MARQUETTE — The Rotary Club of Marquette has implemented a “pennies for polio” drive in hopes of raising funds to eradicate the highly infectious viral disease completely.

A total of 90 bottles have been dispersed among various local establishments around Marquette County. Rotary International has been known as a large contributor to polio eradication since 1988.

“We’re in the final push right now to eradicate polio,” said Marquette Rotary Club President Brett Conklin, “Polio still exists in two countries: Afghanistan and Pakistan. If it’s anywhere in the world it’s a threat to anyone who is not vaccinated.”

The money raised will go directly to Rotary International and from there it will be donated to the End Polio Now campaign. The drive has some additional support that makes every donation go further.

“What’s nice about this campaign is that any donation will be matched 2:1 by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation so if you donate one dollar it automatically becomes three dollars. What’s also interesting to know is that just 60 cents vaccinates a child from polio for their entire life so somewhat of a minimal donation goes a long way.”

The campaign has been going on for six weeks and ends on Saturday, October 24th which is World Polio Day.

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