LIVE OAK — During the next six weeks, Rotarians from the Rotary Club of Live Oak and members of the Suwannee High School Interact Club will be visiting Suwannee Intermediate, Suwannee Elementary and Suwannee Primary schools where more than 1,000 pinkies will be painted in efforts to raise money toward Rotary International’s efforts to eradicate polio worldwide.
Purple Pinkie activities help the Live Oak Rotary increase awareness for Rotary International’s worldwide fight to end polio and raises money $1 at a time to ensure that thousands of children receive their polio immunizations.
Rotarians and Interact students set up Purple Pinkie stations and students who have signed authorization forms from their parents contribute $1 to have their pinkies marked with purple ink to raise money for the End Polio Now campaign through Rotary International. The purple pinkie symbolizes one child’s life saved from the crippling disease since the estimated cost to immunize one child is $1. When each child gets immunized, Rotarians mark their pinkies with purple ink to prevent double dosages.
Since 1988, Rotary International’s fight against polio has led to a 99.9% reduction in worldwide polio cases. For more than two years, wild polio cases have been limited to Afghanistan and Pakistan. Rotary International in conjunction with partners, governments and communities, has immunized more than 2.5 billion children in 122 countries.
The Rotary Club of Live Oak was formed when 18 men met in 1921 in the Suwannee County Courthouse, officially becoming the 940th Rotary Club in the world. In 2019, more than 50 Rotarians live by the motto of "Service Above Self” as seen by:
- Annually awarding more than $5,000 in scholarships to deserving students at Suwannee High School,
- Annually distributing a dictionary (approximately 390) to every third grader at Suwannee Elementary School,
- Sponsoring two (2) high school juniors from Suwannee High School each year to attend Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA),
- Sponsoring an Interact Club at Suwannee High School,
- Contributing funds to purchase two (2) shelter boxes each year (ShelterBox provides a kit offering emergency shelter and other essential items to families hit by disasters),
- Joining with Rotary Clubs around the world in pursuit of the eradication of polio by:
- Contributing more than $5,000 per year to the Rotary Foundation through personal donations,
- Contributing $1,500 per year to End Polio through a Purple Pinkie fundraiser.