The Narooma Rotary film screening raised $1000 to end polio

By Staff Reporters
Updated December 5 2023 - 2:36pm, first published December 4 2023 - 11:05am
At the Fly from Everest screening last Thursday, Narooma Rotary vice president David McInnes, former Australian Ambassador to Nepal Annmaree O'Keeffe, and paragliders Ken Hutt and Marcus Loane. Picture supplied
At the Fly from Everest screening last Thursday, Narooma Rotary vice president David McInnes, former Australian Ambassador to Nepal Annmaree O'Keeffe, and paragliders Ken Hutt and Marcus Loane. Picture supplied

Narooma Rotary Club's film fundraiser resulted in a $1000 donation to the global campaign to eradicate polio.

The club arranged to screen the film 'Fly from Everest' at Narooma Kinema on Thursday, November 30.

It featured South Coast adventurer and Berry Rotarian Ken Hutt and his dream to paraglide from Everest to raise awareness and funds to continue the global fight to eliminate polio.

Joe Carter directed the film.

Mr Hutt and fellow paraglider Marcus Loane attended Thursday's screening and answered many questions afterwards about their Everest adventures in 2022 and 2023.

Mr Hutt is immensely proud of his team members' efforts and that they also raised $400,000 for the cause, with support from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

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They received publicity and support from around the world.

"Our main aim was to get the polio message out there and we achieved that," he said.

Narooma Rotary president Lynn Hastings said when Rotary and its partners launched the Global Polio Eradication Initiative more than 30 years ago, polio paralysed 1000 children every day.

"Since then, cases due to wild poliovirus have declined by more than 99.9 percent, with wild poliovirus remaining endemic today in only two countries - Afghanistan and Pakistan," she said.

"Disruptions to routine vaccination programs around the world put this progress at risk.

"Rotary and its partners are trying to sustain this progress and continue to reach every child with the polio vaccine.

"Without full funding and political commitment, this paralysing disease could return to polio-free countries, putting children everywhere at risk," Ms Hastings said.

She said Narooma Rotary rounded up the money raised on the night to $1000.

That will ultimately be boosted to $3,000, thanks to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation's donation of $2 for every $1 raised by Rotary.

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