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4.27.17 – Luncheon Notes

SPOKES Notes by Paul Arnold

The April 27th meeting featured a presentation by the District 6290 Rotary Foundation Chair, Al Bonney. Incoming president, Renwick Brutus introduced Mr. Bonney and noted that he has worked abroad for extended periods, including stints in Egypt and Greece. He enjoys playing banjo, singing and building wooden boats.

Mr. Bonney started his presentation by stating that the Rotary International Foundation is celebrating it centennial this year with a gala that will include a magic theme and many auction items. The first year of the Foundation, founded by Arch Klumph, was 1917 with a total of $26.50 raised. This year the Foundation raised about $3 billion and has been a force for good throughout the world with over 35,000 Rotary clubs eligible to participate. Services that rate charities have consistently given the Rotary Foundation the highest grades available. Bill Gates has credited RF with helping to nearly eliminate Polio in the world. Other major focused for RF include fellowships to train leaders in international problem solving, vocational training, and project grants to address health, hunger and education issues.

Rotary Foundation asks individual clubs for project ideas, then aggregates the donated funds, which is then allocated back to the clubs for implementation. Each club is asked to donate $100 per member per year to the Foundation. At this point, the District is requiring clubs to meet the $100/member standard in order to be eligible for matching grants.

During the Q & A session, many members questioned the wisdom and fairness of the $100 standard. Of the Districts 60 clubs, about a third of the clubs do not meet the standard and are therefore ineligible for matching grants even though they have contributed significant funds into the program. Discussions are on-going at the District level about adjustments to the $100 standard — including possibly a sliding scale formula.

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