Posted by Charlie Wasser
As of September 23, 2020, there are 102 new cases in 2020 of wild poliovirus Type 1. Type 2 and Type 3 have been declared eradicated from the planet. There is a yearly standing request for all Rotary clubs to have some type of public event on October 24, World Polio Day, to educate the public and celebrate the progress toward worldwide eradication. With Covid-19 pandemic still in full force, this is a hard request to honor.
The following are some ideas that will hopefully be do-able now through Christmas and then in the March-Apri- May time frame.
The district is creating Christmas cards with a PolioPlus theme. The PolioPlus part will show a Rotarian giving vaccine drops to a baby. The message will say that the person donated $10.00 in the name of the recipient to help vaccinate 16 children giving them lifelong protection against polio.
The way the card program will work is a club will take orders from club members. This could be done on an ongoing basis. When the club pays for the cards, the club TRF Chair will fill out a multi donor form (094-en) listing the name of each Rotarian who donated by buying/selling cards. The 094-en would then be sent on to TRF at RI. A copy of the 094-en will be sent to Charlie Wasser ( to keep track of how many cards have been sold. Sales can start right now. One club has already sold 40 cards - $400.
Here are some ideas on how to sell the Christmas cards.  One idea is to ask members to sell them. They can be sold to friends and family or given as Christmas gifts. Members in the club that might be having some financial issues can still participate in TRF giving by purchasing one card which might be do-able for them.  Over the years I have seen clubs buy 50-100 cards and donate them to senior living centers. The cards are appreciated by the seniors that might not be getting any visitors. They could be given out at a holiday or Christmas party.
A friend who is a pastor suggested I speak from his pulpit one Sunday morning and discuss PolioPlus. The idea was to sell cards after the service. In an hour, I sold $500 worth. Some people gave me $20.00 while others did not want the card but wanted to donate. I was thanked by many of the attendees for allowing them to be part of the effort to eradicate polio. I am willing to make presentations like this for any group any Rotarian knows about that wants to participate.
The popular District 5840 Pints for Polio will be handled by the individual clubs or club groups as before. Additional clubs and groups can hold the event in their area. The PolioPlus Committee will, with the assistance of experienced Rotarians, create a best practices document for use by any of the clubs or groups that want to use it. After each event, the funds will be sent to TRF as before. This year we are requesting that the amount of money collected be reported to the district as a measure of the success of the event. Send the data to
In more “normal” years, there is a group of Rotarians from around the world that ride in the El Tour de Tucson in November with 9000 other riders. The bike ride raises money for the charity of choice of participants which in the case of the Rotarians raises money for PolioPlus. This year because of Covid-19, the bike ride will be held April 10, 2021 in Tucson. Right now we are looking into having 4 riders from 5840 with each representing ¼ of the district. Clubs in each ¼ will be asked to participate by raising money to see which ¼ raises the most money. Could be for bragging rights or…..who knows???
Some virtual fundraising ideas are found at the address given below.