Auction helps Rotary Club fight to end polio

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, October 16, 2019

LAPLACE — The Rotary Club of Laplace will mark historic progress toward a polio-free world while urging the community to help end the paralyzing disease.

The local event is among thousands to be held by Rotary Clubs around the world on World Polio Day, Oct. 24.

The Rotary Club of LaPlace will have an auction of wonderful birthday, holiday and wedding gifts at noon Oct. 22 at Sicily’s Italian Buffet on Belle Terre Blvd. to help raise money for World Polio Day. The first auction was held Tuesday, Oct. 15. Coordinators said the estimated amount of money to be raised from the auctions is $700, or $350 per day.

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

Felicia Feist, center, the newest member of the Rotary Club of LaPlace, was recently sworn in by President Gordon Taylor at a weekly meeting. Standing with Felicia is her sponsor Eliana DeFrancesch.

When Rotary and its partners launched the Global Polio Eradication Initiative more than three decades ago, polio paralyzed 1,000 children every day. There’s been 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. Rotary remains 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 been committed to raising $50 million each year to support global polio eradication efforts.  The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation 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.

Rotary is a global network of 1.2 million neighbors, friends, leaders, and problem-solvers who unite and take action to create lasting change in communities around the globe.  For more than 110 years, Rotary ‘s people of action have used their passion, energy, and intelligence to improve lives through service.  From promoting literacy and peace to providing clean water and improving health care, Rotary members are always working to better the world.  Visit to learn more about Rotary and the fight to eradicate polio.