New Rotary International President Gary Huang promises to “light up” the worldwide service club. Only a month into his term, Huang lit up the banquet room of the Diamond Bar Golf Course on Friday.
The Rotary Club of Walnut Valley hosted the reception for the new president from Taiwan. Huang noted he was the first Chinese president in the Rotary’s 109 year history.
The service club is one of the oldest and largest organizations in the world, with more than 1.2 million members. Rotary International has led the way on important global issues like polio.
“With the help of the United States government, Rotary International has reduced polio by 90 percent,” Huang said. “And with their continued support, we will eradicate this disease.”
The club has saved millions of children since its first project to vaccinate children in the Philippines in 1979. In fact, Rotarians have helped immunize more than 2 billion children against polio in 122 countries. Now it wants to eradicate the disease forever.
“The people we are helping are my grandchildren and your children all over the world,” Huang explained. “Because we decided we are going to keep them safe.”
Working with the World Health Organization, Rotary International hopes to announce a polio free world by the end of 2018. Huang pointed out there were more than 450,000 cases of polio in 125 countries only 30 years ago. But now only three countries reported less than 400 cases this year.
“We are this close to ending polio,” Huang said, “and many of you have contribute to this incredible job.”
The new Rotary president lauded people like Rep. Ed Royce (R-Rowland Heights) for being a champion in the fight against polio. Royce later received an award for his hard work from Huang.
Read more in Rich Irwin’s story ROTARY.