The Rotary Club of Northborough asks the community to join with them in the fight to eradicate polio from our world on “Purple Pinky Day."
On Saturday, Oct. 27, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Rotarians will be in front of Strut, Cocobeni Confections and Ace Hardware located at Northboro Plaza collecting funds to help in their efforts to inoculate the children of the remaining four countries in the world with polio infections, so that this dreaded disease will never spread again.
For any donation ($1 suggested), the Rotarian volunteers will mark the pinky finger of the donor with a purple marker to signify how the little children have their pinkie fingers dyed purple when they receive the polio inoculation.
Rotary has chosen the week ending on Oct 27 for this fundraising event, because it is close to World Polio Day. Our members will join Rotarians worldwide on that day in this important effort to finally rid the world of this crippling disease.
When Rotary launched its PolioPlus program in 1985, there were more than 350,000 cases of polio each year in over 125 countries. Today, annual cases of polio have been reduced by 99 percent in the number of infections worldwide, with only Pakistan, Afghanistan and Nigeria remaining with infections.
Rotary’s top philanthropic goal is to eradicate polio worldwide.
To date, Rotary has contributed nearly $800 million and countless volunteer hours to the protection of more than two billion children in 122 countries. Rotary is currently working to raise an additional $200 million toward a $355 million challenge grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. These efforts are providing much needed operational support, medical personnel, laboratory equipment and educational materials for health workers and parents. In addition, Rotary has played a major role in decisions by donor governments to contribute over $4 billion to the effort.
Although the cause is an extremely serious one, our members want this to be a festive day, in which they can share their commitment to this cause with the members of the community. The table will be decorated with posters and we will have a cooler as our donation container, as the vaccine is transported and kept in coolers on inoculation trips. We want the people of the community to understand the seriousness of this cause and feel really great about supporting it.
Michelle Gillespie is the Northborough Rotary Club president