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Traverse City Rotary goes purple for Polio

Photo Provided by Traverse City Noon Rotary Club
Traverse City's Noon Rotary Club holds their purple pinkies up high for World Polio Day on Monday, October 24th.

Have you noticed any purple-tipped pinkies recently?

Over 100 people in Traverse City have painted their pinky fingers purple to raise awareness and funds for Polio eradication.

The event was organized by Susan Kraus of Traverse City’s Noon Rotary Club.

“The purple pinky is what health workers would do to indicate that a child has been already vaccinated so they don't double dose them,” Kraus said.

She said her purple pinky has sparked lots of conversation this week about polio immunization.

“Everybody asked me about it,” Kraus said. “We've been able to generate awareness and discussion, because Polio has not ended.”

Over two days, Kraus said Traverse City’s Noon and Sunrise Rotary Clubs raised about two thousand dollars for End Polio Now. Their donation will be matched by the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation, whose partnership with Rotary International generates up to $150 million dollars each year to eradicate polio worldwide.

“We're still under-immunized, and that still remains an issue around the world,” Kraus said. “As long as polio exists anywhere, it's a threat to people everywhere.”

Jill Harrington is a junior at CMU majoring in journalism and minoring in theatre and interpretation. Jill grew up in Novi, Michigan and is interning in Midland this summer working for WCMU and the Midland Daily News.