November 2007

The Rotarian

The Rotary Foundation is the engine that drives Rotary's international humanitarian service. Without the Foundation, many of Rotary's signature programs wouldn't exist. There would be no PolioPlus, no Humanitarian Grants, no Ambassadorial Scholarships, no Rotary World Peace Fellowships. Without the Foundation, Rotary would be a very different and less powerful force for good in the world.


As Rotarians, we give generously, yet we gain so much more: the pleasure of helping others, the satisfaction of knowing that we're doing the right thing, the joys of fellowship and friendship. As club members, we gain the global power of Rotary in our service - the power of more than 1.2 million Rotarians all over the world, each a potential partner in our projects.

I have long been a great believer in the Foundation. As early as 1980, I was involved with one of the very first Health, Hunger and Humanity Grants, immunizing children in southern India against red measles. As a trustee, I traveled the world promoting the Foundation's programs and assessing projects. Over and over, I saw the real, direct difference that Foundation resources made in Rotarians' work.

I call on every one of you, as Rotarians, to choose this month to make your annual gift to the Foundation - and to make a gift not only this year but every year to come. I take this commitment very seriously myself; my wife and I have contributed at the Major Donor level, and all our children are Paul Harris Fellows. All of us know firsthand exactly how much our gift means and how much it strengthens the organization that we care about so deeply. As RI president, I feel a special responsibility to promote Every Rotarian, Every Year, which has been so successful already in increasing support for our Foundation. I'm confident that this year, we can meet our goal of US$120 million - an average gift of $100 from every Rotarian.

It's a basic principle of Rotary that we can do much more together than we could ever do alone. The Rotary Foundation allows us to pool our resources, help each other, and thereby reach heights of service that would be simply unattainable otherwise. The Foundation is there for all of us, and it's our responsibility to be there for it. And that's why each of us must answer the call of Every Rotarian, Every Year.