Purple Pinky Fingers Bring Awareness to Polio in Dunedin
Rotary Club volunteers were stationed outside businesses in Dunedin on Saturday, Feb. 23, painting people's pinky fingers to bring awareness and raise money for polio immunizations worldwide.
You may have seen people wearing red T-shirts painting the pinky fingers of passersby purple outside some of your weekend destinations in Dunedin on Saturday.
It wasn't a bizarre dream. It was a message from Dunedin area Rotary Club members about the realities of a potentially devastating childhood virus.
Volunteers from Rotary Club of Dunedin, Rotary Club of Dunedin North, and Rotary Club of Dunedin Waterside were stationed outside the Dunedin Historical Museum, Walmart Neighborhood Market, and Honeymoon Island State Park on "Purple Pinky Day" Saturday, Feb. 23 collecting donations and trying bring awareness to polio — an intestinal virus that not just claims people worldwide, but also struck one of their own, survivor Welch Agnew, Dunedin North Club president, said Jim Haley, Rotary Club of Dunedin member.
Painting people's pinky fingers, Haley said, "is what we do to the children to keep track of who has been immunized and who has not."
The virus is still "endemic in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Nigeria," according to Rotary Club members. Only two drops of the vaccine is needed for an effective immunization. Sadly, immunization volunteers were recently murdered by extremists in all three countries, the Rotary Club says.
The Rotary Clubs in the area District (6950) covers from Hernando County to St Pete, are all trying to spread the "End Polio Now" news that Rotary has been involved in since the mid 1980s.
We are very close to completing the mission. Because this has not been a recent issue in the United States, we forget the devastation this can cause. If this is not eradicated around the world, then it could spread and once again become a problem here.
As little as $15 pays for 25 doses of vaccine for children in other countries.
To donate, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the Rotary Club's national Polio Plus campaign website for more information.
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[Last updated Thursday, Feb. 28, 2013 at 9:33 a.m.]