Posted by Bill Osborne on Aug 16, 2017
Anna Powers, 2017-18 Rotary Club of North Jackson Vice President and President-Elect for 2018-2019 spoke to the Rotary Club of North Jackson at its August 15 meeting about the 2017 Rotary International Convention that was held June 14-18, 2017 in Atlanta, GA.  She said that 33,000 Rotarians representing 174 countries were in attendance The accompanying photo shows Anna during her presentation in which she is showing her convention badge.  The 33,000 attendance was 30% greater than anticipated. In fact, the presentation of the flags of the 174 countries represented at the convention required one-half hour to complete. Anna strongly urged club members to attend the 2018 convention which will be held June 23-27, 2018 in Toronto. Her caution is to register early. Her registration was too late for her to get tickets for some desirable events.
Anna's highlights were meeting Rotarians from diverse countries. She described meeting a young female Rotarian from Great Britain and she presented details on the Polio Eradication initiative that has reduced the number of Polio cases annually from 350,000 in 1985 to 5 cases thus far in 2017 in Nigeria, Afghanistan, & Pakistan - a reduction of 99.9%. Rotary, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the U.S. CDC, and several countries have pledged funds to complete the job. The expectation is that it will require $1.5 billion on top of the $1.5 billion that has been spent in the project to date to complete the job. Anna cited that Polio Volunteers assisted in corralling the Ebola virus in Nigeria thus preventing further spread of that disease. Bill Gates said that 16,000 people are walking today who would be walking if the project has not been conducted.
Another initiative that Anna described is the Thorn Initiative to stop child sexual exploitation. It was founded by Ashton Kutcher, an actor, tech investor, and philanthropist. Thorn is developing technological tools to allow it to accomplish its goal. Than you Anna for your presentation and for your service to Rotary.