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Mayor marks World Polio Day with special reception for Rotary Clubs

The Mayor of Mid and East Antrim has held a special reception with the local Rotary Clubs to mark World Polio Day today (Saturday 24th October).

Polio is a highly infectious disease that mostly affects children under the age of five.

Although preventable by vaccine it continues to threaten children in certain parts of the world today.

Mayor Councillor Peter Johnston, said: “I am very proud that Mid and East Antrim Council is supporting World Polio Day.

“The work that the local Rotary Clubs have carried out in the fight against Polio is remarkable and I am delighted to host this reception to mark that excellent work on World Polio Day.”

President of the Larne Rotary Club, Carole Spence, added: “At a local level, we, The Rotary Club of Larne, have held quizzes, eaten purple marmalade and recently during COVID restrictions, one of our more senior members has cycled around all the other members in the club to help maintain contact as well as raising much needed funds.

“We would like to thank the Mayor Councillor Peter Johnston for his full support to this very important cause.”

In Ballymena, the Rotary Club has held a Table Quiz for the past five years to raise funds for the global eradication of polio.

Organised by immediate Past President Jim Briggs, assisted by Past President Gerry Waldron and the Burnside family, the Quiz has raised almost £15,000.

This amount has been tripled by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The Gates Foundation has been a major supporter of the campaign since 2007.

This year the Rotary Club of Carrickfergus are gifting bags of purple crocus bulbs to all the care homes, learning disability homes and sheltered housing sites in the Carrickfergus, Greenisland and Whitehead areas.

The purple crocus bulbs are gifted as a small ‘thank you’ for the wonderful caring services provided in the community.

The colour purple is intimately associated with the polio eradication drive because each immunised child has their little finger dipped in purple dye to indicate their vaccination has been completed.

The Rotary Clubs across Mid and East Antrim together with Rotary Clubs around the world will mark historic progress toward a polio-free world urging local communities to help end the paralyzing disease.

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