December 5, 2023
Annapolis, US 48 F

Rotary Clubs unite to support Race Across America Polio Plus

Three Anne Arundel County Rotary Clubs joined forces to raise funds to defeat polio worldwide, presenting a check to Team Rotary RAAM Polio Plus on Saturday, June 23, at Annapolis City Dock. Four bike riders crossed the United States from San Diego, Calif., to Annapolis, cycling into Maryland’s capital city by 10:15 a.m., and completing their journey to raise $1 million for the cause.

Team RAAM Polio Plus receives a $4,000 simulated check from county Rotary clubs on Saturday morning at Annapolis City Dock. From left, Jim Dolezal, Annapolis Rotarian; President Bob Smith, Parole Rotary Club; RAAM members Bob McKenzie, Tulsa, Okla., Kurt Matzler, Italy; Ruth Brandstatter, Austria, and Steve Schoonover, Draper, Utah; and Jim Campbell, incoming president, Annapolis Rotary Club. (Photo: Don Roland)

In early June, members of the Annapolis, Parole and North Shore Rotary Clubs quickly raised $4,000 to help the bikers to meet their goal. Rotary International, the U.N. World Health Organization and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation as well as more than several dozen countries have pledged to raise more than $1 billion  to eliminate the virus.

“Polio is not totally gone,” says Jim Campbell, incoming president of the Rotary Club of Annapolis. “More work is still to be done. Team Rotary’s efforts will go to a still very important cause.”

While polio has been eliminated in the United States, it remains in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and one case was found recently in a remote part of Venezuela. Since the cost of a dose of polio vaccine is 60 cents, more than 1.6 million children will be vaccinated against the disease from the RAAM proceeds.

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