Rotarians were treated to a warm spring day last week as we gathered for our weekly fellowship luncheon. We were honored to see our next assistant district governor in attendance as well as a few guests.


Butch was given a few minutes to provide a "special announcement." We should have known better that his announcement was a sneaky way to collect some extra fines. These fines are being added to the operations budget from the charitable budget. Ben Wheeler was subject to a $5 fine since his associate Jon Pratt has a practice of not showing for meetings after his picture appears in the paper. We hope Ben was paid back that $5. The final fine was for everyone that was a mother or who had a mother in honor of Mother's Day. The Operations Budget sends a big thank you to Butch....


A few important announcements were made including that the Joe Shanley Scholarship Fund has raised $130,000 since inception and a anonymous donor is willing to match dollar for dollar up to $75,000!  Leonard reminded us that Pint for Peace benefit Friends Forever was this Sunday at 2:30pm. Ben Wheeler gave the good news that the annual golf tournament is sold out and two major sponsors are still needed. Katherine Edison sent a thank you to Infinite Imagining for their donated design. Speaking of Infinite Imagining, Chief Lou announced that the next Behind the Business is being held on June 19th at 5:30pm at Infinite Imaging's Portsmouth location.




Our own Dr. Bob Herold was this weeks program speaker. His trip to Africa and commitment to polio vaccinations through International Service were the main topics. Bob expressed his thanks to his wife and and the club for all of the support provided to the International Service projects.


Bob started his service trip with a flight to Ethopia on the much anticipated Boeing Dreamliner plane! Every morning there was a meeting to go over the itinerary for the day, but the main objective was to treat existing polio victims. Bob was matched with the local Rotary club, specifically their Rotarac club. The local Rotarac club fundraises to sponsor 56 children to get them in schools and have their fees covered.


Bob told us about the pencils he passed out from Trish Cummins' son. Her son collects broken pencils and asked Bob to bring them on his trip. When word got out, all the locals rushed them for the pencils.


The AWSAD is the only safe house in Ethiopia for women who have victims of gender based violence. The Ethiopian culture if gender based violence will be extremely hard to change. The safe house has one common room and the dream was to supply this room as a library to educate children and women on gender based violence and to help citizens learn to read and write. The local Rotarac club collected books to supply this library. To our club's surprise, this library was named the Diane Foley Library in honor of our past president.




The next stop for Bob was to Gambela, Ethiopia. Ethiopia receives twice as much UN aid as all the other African nations combined. Ethiopia is coming up on five years of being polio free, but the country has been deemed as one country that polio could make a comeback. All of the vaccination campaigns start off with a ceremony. Local elders need to be on board with the campaign. The vaccination campaign is very difficult due to the isolation of so many of the villages. The vaccination is two drops. After the drops, the children;s finger are marked to indicate their vaccination was given.


The Global Vaccine Summit recently presented a six year plan to deliver a polio free world. The plan capitalizes on the fact that we have the lowest numbers of polio cases ever. There were 223 cases in 2013 and 10 to date in2013. The estimated cost is $5.5 billion of which $4 billion has already been pledged. The pledges include the Gates Foundation for $1.8 billion, Rotary International for $76 million, and the United States for $90 million.


The world is so close to being polio free. Type 2 polio was eradicated in 1999  and Type 3 is close to eradication. There are more cases today of vaccine derived polio than traditional polio. The statistics of successes of the polio vaccination campaign started in 1988 has saved millions of lives. Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Nigeria are the three countries left that have cases of polio. The governments of each country are on board with the current campaign. The difficulty is the individual villages and their leaders that need to be educated and sold on the vaccination programs.




To close out his presentation, Bob presented Past President Diane Foley with gifts which included a hand made bag and cultural napkins from the Rotarac Club in Ethiopia.


A big thank you to Dr. Herold for his commitment to the polio vaccination campaign and educating the club on the worldwide effort.


The 50/50 raffle winner was Dick Seery. No match this week so the bonus is $425 next week.