From red ponchos to pub crawls, Rotary clubs are coming up with a variety of ways to promote polio eradication in October

In eastern Ontario and western Quebec, Canada, thousands of Rotary members will put on red ponchos and march through the streets of their towns to raise awareness for polio eradication on World Polio Day, 24 October.

Michael Kinsey, governor of Rotary District 7010, which spans the two provinces, ordered 2,000 of the special ponchos, which include the End Polio Now logo, for members to purchase for $10 each. Half of that goes to Rotary’s PolioPlus campaign, with the other half covering the cost of the poncho. Clubs are inviting local politicians and media to join the event, or holding small rallies to explain Rotary’s role in bringing an end to the crippling disease.

“I thought it was a good idea, but it’s really taking off,” says Kinsey. “Each club will be taking pictures and sending it to our public image coordinator, and we will promote it. Each walk will get a lot of media exposure in the community, and the impact of all 41 clubs in our district doing something is going to be huge.”

Rotary is encouraging clubs to hold events on or near World Polio Day this year and register the events at Last year, supporters in 90 countries registered more than 1,400 World Polio Day events.