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Rotarians invest approximately 47 million volunteer hours every year, into improving the lives of those around them

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Rotary awarded $333 million to global service initiatives throughout the 2020 pandemic


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The Rotary Foundation

The Rotary Foundation

The Foundation was created in 1917 by Rotary International's sixth president, Arch C. Klumph, as an endowment fund for Rotary "to do good in the world." It has grown from an initial contribution of US$26.50 to more than US$73 million contributed in 2000-01. Its event-filled history is a story of Rotarians learning the value of service to humanity.

History of The Rotary Foundation

   
 

Arch C. Klumph,
1916-17 president of Rotary
International and founder of
The Rotary Foundation

 

 

 

 

In 1917, Arch C. Klumph, Rotary's sixth president, proposed to the Rotary International Convention in Atlanta, Georgia, USA, the creation of an "endowment fund for Rotary . . . for the purpose of doing good in the world in charitable, educational, and other avenues of community service." A few months later, the endowment received its first contribution of $26.50 from the Rotary Club of Kansas City, Missouri, USA.

In 1928, when the endowment fund had grown to more than US$5,000, the fund was renamed The Rotary Foundation, and it became a distinct entity within Rotary International. Five Trustees, including Klumph, were appointed to "hold, invest, manage, and administer all of its property. . . as a single trust, for the furtherance of the purposes of RI."

Two years later, the Foundation made its first grant of US$500 to the International Society for Crippled Children. The ISCC — created by Rotarian Edgar F. "Daddy" Allen — later grew into the Easter Seals organization.

The Great Depression and World War II both impeded significant growth for the Foundation, but the need for promoting a lasting world peace generated great post-war interest in developing the Foundation. After Rotary founder Paul P. Harris died in 1947, contributions began pouring into Rotary International, and the Paul Harris Memorial Fund was created for the purpose of building the Foundation.

That same year, the first Foundation program was established — Fellowships for Advanced Study, which was the forerunner of the Rotary Ambassadorial Scholarships program. Then in 1965-66, three new programs were launched — Group Study Exchange, Awards for Technical Training, and Grants for Activities in Keeping with the Objective of The Rotary Foundation, which was later called Matching Grants.

The Health, Hunger and Humanity (3-H) program was launched in 1978, with the Rotary Volunteers program being created as a part of 3-H in 1980. The PolioPlus program was announced in 1984-85, and the following year saw the introduction of Rotary Grants for University Teachers. The first Peace Forums were held in 1987-88, leading to the establishment of Rotary Peace Programs. Then in 1989, 1963-64 RI President Carl P. Miller and his wife, Ruth, donated US$1 million to establish the Discovery Grants program.

Throughout this time, support of the Foundation grew tremendously. Since that first $26.50 donation in 1917, the Foundation has received contributions totaling more than US$1 billion. More than US$68 million was donated in 1998-99 alone. To date, some 726,000 individuals have been recognized as Paul Harris Fellows — that is, someone who has contributed US$1000 or has had that amount contributed in his or her name.

Such strong support and involvement of Rotarians worldwide ensures a secure future for The Rotary Foundation as it continues its vital work for international understanding and world peace.

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Rick Riccardi

2023-2024 Club President


Club President Letter 2023-24

Hello Fellow Ft. Lauderdale Rotarians,

I’m so proud to be your President this year. This is not a “job” I had hoped for in my later years but one that I’m excited about, and more than willing to do. “Service Above Self” and being a “Servant Leader” are principles in life (not just in Rotary) that I, hopefully, will be positively measured by.

This year, thankfully, does not have the obstacles of COVID and the aftermath of COVID to deal with. Thanks to Perry, Terry, and Jaye, our three previous leaders, I now have the opportunity to lead this club to new heights of accomplishments.

We are off to a good start with so many of you stepping up to participate in so many ways. Every member will be asked and given the opportunity to be of service to the club or to the community. We are all here to be of service, and hopefully you will all find that opportunity by serving on a committee or participating in one or more service projects. For that reason, I will make sure you all know about each committee and service project, week after week.

I would like to initiate two new long-term service projects for our club that, I believe, conform with Rotary International’s initiatives on “Bringing Hope to The World”. The first is Homelessness and Behavioral Health (including mental health and substance-use disorder).  The second is Urban Farming or “Agrihood” to bring better health (mental and physical) to our neighborhoods.

I will make sure that the new members are welcomed with enthusiasm and are included immediately in our weekly luncheons and service projects. I will ask you members with more time in our club to be of service to the club by sharing your time with other members who need to feel wanted and included. To help this along, I’m promoting the idea of a random seating system at lunch for those of you who don’t have a guest or have some reason to have to sit with a specific member.

I’m also trying a new weekly meeting structure. In order to get to know each other better, I’m asking you to volunteer to tell us who you are. On the first Wednesday of each month, we will have a club meeting that will include two of our members who are willing to tell us their story in a 12-minute presentation, with or without slides.

We will continue to have our evening social meeting on the last Wednesday of the month and continue to have our speaker luncheon meetings the other two or three Wednesdays each month.

We now have about 120 members, of which about 50 are new in the last two years. Our intention is to have more new members to replace and exceed the average 15% of members who leave the club each year. This club is here to serve each other and to serve the community – local and worldwide. Let’s let the community know what we do and how we serve, so others may have the opportunity to join us in service. I look forward to our Public Image Committee, with all its Information Technology commitment and talent, being very busy this year getting the word out on our club’s behalf.

Let’s be the best we can be.

Rick

Rick Riccardi, Club President 2023-24
Rotary Club of Fort Lauderdale

International Projects

Volunteer With Us

As we begin our Rotary year, here is a quick reminder of the service projects we have on our schedule so far. We do not have exact dates for everything, but please keep these projects in mind and be on the lookout for more information. If you would like to help with any of these projects, please contact the chair directly. If you have ideas for new projects, please contact Kristin LaFleur or St. George Guardabassi.

  • Find Your Way Home – Jorg Hruschka – Select Tuesdays and Thursdays
  • Holiday Toy Drive – Linda Cooke – October – December
  • Thanksgiving Baskets – Steve Botkin – Saturday, November 18
  • Salvation Army Bell Ringing – Steve Botkin – December
  • Challenge Air – Dan Rizzi – January 26 & 27
  • Agape Love Breakfast – Gail Auguston-Koppen – February 9 & 10

Rotarians In Action


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