallipolis Facebook page, and polio.org.
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Sharla Moody is a freelance writer for Ohio Valley Publishing from Gallipolis, Ohio. She is a graduate of River Valley High School and currently attends Yale University.