We did it!
It is my great pleasure and privilege to report to you that Lions have successfully met the Gates Challenge!
In the past year, all across the globe, Lions came together in support of One Shot, One Life: The Lions Measles Initiative by contributing an astounding US$10 million to help end the death and disease caused by measles. What a spectacular achievement!
As you know, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation promised to match every US$2 raised by Lions with US$1, if we reached our US$10 million goal. So, meeting the Gates Challenge means that Lions will be able to contribute a total of US$15 million this year to help protect the world's children from the brain damage, hearing loss, blindness and death caused by measles. Lions' dedication to combating this deadly disease is a clear demonstration of our deep commitment to protecting the health and well-being of our most vulnerable children. We have shown the world that we are not only Knights of the Blind but protectors of children, as well.
Although meeting the Gates Challenge was made possible through the efforts of all Lions, members in three countries contributed nearly US$6 million of the US$10 million raised and deserve our special thanks. The Lions of Multiple District 300 - Taiwan contributed US$2.9 million, the Lions of Japan mobilized US$2 million and the Lions of Korea provided nearly US$1 million! I am truly grateful to our fellow Lions in OSEAL for their extraordinary generosity.
Many of you have recently asked me whether or not Lions Clubs International Foundation would continue its efforts to combat measles once our US$10 million goal had been met. LCIF is currently working with the Gates Foundation to chart our future course and it is my sincere hope that Lions all over the world will continue to build upon this extraordinary achievement.
As Chairperson of our Foundation, and the father of three healthy children, I thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for rolling up your sleeves and getting to work on combating measles. Lions are giving the world's children a very precious gift: the chance to live a healthy life. It is my great hope that the day will soon come when no child's life is cut short by measles. I am so proud to be able to say that when that beautiful day does come, it will have been made possible, in part, through the efforts of Lions.
Chairperson, Lions Clubs International Foundation