Pizza for Polio returns for sixth year

(File photo courtesy © Can Stock Photo / ziss)

Several local pizzerias are once again partnering with local Rotary Clubs in Chatham-Kent to help raise funds and awareness of a crippling disease.

The sixth annual Pizza for Polio fundraiser in Chatham will be held on October 28. World Polio Day is typically recognized around the world in late October.

Residents can help the cause by placing a pizza order at any of the listed locations on October 28. A portion of the sales will go back to the Rotary Club of Chatham to put toward polio eradication efforts.

Participating pizzerias include:
– Konstantinos
– Mike’s Place
– Andy’s Place
– Steve’s Pizzeria
– Original 2 Pizza
– Boston Pizza
– Pizza Tonite
– Pie-Zano’s

“It’s an amazing thing to think that our Rotary Club has helped save the lives of more than 400,000 children over the past three decades,” said Alysson Storey, interim polio eradication chair for the Rotary Club of Chatham, “We could not have raised a dime without the leadership and energy of one of our longest-serving Rotarians, Keith Koke. Losing Keith earlier this year left a hole in our Club that can never be filled.”

As an active participant in polio eradication efforts, the Rotary Club of Chatham has raised over $250,000 for the cause. The Rotary organization has contributed nearly $1.2 billion since 1985.

Storey said Koke “almost single-handedly organized Pizza for Polio every year” so this year’s event is a way of honouring his work.

“I know he loved the fact that something fun like ordering a pizza and supporting a local business could also help save the lives of children around the world,” she said.

The Rotary Club of Tilbury is also joining in on the effort, but on a different day.

On October 24, a portion of all pizza sales at J & D Bowling, Tillsbury Pizza Boy, The Garage in Merlin and Car Barn, MJ’s Pizza, & OG Pizza in Wheatley will go back to the Rotary Club of Tilbury.

Polio can still be seen in countries such as Afghanistan and Pakistan, according to the Rotary Club. However, the number of polio cases was reduced to less than 200 cases in 2015.