The Southern Rensselaer County (SRC) Rotary Club is among many grassroots groups that continually raises money for PolioPlus, the Rotary International program that works closely with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to battle polio on a global basis.
In addition to contributing other funds to RI’s ongoing effort, the Southern Rensselaer County club’s annual “Bowl Over Polio” event, a public fun day for all member of the community, is aimed specifically at supporting the campaign.
The next such event is scheduled for two different sessions of bowling on Sunday, January 27, 2013, at the Spare Time Family Fun Center, 570 Columbia Turnpike, East Greenbush.
It is open to anyone in the community for just $15, which includes either of two 2½-hour, all-you-can-bowl sessions (noon to 2:30 p.m., and 2:30 to 5 pm.) plus free rental shoes. In addition, raffles and prizes will be presented at each session.
Because Rotary is a totally volunteer organization all profits from the bowl-a-thon will go directly to RI’s PolioPlus initiative to end polio worldwide.
Polio is a disease unknown to most modern societies. But, when many of us were youngsters, it was an ever-present threat — a disease that caused acute paralysis, rendering victims unable to walk, often shutting down their respiratory systems as well and literally smothering them to death.
The creation of two anti-polio vaccines — by Dr. Jonas Salk in the mid-1950s and Dr. Albert Sabin a decade later — signaled the start of the demise of the dread disease that tended to strike children far more often than adults.
However, to this day there are pockets of the highly-contagious viral affliction formally know as poliomyelitis — and sometimes as infantile paralysis because it tends to strike young people more often than adults.
Among well-know personalities who have been afflicted with polio are President Franklin D. Roosevelt and iconic sci-fi author Arthur C. Clarke. Others who overcame bouts with childhood polio to lead successful lives include actors Alan Alda, Donald Sutherland and Mia Farrow, musicians/singers Dinah Shore, Neil Young, David Sanborn and Itzaak Pearlman, journalist Benjamin C. Bradlee of Watergate fame, Mexican muralist and social activist Frida Kahlo, and such athletes as track star Wilma Rudolph and pro hockey player Bill Gadsby.
Rotary International is the lead organization raising funds and delivering oral vaccinations to fight polio. The disease has been eliminated in nearly all countries, with the notable exceptions of Pakistan, Afghanistan, India and Nigeria, and minor outbreaks in a small handful of neighboring countries.
The Southern Rensselaer County Rotary Club is one of 40 such clubs comprising RI District 7190, a six-county Capital Region division of the global organization. Membership is open to all. The club holds a dinner meeting at 6:15 p.m. each Thursday at the Comfort Inn & Suites, 99 Miller Road, Schodack, just off I-90 Exit 10. Details are available on its wesite at http://SRCrotary.com.
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