How Rotary Decided to Eradicate Polio
Story Update

Story Update

The Dare to Dream documentary begins in 1978-79 as RI President and President-Elect, Jack Davis and Clem Renouf, wrestle with the notion that Rotary should undertake service projects on a global scale. The story ends in 1988 with balloons dropping at the Philadelphia International Rotary Convention with the news that Rotary has raised a staggering $240 million to fund global polio eradication. But what makes our heroes in the story so interesting is to learn about the many obstacles they had to overcome in order to succeed. From the standpoint of creating a gripping narrative, the objections of Rotary leaders, Rotary Foundation Trustees, and public health leaders, both to the idea that Rotary should take on global service projects, and the notion that a single disease should be targeted for eradication, combine to give the documentary a wonderful sense of drama. Because of the complexity of educating the audience about Rotary as an organization, polio as a disease, and the controversy in the public health arena regarding vertical versus horizontal disease eradication programs, we have decided to focus on a one-hour documentary, which for broadcast purposes is approximately forty-five minutes of content. Once completed, we will edit a “club program” length piece that is twenty-five minutes in length.

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