By Margaret Sheard …..
On Saturday 30th September, we attended a BBQ at Blakes Lounge Bar and Bistro in Alsancak which was organised by the Rotary Club of Kyrenia Cosmopolitan to raise funds for the Rotary Polio Fund.
It was a social event and both the inside area and the outside terrace area of Blakes, were full with people wanting to show their support for the Rotary Polio Fund as well as catching up with fellow Rotarians and guests.
We were welcomed by Gloria Tattersall, who found us somewhere to sit which happened to be at the same table as Hakki Műftűzade and his wife Behiye and their friends. We hadn’t seen Hakki and Behiye for some time so it was nice to meet up with them again.
We also had a chance to say hello to Gultach Ozsan who has recently been appointed for a term as President of Rotary Club of Kyrenia Cosmopolitan.
Gloria gave a speech to the guests about the importance of totally eradicating polio worldwide and following are some of the points brought to the attention of those present:
- Poliomyelitis (polio) is a paralyzing and potentially fatal disease that still threatens children in some parts of the world. The poliovirus invades the nervous system and can cause total paralysis in a matter of hours. It can strike at any age but mainly affects children under five. Polio is incurable, but completely vaccine-preventable.
- In 1985, Rotary launched its PolioPlus program, the first initiative to tackle global polio eradication through the mass vaccination of children. Rotary has contributed more than $1.7 billion and countless volunteer hours to immunize more than 2.5 billion children in 122 countries.
- Today, there are only three countries that have never stopped transmission of the wild poliovirus: Afghanistan, Nigeria and Pakistan. Just 37 polio cases were confirmed worldwide in 2016, which is a reduction of more than 99.9 percent since the 1980s, when the world saw about 1,000 cases per day. The polio cases represented by the remaining one percent are the most difficult to prevent, due to factors including geographical isolation, poor public infrastructure, armed conflict and cultural barriers. Until polio is eradicated, all countries remain at risk of outbreaks.
- Rotary will raise $50 million per year over the next three years, with every dollar to be matched with two additional dollars from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
I suspect there are many people, like me, who have been under the impression that polio no longer exists, and it is worrying to think that unless this can be totally eradicated throughout the whole of the world, it is a potential risk to every country that has been free of polio for so long.
There was a raffle to raise money for the Rotary Polio Fund, which was to be drawn later in the evening and while the tickets were being sold, most people were starting to enjoy the delicious BBQ chicken, which had been emanating a lovely aroma from the front car park, accompanied by rice, potato salad and coleslaw.
Delia and her staff at Blakes never stopped running around making sure all the guests were fed and had drinks, they really worked hard and still kept smiling. Although we visited and wrote an article about Blakes shortly after it opened in December 2016, we have not found the time to visit for a meal or an entertainment evening, and I must say we found it to be a very nice relaxing atmosphere and will try and make time to visit and try the new winter menu which has just been made available. You can view this by clicking here
We spoke with Mally Torris, who did a great job of raising funds for the Children in Need Foundation in North Cyprus for many years, and she was trying to raise some more money to be added to the raffle proceeds, by asking guests if they would like to contribute a further 10TL. Mally felt it is important to give help where she can.
The amount raised at the event was 2,500TL which includes Mally’s additional donations from the guests.
A very successful evening for Rotary Club of Kyrenia Cosmopolitan and thanks must be given to Gloria and her team for their brilliant organisation, to Blakes Lounge Bar and Bistro for keeping everyone happy and to Peter Dawson for entertaining us.