Edina Rotarian Tim Murphy was recently awarded the Regional Service Award for a Polio Free World for 2021-2022 by Rotary International in recognition of significant active personal service toward the goal of polio eradication. He was one of only eight Rotarians or Rotaractors worldwide to receive this competitive award.
Murphy, a member of the Rotary Club of Edina since 1995, has been a passionate champion and supporter of polio eradication, Rotary International’s signature project. Since 1988, Rotary and its partners have reduced the number of wild poliovirus cases by over 99.99 percent. In 1988, there were 350,000 global cases in 125 countries. Last year, there were five total wild poliovirus cases in just two countries, Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Murphy has not only been an active Rotarian, but an outstanding leader in the organization. He served as Club President in 2006-2007 and District Governor in 2015-2016. In addition to serving as District Governor, he has served 5950 as International Project Chair, District Grants Subcommittee Chair, District Rotary Foundation Chair/Programs, a Group Study Exchange Team Leader and a member of the District 5950 Foundation Board of Directors. Passionate about sharing his Rotary story and Ending Polio, he has presented at the District 9200 Conference in East Africa, at several Zone Institutes, numerous President- Elect Training Seminars, and The Rotary Foundation (TRF) Arch Klumph Award ceremonies.
Dedicated to PolioPlus, Murphy oversaw the District 5950’s Safe Water Plus Program expansion to Kenya, Malawi, Uganda, Guatemala and Honduras. He developed an international service project tracking system for four international locations and created a reporting system that monitored Club, District and TRF contributions totaling more than $3 million.
“Tim Murphy is the most deserving yet most self-effacing advocate for Rotary’s polio eradication initiative I’ve ever had the pleasure to know,” said District 5950 Polio Chair Tim Mulcrone, a member of the Rotary Club of Chanhassen, Minnesota. “He has quietly negotiated the donation of hundreds of thousands of dollars for polio eradication and then casually passed off the credit to others. As District Governor in 2015-2016, he teamed District 5950 with Courage Kenney for a first-ever Post Polio Syndrome Conference, which was a tremendous success. Tim’s father was a polio survivor. That personal connection, combined with a deep respect for Rotary’s promise to pursue a polio-free world, have made Tim a cherished and legendary Rotarian.”
Past District Tom Gump of the Rotary Club of Edina Morningside echoed those comments. “Tim Murphy is my role model. He leads with his heart and by example,” he said. “He has served as Zone End Polio Now Coordinator for six years. He knows many people in our paired Zones. When Tim went to a meeting and talked about the need to support The Rotary Foundation’s efforts to eradicate polio, the audience acted not only because he inspired them, but also because we all trust him and believe in The Rotary Foundation. For the past six years, Tim Murphy has made it to my club almost every year to talk about eradicating polio and how we should support The Rotary Foundation’s efforts in this area.”
Robert McLean, Region 36/Zone 29 End Polio Now Coordinator and member of the Rotary Club of Central Lakes in Pequot Lakes, Minnesota, read a letter from Rotary International Director, Suzi Howe, announcing the award and presented Murphy with the prestigious award at the Rotary Club of Edina’s July 14 meeting. Murphy received a handsomely framed certificate signed by the Chair of the Rotary International Board of Trustees for The Rotary Foundation, John Germ. Murphy received a standing ovation from his family and fellow Rotarians in attendance.