World Polio Day - Evening Meeting

The Rotary Club of Cincinnati will mark historic progress toward a polio-free world while urging the community to help end the paralyzing disease by hosting an event open to the public at Butcher and Barrel/World Cinema. This event is among thousands to be held by Rotary clubs around the world on World Polio Day, October 24, 2019. Click HERE for more details. Reservations are required by Tuesday, October 22, 2019.

Rotary members in Cincinnati are taking action on World Polio Day to raise awareness and support to end polio, a vaccine-preventable disease that still threatens children in parts of the world today.   

When Rotary and its partners launched the Global Polio Eradication Initiative more than three decades ago, polio paralyzed 1,000 children every day. We’ve made great progress against the disease since then. Polio cases have dropped by 99.9 percent, from 350,000 cases in 1988 in 125 countries to 33 cases of wild poliovirus in 2018 in just two countries: Afghanistan and Pakistan. And we remain committed to the end.

With polio nearly eradicated, Rotary and its partners must sustain this progress and continue to reach every child with the polio vaccine. Without full funding and political commitment, this paralyzing disease could return to polio-free countries, putting children everywhere at risk. Rotary has committed to raising US$50 million each year to support global polio eradication efforts. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has pledged to match that 2-to-1, for a total yearly contribution of $150 million. 

Rotary has contributed more than $1.9 billion to ending polio since 1985, including those donated by the Rotary Club of Cincinnati.

As part of this very special evening, Leon Hirsh will present a program on how Cincinnati played a key role in the fight to end the Polio epidemic.

“The Fight For The Oral Polio Vaccine”  Leon Hirsh
Leon was born and raised in the Cincinnati west side suburb known as Westwood.  He is a graduate of the Kentucky Military Institute in Louisville and Transylvania U. in Lexington.  The 70s were spent in the Richmond-Muncie, Ind. area until the Blizzard of ’78 drove Leon to Pensacola.  He has graciously encountered six major hurricanes during the last 40 years.

Leon is a certified financial planner with Benjamin F. Edwards and Co. and has spent 35 years with Pensacola North Rotary.  He served as north Florida district 6940’s governor in 2015-16.  He has trained assistant governors at Florida PETS and today is a Discussion Leader Trainer in the Rotary Leadership Institute’s Sunshine Division.  His program, “The Fight For The Oral Polio Vaccine”, has been presented to over 90 clubs in 7 states.