The Rotary Club of Campbell River held its fourth annual Pumpkins for Polio event last Friday at the Campbell River Men’s Club.
The pumpkins were donated by Discovery Foods (Willow Point) and Coastal Black Farms.
Members of the Campbell River Arts Council painted, decorated and carved 25 pumpkins.
Three First Nations carvers – Junior Henderson, Mulidzas (Curtis) Wilson and William Henderson – provided their creations as well as Coun. Ron Kerr who excelled again with his art contribution.
The colourful collection was auctioned off by Kevin Simonett, who guided and inspired the attendees in a lively bidding, on a number of occasions reaching impressive amounts.
At the end of the evening $4,000 was raised to support Rotary International efforts to eradicate polio from the face of the Earth. Progress has been made – in 1985, there were 350,000 cases of polio reported worldwide and this year to date there have been just 27 cases, located in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Nigeria.
The End Polio Now initiative is supported by the World Health Organization, Centers of Disease Control and Prevention and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation as well as many governments.
Besides the double matching by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, proceeds from the Campbell River event will also be doubly matched by the federal government, effectively raising $20,000 to support the vaccination of children in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Nigeria, where Polio is still endemic.