Bicyclists, donors and sponsors will unite in the United States and Canada, on both sides of the Niagara River, on Saturday to "Pedal for Polio." October 24th is known as World Polio Day.
The Rotary Club of Lockport will participate with four riders: Chuck Bell, Paul Lehman, Dick Mullaney and Shelley Unocic. More than 50 riders are participating from Canada and the United States.
In the United States, the ride will begin and end near the Aquarium and Discovery Center on the American side of the Falls. The ride is scheduled to start at 10 a.m. and riders will stop at Academy Park in Lewiston to be greeted by Deputy Mayor Edyt, who will proclaim World Polio Day. The Rotary clubs of Lewiston, Niagara on the Lake and Grand Island are providing snacks.
On the Canadian side of Niagara Falls the cycling venture will begin and end at the Rainbow Bridge in the Duty Free parking lot. One group will start at 10:30 a.m. and a second group will start at 11. Riders will be greeted by a past district governor at Queenston Heights Park for a proclamation from Lord Mayor and Rotarian Betty Disero and June Mergl. The Niagara on the Lake and Fonthill Rotary clubs are providing providing snacks.
The “Best of Friends” District Rotarians (Niagara Region, Ontario and Western New York) and community members are pedaling for polio eradication with the assistance of sponsorships and donations.
In Lockport, Mayor Michelle Roman recognized the Rotary Club of Lockport's dedication in raising public awareness about eradication of polio with a proclamation during Wednesday's Common Council meeting.
Until this fall, members of Lockport Rotary’s Interact Club at Lockport High School participated annually with donations to Polio Plus. Students in Rotary’s EarlyAct club at DeSales Catholic School have contributed donations. These clubs are under the advisement of Rotarians Maria Biano and Amy Scapelliti.
Rotary International, a founding partner of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative, has reduced polio cases by 99.9% since its first project to vaccinate children in the Philippines in 1979.
More than 2.5 billion children in 122 countries have been vaccinated due to the valiant efforts of local and worldwide Rotary Clubs. To date, Rotary has contributed more than $1.8 billion toward eradicating polio.
Rotary District Governor Frank Adamson has challenged each Rotarian in the district to donate $50 and seek one additional donation of $50 from a friend, business or family member. The fundraising goal is $200,000; and the district is seeking a matching contribution by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, to double the impact on Rotary’s End Polio Now campaign.
Donations to help match bicyclist’s contributions may be made through the end of October at: https://rotary7090.org/event/.