Remember Polio? That terrible, crippling virus that caused poliomyelitis, which led to deformity and pain and even death in the early to mid-part of the last century? It wasn’t until the 50’s that a tiny amount of liquid vaccine was administered to children on a sugar cube (which was the way it was administered when I was a kid).
Thanks to Rotary International, polio has all but totally been eradicated on the planet. Except for regions like Syria where civil war and unrest continue, polio is a thing of the past. With the virus first isolated in 1909, Rotary began the fight against polio in 1979 with a project to immunize 6 million children in the Philippines. By 2012, only three countries remain polio-endemic—down from 125 in 1988.
Rotary International is an international service organization whose stated purpose is to bring together business and professional leaders in order to provide humanitarian services, encourage high ethical standards in all vocations, and help build goodwill and peace in the world.
It is a secular organization open to all persons regardless of race, color, creed, religion, gender, or political preference. There are 34,282 clubs and over 1.2 million members worldwide. The members of Rotary Clubs are known as Rotarians. Members usually meet weekly for breakfast, lunch or dinner, which are social events as well as an opportunity to organize work on their service goals.
Needless to say, Rotary is a great organization that exists for the betterment of community. It was begun in Chicago in 1905 by Paul Harris, an attorney, who met with a few business leaders and ended up forming a 1.2 million member, worldwide organization. Within 16 years of the start of the first club, Rotary was established on 6 of the 7 continents.
On Sunday, February 23, 2014 a worldwide event was held to celebrate the 109th anniversary of Rotary International and to raise awareness of the Polio Eradication Program that has been a primary mission of the International organization for the past 40 years. The Amador Causeway was the site of the gathering in Panama with an afternoon and evening that culminated in the display of the Rotary Emblem on the side of the Frank Gehry new Biodiversity Museum. The same display was exhibited on the most renowned structures worldwide- The Colosseum in Rome, the Eiffel Tour in Paris, Big Ben in London, to name a few.
Finally, Coronado can boast its own club. Thanks to the efforts of past Rotarians from the United States, a brand new club is about to be officially chartered and will be a part of the Panama-Costa Rica district.
Rotary meetings are held every Tuesday at noon in the Segundo Piso restaurant in the Coronado Golf and Beach Resort. Thanks to the generosity of the Eisenmann family, the facilities are donated to the group without cost.
“WHATEVER ROTARY MAY MEAN TO US, TO THE WORLD IT WILL BE KNOWN BY THE RESULTS IT ACHIEVES.”