More than one million dollars has been raised for the Rotary Foundation at a dinner held in Port Macquarie and attended by members of Rotary District 9650 and the Hunter District 9670.
The dinner was held in recognition of the 100-year centenary since the Rotary Foundation was formed and the attendees exceeded their million dollar goal by raising $1,102,000 towards the foundation’s humanitarian objectives.
Twenty-four Rotarians (or close to 40 people including partners) each donated or made a bequest of $10,000 or more.
Almost half the money was raised by Rotarians from the Manning Valley (the money was raised in the lead-up to the dinner).
Rotary District 9650 extends from Coffs Harbour to Forster on the coast and out to Coonamble and up to Lightning Ridge in the west, and the Hunter District 9670 is a similar sized area which includes Newcastle and Maitland.
Prior to the dinner, a recognition ceremony saw the donors presented with crystal and badges in appreciation.
The guest of honour was Rotary International immediate past vice-president Jennifer Jones from Canada and her husband Dr Nick Krayacich. Jennifer and Nick live in LaSalle in Ontario.
Entertainment was provided by Greg Ross, a Rotarian and well-known former actor from Melbourne (Copshop, Bellbird, Prisoner) who performed a skit with Dr Geoff Fuller and wife Judy from the Taree on Manning club, performed Rindacilla (Cinderella) and also sang a welcome to Jennifer.
The joint chairs of the fundraising effort and the dinner were Maurie Stack (Rotary Club of Taree on Manning) and Adrian Roach from Maitland – both former governors of Rotary from our respective districts.
The Rotary Foundation subsidises Rotary clubs to carry out projects in third world countries.
A recent example is that in June this year the foundation approved A$30,000 to match A$10,000 raised by the Rotary Club of Taree on Manning at its annual Centrepoint Dinner Dance that has enabled construction of eight toilet blocks in market places on the Ivory Coast of Africa as part of a US$200,000 project - to address what the local Rotary governor Marie-Irene Richmond calls “open air defecation”.
The Rotary Foundation requires a club seeking a grant to work with another club in the third world country and insists on sustainability and demonstrated local need.
Unlike many other charities the Rotary Foundation has overheads of only 8 per cent and has a rating of 97.87 out of 100 by independent rating agency Charity Navigator. Its accounts are published annually and are freely available.