Foreign Exchange Student from Sweden Betty Ottosson told us a little about herself. She is from Sweden and lives about an hour from 
Copenhagen. She is from Rotary District 2400. She is enjoying her stay and recently visited Willow Creek where she met all the exchange students visiting our district. Then she presented a flag from the Rotary Club sponsoring her. 
Pam Moulton introduced Bob Rogers.  She made us aware of protocol which requires the District Governor to visit each club in the district by December.  Bob plans to visit all 46 clubs plus the Rotaract Clubs by the end of October.   It's a hectic schedule, yesterday they started in Windsor, then visited Clearlake and Bob came to Healdsburg for an evening meeting.  He joined Sebastopol Rotary in 2007 and later at the invitation of Larry Meyers, Committee Chairman, joined the District Polio Plus Committee.  Polio is very personal for Bob as he is a Polio survivor.  He was Club President in 2013/14, then served as Assistant Governor.  Professionally, Bob was a pilot for US Airways. 
Peggy is also a Rotarian.  In addition to being Bob's Chauffeur, Chronicler, and other district activities she maintains an intense interest and advocacy for domestic violence victims.  She recently formed a Rotary Action Group recognized by Rotary International addressing domestic violence.  Professionally, Peggy was a Public Administrator, she was an educator, a teacher, and later became a professor at Chico State.  She is a mother of two girls and grandmother of 4 grandchildren.  She and Bob met while serving on Jury Duty in 2006 and were married later that year. 
Bob has been very active in the advocacy for Polio and the recent ride for Polio.  To date he has raised over $60,000.  Most impressive is how the ride brought the district together to support the eradication of Polio.  RI President Ian H.S. Riseley' theme this year is "Making a Difference."  RI Secretary John Hewko said, we are on the verge of leaving the world a wonderful gift that will last as long as humans inhabit the world, a planet free of the Polio Virus.  She then quoted Bob, "How's that for making a difference?"  Bob and the "Queen of SAG" Peggy Rogers
Bob started his comments with a comment about how his year began with a request to the presidents to join him in supporting the ride for Polio Plus by providing lodging, meals, setting up rest stations etc.  And by the way also help raise money for Polio Plus.  He said it is an unusual way to start the year; but it was one of the best things he has ever done.  He is still processing everything that happened.  He then told us about having green hair.
He then started a power point showing events along the route from Crescent City to Petaluma.  The ride took place from August 13 through 19 and consisted of 14, 6 day riders and several additional 1, 2,and 3 day riders.  The distance is approximately 318 miles (seems longer when going uphill) and travels through Del Norte, Humboldt, Mendocino and Sonoma Counties.  The elevation gain is from just above sea level to about 1670 feet at Laytonville.  Elevation gain doesn't tell the whole story as one gains and loses a little at a time prior to reaching the highest point then they must lose and gain several more times to reach their destination.  The scenery is stunning.  This was an excellent epic ride. 
He explained that his parents were "scared to death" every summer that one of the five kids would wake up with polio.  The polio vaccine was clearly a silver bullet.  Prior to its development there was no way to avoid polio as it wasn't understood where it came from and how it developed. 
Today, no one has heard of polio and that's a great thing.  He reminded us the Gates Foundation is matching every $1 we raise with $2.  The goal of the ride was to raise $80k (+/-) which after matching will become more than $250,000.  Currently, the amount raised is just over $60,000.  Because of Rotary's Polio Plus efforts, which began in 1985, over 16 million children in this world have been spared he affliction of Polio.  He then offered as a reward for all the work we have done offered to sell us Eradicate Polio T shirts for $10.  He then showed a power point featuring the high points of the ride. 
He reminded us this year in the world there have been only 8 cases of polio reported.  It's important to eliminate the virus as if one person has it all of us are at risk.  To make his point he talked about the measles outbreak that started at Disneyland a couple of years ago.  At the time 93% of the children were inoculated against measles.  Yet the disease spread from Disneyland to Mexico, Washington State, Arizona and several places in California.  At the time the percentage of children inoculated against polio was about the same as those inoculated against measles.  What if that visitor that brought the measles virus came with polio?  It's important that we keep up the effort.  At the Rotary International Convention they raised, with a little arm twisting, 1.2 billion dollars.  We only have raise another 4 hundred million dollars.  For the next three years the Gates Foundation will match what we raise with a 2 for 1 match.  They also raised the amount from $35 million to $50 million.  So, if we can raise $50 million each of the 3 years Rotary will receive a total of $450 million from the Gates Foundation. 
"Rotary, where dreams take flight." is the theme of the District.  He pointed out that every achievement, every innovation, every step forward begins with an idea.  What we think we see, we take for granted as "... that's the way it is."  What would happen if we could look beyond that notion?  We might see other possibilities, like the doctor in the Philippines who stopped believing what he saw couldn't change.  Polio was leveling children and destroying adult lives.  He saw possibilities; he stopped taking the current situation for granted.  He saw a better way for those who were less blessed than he because he had not contracted polio.  The vaccine was available.  The delivery system, Rotary, was available.  This gave rise to the idea that his island and eventually his country being free of polio.  He believed in the unimaginable and convinced fellow Rotarians to join him in fighting this terrible disease.  This was the beginning of the eradication of Polio.  It started with one person who had an idea in 1979.  Today we are at the brink of the eradication of Polio from this world.