Rotaract Club of Birmingham putts to end polio

Rotaract Club of Birmingham putts to end polio
The Rotaract Club of Birmingham recently held its 10th annual Hack-It Classic Golf Tournament at Highland Park Golf Course. (contributed)

A fundraiser golf tournament hosted by the Rotaract Club of Birmingham resulted in the largest contribution by any Rotaract in the world to the End Polio Now organization.

“The Hack-It Classic is one of the most anticipated events for our club,” President Michael Stone said. “Members, sponsors and friends come together for a fun round of golf that supports an important cause. To put it into perspective, our $5,000 contribution can be used to immunize over 8,000 children. I’m excited to be part of an event and group that is making such a big impact on our world.”

All proceeds from the 10th Annual Hack-It Classic Golf Tournament at Highland Park Golf Course will go to eradicate polio and provide continuous vaccinations against the disease.

The Hack-It Classic places special importance on raising awareness around Rotary International’s End Polio Now campaign. Rotaract clubs are sponsored by Rotary clubs and members of work together to support causes important to each organization.

Since 2015, the Birmingham Rotaract’s contribution of $5,000 each year has been the largest from any of the more than 10,000 Rotaract clubs in the world.

On top of financial support for End Polio Now, one Birmingham member had the chance to support the campaign in person in India.

In October 2017, Uma Srivastava joined five Rotarians from Tuscaloosa to assist Rotary International on its mission to eradicate polio. For three days, the group traveled to villages helping vaccinate children and spread awareness of the importance of vaccinating against the disease.

“When we asked the local villagers, what could be done to eradicate polio, the overwhelming response was ‘Give all kids under 5 the two lifesaving drops,’” Srivastava said.

The World Health Organization reported 22 new cases of polio last year. While this number is low, as long as one child is infected, children in all countries are at risk of contracting the disease.

Failure to eradicate polio could result in as many as 200,000 new cases each year, within 10 years, all over the world. There is no cure for polio, it can only be prevented.

Rotary International has helped immunize more than 2.5 billion children against the disease in 122 countries. For as little as 60 cents, a child can be protected for life against  polio.

This golfing event is one of two main fundraisers the Birmingham club sponsors each year to support the its foundation.

The Rotaract Club of Birmingham is an organization of young professionals that focuses on developing community leaders to foster responsible citizenship, skills and serve the community. It is the largest Rotaract Club in the world, comprised of nearly 300 members. For more information, visit birminghamrotaract.com.

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