KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — On Wednesday, October 20, Dunkin’ Donuts in Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi and Kansas City are partnering with three Rotary Districts to hold a fundraiser for End Polio Now! in celebration of World Polio Day.
For every $2.50 donated to the Purple Pinkie Donut Fundraiser, participants will receive a free Purple Pinkie Donut, which is a glazed donut stick, topped with a dab of purple icing. This represents the purple paint that is placed on children’s pinkie fingers in developing countries after they receive the polio vaccine.
Through a matching donation from the Rotary districts and The Gates Foundation, each $2.50 donation becomes a total of $18.75. Donations can also be made by ordering a 10-count box of “Pinkies” for a $25 donation, which will become a donation of $187.50 per box. In the first 3 years, the Purple Pinkie Donut Project earned over $2,000,000. The goal for 2021 is to raise another million.
“When Rotary took this program on there were 1,000 cases a day of Polio around the world. It was gone in America in 1979 and through the years we have immunized over 3 billion children. And this year there are only two cases that are known. One in Afghanistan and one in Pakistan. We have to continue immunizing kids to be sure we eradicate it completely,” said Greg Maciolek, the Public Image Coordinator for Rotary District 6780, which encompasses East Tennessee.
“We have to get rid of it because with all the travel, you could bring it back and we want to be sure that it’s eradicated completely.”