MEMBERS ATTENDING (13): Dick Drumm, Ray Hannan, Dean Calamaras, Roberto Martinez, Jim Leyhane, Andy Leyhane, Kevin Leyhane, Debbie Brown, Peter Brown, Murray Forth, Phil Kellerman, Pat Bailey, Debbie Rodriguez.
GUESTS (2): Dave Hannan, Lois Hannan.
• Guest speaker Dave Hannan, brother of SRC member Ray Hannan, was the guest speaker, presenting an update on Rotary’s ongoing efforts to eradicate polio worldwide. Dave, past governor of District 7021 in western New York, provided an overview of Rotary’s PolioPlus program. He noted that now that the continent of Africa has officially been declared polio-free there remain only two countries in which the Wild Polio Virus Type 1 is active are Pakistan and Afghanistan, and they reported only one case each so far this year.
Rotary continues to partner with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, the World Health Organization, and UNICEF in the polio immunization effort. Continuing impediments to the initiative are regional armed conflicts that put immunization teams in harm’s way, as well as terrain and human trust issues.
An ancillary benefit of the immunization program is the spinoff of a health delivery system that has been used to combat other viral diseases such as ebola and COVID.
• Next Thursday’s meeting will be a Club Assembly at which we will discuss the latest developments in creation of a Donor Advised Fund (DAV) called the Dr. Richard Drumm Fund, operated within the Rotary Foundation but with local control. Details have been discussed at various club meetings and have been the subject of a Board subcommittee’s research, consultation, and discussion for several months. Once in place, it will allow members and others to make financial contributions that are fully tax deductible, and provide an avenue for formal grants and awards to other 501(c)3 organizations in Rensselaer County and elsewhere in conjunction with then club’s community service efforts. It is named in honor of our current club president and lone remaining charter member.