Polio is an infectious disease that effects the brain and spine and can be fatal. The disease only exists in a few countries and there’s no cure, but vaccines are the best way to stop the disease from spreading, that’s why funding efforts have been created like World Polio Day.
The University of Maine at Presque Isle and the Presque Isle Rotary Club have teamed up for the second annual purple pinkie project. It’s in effort to raise awareness and money to eradicate polio from throughout the world. Ralph McPherson, president of the Presque Isle rotary club say that “it just means that we’re this much closer to eradicating polio, I’m very proud to be part of this cause, for every dollar we raise, it’s matched by the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation from 2 to 1, so and every dollar that we raise saves a childs life so we’re getting closer.”
Presque Isle high school had an excellent turn out Thursday morning with students and staff and raised over a 175 dollars in about and hour and half. A Presque Isle Rotary Club member staffing the station there says, “when they found out what we were doing and how much we were being matched by the Bill and Melinda foundation, 2 dollars for every 1 dollar we raise, they reached into their pockets and gave even more.”
The efforts to remove the remaining 1 percent of polio that exists in world has reached the ears of many folks in the community. Although Polio does not exist in the U.S, the Presque Isle rotary club has teamed with UMPI to host World Polio Day, and is partnering with the World Heath Organization to rise money for vaccines which volunteer will bring to countries like Afghanistan, Nigeria and Pakistan, where Polio still exists.