Rotary Club of Forres works with Forres Heritage Trust and local primary schools to raise awareness of 'End Polio Now'
Easier access to your trusted, local news. Subscribe to a digital package and support local news publishing.
FORRES Rotary has been working with the community to raise awareness of a worldwide campaign to eradicate a disease which - if not for a vaccination programme - would still be prevalent in many countries around the world.
Around 100 people attended a coffee morning at Forres Town Hall on Saturday, October 14 organised by Forres Rotary in aid of Rotary International's 'End Polio Now' campaign; while pupils from local primary schools planted purple crocuses and Forres Heritage Trust lit the Tolbooth up in purple for a week to raise awareness.
Rotary International Convenor and coffee morning organiser Tanya Barker explained the colour is painted on to the small fingers of children once they have been vaccinated.
She said: "Polio is nearly eradicated but it still exists in Pakistan and Afghanistan, and is not curable. The virus was also identified in London sewers last year.
"Our coffee morning raised £1100 for the campaign to end the disease and help the worldwide vaccination programme. As well as tea and coffee with pancakes and biscuits, there were the usual raffle, bottle, bric-a-brac and books stalls, as well as a chocolate stall and a lucky squares game for a prize of a bottle of purple gin. We also sold purple crocus corms for people to plant at home."
She added: "Crocus corm planting is a way of helping schools to link in with the purple pinky painting! We also visit and/or give information sheets to schools about End Polio Now."
Rotary youth team members Christine Steven and Suzie De-vry met up with Forres In Bloom members Ian Maclennan and Jenny Doig at Grant Park to help Anderson's Primary Rotakids plant purple bulbs.
Mrs Steven said: "Each school in the Forres ASG, including Drumduan, also receives a bag of purple crocuses to plant in their own grounds or in pots to keep or give as gifts."
Seven Rotakids from Anderson's P3/4 class were each given disposable gloves, a knee pad and recyclable pots filled with bulbs to plant out a bed between the school and the bowling green.
Skye Hughes (8) said the bulbs will be covered with turf.
She added: "We are planting them across from Anderson's to bloom next year."
Classmate Elody Wallace (8) confirmed the pupils tried to make sure the bulbs were evenly spaced.
She said: "We'll be checking from the playground to see how they grow."
Forres Rotary is also working with the Forres Heritage Trust (FHT) on the local End Polio Now campaign - the Tolbooth was lit up purple in a show of support.
FHT vice chairman Bob James explained that, as the building is the centrepiece of the town, it will be used as a beacon for more worthy causes in future.
He said: "The Rotary meets in the Tolbooth and asked some years back if it could be lit up purple for their global campaign. We agreed so temporary lighting has been put in the clock tower for the last three years on World Polio Day, October 24."
For more information visit https://www.rotary-ribi.org/clubs/homepage.php?ClubID=31 or rotarygbi.org