The Rotary Club of St. Marys wishes to thank St. Marys and area residents for their support of the club’s “Purple Pinkie-End Polio Now” event which was held on Friday, Nov. 4.
All proceeds from the event and donations received will go towards Rotary’s challenge to raise US $200 million by June 30, 2012 in response to a challenge grant of US $355 million from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The entire US $555 million will support Rotary’s crucial immunization activities in countries where polio continues to infect and paralyze children.
It will be a couple more weeks before we are able to announce the results of our fundraising campaign for polio eradication.
There are so many people to acknowledge and thank for helping us make the event an interesting and enjoyable evening for our guests.
Thank you to Jason and the staff of the St. Marys Golf and Country Club. Everyone enjoyed the prime rib dinner and the excellent service.
We wanted to involve young music students in our event as another way to acknowledge the help that the students in St. Marys had given us during our polio awareness campaign. We were delighted to welcome 11 year-old Katie McCurdy, who sang and played acoustic guitar for us, and Carolin Welp, a Rotary Exchange student from Germany, who played the clarinet and piano. These young musicians entertained an appreciative crowd and we thank them.
Our program included Rotarian Terry Pook who gave a PowerPoint presentation about her experiences during National Immunization Days in Africa and India. She explained the importance of the purple pinkie in the eradication efforts. We thank Terry for taking part in Rotary’s eradication activities and for sharing her experiences with us. The audience can also say, ‘This child will walk’.
We felt it was important to have a local polio survivor tell their story. We arranged for Mike O’Shea, a local farmer who had contracted polio when he was six months old, to speak at the event. Although he spoke of the challenges he has faced throughout his life, he has never allowed polio to prevent him from enjoying life. We thank Mike for sharing his humour and his story.
Our keynote speaker was Rev. Dr. Rick Horst, Moderator for the Presbyterian Church for Canada and former member of the Rotary Club of St. Marys. Rev. Dr. Horst spoke about the good work that has been and continues to be done by Rotary. He commended Rotary for being a leader in one of the greatest public health accomplishments in history. We thank him for reinforcing the importance of commitment, compassion and hope.
President Gerry Teahen, on behalf of the Rotary Club of St. Marys, presented Rick Horst with a Paul Harris Fellowship, which is Rotary’s highest honour given to an individual chosen in special appreciation for the ways in which their life exemplifies the humanitarian and educational objectives of The Rotary Foundation. We thank Rev. Dr. Horst for demonstrating in his life and vocation a commitment to helping others in need here and around the world.
We thank Mary Hooydonk, Grandpa’s Garden, for the little bags of purple crocus bulbs. We handed out these bulbs to our guests on their departure as a token of our appreciation for supporting the Purple Pinkie-End Polio Now event. Think of Rotary next spring when your purple crocuses bloom, and remember that you were a part of history!
Rotary Club of St. Marys