‘Purple Pinkies’ take aim at polio

Sassarini students Yamileth Oros, Gianna Rosseti and Angelica Ross take part in the Purple Pinkie Project, sponsored by Sonoma Valley Rotary, to raise funds for the eradication of polio.

By Friday, all three Valley elementary schools will have participated in the drive, which is being led by students Alta Mira Middle School. “Sassarini was our first visit, it was incredible,” said Alta Mira Principal William Deeths. “It seemed as if the entire school dressed in purple. For me personally it has been great to see the elementary school kids showing their school and civic pride.

Students are encouraged to make a modest donation of one dollar (or just spare change) and in turn they can dip their pinky finger in purple dye. In foreign countries, the purple finger shows who has been immunized. For an additional donation students can have more than one finger dyed. One student at Altimira reportedly donated $20 so he could dye all his fingers and toes dyed.

Many younger Americans don’t realize that polio was once the most feared disease in America, crippled thousands of people, mostly young children. Polio vaccines developed in the 1950’s eradicated the disease from the Western Hemisphere, but polio still remains a threat in other parts of the world.

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