HARRISON, NJ — Members of the West Orange Rotary celebrated the first Rotary Day on Sunday, Aug. 28 at the Red Bull Arena in Harrison to benefit PolioPlus, the first initiative to tackle global polio eradication through the mass vaccination of children.

More than one million Rotary members have donated their time and personal resources to end polio.

“In addition to watching a great match, the Red Bulls donated $5 from every ticket sold through Rotary to Polio Plus and were gracious in airing a public service announcement concerning this project,” said Michael Karu, Partner at Levine Jacobs & Co accounting firm in Livingston and West Orange Rotary club member. “Polio Plus, the worldwide initiative to rid the world of Polio, was started in 1985 and, as of today, this dreaded disease remains endemic in only two countries throughout the world, Pakistan and Afghanistan.” 

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Each year, hundreds of Rotary members work side-by-side with health workers to vaccinate children in polio-affected countries. Rotary has contributed more than $1.5 billion and countless volunteer hours to immunize more than 2.5 billion children in 122 countries.

In addition, Rotary’s advocacy efforts have played a role in decisions by donor governments to contribute more than $9 billion to the effort. Less than 370 polio cases were confirmed worldwide in 2014, which is a reduction of more than 99.9 percent since the 1980s, when the world saw about 1000 cases per day.

Anyone interested in making a donation to support this cause can log onto www.Rotary.Org.

As fall approaches, the West Orange Rotary will prepare for its annual participation in the West Orange Annual Halloween Festivities where the group will provide pumpkins to all children who come to the event.