Rotary Club Pattaya Marina masquerade ball raises funds to End Polio Now

President Saowanee Thongkum, (centre) of the Pattaya Marina Rotary Club together with 4 lovely Rotarians symbolically saying “We are this close to ending Polio”.

The Rotary Club Pattaya Marina hosted a gala dinner to raise money for polio vaccines as part of the international group’s mission to eradicate the debilitating virus from the entire globe.

Pantida Rojwannasin, governor of Rotary District 3340, and Saowanee Thongkum, president of the Pattaya Marina Rotary Club, welcomed Thai and foreign members to the World Polio Day black-tie event at the Siam Bayshore Resort & Spa Oct. 21.

A big portion of the 1800-baht tickets for the masked ball will go toward the Rotary’s Polio Plus program and purchase vaccines for children.

While two of three strains of naturally occurring “wild” polio have been eradicated from the earth, Type 1 remains in circulation, predominantly in Pakistan and Afghanistan. However, the virus, which can lead to paralysis and death, was found again recently in places it was thought to have been wiped out, including Mozambique, Malawi, the United States, United Kingdom and Israel.

More money was raised through a lucky draw for raffle prizes.
Rotary International launched Polio Plus in 1985 three years before the Global Polio Eradication Initiative was begun. At that time, polio was present in more than 125 countries and paralyzed about 1,000 children per day.

Immunization efforts that have reached nearly 3 billion children – including 2.5 million Rotary’s efforts were involved in – and the incidence of polio has decreased by 99% since then.

Assistant Governor PP Dr. Olivier Meyer of the Rotary Club Pattaya Marina gave a very informative presentation and talk on polio saying Rotarians have contributed more than US$2 billion not to mention countless volunteer-hours in the past 30 years to protect three billion children in the world from polio.


Saowanee Thongkum, (left) president of the Pattaya Marina Rotary Club and Dao Micallef speak to Saijai Sakulwongthana a wheelchair-bound woman who narrated the true-to-life story of how unknowingly she was infected with the polio disease when she was young.

Dr. Olivier Meyer and President Saowanee Thongkum present a contribution for The Rotary Foundation to District Governor Pantida Rojwannasin witnessed by Nantachai Rojwannasin and PP Gerard Porcon.

Members of the Rotary Club of Plutaluang were also in attendance to support the Rotary End Polio Now initiative.

Elfi Seitz won the prize for the best costume with her Gangubai Indian dress.

PP Eric Larbouillat, Rolf Ruegg and PP Gerard Porcon.