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Bonita’s Shots for Tots Reaches 20-year Milestone
The Rotary Club of Bonita Springs involved in Vaccinating 7,800 Children
Bonita Springs, Fla. – (Sept. 9, 2014) –The Shots for Tots session at the First Presbyterian Church of Bonita Springs last Tuesday evening marked the end of a 20-year campaign that has provided free vaccinations to 7,800 children in the area to protect them from childhood diseases.
A joint effort of The Rotary Club of Bonita Springs, the Lee County Health Department and First Presbyterian Church, the program started in January 1995, and has offered the shots on the first Tuesday of every month, missing only one session because of a hurricane threat. A total of nearly 17,000 shots have been administered, including immunizations against polio, measles, mumps, chicken pox and a dozen other ailments that threaten children’s health.
“The program was begun at the request of the Children’s Services Council which asked the Rotary Club to help establish a clinic in the area, because many families did not have access to local health providers or the Health Department clinic in Fort Myers,” said Ira Hawk, a Rotarian at the forefront of the immunization effort for the past two decades. “A high percentage of the children served have been Hispanic and other minorities. Our club members have been faithful volunteers at these monthly clinics and we are most grateful for the Church facilities that have been our home for 20 years.”
Hawk In 2006, Lee County Commissioners proclaimed Tuesday, April 25, as Ira B. Hawk Day for his involvement in the Shots for Tots program.
The program is being discontinued because the Health Department will no longer have personnel available to provide these services outside its own facilities.
Chartered in 1978, The Rotary Club of Bonita Springs is a diverse group of 100 business professionals and civic leaders who take an active role in the communities they serve. The club is part of Rotary International, a service organization with more than 1.2 million members in 200 countries who bring needed humanitarian improvements to some of the most impoverished parts of the world, as well as in local Southwest Florida communities.
Photo #1: Sign publicizing Bonita’s Shots for Tots program no longer will be needed at First Presbyterian Church of Bonita Springs.
Photo #2: Rotarian Ira Hawk, Bonita’s Shots for Tots leader for two decades.