As I’ve shared with you before, it always gives me great pleasure to discuss with live audiences about my book, Once upon a Mulberry Field, and I welcome every opportunity to do so. Some of my favorite venues have been local civic clubs such as P.E.O. (Philanthropic Educational Organization), Rotary and Lions Clubs, etc. whose members are upstanding citizens actively involved in community service, some of whom also happen to be veterans.
On occasion the organizers were kind enough to present me with a memento after my talk, which I really appreciated, all the more since that wasn’t at all necessary. They’re all great keepsakes, these mementos, but a couple of them touched me in a unique, special way. Below, I’m including a photo of one that I’d like to share with you.
It is a certificate from the Rotary Club of San Marcos, and it reads: “In your honor a donation has been made to the Rotary International Polio Plus Campaign to vaccinate 30 children against the polio virus as part of Rotary’s global effort to eradicate the world of polio.”
I also received a similar certificate from the Rotary Club of Tahoe-Incline last year on the occasion of my book presentation there. I can’t tell you just how much these mementos mean to me, as reminders that some good has taken place in the world and I actually had a tiny, indirect part in it. This whole experience also carries additional meaning for me because growing up I had a young cousin who was struck by this virus, with devastating consequences.
Here in the US we’re very fortunate that polio has been declared eradicated since 1979 with the vaccine developed by Dr. Jonas Salk in the very city I now call home, San Diego. But the fight against this dreadful disease is still being fought in many underprivileged parts of the world. I hope you will join me in supporting Rotary International and other organizations in their valiant effort to rid our planet of this scourge. As Dr. Salk would remind us, “Hope lies in dreams, in imagination, and in the courage of those who dare to make dreams into reality.”
Thank you very much, and I wish all of you a Wonderful Holiday Season and a Happy New Year!