The University of Maine at Presque Isle and the Presque Isle Rotary Club are joining forces to host their Fifth Annual World Polio Day and Purple Pinkie Project celebration.

Presque Isle Rotary Club
Presque Isle Rotary Club

And this year, with the help of the Rotary Clubs in Caribou, Fort Fairfield, Limestone, Mars Hill and Washburn, the celebration will once again spread throughout central Aroostook County.

A slate of activities will take place from Oct. 22 to 29 to celebrate World Polio Day, which takes place Oct. 24. All activities are meant to raise awareness of Rotary International’s efforts to eradicate polio worldwide and to raise money—$1 at a time—to go toward that global effort.

On Oct. 24, the Purple Pinkie Project comes to more than a dozen sites in the area. Community members are encouraged to visit any of four Purple Pinkie stations that will be set up for the public on Oct. 24:

  • At UMPI, in the Center for Innovative Learning (formerly the Library), from 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
  • At NMCC, in the Akeley Student Center, from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. UMPI and NMCC Education students will staff this table.
  • At TAMC, at the A.R. Gould cafeteria, from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Members of UMPI’s BioMedical Club will staff this table.
  • At UMPI’s Houlton Higher Education Center, at the front desk, from 8 a.m.-1 p.m.

Also on Oct. 24, Presque Isle Rotarians will be on hand in the morning when Presque Isle High School, Zippel Elementary School, Pine Street Elementary School, Mapleton Elementary School, and Easton Elementary School host Purple Pinkie stations, and in the afternoon when Presque Isle Middle School and Easton Junior-Senior High School host stations. A Purple Pinkie station will also be set up for employees at MMG Insurance (staffed by UMPI Business Club members). In addition, the Mars Hill Rotary Club will visit Fort Street Elementary School and Central Aroostook Junior/Senior High School in Mars Hill.

Later in the week, the Limestone Rotary Club is partnering with the Maine School of Science and Mathematics to host a Purple Pinkie Station of their own. And on Oct. 28 in the evening, during the club’s 66th Annual Auction, Limestone Rotarians will shine a spotlight on World Polio Day.

One final Purple Pinkie station will be held on Oct. 29, when the Washburn Rotary Club hosts its Hunters Breakfast at the Washburn Trail Runners clubhouse from 4:30-8 a.m.

The first annual World Polio Day and Purple Pinkie Project event, held in October 2012, saw an estimated 1,000 people in the community 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 about $2,600 and saw an even greater number of community members participate.

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