Get on your bike, make a donation and help Rotary eradicate polio

HERE SOON: Rotary is bringing an iron lung to Parkes on March 23 as they raise awareness and funds to end polio.
HERE SOON: Rotary is bringing an iron lung to Parkes on March 23 as they raise awareness and funds to end polio.

Rotary District 9700, of which Parkes Rotary Club is a member, is conducting a bike ride around the clubs in the District.

Accompanying them on the ride is the last remaining Iron Lung in Australia.

Restored to working order it has been nicknamed "Maggie,".

The riders and "Maggie" will be in Parkes on Sunday March 24.

The visit will start with breakfast in Cooke Park at 9.30am before a stop at Lions Park at 10.30am and Spicer Park at 11.30am.

Lunch will be at Bushman's Dam at 12.30 before stops at Woodward Park at 1.30, Keast Park at 2.30pm  and Cheney Park at 3.30pm.

Parkes is looking for keen cyclists to join the ride which will leave for Condobolin from Bushman's Dam on Sunday even if they can only ride part of the distance. Transport back to town might be arranged.

Club President Jenny Jewell at Greenparkes Nursery is the contact.

Children are encouraged to bring parents and bike to one of the parks suited to circuit riding or riding with your family to the next park.

The Iron Lung might not be recognised by many young people, but just a couple of generations ago thousands of children contracted polio - and lived in one of these just so they could breathe.

For more than 25 years Rotary International has been leading the fight to end polio.

Polio cannot be considered beaten in any country until there has been three clear years free of the virus.

It is still a major concern in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Only through persistence and sheer hard work has it been eliminated from countries such as India and China.

Generations in Australia born after the 1960's can be forgiven for not having any knowledge of this terrible virus that left boys and girls many under 5 either severely handicapped, crippled in leg irons or dead.

Some survived in an Iron Lung which virtually did their breathing for them.

Bill and Melinda Gates of Microsoft fame are major sponsors of the program and have been donating $2 for every $1 raised by Rotary up to $450 million so Rotarians worldwide are making a sustained effort to try and end polio this year.

END POLIO NOW is a campaign that warrants your support. Only one other virus has ever been beaten, that was smallpox.

You donation will be gratefully received on the day.

Donations can be made by EFT facilities wherever Maggie is visiting. Every $5 counts.

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