The Norwich Rotary club raised $2440.  that will be matched by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundations, making a total of $7320. That will be used to continue the fight to eradicate Polio.


The Norwich Rotary club members participated in World Polio Day, which is October 24th. By  getting a "purple pinkie", and challenging others to join them. 

When Rotarians and health workers immunize children for polio in remote areas, they identify the children who has receive the polio vaccine by marking the pinkie with a purple marker.

Two groups in Norwich accepted the challenge.

The Norwich Fire Department responded quickly and had a little fun painting their pinkies purple.  Lt. Michael Dziavit organized the Fire Department’s response to the Rotary Club challenge and presented a check to club President Andrew Nollman on Wednesday.  Lt. Dziavit said the men and women of the Norwich Fire Department were proud to be part of effort to eradicate Polio, and appreciated the fact that Rotary with the support of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation will triple their donation. 

A group of students from Three Rivers Community College also accepted the Challenge.  Juntao “Rex” Huang, a student at TRCC organized the challenge and also presented the money raised to Rotary on Wednesday.  Rex let us know that the students were happy to participate but did not want their pinkie’s painted purple for the day.

Rotary began immunizing millions of children against polio in the 1970s, first in the Philippines and then in other high-risk countries. When we started, more than 125 countries were polio-endemic.

Today we are down to three, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Nigeria. “The problem is that Polio anywhere is a risk to children everywhere.”  Said Bonnie Hong, the Polio Chair for Rotary.  Substantial progress has been made, but like the Ebola virus it can be quickly and easily spread to non-endemic country.  There were over 20 cases of polio in non-endemic areas so far this year.