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Paralympic-related event puts the spotlight on polio eradication

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Perseverance and dedication are qualities that both Paralympic athletes and Rotarians use to reach their goals. To highlight this common bond, British Rotarians used the excitement surrounding the opening day of the 2012 Paralympic Games on 30 August to rally government dignitaries from the United Kingdom and Pakistan to raise funds for Paralympic athletes and Rotary’s PolioPlus program.

“We wanted to celebrate the achievements of these amazing athletes and Rotary’s hard work towards polio eradication,” says Judith A. Diment, PolioPlus national advocacy adviser for the UK and a member of the Rotary Club of Windsor St. George, England. “Both groups have persevered through great odds to be where we’re at today.”

Rotary International, in association with UNICEF, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the British Pakistan Foundation, and the Global Poverty Project, sponsored the garden party in London attended by more than 100 people, including five Paralympic athletes, three of whom are polio survivors. The event raised thousands of dollars for PolioPlus and the Pakistani Paralympic Committee and advocated for a polio-free world. Wajid Shamsul Hasan, the High Commissioner of Pakistan to the United Kingdom, praised Rotary’s efforts to eradicate polio in Pakistan and spoke about his government’s commitment to step up resources to rid his country of the disease