THERE are only two countries in the world that still have polio, and to help stop the disease globally, the Rotary International District 3860 has initiated the project--Tri To End Polio.
The Tri To End Polio will raise funds through pledges from the individuals, groups and corporations. The generated funds will go to Rotary Foundation to purchase vaccines and support polio eradication. All the donations raised by Rotary Foundation will be matched by the Microsoft founder Bill Gates through the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
“In every peso we get, Bill Gates will match it with two pesos. The aim of Rotary Philippines is to raise P3M, so if we raise P3M the Bill Gates Foundation will give P6M for a total of P9M contribution to end Polio,” said Bernard Vonn Sia, the immediate past president of Rotary District 3860 and the team captain of Tri To End Polio.
The fund-raising takes place during the Ironman 70.3 Philippines Asia-Pacific Championships on Aug.7 in Cebu. The 24 members of Tri To End Polio Team will finish the 1.9-kilometer race, 90K bike and 21K run for them to generate pledges.
“The end of Polio is the banner project of Rotary International, Philippines was one of the recipients of the polio vaccines from Rotary and UNICEF in 1989. The country was declared Polio-free due to this action,” said Maru Anne Solomon, the district governor of Rotary 3860. “This project is our way of giving back so that we can help eradicate Polio globally.”
The organizers said that currently, the remaining countries that are stricken by polio are Lebanon and Pakistan with only 60 cases remains.
The 24 triathletes are all Rotarians who come from Cebu, Iloilo, Tagum City, Bohol, Pampanga, Cabanatuan and General Santos City.
Sia, who was part of the Ride-to-End Polio last year in the Tucson, Arizona, was the one who conceptualize on organizing the for-a-cause race in the Philippines.
Sia said that the Sunrise Events Inc. (SEI), the organizers of the Ironman 70.3 Philippines, is supporting the activity and has made it a side-event.
The organizers are asking for donations or pledges from Rotarians and non-Rotarians. For more information on how to pledge or contribute, interested parties can visit www.rotary.org or the Rotary Philippines Tri To End Polio Facebook page.