BELOIT —In the next two weeks, Rotary Club of Beloit members will be asked to contribute to Rotary International’s efforts to combat polio.

For more than 30 years, Rotary International has striven to eradicate polio worldwide. When Rotary International and its partners formed the Global Polio Eradication Initiative in 1988, there were 350,000 cases of polio in 125 countries every year. Today, polio cases have been reduced by 99.9 percent.

Rotary International has committed to raising $50 million per year for polio eradication. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has pledged to match that 2-to-1, for a total commitment of $150 million each year.

Longtime Beloit Rotarian, Tom Lasse, has challenged his fellow members by matching their donations up to $5,000. Lasse has an underlying passion to eradicate polio, as his mother was a nurse who worked with polio patients back when it was still a very contagious disease.