10/24/2009

Rotary president-elect speaks out about polio


Attorney Ray Klinginsmith, from Kirksville, Mo., President-Elect of Rotary International, spoke to nearly 400 Rotarians and guests at the Abilene Christian University Hunter Welcome Center on Thursday evening.
The event was in conjunction with hundreds of other Rotary Clubs throughout world as they work together to wipe out polio. Guests came from Dallas, Fort Worth, Midland, and Big Spring in a concerted effort to raise money for eradication of polio in Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, and Nigeria. While the polio vaccine has virtually eradicated the disease in the United States, it is still a problem in some countries.Dr. Bob Hunter said he thought the dinner would raise at least $50,000.Klinginsmith said Bill and Melinda Gates have pledged $355 million for the new project. He said so far the Rotarians have raised about $97 million toward their new goal of 200 million. The Rotarians have raised more than $800 million from the time they started their immunization program several years ago. The Rotarians have played a major role in getting governments to contribute over $4 billion to their effort not only in the four selected countries, but in other countries as well.“World Polio Day is on Saturday, October 24,” Hunter said. “Rotary Clubs throughout the world are having dinners like this during this week.”Klinginsmith told the audience that Afghanistan had only 23 cases of polio in 2009, Nigeria 381 and Pakistan 62.
“India had 464 cases in 2009,” Klinginsmith said. “Our next immunization campaign will target 55 million children under five in India.” According to Hunter, this is the first time for an official of this stature in Rotarian International to visit Abilene. “Having the President-Elect of Rotary International is a great honor,” Hunter said. “It is also for a good cause.” Before the meeting, former Abilenian Heather Green Wooten, PhD, signed copies of her book, “The Polio Years in Texas,” published by Texas A&M Press. The book sold for $20. and a portion was donated to the Rotarian fund. Klinginsmith travels all over the world.
“There are 32,000 Rotary Clubs in more than 200 countries,” he said. “I will leave here for Chicago and then go to England, New Zealand, and Argentina.”
When he assumes the office of the president in July 2010, Klinginsmith will be traveling all year.
Tumbleweed Smith of Big Spring is a past district Rotary Governor.
“I have been speaking throughout Texas to raise funds,” the newspaper journalist and radio personality said. Klinginsmith reminded the group of how important it is to finish the job they started on polio years ago. The Rotarians team with the World Health Organization and other agencies to provide vaccines to young children in poor countries.
As the guests milled around for the reception before the speech, pictures of young children were exhibited in the hallway. The children were shown with crutches or taking therapy. When the polio hit Texas in 1930 through the 1950s, many children and adults died or were crippled.
Dr. Charles Nelson, and his wife, Betty, of Abilene know about polio first hand. Charles was stricken with polio in 1946 when he was twenty-two and a sophomore in college in Denton. He is now confined to a wheelchair, but it has not kept him from achieving his goals in life.
“I was in good health,” Charles said. “I had just returned from the Army in World War II and we were expecting our first child.” Charles said the vaccine was not available at that time, but when it came along we were elated. “We did not have to worry about our three children getting polio,’ he said. Charles spent six months in a hospital. “I was always active before polio hit,” he said.
Hunter said great strides had been made in getting rid of this disease.
“The Rotarians plan to rid the world of polio in our lifetime,” he said.
Klinginsmith said the total polio cases for 2009 were 1,198 as compared to 2008 with 1,651.
“We can see light at the end of tunnel,” Klinginsmith said.

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Klinginsmith, Ray is an attorney in Kirksville, Missouri, USA, who now works primarily in the areas of commercial and corporate law, real estate, and estate planning.  He retired in August of 1995 as General Counsel and Professor of Business Administration for Truman State University (formerly Northeast Missouri State University) in Kirksville after 22 years of service.  During his tenure at the University, he also served as Dean of Administration for a period of five years during the University’s transition to a liberal arts and sciences institution.  Since his retirement from the University, he served a four-year term as a county commissioner for Adair County from 2001 thru 2004.
 
Ray’s wife, Judie, is a former elementary school teacher in Macon and Kirksville and a former consultant for the Child Development Assistant program at the Kirksville Area Vocational Center.  Ray and Judie have two children, Leigh and Kurt, and three grandchildren, Morgan, Grant, and Sydney Perkins.  Ray is a graduate of the business school and the law school of the University of Missouri at Columbia.  He is a member of The Missouri Bar and has practiced law since 1965.  He was awarded the Thomas D. Cochran Community Service Award by the Young Lawyers Section of The Missouri Bar in 1983.
 
Ray has served as a director of the Macon Atlanta State Bank in Macon, Missouri, since 1971, and he was one of the initial trustees for the Missouri Family Trust, which was created by the Missouri legislature in 1989.  He has been the president of Chariton Valley Association for Handicapped Citizens since its organization in 1982, and he was accorded the 1988 Parent/Caretaker Award by the Missouri Planning Council for Developmental Disabilities.  He is a former member of the Executive Board for the Great Rivers Council of the Boy Scouts of America and the holder of its Silver Beaver Award for adult volunteers.  He is a member of the First United Methodist Church in Kirksville and a former lay speaker for the church. 
A Rotarian for more than 40 years, Ray is currently a member of the Kirksville Rotary Club.  He studied at the University of Cape Town as a Rotary Foundation ambassadorial scholar in 1961, and when he was elected to the board of directors for Rotary International in 1984, he became the first recipient of a Rotary Foundation award to serve on the RI board.  He served as a Trustee of The Rotary Foundation from 2002 to 2006 and as vice chairman of the Trustees in 2005-06, and he has been awarded both the Citation for Meritorious Service and the Distinguished Service Award by the Foundation.
In other Rotary assignments, Ray served as moderator of the 1989 International Assembly in Phoenix, chairman of the 1998 Council on Legislation in New Delhi, and vice chairman of the 2005 Chicago Convention Committee.  He has served in a variety of assignments for the codification of RI policies and the simplification of RI bylaws and similar documents.  He served as a member of the Future Vision Committee for The Rotary Foundation, chairman of the TRF Alumni Advisory Committee, and chairman of the 2008 RI Convention Committee for the convention held in Los Angeles on 15-18 June 2008.

RI President Elect (2010-11) :


Klinginsmith, Ray is an attorney in Kirksville, Missouri, USA, who now works primarily in the areas of commercial and corporate law, real estate, and estate planning. He retired in August of 1995 as General Counsel and Professor of Business Administration for Truman State University (formerly Northeast Missouri State University) in Kirksville after 22 years of service. During his tenure at the University, he also served as Dean of Administration for a period of five years during the University's transition to a liberal arts and sciences institution. Since his retirement from the University, he served a four-year term as a county commissioner for Adair County from 2001 to 2004.

Ray's wife, Judie, is a former elementary school teacher in Macon and Kirksville and a former consultant for the Child Development Assistant program at the Kirksville Area Vocational Center. Ray and Judie have two children, Leigh and Kurt, and three grandchildren, Morgan, Grant, and Sydney Perkins. Ray is a graduate of the business school and the law school of the University of Missouri at Columbia. He is a member of The Missouri Bar and has practiced law since 1965. He was awarded the Thomas D. Cochran Community Service Award by the Young Lawyers Section of The Missouri Bar in 1983.

Ray has served as a director of the Macon Atlanta State Bank in Macon, Missouri, since 1971, and he was one of the initial trustees for the Missouri Family Trust, which was created by the Missouri legislature in 1989. He has been the president of Chariton Valley Association for Handicapped Citizens since its organization in 1982, and he was accorded the 1988 Parent/Caretaker Award by the Missouri Planning Council for Developmental Disabilities. He is a former member of the Executive Board for the Great Rivers Council of the Boy Scouts of America and the holder of its Silver Beaver Award for adult volunteers. He is a member of the First United Methodist Church in Kirksville and a former lay speaker for the church.

A Rotarian for more than 40 years, Ray is currently a member of the Kirksville Rotary Club. He studied at the University of Cape Town as a Rotary Foundation ambassadorial scholar in 1961, and when he was elected to the board of directors for Rotary International in 1984, he became the first recipient of a Rotary Foundation award to serve on the RI board. He served as a Trustee of The Rotary Foundation from 2002 to 2006 and as vice chairman of the Trustees in 2005-06, and he has been awarded both the Citation for Meritorious Service and the Distinguished Service Award by the Foundation.

In other Rotary assignments, Ray served as moderator of the 1989 International Assembly in Phoenix, chairman of the 1998 Council on Legislation in New Delhi, and vice chairman of the 2005 Chicago Convention Committee. He has served in a variety of assignments for the codification of RI policies and the simplification of RI bylaws and similar documents. He served as a member of the Future Vision Committee for The Rotary Foundation, chairman of the TRF Alumni Advisory Committee, and chairman of the 2008 RI Convention Committee for the convention held in Los Angeles on 15-18 June 2008.
A Rotarian for more than 40 years, Ray is currently a member of the Kirksville Rotary Club. He studied at the University of Cape Town as a Rotary Foundation ambassadorial scholar in 1961, and when he was elected to the board of directors for Rotary International in 1984, he became the first recipient of a Rotary Foundation award to serve on the RI board. He served as a Trustee of The Rotary Foundation from 2002 to 2006 and as vice chairman of the Trustees in 2005-06, and he has been awarded both the Citation for Meritorious Service and the Distinguished Service Award by the Foundation.

In other Rotary assignments, Ray served as moderator of the 1989 International Assembly in Phoenix, chairman of the 1998 Council on Legislation in New Delhi, and vice chairman of the 2005 Chicago Convention Committee. He has served in a variety of assignments for the codification of RI policies and the simplification of RI bylaws and similar documents. He served as a member of the Future Vision Committee for The Rotary Foundation, chairman of the TRF Alumni Advisory Committee, and chairman of the 2008 RI Convention Committee for the convention held in Los Angeles on 15-18 June 2008.

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