$800,000 Gift for Polio Eradication

On March 18, 2022, The Rotary Foundation Canada received a very generous gift of CAN $800,000.00 (US $630,000.00) from the Estate of Marie McGee.
Kevin Power President Rotary Club of Toronto, Rick Goldsmith President of The Rotary Club of Toronto Charitable Foundation, Robert O’Brien Director and Secretary TRFC and Past President RCT, Prince Kumar President of The Rotary Club of Toronto 2021/2022
The bequest was made in her will to the Rotary Club of Toronto Charitable Foundation for the specific designated purpose of polio eradication and the Rotary Club of Toronto Charitable Foundation in turn has made the donation to The Rotary Foundation Canada.
The presentation of the gift was made at the Rotary Club of Toronto meeting. Attending virtually were Past RI President and Trustee Chair John Germ, Chair of The Rotary Foundation Canada and Trustee Dean Rohrs and Past Trustee Chair and Past International Polio Plus Committee Chair Dr. Bob Scott.
There was a large posterboard cheque presented in the name of The Rotary Foundation of Canada in the amount of $811,445.87 from the The Rotary Club of Toronto Charitable Foundation and was accepted in proxy for Dean Rohr by a director of the TRFC and Past President of the Rotary Club of Toronto.
In accepting the gift Dean Rohrs stated, “You make my heart sing for Rotary. And you make my heart sing for the children of the world, it's a gift beyond what words can say. It has a meaning so intense, and so strong that it really, it defies description you have made this gift to us, to the Rotary Foundation, and to the children of the world”.
John Germ stated that, “When we talk about polio and a polio free world, this money is going to do so much and protect so many children around the world, the $800,000 is going to be matched two to one by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.”
“Just think about all the lives $2.4 million dollars is going to change. It is not just the money that is important. It's what that money can do. That money is going to help us reach our goal of the eradication of polio.”
Dr. Bob Scott stated, “This gift will make a tremendous difference in the near time and in the long time because there will be children running and playing because of the funds that have been donated today and we thank you so much.”
Marie McGee was a remarkable human being.  Her life story was shared by her cousin Marnie Walker who was presenting livestream from Panama. Marie was born in Toronto and lived her whole life there until her passing in January 2020 at the young age of 89.  She spent her summers on Lake Simcoe where her mother had grown up and her extended family was. It was many happy times.
Marie was the daughter of Jack and Hanna Hart. She was predeceased by her husband Dan McGee.
Marie contracted polio when she was 4 years old.  She tells stories about being in bed for a year and her father turning her.  The polio left her with very deformed feet, but Marie was determined to walk and walk she did until her passing.
Marie never viewed herself as handicapped and therefore she wasn’t. Her sunny disposition and dry sense of humor meant she always was surrounded by friends and enjoying life.  
She worked for many years at the United Church head office. She was a gifted singer and sang in choirs until she was in her 80´s. 
Polio profoundly affected her. Although she was not a Rotarian, her gift to End Polio Now was her special and significant way of making sure other children did not suffer as she had.
Marie McGee will posthumously be inducted into the Arch Klumph Society.
Learn more about how to support The Rotary Foundation in your estate plans - https://www.rotary.org/en/rotary-endowment