Rotary Club pitching drinks to fight polio

By: Don Chaddock Telegraph Managing Editor
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Jim Barr, retired San Francisco Giants pitcher, traded in his baseball glove for a bar towel last week to help the Rotary Club of Historic Folsom raise money to fight polio. Barr pitched for the Giants from 1971-78 and 1980-83. He now resides in Granite Bay. He said he enjoys donating his time to a worthy cause. “This is fun,” he said between drink orders. “I’ve done a couple of these in the Bay Area.” The Rotary club commandeered Scarlett’s in the Folsom Historic District, thanks to the bar’s owner, Murray Weaver. They dubbed the fundraiser, “Raise the Bar for Polio Plus.” “Those bars were not quite as elaborate as this bar here,” he said. “But, it’s for a good cause.” Lola Purdy, president of the club, said Rotary’s international efforts to battle polio have received a boost from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The local Rotary club is trying to do its part too, she said. “This is a fabulous event,” she said. “This is a multi-year challenge in cooperation with the Gates Foundation.” Polio is rare in the U.S. but is still prevalent in poorer countries, she said. “Most people (here) have never even heard of polio,” Purdy said. Jim Garity, the club’s past president, said he has a special connection with polio. “I had a half brother die from it,” Garity said. “I was 8 years old at the time, so I don’t remember much about it. I just knew that he was there and then he was gone. His name was J.J.” Other local celebrity bartenders also included Sacramento County Supervisor Roberta MacGlashan and Roland Newell. Murray donated tips and a portion of the proceeds to Polio Plus. The Rotary Club of Historic Folsom meets at 7 a.m. Thursdays at Lake Natoma Inn in Folsom.