The Presque Isle Rotary Club in cooperation with several other Rotary Clubs, is hosting its Eighth Annual Purple Pinkie Project.

Presque Isle Rotary is teaming up with the Rotary Clubs in Caribou, Mars Hill, Limestone, Fort Fairfield and Washburn. The Purple Pinkie Project will take place on Thursday, October 24 at several places in Aroostook County.

All activities raise awareness of Rotary International’s efforts to eradicate polio worldwide and raise money $1 at a time toward that global effort. Organizers and volunteers will “paint” the region purple during this Purple Pinkie Project, encouraging people to donate $1, the estimated cost to immunize a child, to have their pinkies marked with purple ink. Each dollar goes to Rotary International’s “End Polio Now” campaign and the purple pinkie symbolizes one child’s life saved from the crippling disease.

In celebration of World Polio Day on Oct. 24, Rotarians across central Aroostook County will be wearing purple polo “polio” shirts to spread awareness of Rotary’s End Polio Now efforts. Purple Pinkie stations that will be set up for the public:

  • At the University of Maine at Presque Isle, in the Owl’s Nest, from 8 a.m.-3:30 p.m.
  • At UMPI’s Houlton Higher Education Center, at the front desk, from 8 a.m.-1 p.m.
  • At the Mark and Emily Turner Memorial Library in Presque Isle, from 9 a.m.-5:30 p.m.

Also, Presque Isle Rotarians will be on hand to host Purple Pinkie stations at Mapleton Elementary School, Pine Street Elementary School, Presque Isle High School, Presque Isle Middle School, and Zippel Elementary School. A Purple Pinkie station will also be set up for employees at MMG Insurance (staffed by UMPI Business Club members) and Purple Pinkie activities will be underway at area businesses and organizations, including Northern Lighthouse, United Insurance, Area Agency on Aging, and Emera. The celebration begins a day early, Oct. 23, at Easton Junior-Senior High School and Easton Elementary School.

Elsewhere, the Mars Hill Rotary Club will host Purple Pinkie activities at Fort Street School and Central Aroostook Junior/Senior High School and the Limestone Rotary Club is hosting a Purple Pinkie station at Mike's Family Market in Limestone from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., all on Oct. 24. The Limestone club continues the effort on Oct. 25 with a Purple Pinkie station at the Maine School of Science and Mathematics/Limestone Community School. The club caps off its Purple Pinkie activities that evening with a table set up during the Limestone Rotary Auction. The Caribou Rotary Club hosts a Purple Pinkie station during its club meeting on Oct. 23, while continuing with its drive to support awareness of polio eradication efforts year round with club fundraising at each club meeting. The Washburn Rotary Club hosts a Purple Pinkie table during its Hunters Breakfast on Nov. 2 and the Fort Fairfield Rotary Club plans to host a Purple Pinkie event later in the school year.

The first annual World Polio Day and Purple Pinkie Project, held in October 2012, saw an estimated 1,000 people participate and initially raised $1,250. An anonymous donation of $1,000, however, pushed the fundraising total to well above $2,000. Last year’s event raised $3,000 and saw an even greater number of community members participate.

For more information, contact Rachel Rice at 768-9447 or email rachel.rice@maine.edu.