Peter Teahen and John Ockenfels raised awareness for polio eradication by piloting a single engine aircraft all the way around the globe!

Peter and John took off from Cedar Rapids, Iowa May 5, 2023 in a Cessna T210M (single engine) airplane. Along the way, they encouraged support of ending polio forever throughout the world.

Both Peter and John are pilots, Rotarians, and members of the Fellowship of Flying Rotarians. Polio eradication has been a primary focus of Rotary for over 35

years and continues to be a major initiative. While the end of polio may be near, no child anywhere is safe until every child has been vaccinated.

The pilots, Peter Teahen and John Ockenfels covered the entire cost of the flight as well as took time away from their careers and lives to help end polio.
Polio, or poliomyelitis, is a paralyzing and potentially deadly infectious disease that most commonly affects children under the age of 5. The virus spreads from person to person, typically through contaminated

water. It can then attack the nervous system.


Rotary has been working to eradicate polio for more than 35 years. Our goal of

ridding the world of this disease is closer than ever.

As a founding partner of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative, we've

reduced polio cases by 99.9 percent since our first project to vaccinate children

in the Philippines in 1979

Rotary members have contributed more than $2.1 billion and countless volunteer

hours to protect nearly 3 billion children in 122 countries from this paralyzing

disease. Rotary’s advocacy efforts have played a role in decisions by

governments to contribute more than $10 billion to the effort.

Today, polio remains endemic only in Afghanistan and Pakistan. But it’s crucial to

continue working to keep other countries polio-free. If all eradication efforts

stopped today, within 10 years, polio could paralyze as many as 200,000 children

each year.

Peter and John will be speaking about their journey at the Tuesday, October 10

meeting of the Rotary of Damariscotta-Newcastle, 7:15-8:30 am, at the CLC Y,

525 Main Street, Damariscotta. The public is welcome and invited.