Rotary is sponsoring its 7th annual 5K Run/Walk To End Polio on Saturday, August 15 at Shoaff Park in Fort Wayne. There is also a kid’s one-mile Fun Run. Anthony Wayne Rotary and Fort Wayne Rotary Clubs are combining their efforts to promote the event.
Registration can be done by mail or online through the Fort Wayne Track Club website www.fwtc.org. There will be race day registration beginning at 7a.m. Registration for the Run/Walk 5K is $25 and Kid’s Fun Run is $5.
The Kid’s Fun Run is at 8a.m. and the 5K Run/Walk starts at 8:30a.m. with both events starting at the boat ramp in Shoaff Park.
Male and female commemorative plaques will be presented to overall winners, masters and age groups up to 70 and over. Additionally, there will be an award for the oldest participant in the event. Traveling trophies will be presented in the on-going team competition between the Anthony Wayne and Fort Wayne Rotary Clubs.
Music, food and door prizes for participants will follow the race.
Net proceeds benefit the efforts of Rotary International to eradicate polio world wide.
In 1952, reported cases of polio reached a high point of almost 58,000 with 3,145 deaths and 21,269 persons suffering permanent paralysis in some form. In 1955, an inactivated form of the polio virus was developed by Jonas Salk and delivered by injection and cases dropped dramatically. An oral vaccine develop by Albert Sabin (produced by weakening a live virus) was released for immunization in 1962.
Although the last reported case of polio in the United States was in 1979, polio remains a crippler of children and young adults in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Nigeria. Despite advances of modern medicine, there is no effective treatment for the disease once it is contracted. The virus which causes poliomyelitis destroys nerve cells in the central nervous system which results in irreversible loss of muscle fibers supplied by those nerves.
Through the efforts of Rotary International, The Gates Foundation and WHO, the incidence of Polio world wide has been greatly reduced with just 114 cases reported world-wide in 2014. As Rotary International proclaims with extended thumb and forefinger, “We are this close to ending polio.”