In 1985, Rotary International made the audacious pledge to eradicate polio in the world.  If successful, it would be only the second disease to be eradicated, after Smallpox in 1980.  In 1985, there were 350,000 cases a year of paralytic polio, primarily in children, in 125 countries. In 1988, Rotary acquired partners World Health Organization, UNICEF, and the US Center for Disease Control to form the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI).  In 2007, the Gates Foundation joined the effort by pledging to match 2 for 1 every dollar Rotarians raise for eradication.
Every year since 1985, the number of endemic countries and the number of new cases of paralytic polio have gone down.  In 2023, there were only six cases in Afghanistan and six cases in Pakistan, the only two remaining endemic countries.
An estimated 21,000,000 children have been spared this crippling disease because of the eradication program.  Since 1985, we Rotarians have contributed over $2 billion to the effort we call PolioPlus.
Click HERE for a Discussion of the History of Polio and a timeline of the efforts to eradicate it.
Click HERE for information on The 2023 Ride to End Polio, District 5500’s very successful effort to raise funds for eradication, which now total $65 million.
PolioPlus Society
In 2020, D5500 adopted the PolioPlus Society, a district sponsored recognition program to raise funds for polio eradication.  To become a member, Rotarians pledge to contribute at least $100 per year to the PolioPlus Fund of the Rotary Foundation.  Over 100 D5500 Rotarians have joined, and our numbers are increasing.
Please click HERE for the PolioPlus Society Commitment Form and more information on how you will be recognized.  Contributions count toward your effort to be a Paul Harris Fellow.  
We are grateful to the following District 5500 Rotarians for their generosity in joining the PolioPlus Society, as of 11/1/23:
Bisbee Tom Nelson
Casa Grande Daybreak Charles Feezer
Casa Grande Daybreak Bob Shogren
Catalina Joan Buth
Catalina Jeffrey Derickson
Catalina Barbara Kiernan
Green Valley Joyce Finkelstein
Marana Randy Brooks
Marana Don Jorgensen
Dove Mountain Teree Bergman
Dove Mountain Joe Hentges
Dove Mountain Jeffrey Penfil
Dove Mountain Carol Smelser
Dove Mountain Emmett Smelser
Mountain Empire-Sonoita Sue Archibald
Oro Valley Gary Coxen
Oro Valley James Lamb
Oro Valley Marc Snow
Rincon Radford Fisher
Rincon Wendy Hobbs
Rincon Stuart Katz
Saddlebrooke Barbara Barr Bengen
Saddlebrooke Charles Clark
Saddlebrooke Janice Close
Saddlebrooke Bill Demeroutis
Saddlebrooke Diane Demeroutis
Saddlebrooke Lynn Devou
Saddlebrooke Gail Fraioli
Saddlebrooke Jim Dolian
Saddlebrooke Tom Fraioli
Saddlebrooke Keith Gordon
Saddlebrooke Joe Guyton
Saddlebrooke Wendy Guyton
Saddlebrooke Kristi Halvorson
Saddlebrooke Leslie Hawkins
Saddlebrooke Paul Herr
Saddlebrooke John Howard
Saddlebrooke Mollie Hunter
Saddlebrooke Fred Lowy
Saddlebrooke Doug May
Saddlebrooke Deborah Rue
Saddlebrooke Tom Shellenberger
Saddlebrooke Harvey Smith
Saddlebrooke Ed Treick
Saddlebrooke Tom Turriff
Saddlebrooke Gordon Wainwright
Saddlebrooke Dan Watson
San Luis Frontera Marcos Ramirez
Sierra Vista Nancy Fusco
Sierra Vista Candyce Pardee
Sierra Vista Robert White
Sierra Vista Sunrise William Hansen
Sierra Vista Sunrise Hank Huisking
Tubac Virginia Leavitt
Tubac Bruce Monro
Tucson Jo DeChatelet
Tucson Charlotte Harris
Tucson Roger Harwell
Tucson Robert Larson
Tucson Sally Montagne
Tucson Wayne Peate
Tucson Michael Sagara
Tucson Jon Wang
Casa Adobes Heather Bohnke
Casa Adobes James Bunker
Casa Adobes Ron Hutchings
Casa Adobes Eb Wilkinson
Casa Adobes Dudley Woodard
Casa Adobes Frank Youdelman
Tucson Kino David Fawcett
Tucson Kino Debra Haddock
Tucson Sunrise Raymond Naylor
Tucson Sunrise Jerry Sayre
Tucson Sunset Sara Craddock
Tucson Sunset Ann Huber
Tucson Sunset Michael Kloehn
Tucson Sunset Dennis Scanlon
Tucson Sunset Natasha Wrae
Tucson Verde Michael Drake
Tucson Verde Fonda Insley
Tucson Verde Barbara Liguori
Tucson Verde Ellie Patterson
Tucson Verde Bonnie Rolstad
Tucson Sunset Laura Ziady
Vail Mark Kelley
Valley Verde Thomas Cooke
Valley Verde Kathy Dean
Valley Verde Richard Deaver
Valley Verde Gary Friedman
Valley Verde Charlotte Gates
Valley Verde Mark Horton
Valley Verde Ann Marsh
Valley Verde Judith Noyes
Valley Verde John Pilger
Valley Verde Kathleen Silvers
Valley Verde Phil Silvers
Yuma Steven Moore
Yuma Foothills Camilla Baycroft
Yuma North End Anne Fisher
Yuma Sunrise Mike Suba
Questions? Contact Michael Drake, Chair, PolioPlus sub-committee of D5500 District Rotary Foundation Committee. or call 520-624-2488.