April 2, 2013

South Berwick woman to be honored at White House

By Gillian Graham ggraham@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

SOUTH BERWICK — A South Berwick woman is among 12 Rotary International members who will be honored Friday at the White House as "Champions of Change."

Ann Lee Hussey, a Rotarian and polio survivor, has spent the last 12 years leading teams of volunteers to developing countries to immunize children against polio.

The Champions of Change program was created to allow the White House to feature groups of Americans who are doing extraordinary things to empower and inspire members of their communities.

“Collectively, these Rotary Club members have touched the lives of thousands of people – whether by improving health and providing health services, preventing hunger, supporting our poor communities,  empowering unemployed, addicted, or homeless adults, or caring for students," said Paulette Aniskoff, deputy assistant to the president and director of the White House Office of Public Engagement.

Hussey has led 14 teams and participated in an additional seven immunization campaigns. Her work has taken her to Chad, Mali, Bangladesh, Niger, Nigeria and remote areas of Egypt and India. She recently helped provide 600 wheelchairs for Nigerian polio survivors.

"Through her work with the Rotary, Ann Lee has demonstrated an incredible commitment to eradicating polio by traveling to far corners of the globe to administer vaccines. She has prevented thousands of people from getting the disease while offering heartfelt support for those who have fallen victim to it," Congresswoman Chellie Pingree said in a prepared statement. "We all have something to learn from her courage, compassion and tenacity. As a survivor of polio herself, she has found strength in her struggle and has used it to quite literally make the world a better place." 

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