The Manchester Essex Rotary will hold its annual Polar Plunge on Saturday, April 2, 2022, at 11am at the Cape Ann Motor Inn on Long Beach, located at 33 Rockport Road in Gloucester. The event is part of Rotary International’s ongoing campaign to eradicate Polio in our lifetime. Dozens of Rotarians, Interact students (formerly known as Junior Rotarians), and friends of Rotary from throughout eastern Massachusetts are expected to plunge into the cold waters off Cape Ann. Since 2010, thousands of individuals and businesses have supported this event, and almost one million dollars have been raised for #EndPolioNow.
The eradication of Polio has been Rotary International’s signature cause since 1988. The organization has teamed up with partners including The Global Poverty Project, The Global Eradication Initiative, The World Health Organization, and The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Since 1988, more than a billion dollars have been raised among Rotary clubs worldwide and The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
When Rotary International took on the battle against this disease, more than 350,000 people spanning 125 countries were impacted by Polio each year. Today there are two countries left where Polio has not been eradicated—Pakistan and Afghanistan. In 2021, there were only five reported cases of wild Polio virus, down from 140 in 2020. Rotary International has committed to raising fifty million dollars in 2022, and The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has pledged to match each dollar raised with an additional $2 donation.