MADISONVILLE, Ky. (1/10/19) — The Madisonville Rotary Club was able to raise nearly $800 for the Global Polio Eradication Initiative through the help of several community partners.

The club hosted its annual “World Polio Day Fundraiser” at area businesses in the fall, Rotary members said. Each restaurant agreed to donate a portion of its sales for the day to the cause and the club worked together to promote a day of eating local in Madisonville.

Polio is a vaccine-preventable disease that still threatens children in parts of the world today, statistics show. Since Rotary and its partners launched the Global Polio Eradication Initiative 30 years ago, the incidence of polio has plummeted by more than 99.9 percent, from about 350,000 cases a year to just 22 cases in 2017.

To sustain this progress, and protect all children from polio, Rotary indicated it is committed to raising $50 million per year in support of global polio eradication efforts. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation will match Rotary’s commitment two-to-one. Without full funding and political commitment, this paralyzing disease could return to previously polio-free countries, putting children everywhere at risk.

The event was expanded from the 2017 event, which only had one participating restaurant, and with that expansion, the club announced it is able to significantly increase its funds raised.

“Rotary has been instrumental in bringing down the incidence of polio in the last 30 years, and we hope that these contributions get us one step closer to full eradication,” said Rotary President Rhonda Bryant. “We’re so thankful for the generosity of our local restaurants and their support of our efforts. We truly couldn’t do what we do without the buy in from our community partners. We look forward to further expanding the event (this year).”

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