The annual Pumpkins for Polio auction is back again this year, with all proceeds going to the Campbell River Rotary Club’s efforts to help eradicate the disease worldwide.
The Rotary Club raises money all year for polio eradication, but the Pumpkins for Polio event is the highlight. Rotary holds an in-house auction for members, and gives the public an opportunity to join in on the fun.
The public auction this year will be a beer and burger night at the Riptide Pub on Oct. 25 starting at 5:30 p.m. At that event, pumpkins will be on display, as well as other pumpkin-themed artworks made by First Nations carvers, members of the Campbell River Arts Council, and other local artists. All funds raised will be double-matched by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
Poliomyelitis, or polio, is a paralyzing and potentially fatal disease that still threatens children in some parts of the world. Poliovirus invades the nervous system and can cause total paralysis in hours. It can strike people of any age but mainly affects children under five. Polio can be prevented by vaccines, but it is not curable. Unlike most diseases, polio can be eradicated.
While there has been progress, the polio still persists in a few areas of the world. Afghanistan and Pakistan face unique challenges, including political instability, mobile populations, difficult terrain and vaccine misinformation.
“With sufficient resources, the commitment of national governments, and innovations that improve access to remote areas, we are optimistic that we can eliminate polio,” says a release from Campbell River Rotary.
Rotary has been working to eradicate polio worldwide for over 30 years. Over that time, over $2.2 billion has been raised, which alongside countless volunteer hours has protected nearly 3 billion children in 122 countries. Advocacy efforts have also helped: Rotary has helped convince various governments to contribute more than $10 billion to the effort.
Locally, Rotarians donate throughout the year, but the Pumpkins for Polio fundraiser is their biggest event of the year.
“Take your chance and get something special just in time for Halloween and at the same time to support the eradication of polio,” says the release.
Tickets for the beer and burger event are $30, and are available at teh Riptide Pub and Coho Books. Those who want to donate, but can’t participate in the event can do so by email at CRRotaryPumpkins4Polio@gmail.com or mailing a cheque to:
End Polio Now Committee
Campbell River, BC