County, city Interact clubs visit Rotary luncheon

David Broyles Staff Reporter

November 6, 2013

The weekly Mount Airy Rotary luncheon at Cross Creek Country Club focused on local Interact clubs in a first-ever induction event with both Surry County and Mount Airy school clubs were present. In addition to “pinning” new officers, Interact members told Rotarians about “Purple Pinky Day.”

The two featured speakers were Jai Daniels and Madison Pence who were the leaders of the Mount Airy High School Purple Pinky Day Committee.

“The Purple Pinky Project, as many of you are aware, is a fundraiser for polio eradication,” began Daniels. “Polio is still prevalent in three countries, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Nigeria and was recently eradicated in India, which is a huge accomplishment.”

She said money raised by the project is used to purchase vaccines for children worldwide. Daniels said polio is not a curable disease but is easily preventable with vaccines.

“When the children receive a vaccine, their pinky is painted purple so the people administering the vaccines are aware the child has already received it, so no vaccine is wasted,” said Daniels. Pence told the group they wanted to expand the project and bring it Mount Airy High after hearing of it during the District Rotarian Conference last year. She said in addition to Mount Airy, Surry Central, East Surry and North Surry, Pine Crest Interact/Southern Pines, Asheboro High and Lexington High participated in Purple Pinky Day on Oct. 24, which is World Polio Day.

The two told the group the district goal is $2,000 and Interact efforts have raised approximately $1,200. They said the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation will match money Interact raises with a 2:1 ratio. Pence said the project officially began Oct. 21 at the Sandler Training fundraiser in Greensboro where more than $500 was raised.

“Polio is on the way to eradication thanks largely to the amazing work of Rotary,” said Pence. “Rotary has inspired us to work together with other Interact clubs to make a difference in the fight against polio.” Interact sponsors recognized at the luncheon were Howard Mayo, Myra Combs and Audra Johnson.

North Surry Interact officers receiving pins were Samuel Holder, president; Kaitlen Hauser, vice president; Malea Gwyn treasurer and Katlyn Hodges, secretary. Surry Central officers pinned were Sarah Bruce, president; Haylee Harrison, vice president, Forest Kimbrell, treasurer and Laken Patterson, secretary.

Mount Airy High Interact members receiving pins were Douglas Cao, president; Hayden Culler, vice president; Carley Vanhoy, secretary; John Dinkins, treasurer; Abby Hagwood, historian, Jai Daniels, international projects; Mindy Benfield, local projects; Emma Harrison, communications manager, Bree Hughes, scholarship and Hayley Stancil as project manager.

The luncheon concluded with Interact club members inviting Rotarians to have their pinkys painted purple for a $5 donation with proceeds going to purchase polio vaccine.

Reach David Broyles at or 336-719-1952.