Freezin' for a Reason: The Rotary Club of Gloucester Hosts the 8th Annual Polar Plunge to Make Polio History The Gloucester Rotary Club will again host clubs from Rotary District 7930 (eastern Massachusetts and southern New Hampshire) for the 8th annual Polar Plunge on Saturday, February 3, 2018 at Long Beach in Gloucester. The event is part of Rotary International’s ongoing campaign to eradicate polio in our lifetime. Several hundred people are expected to plunge into the cold waters off Cape Ann this year. Last year, over 300 people braved the icy waters, raising more than $120,000. Since the first Rotary Polar Plunge in 2011, Massachusetts Rotarians have raised over a half-million dollars with this event. Since 1985, Polio has been the signature cause for Rotary International as it has teamed up with partners including The Global Poverty Project, The Global Eradication Initiative, The World Health Organization, and UNICEF. Since that time, 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 suffering from polio. Today, there are three countries awaiting eradication – Nigeria, Pakistan and Afghanistan. In 2016, there were 37 wild polio cases reported; in 2017, there were 20 cases reported. More information on Rotary’s #EndPolioNow campaign can be found at www.EndPolio.org. This year, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has again pledged a 2:1 match for every dollar Rotarians and friends raise toward eradication efforts. A 60-cents donation can make the difference in changing a person’s life. Please support Gloucester Rotarians as they brave the icy waters to help eradicate polio in our lifetime. The goal for the plunge is $125,000. Supporters can text “polio” to 71777 or visit www.GloucesterRotary.org to make a donation. Help Rotarians lead the way to eradicate this dreaded disease! For more information on how the Rotary Club of Gloucester serves the local and global community, visit www.GloucesterRotary.org or www.facebook.com/RotaryGloucesterMA. The mission of Rotary International is to provide service to others, promote integrity, and advance world understanding, goodwill, and peace through its fellowship of business, professional, and community leaders.