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Rotary Happenings: Rotary gives back

By Staff | Oct 4, 2017

Glad to be back at the Dunes this week for our regular Friday morning Sanibel-Captiva Rotary Club meeting and having a chance to connect with fellow Rotarians and hearing about their experiences dealing with Hurricane Irma.

We all know we dodged a bullet and are still in sort of a state of disbelief that other Nature spared our islands with minor damage to property and all are safe and sound. We, also, are aware that the people in Houston, Key West, Marco Island, and other areas of Florida, the Virgin Islands, Caribbean Islands, and Puerto Rico have suffered major damages from 140 plus hurricane winds and major flooding. Mexico has been hit by two major earthquakes and aftershocks in Mexico City causing buildings to collapse and death to over 200 people. Rotary has a presence in all these natural disaster areas represented by Rotary Clubs and are now working with Rotary International on providing a plan to provide the necessary disaster relief identified by Rotary boots on the ground utilizing current Rotary International disaster relief programs and establishing new avenues for relief specifically designed for each of the impacted areas.

Rotary clubs in this country and around the world are already stepping up with financial support providing RI with the funding needed to do the most good in these dire situations. Just on Friday morning, our club received a $2,000 contribution for Florida’s Rotary Hurricane Irma relief fund from Rotarian, Richard Mattern’s, former Rotary home club in Deerfield, VT. Our own Sanibel-Captiva club members stepped up too with additional relief fund dollars somewhere around $1,500 in just the first few minutes of our meeting.

Sanibel-Captiva Rotary and our Rotary District 6960 will be looking at additional funding sources and how to contribute to the repairing and rebuilding of the hardest hit areas by helping our fellow Rotarians fund projects and programs that they identify can build back their communities.

Our Rotary club speaker series had already scheduled a program on the Rotary Trust Foundation/ Paul Harris Awards for last Friday and it seemed the timing was right to understand how Rotary Funding of special projects and programs around the globe are financially supported. Club Rotarians John Schwandke and Chet Sadler were ready.

The Rotary Foundation is noted as one of the top ten Foundations in the World – 92 percent of TRF funds go into project and programming funding, 6 percent to fundraising and marketing efforts, and 2 percent to administrative cost.

Contributions to the Rotary Foundation are transformed into grants that fund local and international humanitarian projects and programs, scholarships, and activities. To encourage supporting financially the Rotary Trust Rotary International setup a number of ways that members can contribute funds to the RTF Every Rotarian Every Year, Rotary Foundation Sustaining Member/ Paul Harris Fellow, Paul Harris Society, Major Donor, and Arch Klumph Society. These monetary gifts help Rotary take action to create positive change in the world with focus on strengthen peace efforts, provide clean water and sanitation, support education, grow local economies, save mothers and children, and fight disease. TRF funds will definitely be distributed to help after all of these recent natural disasters and rebuilding will begin.

Each Rotarian can decide for themselves how they want to support the TRF starting with a commitment to participate in “Every Rotarian every Year,” the primary source of funding for TRF. The beginning level of giving is to commit to a yearly donation of $100 to the Rotary Foundation. Our club collects $25 from participating members four times a year and ba da bing $100 goes to the foundation.

A Paul Harris Fellow/ RI Sustaining Member designation goes one step farther when a member commits to reaching a goal of $1,000 to support the RTF no time frame is given for when that financial gift is given, but recognition of receiving these gifts comes with the awarding of a Paul Harris Pin to Rotarians or friends of Rotary who have contributed a $1,000 gift to TRF. Many Rotarians don’t stop at this level of giving, but continue with their financial support of RI/TRF with multiple donation of $1,000, or more, and again are recognized with the awarding of new Paul Harris Pins embellished with gem stones representing the level of giving Rotarians have contributed to RI/TRF.

On Friday, Sept, 22, 24 Sanibel-Captiva Rotarians received Paul Harris Fellow Pins for donating an estimated $59,000 for Rotary International/TRF during the last few years.

* 1st time PH-Angela Roehl Larson, Rene Lohser, Edward Wheeler

* PH+1 sapphire-James Cardle, Christoper DeCosta, Robert Eidsvold, Fred Jaeger, James Lavelle, Holli Martin, Ty Symroski, Guy Tober, Rachel Tritaik

* PH+2 sapphires-John Danner, John Pryor, Richard Salerno, Roger Trifthauser

* PH+3 sapphires-Dan Cohn, Eldon Bohrofen, James Reid

* PH+4 sapphires-Charles Emerson, John Schwandke

* PH+5 sapphires-Robert Monk

* PH+6 one ruby-Lee Almas

* PH+7 two rubies-John Grey

Sanibel-Captiva Rotary meets on Friday mornings at 7 a.m., at the Dunes Golf & Tennis Club Sanibel. Guests are always welcomed.