Diss Waveney and Harleston Rotary Clubs raise £24,000 towards fight against polio

Janet Turner, president of Diss Waveney Rotary Club, and Robin Twigge, president of Harleston Rotary Club.

Janet Turner, president of Diss Waveney Rotary Club, and Robin Twigge, president of Harleston Rotary Club.

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Rotary International’s ongoing fight to rid the world of polio has gained a major boost this month, courtesy of the fundraising efforts of Diss Waveney and Harleston Rotarians.

The two Norfolk-based Rotary Clubs joined forces to stage a Purple Ball at the Oaksmere Hotel in Brome earlier this month, in support of the End Polio Now campaign, which was set up to innoculate millions of children throughout third-world countries against the polio virus.

The event itself brought in £8,000, which was then tripled thanks to a funding arrangement with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which has praised Rotary International’s vaccination programme.

Janet Turner, President of the Diss Waveney Rotary Club, said: “Although our Rotary club has only recently been formed, with our partnership with the Rotary Club of Harleston and the management of the Oaksmere Hotel, we have shown we have the members to make a success of this, our first major project.”

The Ball, which included a charity auction, a raffle and music by the Lee Vasey Band, was themed around the colour purple, inspired by the way in which a child has their little finger dipped in purple dye to mark the fact they have been immunised against polio.

Robin Twigge, President of Harleston and District Rotary Club and the MC for the evening, added: “We are extremely grateful to the members of the local business community who sponsored parts of the event, as well as giving generously during their attendance on the evening.”

This news coincides with World Immunisation Week, which began on Monday and runs until the end of this week with the objective of raising money and awareness for End Polio Now.

For further information about Rotary International’s polio eradication initiative, please go to their website at my.rotary.org/en/take-action/end-polio