Parkes Rotary Club celebrates foundation's 100th year

PARKES ROTARY: Rotary district governor Michael Milston, Parkes Rotary president David Hughes, former Parkes Rotary president Rex Veal and former Rotary district governor Ian Simpson at the Parkes changeover dinner in July.

PARKES ROTARY: Rotary district governor Michael Milston, Parkes Rotary president David Hughes, former Parkes Rotary president Rex Veal and former Rotary district governor Ian Simpson at the Parkes changeover dinner in July.

The Rotary Foundation is the $1 billion charitable arm of Rotary International and is celebrating its 100th year.

To mark the centennial, Rotary aims to raise $300 million by July 2017 for its campaign to eradicate polio and for service in communities around the world.

Parkes Rotary Club has contributed to local and national causes every year since it’s inauguration in 1939.

It has always also contributed to the foundation supporting projects such as clean water, and housing for thousands of needy communities.

Established in 1917 with a donation of $26.50, The Rotary Foundation is dedicated to advancing world understanding, goodwill, and peace.

Through grants and other resources, Rotary members develop sustainable projects that promote peace, fight disease, provide clean water, support education, save mothers and children, and grow local economies.

Rotary’s top priority is the global eradication of polio.

Rotary launched its polio immunization program, PolioPlus, in 1985 and in 1988 became a leading partner in the Global Polio Eradication Initiative along with the World Health Organization (WHO), the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and more recently, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Rotary has contributed more than $1.5 billion and countless volunteer hours to eradicate polio.

Through 2018, every dollar Rotary commits to polio eradication will be matched 2-to-1 by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, up to $35 million a year. Since the initiative began, the incidence of polio has plummeted by more than 99.9 percent, from about 350,000 cases a year to less than 71 confirmed in 2015.

“Our club has been a consistent contributor to the Polio Plus campaign,” Parkes Rotary Club president David Hughes said.

“We are very proud to help especially since this campaign was initiated by an Australian Rotarian Clem Renouf who recognised that this virus was capable of being defeated worldwide.”

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