Rotary clubs raise $304 million in one year to strengthen communities and improve lives around the world
EVANSTON, IL (August 10, 2017) — As part of Rotary’s year-long centennial celebration of The Rotary Foundation – the global membership organization’s charitable arm, Rotary clubs raised $304 million to support positive, lasting change in communities around the world.
Since its inception in 1917 with its first donation of $26.50, The Rotary Foundation is today a leading humanitarian foundation that has spent nearly $4 billion to help countless people live better. Each year, The Rotary Foundation provides more than $200 million to end polio and support sustainable projects and scholarships that promote peace, fight disease, provide clean water, support education, save mothers and children, and grow local economies
Rotary’s top humanitarian goal is to eradicate the paralyzing disease, polio. Rotary launched its polio immunization program PolioPlus in 1985, and in 1988 became a spearheading partner in the Global Polio Eradication Initiative. Since the initiative launched, the incidence of polio has plummeted by more than 99.9 percent, from about 350,000 cases a year to 37 confirmed in 2016. Rotary has contributed more than US $1.7 billion and countless volunteer hours to immunize more than 2.5 billion children in 122 countries.
“When we say that our Rotary Foundation is saving and transforming lives, we are not exaggerating,” said Kalyan Banerjee, Trustee Chair, The Rotary Foundation – 2016-17. “With the continued strong support of our members, we will keep our promise of a polio-free world for all children, and enable the Foundation to carry out its mission of advancing world understanding, goodwill and peace. We look forward to another 100 years of Rotary members taking action to make communities better around the world.”
Rotary brings together a global network of volunteer leaders dedicated to tackling the world’s most pressing humanitarian challenges. Rotary connects 1.2 million members of more than 35,000 Rotary clubs in over 200 countries and geographical areas. Their work improves lives at both the local and international levels, from helping families in need in their own communities to working toward a polio-free world.
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