DUNEDIN – Local Rotary clubs are participating in the international campaign to eradicate polio.
On Saturday, Feb. 23, Rotarians from each of the 49 clubs in District 6950, which represents Pinellas, Pasco, Hernando and Citrus counties, will be wearing STOP POLIO NOW T-shirts for Purple Pinkie Day.
Rotary Club of Dunedin members will be in front of the Dunedin Historical Museum, 349 Main St., Saturday, Feb. 23, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The Rotary
Club of Dunedin North members will be in front of the Walmart Neighborhood Market, 2102 Main St., those same hours.
Rotarians will have a cooler like the ones used to transport the vaccine to the villages where the children are immunized, a poster board showing the work of polio vaccinations, and Polio Comic books that speak to the history of polio in the United States. The goal of the event is to build public awareness of Rotary International, participation in local clubs, and Polio Plus.
“Donations will be gratefully accepted to use toward this important worldwide effort,” a Rotary news release said.
February 23 is World Rotary Day and the birthday of Rotary International.
In 1980, a group of 11 Rotary leaders came together to make a local club project into what became the first mass immunization of Philippine children against polio. In 1985, it became Polio Plus, an international initiative for the entire Rotary organization. Today Polio Plus has partnered with the United Nations, the World Health Organization and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and is working to eradicate polio.
Throughout the world, each time a Rotary volunteer administers a polio vaccine, a child’s pinkie is colored purple with the topical solution Gentian Violet – temporarily marking him or her to prevent double dosage on National Immunization Days.
For more information about Purple Pinkie Day, contact Lynn Wargo, Rotary Club of Dunedin, 733-3197, or Welch Agnew, Rotary Club of Dunedin North, at 459-1766.