Suzan Abrams gave a presentation on the Purple Pinkie's for Polio fundraiser being held at local Katy schools. Rotary is spearheading the eradication of Polio throughout the world. Even though no wild strain of polio in the U.S. has been found in nearly three decades, it is still prevalent in a few countries. Seven Lakes is working on a fundraiser on November 19th and 20th. During the lunch break,students will get their fingers painted purple for a dollar and all proceeds go to the International Rotary Polio fund.




As part of a US$355 million challenge grant awarded to Rotary by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Rotary clubs worldwide are aiming to raise a total of US$200 million by 2012.   The funding will provide critical support to polio eradication activities, including the distribution of a new, more effective bivalent polio vaccine that was recently approved for use in the coming months, for countries still battling the disease in parts of Africa and South Asia. 

A highly infectious disease, polio causes paralysis and is sometimes fatal.  As there is no cure, the best protection is prevention. For as little as US 60 cents worth of vaccine, a child can be protected against this crippling disease for life.  After an international investment of US$6.22 billion, and the successful engagement of over 200 countries and 20 million volunteers, polio could be the first disease of the 21st century to be eradicated.

The Global Polio Eradication Initiative is spearheaded by the World Health Organization, Rotary International, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF).  It includes the support of governments and private sector donors.

Since 1985, eradicating polio worldwide has been Rotary's top philanthropic goal.  In addition to the funds announced today, Rotary has contributed more than $800 million and countless volunteer hours to the protection of more than two billion children in 122 countries.    The disease remains endemic in just four countries -- Afghanistan, India, Nigeria, and Pakistan -- although other countries remain at risk for imported cases.