Dear Flushing Rotarians: Major gains have been made in the global fight against polio since Rotary International began its crusade to eradicate this disease in 1985. At that time, 1,000 children were infected by the disease EVERY DAY in 125 countries. Today, polio cases have declined by 99 percent, with fewer than 2,000 TOTAL CASES reported in the world in 2006. Two billion children have been immunized (approx. 30% of the world's population of 6.7 billion!), five million have been spared disability, and over 250,000 deaths from polio have been prevented since Rotary began its efforts in partnership with the World Heath Organization and the United Nations in 1985. Rotary is the single largest non-governmental foundation working for the improvement of the human condition, surpassing the Gates Foundation and others. In fact, the Gates Foundation has recently provided funding to the Rotary Foundation for this work, recognizing Rotary's effectiveness against polio. In addition, Google just recently donated $3.5 million to the Rotary Foundation for polio eradication. Rotary has now funded approximately two-thirds of a billion dollars to Polo relief over this period. All of this has been done by 1.2 million committed people in 200 nations (0.02% of the world's population). So, now you know what it's like to be among the top 0.02% in the world, making a difference every day. That puts it in perspective. John Cote Former Foundation Chair