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Rotarians Turn Pinkys Purple for Polio

The club will collect donations again Saturday.

Westborough Rotarian Bill Domings collected donations to fight polio outside of the Turnpike Road Stop & Shop Supermarket last week.

“People came by and said, ‘I thought we beat polio.’ And my response to people was, ‘We have in the United States. We’ve taken care of polio. It’s the rest of the world,’” specifically Nigeria and Afghanistan,” Domings said Tuesday.

“It’s a plane ride away. Especially with all of the immigration that we have these days. (If) somebody comes into the country with polio, it could start spreading very easily.

“The real tragedy is seeing children in these countries using skateboards to move around because their legs no longer can.”

Rotary Club of Westborough members again will collect donations for the fight against polio on Saturday, at the Lyman Street Stop & Shop, and CVS Pharmacy on East Main Street, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The Rotarians hope to raise $1,600 this year, Domings said.

For a $1 donation, Rotarians will put a water soluble purple mark on the donor’s pinky, Domings said.

“The origin of that is, when they would not inoculate people, especially young kids, they would color their pinky with purple dye that washes off in a few days. That was so they didn’t double immunize somebody, which could be dangerous,” he explained.

Here, during “Purple Pinky Week,” which runs Oct. 20 to Oct. 27, the mark is “a symbolic representation of what happens in those countries,” Domings said.

“All Rotary clubs are focused on polio, generally around this time,” he said.

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