Last Friday was World Polio Day, the perfect day for us to hold our annual Pizza for Polio fundraiser on Locust Walk. We sold pizzas from eight local restaurants on the University of Pennsylvania campus to raise money for polio eradication efforts, ending the day with a total of $339.60 to pay for polio vaccines. People also had the chance to vote for their favorite pizza, and the winning restaurant (Axis Pizza) was advertised as Penn’s favorite pizza place.
World Polio Day is sponsored by Rotary International, whose PolioPlus Project is an initiative to completely eradicate polio, a crippling disease that once affected almost 350,000 children a year. Thanks to immunization campaigns, polio is now only endemic in two countries today (Pakistan and Afghanistan), and we are close to eradicating it entirely. Anyone interested in this worthy campaign can visit www.endpolio.org or like their Facebook page.
Over the last few weeks, we contacted over a dozen local pizza restaurants to see if they were interested in contributing pizzas to this worthy cause. Although we encountered difficulties in communication, we eventually secured the support of eight vendors. We also created a Facebook event page to publicize Pizza for Polio to the Penn community. The day of the fundraiser, we picked up the pizzas around 11am and set up our table on Locust Walk near the compass.
It actually turned out to be a great day for us to sell pizza. With a football game the next day and parents visiting for Family Weekend, there were a lot of booths on Locust Walk and many people who passed by our table. We sold pizza for $1/slice, $5/all-you-can-eat, and $12 for a whole pizza. Pizza for a dollar was too good a deal to pass on, and many people stopped by to buy a slice and learn about our fundraiser’s purpose. After running out of pizza around 4pm, we raised a total of $339.60, almost $60 more than last year! The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation generously triples every donation made, so every $1 pays for 5 vaccines.
I was the photographer for the event and reserved a Canon 70D DSLR Camera from Van Pelt Library. Click here to view the entire album on Facebook.
Thank you to the eight restaurants who donated pizza, without whom this fundraiser would not have been possible! All of them are within walking distance of the University of Pennsylvania campus, so check them out.