The speaker was Steve Brown of Kilgore, past governor of District 5830.
Also on the program was the installation of two new club members, Lacey Stevenson and Joe Castello.
Brown said the Foundation carries out Rotary’s goals of “service above self” and “do for those who can’t do for themselves.” He said more than 99 percent of all Rotarians joined because they wanted to serve their local communities, and local projects enable them to do this.
But there is also another level for those who wish to take it, and this is where the Foundation comes in.
Brown noted that it was in 1917 that the sixth president of Rotary Inernational, Arch C. Klumph, founded the Foundation.
An endowment fund was set up with a first gift of $26.50, and by 1928 the fund had grown to $5 million. Today the Foundation has $1 billion, and it has become a powerful instrument to pursue Rotary’s objectives, which include the achievement of world understanding and peace through humanitarian, educational and cultural programs.
For years Rotary has attempted to wipe out polio worldwide, Brown said, and at this point the goal is in sight, “right there.” But the “last yard” is the hardest, he conceded. One encouraging sign is the fact that India has been polio-free for six months, Brown said.
He described two ways of giving through the Annual Programs Fund, to support good works today, and the Permanent Fund, to secure tomorrow.
The Annual Programs fund contributions are split 50/50 between World Fund and District Designated Funds through SHARE.
Gifts are sought from every Rotarian, every year.
“We do a tremendous job of spending District Designated funds,” Brown commented.
Simplified grants are available, he said.
Programs supported by the Foundation include Ambassadorial Scholarships and the Group Study Exchange, which sends young business and professional Americans abroad and hosts similar teams from other countries in the U.S., he pointed out.