Get ready to have your pinkie painted purple for a good cause!

The University of Maine at Presque Isle and the Presque Isle Rotary Club are joining forces to host their Third Annual World Polio Day and Purple Pinkie Project celebration and this year, with the help of the Rotary Clubs in Caribou, Fort Fairfield, Limestone and Washburn, the celebration is going to spread throughout central Aroostook County.


A slate of activities will take place between now and October 26th to celebrate World Polio Day, which takes place Friday, October 24th. All activities are meant to raise awareness of Rotary International’s efforts to eradicate polio worldwide and to raise money -- $1 at a time – to go toward that global effort.

On Oct. 24, and during several other times throughout the week, organizers and volunteers will “paint” the region purple when they present the Purple Pinkie Project. For $1, volunteers will color your pinkie purple to help raise money for polio eradication. A purple pinkie serves as a symbol for one polio immunization. Funds raised will go toward Rotary International’s End Polio Now efforts.

In celebration of the official World Polio Day on Oct. 24, Rotarians across central Aroostook County will be wearing purple polo “polio” shirts to spread awareness of Rotary’s End Polio Now efforts. In addition, starting as early as 8 a.m., community members can take part in the Purple Pinkie Project. Similar Purple Pinkie projects have been held by Rotary Clubs around the country, with people donating $1 to have their pinkies marked with the same purple dye used when Rotary International conducts polio immunizations. The estimated cost to immunize one child from polio is $1, and when each child gets immunized, Rotarians mark their pinkies with a topical purple dye to prevent double dosages.

Volunteers will be on hand to color the pinkies of anyone willing to donate $1 toward Rotary International’s “End Polio Now” campaign (or get multiple digits painted for $1 each). Community members are encouraged to visit any of four Purple Pinkie stations that will be set up on Oct. 24:

  • At UMPI, in the Center for Innovative Learning (formerly the Library), from 8 a.m.-1 p.m.
  • At NMCC, in the Akeley Student Center, from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. UMPI and NMCC students will staff this table.
  • At TAMC, Main Entrance and cafeteria, from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Members of UMPI’s BioMedical Club will staff these tables.
  • At UMPI’s Houlton Higher Education Center, at the front desk, from 8 a.m.-1 p.m.

We hope you'll get out there and have your pinkie painted purple in support of the Purple Pinkie Project and World Polio Day!