UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador and Actress, Mia Farrow, Meets With New York and Bermuda Rotarians

Award winning film actress, Mia Farrow personally thanked New York City area and Bermuda Rotarians for the near-eradication of polio from the planet. She spoke at the Rotary District 7230 Annual Conference held in Tarrytown, New York on April 28, 2006. Ms. Farrow was appointed United Nations International Children’s Fund (UNICEF) Goodwill Ambassador in 2000. Since then, she has visited Nigeria and many other developing countries to participate in polio immunization campaigns on behalf of the United Nations in partnership with Rotary International. Mia joined the ranks of thousands of health professionals and volunteers as they have nearly immunize every child under the age of five. Ms. Farrow fell victim to polio when she was 9 years old while growing up in affluent Beverly Hills, California. She remembers those days well, and it changed her outlook on life. In addition, her adoptive son, Thaddeus, who was born in India, also contracted polio and is wheelchair dependent. Mia and her family therefore live the devastating effects of polio every day. She told Rotarians that her son's legs are atrophied and he needs to drag himself along the floor by his arms when he is not in a wheel chair. Ms. Farrow told the Rotarians that"In this great county of ours we make a lot of accommodations, but in the developing world everyday-life for polio victims is much more difficult. But thanks to the efforts of Rotary, 1.4 million children have been spared from this disease." In her friendly and personable manner the actress presented District Governor and past-president of the Rotary Club of New York, Helen Reisler, with a plaque thanking all Rotarians for the quest to eradicate polio. In return, Governor Helen presented the Goodwill Ambassador with a Paul Harris Fellowship and Mia graciously accepted it on behalf of the 1.4 million children that Rotary's program has saved. She asked that Rotarins invite her back once the Polio-Plus programs is completed and the world is certified polio-free. (In the photo, 85 year young , Rotary Club of New York's own Honorary Traveling Ambassador, "Uncle" Billy Delong outlines the friendship symbols of the "Pennsylvania Dutch". )

Thomas McConnon