Dutch Rotarians sold a new variety of tulip at a fundraising auction to benefit Rotary's polio eradication effort in 2013. It quickly spread and came to Canada two years ago. Local Rotary member Carol purchased bulbs from Vesey's and they are blooming now.
Read on for more about the End Polio Now initiative and the story of the End Polio Now Tulip.

Tulipa. Rotary International has been working to eradicate polio for more than 30 years and the goal of ridding the world of this disease is closer than ever. As a founding partner of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative, Rotary has reduced polio cases by 99.9% since the first project to vaccinate children in the Philippines in 1979. Rotarians around the world have helped immunize more than 2.5 billion children in 122 countries and so far, Rotary has contributed more than $1.8 billion toward eradicating this disease. 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. 

Dutch Rotarians have led the world in using tulips to benefit this critical polio eradication project. What began as the purchase of rights to name and sell a new variety of tulip during a 2013 charity auction, this idea has blossomed into a continuing and internationally successful fundraiser. In the first few years of launching this initiative, over 1.5 million tulips were sold, generating approximately $2,000,000 US to fight polio. Thanks to the breeding and cultivation of these beautiful tulips by Dutch grower Jan Lichthart, this Rotary initiative has spread to Switzerland, Germany, France, the USA and is now is in its second year in Canada through the efforts of Vesey’s and their Rotarian member employees. 

The beauty of this program is that the only organization benefitting from the sale of these tulips is Rotary. Every step along the way from grower to packaging, exporter to retailer, net proceeds (approx. $18.25 per box) from the sale of these bulbs will go directly to the Polio Eradication Program. Add to this the generous matching funds by the Gates Foundation and the end result becomes triple the initial contribution. Each purchase of the End Polio Now tulip will be shipped in this very attractive gift box containing 25 of these beautiful bulbs. And before you ask… the word tulip is not misspelled… it’s simply the Dutch version of the word! This lovely packaging also explains the polio program and provides detailed planting instructions. Show the world that you care and be part of this tremendous eradication program through your purchase of this very special and life changing tulip. Height 16-20". Bulb size: 12cm+.