Each year, the battle to eradicate polio is highlighted on Oct. 24 with World Polio Day. Rotary International has contributed to the worldwide fight to immunize and fund vaccine throughout the world since the 1979. Today, polio remains endemic only in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Pecatonica Rotary will be commemorating World Polio Day with a program on Tuesday, Oct. 26, at 6:30 p.m. at the Pecatonica Public Library. Seven members of the Walsh Family, from Durand, Ill,, will talk about their family’s struggle with polio, which began in 1955 and resulted in the loss of two siblings and the infection of 11 of the 14 children. Their story is told in their book, Triumph on Baker Road, which was published in 2016 and offers very personal reflections on the family’s polio story. Copies of the book will be available for purchase at the event.

“We all look forward to sharing our experience, and we appreciate Rotary’s efforts to eradicate polio,” stated Tom Walsh, one of the siblings who will be presenting. “We plan to donate any profits from the book sale to the Rotary Polio Plus Fund.”

The public is welcome to attend this program. Facial coverings are required by the library, and social distancing will be followed. 

“We are “this close” to stamping out polio forever,” said Pastor Nord Swanstrom, Pecatonica Rotary President. “Hearing from a local family so affected by this ravaging illness will have a powerful impact on people.

“We are fortunate to have them present on Tuesday, Oct. 26 in support of our club’s efforts to contribute to the global effort.”

Pecatonica Rotary meets the first and third Wednesday each month at 7 a.m. at the Stonewall Café in downtown Pecatonica.  

Inquiries are welcome through the Facebook page Pecatonica Rotary Club #3085.

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