Area Rotary Clubs host golf tourney to raise funds for polio

Thursday, September 11, 2008

This Saturday, three area Rotary Clubs will join together to assist Rotary International's PolioPlus campaign that aims for the total eradication of polio worldwide.

The Barry-Lawrence County Rotary Challenge will be held at the Cassville Golf Course on Saturday, Sept. 13 with tee times from 9 a.m. to noon. The person scramble is hosted by the Cassville Rotary Club, the Aurora Rotary Club and the Mt. Vernon Rotary Club.

All proceeds from the golf tournament will go to the PolioPlus campaign, according to Cassville Rotary Club President Brad Hanson.

"Bill and Melinda Gates have established a $100 million challenge and they'll match dollar for dollar for the next three years what Rotary raises for polio eradication," said Hanson.

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Challenge Grant gives Rotarians across the world the opportunity to be part of creating a polio-free world. Rotary has committed to raising $100 million of new funds over a three-year period that began on Jan. 1.

According to the World Health Organization, the infusion of $200 million in additional funding for polio eradication activities could end the threat of polio completely.

Since 1985, Rotary has been working to raise money through its PolioPlus program, promising every child a world free from the threat of polio.

"We hope that this shared commitment of Rotary and the Gates Foundation will challenge other donors to step up and make sure we have the resources needed to rid the world of polio once and for all," said Dr. Robert S. Scott, chairman of The Rotary Foundation Trustees.

Since Rotary launched the PolioPlus program, the number of polio cases has decreased by more than 99 percent and the number of polio-endemic countries has fallen from 125 to only four. In support of this recent campaign, each Rotary Club is being encouraged to raise at least $1,000, and the Cassville Rotary Club hopes to do this through the Barry-Lawrence County Rotary Challenge.

Hanson said the three area Rotary Clubs hope to attract as many teams as possible for Saturday's golf outing.

"The more teams we have, the more money we'll raise," said Hanson.

The entry fee for Cassville Golf Club members is $50 and $60 for non-members. The cost includes green fees and cart rental. The tournament will offer a $250 first place prize per team, and $200 and $150 prizes for second and third places.

The golf tournament is the main PolioPlus fundraiser the Cassville Rotary Club will hold this year. For more information, call Hanson at 847-2625. To sign up for the golf tournament, call the Cassville Golf Club Pro Shop at 847-2399.

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