At last week’s Wednesday Rotary Club meeting a number of members were recognized for their contributions in support of the Rotary International Foundation, as well as one non-member, Mike Gage, who represents the Rotary motto of “Service Above Self.”
Much has been said in recent weeks about the Rotary Club of Campbell River’s Annual TV Auction, and the good work that comes from that locally. With the club’s stated promise that “money raised in the community stays in the community”, how does the club fund its various international projects, such as constructing a water dam in Kenya, providing clean water and sanitation services for communities in Honduras, providing medical equipment for a Children’s Ward in a State Hospital in Turkey, and a number of other vital projects the club has taken on? And where does the money come from for Rotary International’s worldwide projects such as the PolioPlus program where Rotarians have taken on a commitment to rid the world of polio?
The answer is that the Rotarians themselves fund these projects through their personal donations to the Rotary Foundation. Rotarians and supporters of Rotary who contribute financially to the Rotary Foundation are recognized for their contribution towards doing good in the world.
In 1917, Arch C. Klumph, Rotary’s sixth president, proposed to the Rotary International Convention in Atlanta, Georgia the creation of an “endowment fund for Rotary . . . for the purpose of doing good in the world in charitable, educational, and other avenues of community service.”
A few months later, the endowment received its first contribution of $26.50 from members of the Rotary Club of Kansas City, Missouri.
Since that first donation in 1917, the Rotary Foundation has received contributions totalling more than $1 billion. Money donated to the Foundation is held in trust for two or three years, with the interest generated covering the administration costs of the organization. One-hundred per cent of the funds donated then go toward the various projects.
A contribution of $1,000 (U.S.) to the Rotary Foundation results in the donor being named as a Paul Harris Fellow and with each additional contribution of $1,000, the donor becomes a Multiple Paul Harris Fellow. The first five levels of Multiple PHF are marked by pins with the corresponding number of sapphires and the three highest levels of Multiple PHF are marked by pins with the corresponding number of rubies. The highest level of Multiple Paul Harris Fellowship is a pin with three rubies and represents Rotary Foundation contributions above $9,000 (U.S.).
Joining the ranks of Rotarians with one Paul Harris Fellowship were Bill Wilson, Dave Thagard and Kermit Dahl. Mark DeGagne, Brian Preston, Judy Shepley and David Tees received their Plus 1 pins, Bruce Baikie and Larry Stright their Plus 2 pins, Andy Adams, Susie Moscovich, Dr. Phillip MacNeill and Steve Frame were given their Plus 3 pins, and Ken Whiddington was awarded his Plus 5 pin; 98-year-old Warren Thompson received his Plus 7 pin.
Occasionally, club members are invited to propose citizens for a PHF Award to a person who, in their daily life, represent the ideals of Rotary.
For his longtime efforts on behalf of the environment, particularly as it applies to the health of our salmon stock, Mike Gage was selected by the The Rotary Foundation Committee as a deserving citizen of Campbell River and was awarded an Honourary Paul Harris Fellowship.