Jeff Cashman took the microphone to discuss Foundation Month. He told the club why it was so important to contribute to the Foundation and brought up several past presidents to explain the good works of the Foundation. The club’s goal is to have every Rotarian contribute to the Foundation in some amount. The campaign is called “Every Rotarian Every Year,” and very few clubs achieve the distinction.
Jeff discussed the need for funds to go to the General Fund, which has the flexibility to give money to any Rotary project. While it is great to give to a specific project, such as Polio eradication, giving to the General Fund will allow the Foundation to spend money on an emerging issue or project that can have an immediate impact.
Sayoko Kuwahara talked about her experience with Rotary Group Study Exchanges. Rotarians from 25 to 40 have the opportunity to travel to other parts of the world with other Rotarians and explore how people from those parts of the world do the same job. For instance, firefighters in a Group Study Exchange Program would visit firefighters in a foreign country and study how their counterparts do their jobs.
The GSE program allows Rotarians to improve a foreign language skill, deepen appreciation for another culture, give a deeper insight into their given profession, and develop lifelong relationships.
Jenny Andrews spoke about the Polio Plus program. Jennie has had two experiences with Polio Plus, in Ethiopia and Uganda. There, Jennie became familiar with the children and young adults at Cheshire Home, where Rotarians have been instrumental in saving the lives of several individuals suffering from polio.
Norm Johnson & Dick Brown
Jenny spoke of a young man named Gatachu, whom she has come to know. He had polio and was one of the many beggar boys on the streets of Ethiopia who could not walk upright. One day, while begging, Gatachu was hit by the car of a diplomat, who saw to it that the young man received treatment for his polio. After 18 months and 7 surgeries, Gatachu has become upright and mobile and is able to work in a local rose farm.
Jenny also spoke of a young girl named Meriam, whose grandmother walked 10 miles with her so the young girl could be inoculated against polio. By and large, polio has been eradicated; however, there are still cases in Afghanistan and Pakistan. India has been polio free for nine months.
Dick Brown and Norm Johnson gave the following Paul Harris fellowship awards:
Lee Smith and Cyril Faulkner received their Paul Harris plaques and pins. Ann Norman and Robin Callan received two sapphires. Jim Zidar received three sapphires, and Paul Chapman received a ruby.
Howard Johnson was honored with a benefactor award, which means he has mentioned the Rotary Foundation in his will or otherwise made a legacy contribution.
Lee Smith, Ann Norman, Cyril Faulkner, Paul Chapman, Jim Zidar, Robin Callan & Howard Johnson
Dick and Norm then unveiled a new banner for the club displaying the 2011 RI Foundation roll of honor.
Finally, Kim Shrader took the podium to wrap up and make the ask of club members for their generous contributions to the Foundation. The message is simple: Money can be given to the Foundation as an automatic dues check-off or via credit card, check, or direct debit.
As an incentive, the club will make available three wine baskets, two bundles of cookbooks, and 25,000 Alaska Air miles in a raffle for those club members who give to the Foundation before December 2. Until November 18, a contribution of $25 will get you two tickets in the raffle. Between November 18 and December 2, each $25 contribution will get one ticket in the raffle. The raffle will be held on December 9 at the club meeting.