Three area Rotary Clubs – The Rotary Club of Bangor, Bangor Area Rotary Club and Old Town Rotary Club – are joining forces to host a Purple Pinkie Project in recognition of World Polio Day on October 24.

On Oct. 24, and throughout the week, organizers and volunteers will “paint” the region purple when they present the Purple Pinkie Project. Because purple pinkies serve as symbols for polio immunizations, for a donation of $1 (the cost of a single immunization), volunteers will color pinkies purple to help raise money for polio eradication. Funds raised will go toward Rotary International’s End Polio Now efforts.

“We are so pleased to bring attention in our local communities to Rotary International’s Polio Plus project,” said Scott Boucher, Assistant Governor for Area 9 Rotary Clubs. “Our goal is to see hundreds of purple pinkies during this special awareness week, and to encourage everyone to wear purple, especially for the celebration on October 24.”

locally, a Purple Pinkie table will be set up during the Old Town Rotary Club’s weekly meeting on Oct. 22 at the Black bear Inn, where donations for the cause will be collected. A presentation on the current status of polio and the eradication efforts taking place worldwide will follow for all Rotarians and guests. The presentation will provide an opportunity for community members to visit their local Rotary club, to participate in the Purple Pinkie Project and to learn more about Polio Plus.

For the general public, Rotary volunteers will be on hand to color the pinkies of anyone wishing to donate $1 toward Rotary International’s “End Polio Now” campaign (multiple digits may be painted for $1 each). Community members are encouraged to visitThe Alfond Center, University of Maine on Oct. 23 for the opening game for the Black Bear Men’s Hockey team, beginning at 5:30 pm.

On the evening of Oct. 24, a celebration will be hosted by the three local clubs at the Sea Dog, located on the waterfront in Bangor. Purple beer will be served and donations will be collected for Polio Plus. Rotarians and community members are invited to join in the celebration.

Similar Purple Pinkie projects are being held by Rotary Clubs around the United States, with people donating $1 to have their pinkies marked with the same purple dye used when Rotary International conducts polio immunizations in locations around the world where the disease still exists. When a child is immunized, Rotarians mark their pinkies with a topical purple dye to prevent double dosages, and to identify those who have not yet been immunized. Through Rotary International’s efforts, polio has been eradicated in all but 2 countries worldwide. The goal of eradicating the disease altogether grows closer with each immunization.

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