Pumpkins for Polio is packing quite a punch in the fight against polio.

The Rotary Club of Campbell River fundraiser saw 50 carved pumpkins auctioned off, in its efforts to help rid the word of the disease.

At a local level, the club raised $5,000, which tripled $15,000 thanks to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation which is doubling that amount.

Polio is a highly infectious disease caused by a virus that mainly affects children under five years old. The World Health Organization reports that it is 99 percent of the way to getting rid of polio globally.

The club held two fundraisers: the first was at its club auction on Oct. 28th and the second, due to the COVID-19 situation, happened online from Oct. 26th to 28th. 

Coastal Black Winery of Black Creek donated the pumpkins which were carved or decorated by members of the Campbell River Arts Council and several individual artists.

This year the Club auction raised around $3300. The online auction brought in $1900.

Co-chair Gary McLelan (Mick-lel-lan) says the auction was a huge success, especially with many other fundraisers being cancelled this year because of the pandemic. 

“That was toyed with initially in our committee but (we thought) ‘No, we can do this. It’s not a big stretch, we can make this happen, and we went ahead with it, and we did as well as we did last year.”