Passionately Purple Gin's another win, win
It's been a triple dividend for End Polio, and it's produced a double dividend for the Club.
Rotary has never been more needed in local communities and the world at large.
That was the message to Lytham Rotarians and their guests on Thursday from Rotary International Director Brian Stoyel.
Mr Stoyel made a special journey from Cornwall to the town to receive a cheque for £6,000 for Rotary’s End Polio Campaign - a fight which is almost won.
But in the process of having almost eradicated the potentially deadly and crippling disease Rotary had also set up an infrastructure which had enabled speedier control of ebola and other diseases, explained Mr Stoyel.
Lytham’s contribution has been raised since October with the innovative method of working with Lytham Gin creator Sara Dewhurst to produce a purple gin — purple being the colour put on the pinkie finger of every child as it has been vaccinated.
Rotarians have for 34 years been raising funds and actively going out to help administer the vaccine in the countries where it is has been prevalent and they have been joined in that by Bill and Melinda Gates, who, through their Foundation, have tripled the funds raised by Rotary.
Lytham’s cheque is, therefore, contributing, with Gates’s help, £18,000 to help end polio with the vaccination of around 93,000 children. The 125 countries in which it was endemic have now been reduced to three, but the virus is still only a plane ride away as passengers travel between Pakistan and Afghanistan where cases are still arising, albeit in single figures. And there are dangers of its return unless vaccinations are continued throughout the world.
And the gin has not only helped put Lytham Gin on the map in the spirit world, selling throughout the UK from Elgin to Cornwall and even to Germany, but has also netted two awards for raising the profile of Rotary, with the District Trophy for Public Image and now for the End Polio project, the national award which was presented by Mr Stoyel to Club President John Edwards.