Bill Davis (left) and Mike Kevlin (right) merited awards presented by Scott Rainey (second from left), Rotary past district governor. Davis received the “Serving Like a Champion Today” award while Kevlin was named a Paul Harris Fellow. With them is Rotary of Lake Houston President Kathryn Lemman. Photo by Tom Broad
There were only two cases of polio in the world last year, one in Afghanistan and one in Pakistan. That is quite a feat for a disease that frightened the world in the early part of the 20th century.
Still, for Wayne Staton, those are two cases too many.
While he supports many causes championed by Rotary International, his passion is the eradication of polio.
“Thank you for your support in ending polio,” Staton told members of the Rotary Club of Lake Houston at their weekly meeting Oct. 13. Like Rotary Clubs throughout the United States, the Lake Houston club has committed to eliminating polio throughout the world.
When it comes to polio, Staton who walks with a cane, knows what he is talking about. He is a polio survivor.
“I was 8 months old when I was taken to the doctor,” Staton recalled. “They told me it was a cold or the flu. It got worse. My next visit, I was paralyzed and the doctor said I had polio.”
Polio left Staton with a weak right hip and leg. He spent his youthful years in and out of hospitals enduring numerous operations.
“That was my life,” he told the Rotarians. “I was pretty tough, but there were times I cried myself to sleep. I don’t ever remember not having a leg brace.”

Polio hasn’t prevented Wayne Staton (right) from achieving his passion – eradicating polio. With him are Danny Contreras, past president, and Kathryn Lemman, current president of the Rotary Club of Lake Houston. Photo by Tom Broad

Staton couldn’t participate in many things that young boys like to do, although he said he eventually got the best sports job in school — as goalkeeper. In fact, he lettered. All this time, Staton was developing a passion for eradicating the disease that afflicted him.
“That’s why I joined Rotary,” he explained, “and I am here to thank you for your financial commitment and to remind you that, because of your efforts, Rotary’s efforts, we have saved 20 million kids around the world from the ravages of polio.”
In the early 20th century, few diseases frightened parents more than polio. At its peak, in 1952, the number of U.S. polio cases peaked at 58,000 resulting in 3,100 deaths. Rotary literature discloses that the number of worldwide polio cases has been reduced by 99.9 percent and more than 2.5 billion children have been inoculated with the vaccine first developed in 1955 by Dr. Jonas Salk at the University of Pittsburgh.
Wayne Staton is a Lynchburg, Virginia native. He graduated in physics from the University of Virginia, established his career in computers and eventually found his way to Houston where he is lead tech support analyst for BMC Software, and an enthusiastic advocate to eradicate polio worldwide.
“Read the Rotary Vision Statement,” Staton said as he projected it on the screen. “Together, we see a world where people unite and take action to create lasting change — across the globe, in our communities, and in ourselves.”
He asked the Lake Houston Rotarians to create lasting change by honoring and keeping their word to end polio.
Rotary’s weekly Wednesday noon meeting ended on a high note as Past District Gov. Scott Rainey presented Lake Houston Past President Mike Kevlin and the Lake Houston club with a Rotary Citation, the highest award a Rotary club can receive for their many achievements during 2020.
Rainey also named Kevlin a Paul Harris Fellow for his financial contribution to Rotary; Rainey presented Serving Like a Champion Today awards to Bill Davis and Chris Elliott.

To learn more about the advantages of being a Rotarian,
© 2021 The Tribune. Republished with permission.

Editor’s Note:
The Rotary Club of Lake Houston Area members and guests meet at 11:45 a.m. Wednesdays for their weekly lunch meeting at the Lake Houston Family YMCA, 2420 West Lake Houston Pkwy in Kingwood.
The Summer Creek Satellite Club meets the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays of the month at 8:30 a.m., at Generation Park 3rd floor Nimble Office Suite, 250 Assay St., Houston.

For more information about Rotary or membership, visit .