Submitted by Tommy Fulton, Contributing Editor
Call to Order: The meeting was called to order by Ernest Ladd.
Tommy Fulton gave the invocation, followed by Tommy Blankenship, who led us in song and the Pledge.
Introduction of Guests & Visitors: Tommy Blankenship introduced our guests along with visiting Rotarians.
Announcements: Sumter McGowin was recognized as a Paul Harris Fellow.
Program: Ken Robinson introduced our speaker, Sam Adams, our District Governor for Rotary District #6880.
Sam began by describing several posters and banners he had placed around the room. These represented so many who were inspirational leaders. The goal was to help non-Rotarians understand the kind of work and accomplishments of the Rotary Clubs. He explained the Rotary battle against polio from an historic standpoint.
One of his inspirations was Sam Owori, who had been elected as president of Rotary International. He had chartered eighty Rotary Clubs in Uganda, but passed away shortly after his election. He was truly an amazing leader, who had worked to instill the 4-way test throughout his home country. Sam Adams has pledged to charter three new Rotary Chapters in our district as a testimony to Sam Owori.
Sam mentioned that he and Ken Robinson had run two miles just prior to our meeting. In fact, he does this before all Rotary meetings he attends. There was a method to this effort. There are still a few cases of polio left in the world despite heroic efforts aided by Rotary. Sam asked that our members donate at least two dollars to the polio campaign, which he said would be matched 2 for 1 by Bill and Melinda Gates.
Polio touched Sam’s family personally, as his brother had fought polio. Famous people directly affected included Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer’s father, Alan Alda and Francis Ford Coppola. There are 15 cases of polio known to be in Pakistan and Afghanistan.
Sam then discussed the different delivery methods for the polio vaccine developed by Jonas Salk and Albert Sabin. It was the Sabin oral vaccine which was tested in Cuba, the first Western Hemisphere effort in 1916-17, which was supported by the Cuba Rotary Clubs. Before Castro, there were 60 Rotary Clubs in Cuba. Sam hopes to see the relationship renewed during the upcoming celebration of Havana’s 500th anniversary.
After a question and answer session, Ernest Ladd thanked Sam for his presentation and presented a certificate to him, noting that a donation in his honor had been made to the Rotary International Foundation.
The meeting was adjourned at 1:00 pm.