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Rotary Happenings: Year-end wrapup paints a picture of success for club

By Staff | Jul 6, 2016

Being the last meeting of Rotary year July 2015/July 2016 conducted by our outgoing Sanibel-Captiva Rotary Club President Chris DeCosta a review of sorts took place of our trust fund giving for the year.

This year’s fundraising events have allowed our Trust Fund Board to distribute close to $100,000 to support both community based and internationally based projects aligned with Rotary International’s Avenues of Service. The split in this year’s giving is approximately 50 percent community and 50 percent international.

Community grants were given to the following: Friends Who Care; Children’s Education Center of Sanibel; Heights Center; F.I.S.H.; Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum; CROW; Alvin A Dubin Alzheimers Resource Center; Open Arms; Sanibel Historical Village; Sanibel Community House; Blessings in a Back Pack; American Cancer Society Relay for Life Sanibel and Rotary’s 4-Way Test Essay Contest Sanibel School and scholarship funding to three outstanding university scholars.

The trust also approved an additional five-year pledge of $75,000 to the Sanibel Community House for the rebuilding efforts of the Community House and children’s programming at the center after reopening.

Sanibel-Captiva Rotary wants to thank each and every attendee of our fundraising events and to our islands outstanding community businesses for continued generosity in support of the Sanibel-Captiva Rotary Club.

Rotarian Lee Almas wanted to make a point of how successful some of our international projects are in making a difference in people lives. He read a recently received letter from El Hogar. El Hogar’s mission is to transform and empower abandoned and hopelessly poor children in Honduras by providing a loving home and education. The goal is for them to fulfill their ultimate potential as productive, caring, and independent Honduran citizens. Sanibel-Captiva Rotary has contributed support for a child in the El Hogar facility in Honduras for the last 10 years. For the last few years our club has been supporting the same child, Axel. Each year we receive a progress report on his academics and well-being. Going into the seventh grade each child has the opportunity and is encouraged to continue their schooling in the following the following areas: technical institute, agricultural school, or El Hogar’s high school girls a local private school, Virginia Sapp. Upon graduating from one of these schools, the graduates are encouraged to go back into their communities and make a meaningful contribution to helping their country out of poverty.

Each year, Rotary Club members enjoy the opportunity to work together on fundraising efforts and other projects and appreciation of their efforts comes in many ways. One of the most meaningful ways is by receiving a Paul Harris Award from the Paul Harris Society/ Rotary International. The Paul Harris Society/RI Trust Foundation that receives monies ($1,000 and up) either directly from individual Rotarians, or in the name of a Rotarian and/or from individual Rotary Clubs. The Rotary Trust Foundation is the giving arm of Rotary International and provides support in the way of matching funds to Rotary Districts and Rotary Clubs around the world for meaningful and sustainable humanitarian projects.

To recognize financial contributions to the Paul Harris Society, individuals receive Paul Harris awards and pins and Rotary Clubs receive points to be given to individuals that a club recognizes as contributing a valued service to their club, or to their community. These points then can be exchanged for Paul Harris pins and awards. To make this further confusing after receiving your first Paul Harris Pin, each contribution to the RI Trust receives a different color pin stone indicating the number of Paul Harris awards you have received. YIKES!

Rotarian, Alex Werner and his committee recently awarded Paul Harris awards and pins to Rotarians: James Cardle, Chris DeCosta, EJ Neafsey, Lee Almas +5, John Grey +6, Charlie Emerson+3, Jack Alexander, Eldon Bohrofen +2, and Scot Congress +3. Well deserved everyone.

The last order of business for outgoing club President Chris DeCosta was to turn the gavel over to in-coming club President Charlie Emerson. Charlie’s first order of business, using the gavel to close the meeting.

Sanibel-Captiva Rotary Club meets Fridays at 7 a.m. breakfast, 7:30 a.m. meeting at the Shell Museum.

Guests are always welcomed.