Rotary Clubs of the Bahamas have been meeting to organize their first Rotary Bed Race for Polio. The Bed Race will take place on Saturday, January 22, 2011 at the Mall at Marathon and will raise funds for polio eradication, a Rotary International initiative. A new study just released supports Rotary’s initial investment and continued commitment to eradicating polio worldwide, estimating that eight million cases of life-long paralysis will be prevented, and a savings of US$40 to $50 billion over the next 25 years.

As Rotary was the first to invest in global polio eradication in 1985 with its initial pledge of $120 million, the study “Economic Analysis of the GPEI” recently released in Vaccines medical journal validates the humanitarian service organization’s 25 year commitment to ending this disease.  Rotary’s investment sparked the creation of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative in 1988, spearheaded by Rotary, the World Health Organization, UNICEF, and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Today, Rotary has contributed nearly $1 billion and countless volunteer hours toward polio eradication—reducing the incidence of the disease by 99%.  Rotary members worldwide are now raising an additional $200 million to match a $355 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. 

Pictured from left: Lindsey Cancino, Deputy Assistant Governor, Rotary Clubs of the Bahamas; Adam Darville, Rotary Club of East Nassau; Dave Lakin, RCEN; Jeff Mitchell holding official logo, RCEN; Murray Forde, RCEN; Sheila Bethel, Rotary Club of Nassau; Robert Brown, RCEN.