To bolster efforts around eradicating polio globally, 162 Dunkin’ locations across the Southeast recently partnered with area Rotary districts to raise funds and awareness through its Purple Pinkie Day fundraiser. From the one-day fundraiser, the participating Dunkin’ restaurants and area Rotary districts raised more than $1.3 Million to benefit Rotary’s End Polio Now campaign.
As part of the fundraiser, guests who donated $2.50 to End Polio Now at participating Dunkin’ restaurants in Alabama, Florida, Missouri and Tennessee received a Purple Pinkie Donut as a thank you. As an added bonus for each $2.50 guest donation, Rotary donated $3.75 and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation matched with $12.50, for a total donation of $18.75.
Bluemont Group LLC and the Catalano Group Bakeries, along with Dunkin’ restaurants in Alabama, Florida, Missouri and Tennessee donated over 70,000 Purple Pinkie Donuts to allow 100 percent of the $1.3 Million proceeds to benefit End Polio Now.
In 2018, Dunkin’ and Tennessee Rotary launched the Purple Pinkie Donut fundraiser in 30 Dunkin’ restaurants throughout Tennessee in efforts to support End Polio Now! To date, the Dunkin’ and Rotary promotion has raised more than $3 Million to benefit End Polio Now in recognition of World Polio Day.
“As both a Dunkin’ Franchisee and a Rotarian, it was truly amazing to see both these organizations come together once again to help in the fight to eradicate Polio worldwide,” said Dave Baumgartner, President of Dunkin’ Franchisee Network, Bluemont Group LLC and member of the Rotary Club of Knoxville. “Between the enthusiasm of our crew members paired with the incredible generosity from our local communities, we are proud to say that we have surpassed our goal of raising $1 Million.”
In countries where the threat of polio remains, children receive their polio vaccine via drops in the mouth, rather than injection, allowing millions of children to be vaccinated in a short period of time. Vaccinating so many children can be difficult to document, so when each child is vaccinated, they have the pinkie fingernail of their left hand painted with a permanent purple marker. The mark turns brown and lasts for one month allowing vaccinators to check a child’s finger to determine whether they have already received the vaccine.
More than one million Rotary members have donated their time and personal resources to end polio. Every year, hundreds of Rotary members work side-by-side with health workers to vaccinate children in polio-affected countries.
Rotary is committed to raising $50 million a year to be matched 2-to-1 by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, yielding $150 million for polio eradication activities every year. To date, Rotary has contributed more than $2.1 billion to fight the disease, including matching funds from the Gates Foundation.
Today, polio remains endemic only in Afghanistan and Pakistan. But it’s crucial to continue working to keep other countries polio-free. If all eradication efforts stopped today, within 10 years, polio could paralyze as many as 200,000 children each year. But as long as a single child has polio, all children are at risk, which underscores the need for ongoing funding for polio eradication activities. To learn more about how the Rotary Club has helped in the fight to End Polio Now, head to www.rotary.org/en/our-
Rotary is a global network of 1.2 million neighbors, friends, leaders, and problem-solvers who unite and take action to create lasting change in communities around the globe. For more than 110 years, Rotary’s people of action have used their passion, energy, and intelligence to improve lives through service. From promoting literacy and peace to providing clean water and improving health care, Rotary members are always working to better the world. Visit endpolio.org to learn more about Rotary and the fight to eradicate polio.
Founded in 1950, Dunkin’ is America’s favorite all-day, everyday stop for coffee and baked goods. Dunkin’ is a market leader in the hot regular/decaf/flavored coffee, iced regular/decaf/flavored coffee, donut, bagel and muffin categories. Dunkin’ has earned a No. 1 ranking for customer loyalty in the coffee category by Brand Keys for 15 years running. The company has more than 12,600 restaurants in 40 countries worldwide. Dunkin’ is part of the Inspire Brands family of restaurants. For more information, visit www.DunkinDonuts.com.