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By ASHLEY THORNTON
Chiefland Elementary School students are doing their part in helping to fight polio, helping to raise $540 during a recent Purple Pinkie event organized by the Chiefland Rotary Club.
“It’s important for students to realize things we take for granted,” said CES Principal Angel Thomas, “it brings awareness to them, awareness of what children in other countries go through.”
Students bringing in $1 or more or a canned food item were able to get their pinkies painted purple with Gentian Violet, a safe dye used to mark the pinkies of children who have been immunized in other countries. This is done in an effort to prevent double dosage. The dye lasts for a couple days and serves as a reminder to the students of the lives of other children that are being saved through their efforts.
“Each canned good, $1 represents one child getting the vaccine,” said Thomas, also commenting that the kids “have fun with it.”
In addition to the money raised, students brought in 215 pounds of canned food, which was donated back to CES for their Food for Kids backpack program.
In 1985, Rotary International began its efforts to eliminate polio worldwide, partnering with the World Health Organization along with other government and private groups to do so, achieving a 99 percent reduction of the disease worldwide. The Rotary Club of Chiefland has been active in these efforts from the beginning and for the last two years have been getting CES students involved in the efforts.
Bill and Melinda Gates and The Gates Foundation have committed to donate $2 for every $1 raised through the Purple Pinkie Project.