Grant Wilkins’ first wife, Diane, in an iron lung in the 1950s. Photo courtesy of Grant Wilkins.
By Grant Wilkins, past RI director and member of the Rotary Club of Denver, Colorado, USA.
In 1951, as a young father of three children ages 5, 2, and 3-months (the youngest born prematurely and still in the hospital), I contracted Bulbar Polio.
My throat and vocal cords were paralyzed, and I couldn’t talk or swallow. A tracheotomy and intravenous feedings kept me alive for two weeks until the paralysis started letting up.
My wife came to visit me for the first time after those two weeks, and mentioned she wasn’t feeling well. A spinal tap found she had the Lumbar Polio virus, and she was immediately admitted to the polio ward. Within 24 hours, she was completely paralyzed from the neck down and could not breathe on her own. Continue reading →
Members of the Interact Club of Coral Gables High School take part in illuminating their school with an End Polio Now message.
By Sally Baumgartner, a member of the Rotary Club of Coral Gables, Florida, USA
Our Interactors in Coral Gables, Florida, had a dream.
At the beginning of the school year, their faculty advisor told us the club wanted to contribute to Rotary’s End Polio Now campaign, and donate a portion of their profits from a caroling competition to Rotary’s Challenge. They also wanted to take part in Rotary Day by projecting an End Polio Now message onto the side of their high school. Continue reading →
Mary Kathryn DeLodder is a member of the Rotaract Club of Greater Louisville, Kentucky, USA.
By Mary Kathryn DeLodder, a member of the Rotaract Club of Greater Louisville, Kentucky, USA, for World Rotaract Week 12-18 March.
While it is not unheard of for Rotary clubs to have members under the age of 30, many young people in their 20s may not quite be ready for membership in a Rotary club, whether due to work schedule, finances, or other family obligations.
This is where Rotaract offers the perfect bridge into Rotary. Rotaract provides college students and young professionals with a way to connect to Rotary while conforming to their needs and circumstances. Continue reading →
By David Dotson, president of the Dollywood Foundation
The wonderful partnership between Dolly Parton and Rotary International continues to flourish in communities both large and small all across the USA, Canada, and the United Kingdom.
Although every community approaches the program in its own way, one thing impresses me much more than dollars raised or even time invested –and this is the enormous influence Rotarians exert in their communities. Continue reading →
You can never get enough books in the hands of children, says country music legend Dolly Parton.
Since 2009, Rotary International has been working with Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library to promote early childhood reading. Through the program, a child receives an age-appropriate book each month until age five. Rotary clubs throughout the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom have been teaming up with Dolly to bring books to children in roughly 300 communities.