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FHS students raise funds for overseas polio vaccines

The Farragut High School leadership class students held the international “Purple Pinkie Program” to help vaccinate children overseas who are vulnerable to poliovirus.

In foreign countries, when a polio vaccine is given, the recipient’s pinky is dyed purple. Because of that, the pinkies of those who donated $1 to the fundraiser are dyed. Purple Pinkie Week was held Nov. 30 to Dec. 4.

Hope Brinson said, “We’re making a difference.”

The cost of the oral polio vaccine is 11 cents per dose. At least six doses are required per child, but often 10 to 15 doses are needed.

“I love knowing that I helped kids overseas get vaccinated,” Haley Newby said.

In 1988, 350,000 cases of polio spread throughout the world. Last year, fewer than 1,245 cases were reported.

Fundraisers such as Purple Pinkie Program strive to eradicate polio worldwide, hoping to follow smallpox, which was officially eradicated by the World Health Organization in 1979.

Dani Rosenberg said her favorite part about this leadership fundraiser is that FHS students are “hands-on, we’re now a part of this, it’s not just adding money to a random organization. We’re involved.”

The students participating in the Purple Pinkie Program wore authentic medical “scrubs,” masks and gloves from a local hospital.

All week leadership class students dyed pinkies purple before school and during lunch.

The leadership class is a hand-selected group of students from various groups at FHS. Every student who applies to the class is not selected. The leadership class meets before school from 7:30 to 8 a.m. They receive half a credit per semester.

FHS Student Government Association sponsor Guy DeMarco teaches the leadership class and oversees various leadership-training projects the class works on.


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