Purple pinkies help end polio

BAR HARBOR — In honor of World Polio Day, the Bar Harbor (MDI) Rotary Club will host Purple Pinkie Day on Oct. 27 as a part of Rotary’s 33-year mission to battle the childhood disease.

The Rotary club and members of MDI High School’s Interact Club will paint pinkies for $1 to promote polio awareness at multiple locations in Bar Harbor. All the money will go to polio vaccinations in countries not yet declared clear of polio, which are currently Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Nigeria.

Rotarians will be at The Independent cafe and the Thirsty Whale from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Club members will also paint pinkies at an outdoor table between The First National Bank and Bar Harbor Bank & Trust.

In 1985, Rotary International launched the Polio Plus program. Its goal is to eradicate the highly infectious disease. Polio causes paralysis and is sometimes fatal. As there is no cure, the best protection is prevention. The number of cases has decreased by 99.9 percent since 1988, and this year there have been only 14 cases in Afghanistan and four cases in Pakistan.

Recent news of 60 children stricken with a polio-like virus in Minnesota brings polio’s impact back into cultural memory.

Contact the local Rotary Club at www.mdirotary.org.

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