NORTHBOROUGH, Mass. — The Northborough Rotary Club will be out collecting money Saturday to pay for polio vaccinations in countries where the disease is still prevalent. The event has been dubbed "Purple Pinkie Day."
Rotarians will be in front of Strut, CocoBeni and Ave Hardware at the Northborough Plaza on Saturday, Oct. 27, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Those who donate will have their pinkies colored with a purple marker to represent the children whose pinkies are dyed purple after they receive the polio vaccine.
"Our members will join Rotarians worldwide on that day in this important effort to finally rid the world of this crippling disease," said Northborough Rotary President Michelle Gillespie.
Eradicating polio is one of Rotary International’s top goals, and the organization has given nearly $800 million to inoculation efforts in 122 countries to date. When Rotary launched its PolioPlus program in 1985, there were still over 350,000 polio cases each year in 125 countries. Today, cases have dropped by 99 percent, and only Pakistan, Afghanistan and Nigeria experience infections.
"Although the cause is an extremely serious one," Gillespie said, "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."