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Rotary Lights Chicago's Wrigley Building With Dramatic End Polio Now Message

Friday, February 12, 2010 General News J E 4
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Wrigley among many iconic landmarks to be illuminated this month

Chicago's Wrigley Building will join the ranks of historic landmarks, including the Pyramids of Giza, the Obelisk of Buenos Aires, and the Roman Coliseum, in carrying the urgent message: End Polio Now. These words -- Rotary's pledge to rid the world of this crippling childhood disease -- will be beamed onto world landmarks and iconic structures during the week surrounding Feb. 23, the humanitarian service organization's 105th anniversary.

WHAT: Evanston-based Rotary International, the Rotary Club of Chicago, and Chicago-area Rotary clubs celebrate Rotary's contributions to polio eradication with a special End Polio Now lighting of the historic Wrigley Building on Feb. 23, Rotary's 105th anniversary.

WHO: Attendees include:

Note: Rotary leaders and polio experts will be available for interviews.

WHEN: 6:15 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2010, followed by a brief reception and fundraising dinner.

WHERE: Hyatt Regency Chicago- Crystal Ballroom, 151 E. Wacker Drive, Chicago

BACKGROUND:

Polio eradication has been Rotary's top priority for 25 years, and the illuminated displays highlight an historic year in Rotary's effort to eradicate polio, a goal more than 99 percent achieved. In addition to raising more than $900 million to date, Rotary pledged to raise an additional $200 million to match $355 million in challenge grants from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, all of it for polio eradication. Rotary recently passed the halfway mark in this campaign.

Great progress has been made toward eradication, and the incidence of polio infection has plunged from 350,000 cases in 1988 to fewer than 2,000 cases in 2009. More than two billion children have been immunized in 122 countries, preventing five million cases of paralysis and 250,000 pediatric deaths. Today, polio remains endemic to only four countries: India, Pakistan, Nigeria, and Afghanistan.

Founded in Chicago in 1905, Rotary is now a global humanitarian service organization with more than 33,000 clubs operating in over 200 countries and regions with a total membership of 1.2 million men and women.. There are currently more than 5,000 Rotary members in the greater Chicago area, and about 500 employees at Rotary World Headquarters in Evanston.

To learn more, visit www.rotary.org/endpolio or rotaryone.org.

CONTACT: Elizabeth Minelli, +1-847-866-3387

/PRNewswire-USNewswire -- Feb. 11/

-- Richard M. Daley, Mayor, City of Chicago; member, Rotary Club of Chicago -- Pat Quinn, Governor, State of Illinois -- Reverend Jesse Jackson, President, Rainbow PUSH Coalition -- Dr. Ciro de Quadros, Sabin Vaccine Institute -- Ed Futa, General Secretary, Rotary International

SOURCE Rotary International
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