The Upper Keys Rotary Club Fights Polio with a $100,000 Donation

upper key rotary

March 2014

Islamorada Resident Kenneth Meeks has been a member of the Upper Keys Rotary Club for almost forty years. He was the Club’s President and always a strong supporter of Rotary’s multiple efforts to supply “Service Above Self”.

Coming from the banking industry he had more interest in investing and preserving wisely than in just spending. “I know that Rotary invests only in worthy causes – and we are all volunteers – no dime is wasted on overhead and bonuses”.

Ken observed and followed Rotary’s joint effort to eradicate the Polio epidemic world wide. “Alfred Smith, my favorite cousin, contracted Polio when he was only three years old”, explains Ken, who is having his 87th birthday in two months, “he was a daredevil, who loved two race cars, although his legs were pretty useless. He was my hero and the reason, why I decided to contribute my share to fight Polio”.

Ken Meeks wrote a check for $100,000.00 to the Upper Keys Rotary Club’s Fondation in recognition of his Cousin. The full amount will be paid to the Rotary (International) Foundation to support the goal of a Polio free world.
“I could have put the commitment in my will”, Ken says, “but I still want to live to see Rotary succeeding to eradicate Polio from the face of the Earth”.

Rotary District Governor Ellen Blasi, who is in charge of all 51 Clubs and 2,000 Rotarians from Deerfield Beach to Key West and Grand Bahamas was delighted and proud at the same time: “This came as a total surprise to me. President Michael (Mayer) introduced Ken to me, when I did the installation ceremony in June of 2013. I also participated in the phenomenal Flea Market venue, the Upper Keys Rotary Club puts on. What a great Club, with such a powerful membership.”


peter bacheler rotary

 Upper Keys Rotary Club President Michael Mayer (left) Kenneth Meeks (right)

The Global Polio Eradication Initiative

The fight to end polio is led by the Global Polio Eradication Initiative, which includes Rotary International, UNICEF, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the World Health Organization, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and governments of the world, with the support of many others around the globe.

Rotarians have helped immunize more than 2.5 billion children against polio in 122 countries. For as little as $0.60, a child can be protected against this crippling disease for life.

Rotary, along with our partners, has reduced polio cases by 99 percent worldwide since our first project to vaccinate children in the Philippines in 1979. We are close to eradicating polio, but we need your help. Whether you have a few minutes or a few hours, here are some ways to make a global impact and protect children against polio forever.


The Upper Keys Rotary signature events and major fundraisers:
The Gigantic Nautical Flea Market
The Annual Golf Tournament
The Festivities and Fireworks on July Fourth at Founders Park

The Upper Keys Rotary Club meets every Tuesday at Noon
at Craig’s Restaurant in Tavernier

Categories: D6990 Events


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