Rotary Club of Elmira

The Pennies for Polio campaign began at Diven Elementary school with a presentation by three Elmira Rotarians; Tom Weidemann, Joe Kozan. and Fred Kelsey. Using a wheelchair as part of the presentation, the Rotarians challenged the 2nd graders to create an in-school Public Service Announcement and spearhead a penny drive. Why pennies? Because a single vaccination for polio costs only 14 cents. 
As part of the challenge to the students, Fred rounded up 14 other Rotarians and friends to match up to $100 the amount raised by the students of Diven. So . . .
the students attacked this dreaded disease with tremendous enthusiasm and a strong campaign and raised $185.16! That’s some good news.
Now, the Diven students had their $185.16, plus $1,500. But wait, more money flowed into the children’s Pennies for Polio campaign. The proceeds from a 50/50 raffle donation netted $105.  Two Rotarians brought in almost 50 pounds of hoarded pennies in pickle jars that added another $78.66. Now the total amount raised from the Diven Pennies for Polio campaign totaled, $1,868.82! That’s great news.

And now for some awesome news. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has a 2:1 matching program. The foundation will match whatever Rotary raises on a two to one ratio up 35 million dollars per year for five years!  That adds another $3,737.64 to the Diven Elementary Pennies for Polio campaign. The final Grand Total raised by the Diven Elementary School students is a whopping $5,606.46. At fourteen cents per oral vaccine, that is a SUPER GRAND TOTAL of 40,046 vaccinations worldwide to help relieve the many children and their parents from the anxiety of maybe catching the debilitating disease of Polio.

Thus the Diven Elementary School "Pennies for Polio" campaign contributed $5,606.46 to support Rotary International's Polio Plus Program which so far has raised $1.3 billion (yes, that is billion) dollars to help, along with UNICEF and other organizations, to eliminate Polio from the face of the earth!  Together, we have created a world that is 99% Polio free.  The last one percent is in three hard to reach rural war torn countries (Afghanistan, Pakistan and Nigeria) which will require lots of determination, dedication, hard work and money to accomplish our goal of a 100 % Polio free world!

Depicted in the group picture presenting the check, attached: Second grade students - NovaLee Mathews, Danine Jones, Derek Devon, Kallie Burdick, Quantel Blandford, Amisha Holden, Jo Legare, Bill Kistler, Joe Koczan, Dick Dubois, Pam Davis-Webb      
About Pennies for Polio
The Pennies for Polio program seeks to educate and involve our local schools on the work Rotary International is undertaking worldwide, with the goal of the elimination of polio. Polio is a virus that enters the body through contaminated water sources and attacks the nervous system. It can cause paralysis or even death in some cases. Most of the world has successfully vaccinated several generations of people against polio, but the virus still remains a threat in parts of Asia, Africa and Afghanistan. A goal of Rotary International is to eradicate polio worldwide. The good news is that the polio vaccine costs pennies, only 14 cents to be exact.