Reflection on The Rotary International Foundation

Now that we are 2/3s through November, let us remember that it is “Rotary International Foundation Month”! Your Club 14’s RIF Committee is Chaired by Lori Raphael and is populated by Bev Austin, Lowell Berg, Cathy Lang, Scott Larson, Lee Nyberg, Chris Zygielbaum, and as Ms Piggy said: “moi” (Bruce Rippeteau).

Our purpose is to convince you to generously contribute to ROTARY’S OWN FOUNDATION, an absolutely superior top-ranked international foundation with few world peers for financial care and effectiveness. Our Foundation, “for World Peace” relieves suffering on this Earth by medical intervention (eradicating Polio, eye care, physical fitness, among many efforts) and by civic improvement (pure water, among many efforts).

In our Club 14 case, we all realize, with our own mighty-fine Club 14 Foundation (which difference Scott Larson through Lori explained on 04 November), that many members will give to it, rather than to the RIF, since its local benefits are “more tangible and nearer” than the international projects. This push-back from giving to the RIF is a real conflict for all of us. Nebe-da-less, we are each honor-bound by our own Rotary membership to generously support Rotary’s OWN Foundation. That is our MORAL DUTY as Rotarians!

For those that appreciate when some of those RIF funds are returned to our Club, it is true that some funds are and have been. After 3 years of interest-earning at Rotary, of our total, original yearly RIF donations, 50% (the other 50% goes to the Rotary World Fund) are returned to our District 5650, Zone 28, and are available through the process of District administration and our Club grant applications.

For a great example, our #14 Dictionary Project Chaired last year by Jim Smith (and Chaired this year by Pat Birch, with Director Pat Dingman, and over 25 members, as listed on p. 82 in the current 2014-2015 Directory) received back $1,584 per Mary Buckley's numbers of our original, 2010 RIF donations!

Other returns, usually much larger monetarily, come as larger projects, such as our Club’s Dominican Republic efforts by our Sharon (past President, and past District Governor) and (past President) Dan Wherry, through individual or joint club awards. Of course we must mention here the repeated trips of our Club’s Jack Keester to deliver Rotary physical therapy equipment to that Clinique Esperanza. This all is also not to mention our Club’s projects in Zambia and Polio eradication in Bangladesh.

And FYI and being slightly educational: Mari Lane Gewecke currently Chairs our “Project and Grant Evaluation Committee”, with President Melanie and Director (and President-Elect) Kiersten, and 9 members (listed on page 8 of our current Club Directory), that oversees many of the Club’s grant applications and expenditures.

Further FYI, our “World Fellowship and Community Service Committee”, currently Chaired by Mike Smith with Director David Hanley, and 18 more Club 14 members, page 94, is seeking yet new, additional leadership grants to return more of our RIF contributions to and through our Club.

Well, to conclude this RIF moment, let me ask you: When your grands ask: “Where were you when the hideous international disease of Polio was effaced from Earth, or, when people you will never meet, bless your Rotary name for their new, abundant, pure water, do you not want to be able to say to your grandkids—and to yourself--that “I helped achieve these great undertakings on Earth through being a loyal Rotarian; that I too gave treasure so that these grand planet-wide accomplishments should come to pass.”

So, with all the ways to give and all the recognitions offered by our Rotary International Foundation for World Peace: let us give generously! There are great emotional rewards that redound to you for your personal, International, Rotary CHARITY! Thank you!