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Notices and stories in this issue 3/1


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No Regular Meeting March 18, 2020
Join us at the Livery on 3/19, 5-8 pm
Meetings: Wednesdays, 7 am, Elks Lodge, 601 Riverview, Benton Harbor, MI 49023
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Stories in this issue

A Trip to Berlin

Polio Eradication Update

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A Trip to Berlin
  Our own Lee Scherwitz lived in Germany for 14 years, and he has made many trips back since then.  He lived in Germany when the Berlin Wall came down.
  The Berlin wall was built around and through the middle of Berlin after WWII.  It separated West Berlin from the rest of Berlin and all of East Germany. As the wall was being built, people ran, jumped, tunneled, and went in air balloons to escape before it was too late.   It was very difficult as the families, relatives, and friends were split up, there was not enough food, the people lost their joy and happiness, and except for the buildings close to the wall, the city was never reconstructed after the war. The analogy was going from color to a dingy, dark world. To go from Frankfort to Berlin, normally a 4-hour drive, would take a day and a half because of the check points. This presentation was a very emotional one because of these memories.
  In November of 1989, East Berlin got their freedom back and the wall was opened up.  People were chinking away at it, and when doorways were opened, painters painted the “door frames.” Lee’s daughter really wanted to go to Berlin after the New Year’s Eve celebration, so they went.  Freedom!! The joy in the streets was palpable.  Chink, chink, chink could be heard everywhere as people were taking down the wall and keeping pieces as part of living a piece of history.  Lee and his family joined in.  At the end of the day, Lee’s hands were bleeding from hammering and removing a part of the wall.  Prayers, anger, and a lot of emotion were there that day.  Freedom!  People’s eyes went from dull to sparkling.
Polio Eradication Update
The March 2020 issue of the Rotarian provided an update on the efforts to eradicate polio world wide. Rotary began the effort in 1985, enlisting the World Health Organization, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and governments. Rotarians have contributed $2.1 billion dollars, most of which the Gates Foundation matched $2 to $1.  The results are beyond imagination: 99.9 percent of the world is polio free; all of Africa, all of China, all of India, and all but two countries!  Only Pakistan and Afghanistan have live polio virus. More than 18 million children would have contracted polio without the efforts to immunize new populations. The Gates Foundation has extended the $2 for $1 match through 2023.  Please be part of making a polio-free-world by  making a donation at