Men follow yellow boat road for polio

AMY WILLIAMSBroome Advertiser

After a quick stop in Broome last week, Rob Pennicott of Tasmania continued his circumnavigation of Australia for a huge cause, joining Bill Gates and Warren Buffett in a bid to raise the $555 million needed to eradicate polio from the world.

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation have pledged to donate $355 million to the cause if Rotary can raise $200 million by June 30, 2012.

With just the blokes to pitch in, Mr Pennicott, Mick Souter and their cameraman left Sydney on June 2, travelling up the Queensland coast, around the top of Australia, and are now on their way down the west coast to spread the word.

They have raised $80,000 so far but have urged everyone to consider donating just a dollar to see the people of Nigeria, India, Afghanistan and Pakistan vaccinated for the disease.

Mr Pennicott said polio was a crippling illness for which there was no cure.

“It can be prevented by vaccination,” he said. “Thanks to Rotary’s hard work there are only four countries to go before this disease will be totally eradicated.”

For $10, the cost of a pint of beer, 17 children could be vaccinated, Mr Pennicott said.

“Together, this is our chance to wipe this disease from the face of the earth,” he said.

He and his team are involved in fundraising functions with Rotary at near on every stop they make.

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