Trading bells in New York City and across Europe ring loud in the fight against polio
EVANSTON, Ill., U.S.A. (21 February 2011) – Rotary International will join vaccine-producer Sanofi Pasteur to ring the trading bells at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) and four financial markets in Europe on Feb. 23, to draw international attention to Rotary’s ongoing effort to eradicate the crippling disease polio.
Representatives of the two organizations will take part in stock exchange ceremonies in New York City; Lisbon, Portugal; Amsterdam; Brussels, Belgium; and Paris. Feb. 23 also is the 106th anniversary of Rotary, a humanitarian service organization that has been working to eradicate polio since 1988.
As the world’s largest company focused entirely on human vaccines, Sanofi Pasteur has played a major role in the effort to push polio to the brink of eradication by supplying oral polio vaccine to the Global Polio Eradication Initiative, of which Rotary is a spearheading partner, along with the World Health Organization, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and UNICEF. Since the initiative’s launch in 1988, the company has donated 120 million vaccine doses for the immunization of children in war-ravaged Angola, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Somalia, and Southern Sudan.
The NYSE closing bell ceremony will begin at 3:40 p.m. EST with remarks by RI President Ray Klinginsmith and Sanofi Pasteur Vice-President of Global Immunization Policy Dr. Michael Watson; followed by a countdown to the 4 p.m. bell-ringing. Later in the evening, the NYSE exterior will be illuminated with Rotary’s End Polio Now message, joining Italy’s Trevi Fountain, India’s Charminar monument and other landmarks around the world in a dramatic visual public awareness campaign to build support for polio eradication.
The NYSE Euronext ceremonies are as follows:
- NYSE Euronext Amersterdam, Beursplein 5, 1012 JW Amsterdam; press contact Rineke Reitsma; +31 (0)20 550 4110; firstname.lastname@example.org. Program begins at 8:30 a.m. CET; opening gong will sound at 9 a.m.
- NYSE Euronext Brussels, Palais de la Bourse, Beurpaleis; 1000 Bruxelles, Brussels; press contact Anne De Gang, email@example.com. Program begins at 8:30 a.m. CET; opening bell rings at 9 a.m.
- NYSE Euronext Paris, 39, rue Cambon, 75039 Paris Cedex 01; press contact Caroline Tourrier, firstname.lastname@example.org. Program begins at 8:30 a.m. CET; opening bell rings at 9 a.m.
- NYSE Euronext Lisbon, Av. da Liberdade, n. 196-7, 1250-147 Lisboa; press contact Sandra Machado, +351 21 7900029, email@example.com. Program begins at 4:30 p.m. WET; closing bell rings at 5:30 p.m.
Rotary clubs in Jamaica also have arranged for an opening bell ceremony at the Jamaica Stock Exchange, 40 Harbour St., Kingston. The ceremony will begin at 9 a.m., leading up to the 9:30 bell ringing. Press contact is Christy Almeida, + 876 322 4561; firstname.lastname@example.org.
Eradicating polio worldwide has been Rotary’s top philanthropic goal for more than two decades. Rotary club members to date have contributed more than US$1billion and countless volunteer hours to reach more than two billion children in 122 countries with the oral vaccine.
Rotary and its partners have made great progress toward eradication, reducing the incidence of polio by more than 99 percent. In 2010, fewer than 1,000 polio cases were reported worldwide, down from 350,000 cases annually in the late 1980s. Even though the disease is today endemic to only four countries -- India, Nigeria, Afghanistan, and Pakistan -- children everywhere remain at risk as long as polio exists anywhere in the world.
In response to a $355 million challenge grant awarded to Rotary by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Rotary clubs worldwide are aiming to raise an additional $200 million by 2012. The organization has already raised more than $160 million toward that goal.
To cover the NYSE Closing Bell®, please register with Christiaan Brakman at 212-656-2094 or email@example.com.
For the video/audio feed of NYSE Closing Bell® (starting at 3:55 p.m. EST) go to Ascent loop #4009. Media seeking footage via The Switch should contact NYSE Broadcast at 212-656.5483. For video and still photos of Rotary’s End Polio Now illuminations of landmarks around the world, go to: www.thenewsmarket.com/rotaryinternational
Rotary is an organization of business and professional leaders who provide humanitarian service and help to build goodwill and peace in the world. There are 1.2 million Rotary members in 33,000 Rotary clubs in more than 200 countries and geographical areas. Rotary clubs have been serving communities worldwide for more than a century.