SGR Presidents take a 2.66 mile Polio Plunge
Jun 22, 2024 8:54 AM
Dale, Dave & Ken scream to earth from 14,000 feet
SGR Presidents take a 2.66 mile Polio Plunge

It’s been a long time coming with multiple delays along the way, but on Saturday, June 22 at 9 a.m., Dale Desmond, two-time president and Dave Prisbrey, incoming president of St. George Rotary, will finally get to take their 14,000 foot “Polio Plunge” over Hurricane City.  Also taking the 2.66 mile drop is Ken Sizemore of Santa Clara, a past Rotary club president celebrating his 70th birthday.

“We hope jumping from an airplane will draw attention to the worldwide effort to finally and forever eradicate this terrible, crippling and sometimes even fatal disease AND raise money to support the final push across the finish line on a disease which has affected millions for thousands of years,” states Desmond.

For more than seven decades, Rotary International and its 35,000+ clubs around the world - including five in Washington County and 47 in Utah - have been involved in this seemingly impossible fight to wipe out only the second disease in human history (after smallpox).

So far in 2024, Rotary and its partners, including the World Health Organization, the Gates Foundation UNICEF and others, have seen only 8 new cases of the wild polio virus with paralysis in the world, compared to more than 300,000+ such cases in 1985 when Rotary International announced their intent to take on this disease which primarily affects children, ages infant to 5 years.

Thanks to the development of an effective polio vaccine in the 1950’s, the United States was officially declared polio-free in 1979; South America in 1994; and the entire African continent saw its last case in 2019.  Today, only Afghanistan and Pakistan are endemic, but as the world learned from COVID, polio – left unchecked - will once again rear its ugly head.

Donations to Rotary’s Polio Plus – matched 2 to 1 by the Gates Foundation – can be “venomed” to @StGeorgeUTRotary.   If donors prefer, contributions can be mailed to St. George Rotary, P. O. Box 1423, St. George, UT 84771; dropped at the front desk of the Best Western Abbey Inn (where St. George Rotary meets each Monday at noon) in a sealed envelope marked “Rotary”; or at the Hurricane Airport, 800 W. 2300 South on the morning of the jump on June 22 because the fight against polio “isn’t over ‘til it’s over!”

For more information, call or text to 435-669-8020.