THE Rotary Club of Lyme Regis have raised a further £1,000 for the continued fight to eradicate polio worldwide.
The club marked World Polio Day last month by selling purple crocus bulbs – the flower being used as a symbol of the polio immunisations, as each child that is vaccinated has their little finger painted with a purple dye.
The bulbs were sold via Serendip bookshop and a stall outside the Baptist Church in Lyme Regis, as well as at Felicity’s Farm Shop in Mocrombelake, raising £1,000, which was then tripled with a contribution from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which gives £2 for every £1 raised by Rotary International.
In addition, Rotary member and former deputy town clerk of Lyme Regis, Mark Tredwin, racing his Caterham car supported by Williams Motor Sport, organised a race day at Castle Combe which raised an amazing £4,500, which was tripled by the Gates Foundation to £13,500.
Rotary International has been at the forefront of a global drive to eradicate polio from the world since 1988.
During this time, more than $2billion has been contributed by Rotarians worldwide.
At the end of the 1980s, more than 350,000 children were paralysed every year after contracting polio. Today, Rotary and partners have reduced the incidence of polio by 99.9% and it is now only present in Pakistan and Afghanistan.
Nearly 19 million people who would otherwise have been paralysed are walking, and more than 1.5 million people are alive who would have otherwise died from the disease.
Rotary’s contribution to the eradication of polio from the world was recently acknowledged in the Houses of Parliament during Prime Minister’s Questions, when Boris Johnson described it as “a fine example of the philanthropy and spirit of the British people”.