Rotarian Chad Zimmerman (right) helps administer a polio vaccine.
Villa Park Rotarians Mike Brunhober, Chad Zimmerman, Elliott Brender, David Gayl and Jay Applebaum participated in the organizaion’s annual polio vaccination trip to Caborca, Mexico, Feb. 23-25.
The annual trips began in 2001 when Villa Park Rotarians Mike Brunhober and Ken Caplin made contacts in the area. Driving their own car and staying with local Rotarians, they traveled to agricultural communities and fishing villages to deliver two life-saving drops of polio vaccine to children under five who might be susceptible to the disease.
On the day of the vaccinations, the group was met by the director of the department of health (a former Rotarian) who took them to the communities along with a local Rotarian and a nurse. Going door to door, the group identified children needing the vaccine, which was administered in two drops to the mouth.
Mike Brunhober and Ken Caplin have also collaborated with the Caborca Rotary to do a number of global grants that have brought fire engines, the jaws of life, water tanks, and a state-of-the-art medical/dental van. The duo has also created a Caborca Children’s Treatment Fund that can provide needed medical care to children in the area with serious conditions and no financial resources.
As Ken Caplin would tell you, “Rotary is about making the world a better place.” He says many people join Rotary Clubs, but “you are not truly a Rotarian until you open your heart and experience the joys of selflessly providing help to those in need.”
Villa Park Rotary meets Thursdays at 7 a.m. at Villa Park City Hall. "We’re always looking for people who are looking for us," Caplin says. "Join us for breakfast, hear a good speaker and see if it’s a good fit. It might be one of the best decisions you ever make."
Villa Park Rotarians help eradicate polio