December 2012 Polio Eradication Updates.
Ride to End Polio Raises more the US$320,000 for polio eradication
Ninety Rotarian cyclists and family, from clubs throughout the United States, part in the El Tour de Tucson, 17 November, raising more than US$375,000 for polio eradication.
RI General Secretary John Hewko and his wife, Marga, were among the Rotarians, friends of Rotary, and family members who hit the pavement along with 9,000 riders from around the world in the charity bike ride, sponsored by the University Medical Center in Tucson, Arizona, completing distances of 42, 60, 85 or 111 miles. The Hewkos also exceeded their goal of $111,000 in pledges, raising more than $200,000 for the ride.
Rotarians have been taking part in the ride since 2009, when the End Polio Now campaign was designated an official beneficiary of the race, allowing Rotary to enroll cyclists to gather pledges for the campaign. In that first year, 27 cyclists raised $35,000. The number has grown steadily since.
This year's festivities included a pre-ride dinner the night before. Rotarians also staffed a water station along the route, and a booth at the finish line where finishing cyclists could gather and learn more about Rotary and polio eradication.
Since 1985, Rotary and its global polio eradication partners have spearheaded the effort to rid the world of the crippling disease. Cases have dropped to an all-time low -- there were fewer than 200 worldwide in 2012 as of 31 October – and only Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Nigeria remain polio-endemic.
But a $700 million funding shortfall for the Global Polio Eradication Initiative threatens to impede progress. Already the funding gap has curtailed scheduled immunization activities in polio-affected countries. If eradication fails and polio rebounds, up to 200,000 children per year could be paralyzed.
Rotary is ramping up its advocacy work in the 200 countries and regions where Rotary clubs exist to encourage every national government to commit to help meet the shortfall. Visitors to www.endpolionow.org can lend their voice to the advocacy efforts by signing a petition for world leaders. Supporters can also upload their photos to be part of the World's Biggest Commercial, a new initiative to promote polio eradication launched on World Polio Day.
Rotary Foundation honors five major donors from Taiwan
The Rotary Foundation recently inducted five couples from Taiwan into the Arch C. Klumph Society, which honors people who give at least US$250,000 to the Foundation.
The induction ceremony on 26 October was the fourth in four years to honor multiple Rotarians from Taiwan. Taiwanese Rotarians support the Foundation generously and include the second largest number of Klumph society members in the world.
Rotary International President-nominee Gary C.K. Huang of Taiwan said it was a thrill for him to be a part of the ceremony that recognized the inductees. "I want to thank and congratulate these generous donors whose gifts enable our Rotary Foundation to reach so many people in need. I say to all of our inductees, you make Taiwan proud."
Trustee Chair Wilfrid J. Wilkinson said, "Their exceedingly generous support of the Rotary World Peace Centers, polio eradication, and other programs qualifies them for the highest level of Arch C. Klumph Society membership."
The ceremony also included a surprise announcement that Judy Lynn, mother of inductee Nellie Lin, had made an additional commitment of $250,000 to the Foundation during the Klumph society dinner, under the name of her grandson, Nicolas.
Ricardo and Judy Lynn (honored by Nellie Lin)
Nellie Lin, who joined Rotary in 2011, was inducted into the society under the name of her parents, Ricardo and Judy Lynn, in honor of their dedication to service. Nellie served as the charter president of the Rotary Club of Taipei Ricardo, which was named after her father, who died two years ago. He served as governor of District 3520.
In introducing Nellie, Trustee Jackson San-Lien Hsieh said, "We are honored that she has entrusted our Foundation with such generous support so soon after becoming a Rotarian. Nellie has committed herself to Rotary projects that benefit and enrich the lives of children. Through all of these vital efforts, she carries on a family legacy of Rotary service started by her father."
President of Ricardo Lynn & Co., Nellie has pursued projects that benefit disadvantaged children, including supporting the Bethesda Home for Challenged Children and the Hualien Anders Center. She has also raised funds for victims of child prostitution in Cambodia.
Nellie said she made a promise at her father's memorial service to follow in his footsteps of doing good through Rotary. "I am particularly honored to be inducted under my parents' name and to continue my father's wishes for community service. I'm hoping that with the help of this endowment, we can join hands to make the communities of the world better."
Nellie and her husband, Shu-Hsun Chu, support the Foundation through the Ricardo and Judy Lynn Endowed Fund for the Rotary Peace Centers.
Henry Shun-Li Chang and Cathy Hsiang-Yueh Lin Chang
Henry Shun-Li Chang, general manager of Rodex Fasteners Corp., a manufacturer of stainless steel materials, is the governor of District 3520.
Henry said he has witnessed the great devotion Rotarians possess since he joined Rotary in 1989. "They gladly provide their knowledge, expertise, and resources to help the general public. I believe the Foundation can help improve and expand humanitarian services around the world," he said.
Henry's favorite club project provides children in need with after-school care and meals. He feels it is important to lead by example in both giving and personal service. "Let us do our best to provide service to others, promote integrity, advance world understanding, goodwill, and peace," he said.
Henry and his wife, Cathy Chang, support the Foundation through the Henry Shun-Li and Cathy Chang Endowed Fund.
Tony Hung-Ming Chang and Julia Tai-Hua Chen Chang
Tony Hung-Ming Chang, who retired in 2008 as chair and founder of Deuchem Co., Ltd., a paint and coating company, joined the Rotary Club of Hsinchu Northwest in 1995 and became governor of District 3500 in 2011. During his term, clubs in his district conducted more than 100 community service projects, including a medical mission to Nepal.
"[Tony] applied the leadership and industriousness that he cultivated professionally to his Rotary work," Trustee Hsieh said in introducing the couple.
During Tony's term as governor, members in his district contributed more than $1.6 million to the Foundation, and 86 became major donors.
"Julia and I were deeply moved by their generosity, which enheartened us to do more for Rotary," explained Tony. "Therefore, becoming Arch C. Klumph Society members has another special meaning to us. It is our way to show our earnest appreciation to our fellow members."
Sweetme Shui-Mei Chou and Chu-Chen Lin
Trustee Hsieh introduced Sweetme Shui-Mei Chou noting that she has fused her Rotary work with her professional pursuits. Sweetme is the founder of several construction companies, including SweetMe Construction and Wi-Yang Construction. She also opened a spa resort and is the chair of the Taipei Business District and Industrial Confederation. She joined the Rotary Club of Taipei Hwa Yueh in 2009.
"I firmly believe in the works that The Rotary Foundation is accomplishing through its humanitarian and educational activities," said Sweetme. "The scope of what an individual can do is limited. This is why I contribute to the Foundation, so that through its wide network, more people can benefit from our activities and help us achieve the mission of our Foundation: to do good in the world."
Sweetme and her spouse, Chu-Chen, support the Foundation through the Chu-Chen Lin and Shui-Mei Chou Endowed Rotary Peace Certificate Program Fellowship.
E.R. Eng-Rung Tsai and Sharon Mei-Shui Tsai Tseng
Eng-Rung Tsai joined the Rotary Club of Taipei Jen-ai, where his father was also a member, in 1986. He was club president in 1996-97 and has served as a special consultant to the governor of District 3520 since 2005.
A food and beverage service management expert, Eng-Rung founded the Want Taiwan Cultural Environment Foundation, which enhances Taiwanese culture through environmental protection and cultural restoration.
"As a member of the family of Rotary, I have met many Rotarians who are successful leaders in their own fields. Their selfless contributions and noble ideals deeply affected me and have taught me a great deal," said Eng-Rung.
He said Taiwanese Rotarians share a passion for helping others. "Rotarians from Taiwan are promoting goodwill with our active and quality participation in service activities," he said. "I sincerely hope that our enthusiasm and willingness for service will touch people and communities in need and fill the world with humanity and peace."