BRIDGTON — Bridgton-Lake Region Rotary Club President Julie Forbes contracted polio at age 2.

Although she dreamed of being a cheerleader as a youngster, academics would become her strength. Lengthy hospitalizations were normal in her early years. But she was one of the lucky ones, having found relief from, then studying, homeopathy and other natural medicines. Today she is a Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine, DN, in Bridgton.

When Portland Sunrise Rotary Club President AnnLee Hussey, a polio survivor herself, suggested their clubs collaborate to support a polio fundraiser, Forbes was on board. The clubs are raising funds by selling packages of purple crocus bulbs. Purple has long been the color of polio awareness due to the practice of dying a child’s finger purple when they have received their vaccine booster.

“We hope folks will be able to support it in a small or a large way,” Forbes said. “Our project is smaller, more local, sustainable and beautiful. The club wants to involve as many people in the Lakes Region as possible.  Immediately stepping up was Bridgton Hospital, our club’s first corporate club member. Peter Wright, CEO and long-time Rotarian, will host an event on Saturday, Oct. 24, World Polio Day. The event will be highlighted by the planting of 2,500 crocus bulbs into the form of the Rotary wheel. More details on the event will be announced later.”

Those wishing may purchase one or more packages of 25 purple crocus bulbs from the Bridgton-Lake Region Rotary Club.  The purchase is available to individuals, families, groups and organizations. All proceeds will be donated to Rotary International’s Polio Plus program.

Due to a 2:1 matching pledge from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, every $10 contribution becomes $30, multiplying the impact. Checks can be made out to Bridgton Rotary Foundation and mailed to Bridgton Rotary, P.O. Box 845, Bridgton, ME  04009.  Note that the check is for the Polio Project.  For more information, contact Forbes at [email protected]

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