By Gabriela Simionato Klein, public relations specialist
If you take a walk through the Iguatemi, a luxury shopping mall in São Paulo, you can expect to see prestigious brand-name garments from all over the world. But if you strolled through the mall in early August, you’d also have seen the familiar red, white and yellow of the End Polio Now logo on T-shirts in the display windows of Forum Tufi Duek.
The display coincided with a special party the Brazilian label hosted for top model Isabelli Fontana, one of the latest people to become a Rotary Ambassador for polio eradication.
Fontana, accompanied by her 10-year-old son, Zion, talked with reporters about her decision to support the worldwide campaign. “As a mother and Brazilian, I believe I cannot be indifferent to problems, especially the ones that have a solution. This disease (polio) has no cure, but can be prevented with vaccination,” she says. “I accepted the invitation to participate in Rotary’s global campaign because polio has to be ended. It is an achievable goal.”
“Our generation has already helped get the world 99 percent polio-free and we could make polio the second disease ever eradicated after smallpox,” the model adds.
Those who attended the party posed for pictures to add to the World’s Biggest Commercial campaign and updated their status in social media to build awareness for polio eradication. But without a doubt, the highlight of the evening was when Fontana stepped out of a dressing room wearing an End Polio Now T-shirt customized by Edu Pombal, the designer behind the Tufi Duek label. The piece encrusted with multiple crystals was donated to Rotary to be auctioned off in benefit of polio eradication efforts.
In addition to appearing in an ad campaign for polio eradication, Fontana has also added her photo to Rotary’s innovative digital campaign to develop the World’s Biggest Commercial. Participants upload photos of themselves making the “this close” gesture with their fingers – as in, “We are this close to ending polio.” You can join more than 36,000 people from 152 countries by adding your photo to the ever expanding collection on the End Polio Now website. Brazilians, including singer Michel Teló and actor Thiago Lacerda have added 5,500 photos.
Rotary’s involvement in polio eradication in Brazil is nothing new. Over the year, Rotary has donated US$6 million to end polio in the country, and US$38.5 million to countries served by the Pan American Health Organization. To date, Brazilian Rotary members have contributed more than US$12.37 million for the global polio eradication campaign.
- Join Isabelli Fontana in the effort to make the World’s Biggest Commercial.
- Find ways you can help Rotary advocate for a polio free world.
- Contribute to End Polio Now.
- Download a press release and ad at Rotary Media Center.