Semiahmoo Rotarian Stewart Peddemors carves a pumpkin in minutes. Contributed photo

COLUMN: Rotarian’s pumpkin-carving skills put to good use

Semiahmoo Peninsula Rotary roundup

Semiahmoo Rotarian Stewart Peddemors offered his incredible talent for carving pumpkins to help raise funds for the final push to eradicate polio from the world.

Stewart began carving at 7:58 a.m. on Thursday, Oct. 26. He completed the masterpiece piece in an astounding 23 minutes as it went up for auction at 8:21 a.m. Fellow Rotarian Charlotte Morton purchased the piece and displayed it at her store, C&K Courtesy Cleaners, just in time for Halloween.

The campaign to eradicate polio, a Rotary Foundation program called Polio Plus, was initiated in 1985.

In 1988, the World Health Assembly adopted the resolution that would set the world on its way towards global eradication of polio. At that time there were more than 350,000 cases of polio worldwide. With only 14 wild polio cases reported for 2017 as of last week, the final push is more important than ever to eradicate polio for good.

Rotary committed to raising $50 million per year over the next three years, with every dollar to be matched with two additional dollars from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. This expanded agreement will translate into $450 million for polio eradication activities, including immunization and surveillance over the next three years.

This critical funding helps ensure countries around the world remain polio-free, and that polio is ended in the remaining three endemic countries: Afghanistan, Nigeria and Pakistan.

Semiahmoo club has been busy all week helping the Hospice Society Thrift store with its expansion. Club members have been building walls, installing dry wall, windows and carpet. It’s a hands-on project that members thrive on.

Peace Arch club has their sixth annual Rotary Noel dinner at Washington Avenue Grill on Nov. 23 at 6 p.m. There will be a live and silent auction as well, all in support of the Peace Arch Hospice Society.

We would love to see you there! Tickets for the fundraising dinner are available by emailing

Allan Baedak writes monthly on behalf of the Semiahmoo Peninsula’s five Rotary Clubs.

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