Central Lakes Rotary Club members in Pequot Lakes, Pine River, Nisswa and Crosslake will take action on World Polio Day to raise awareness, funds and support to end polio, a vaccine-preventable disease that still threatens children in parts of the world today.
Pints for Polio will take place from 4-8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 24, at Big Axe Brewing Company on Main Street in Nisswa. Chris French, owner of Big Axe, will donate $1 each for the first 100 pints sold, and $2 per pint thereafter.
When Rotary and its partners launched the Global Polio Eradication Initiative more than three decades ago, polio paralyzed 1,000 children every day. Polio cases have dropped by 99.9 percent, from 350,000 cases in 1988 in 125 countries to 33 cases of wild poliovirus in 2018 in just two countries: Afghanistan and Pakistan.
With polio nearly eradicated, Rotary and its partners must sustain this progress and continue to reach every child with the polio vaccine. Without full funding and political commitment, this paralyzing disease could return to polio-free countries, putting children everywhere at risk.
Rotary has committed to raising $50 million each year to support global polio eradication efforts. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has pledged to match that 2-to-1, for a total yearly contribution of $150 million.
“No child should have to suffer from this vaccine-preventable disease," Patty Baltz, president of Central Lakes Rotary and event organizer, said in a news release. “Help us make an impact on World Polio Day by stopping by our first annual Pints for Polio event."
Rotary has contributed more than $1.9 billion to ending polio since 1985.