THE ROTARY FOUNDATION by PP STEVE DAY at WVRC on April 22nd
PDG ANDY ANDERSON led the Pledge. The Rev SUSAN KLEIN of St. Albans provided the Invocation. “…Make us the full expression of your love. Our hands and feet, as your hands and feet, responding to the world with compassion, generosity and forgiveness. And now we ask that you bless this food to our use, bless the hands that prepared it, and keep us ever mindful of the needs of others. All this we ask in your name. Amen.” SUSAN preceded this with a quick story about Desmond Tutu. Seems he was walking along, and coming the other way was a very large man, who refused to move over enough to allow Bishop Tutu to pass. As they faced each other, the man allowed as how he didn’t make room for dogs. Bishop Tutu graciously took him up on this, bowing, and saying he always did!
LENNY, who was sitting next to me, didn’t hesitate to approach the head table, unaware as always of what his latest category might be. Turns out he has a well-known fear of volcanoes erupting, especially Krakatowa or whatever its name is in Iceland, and thus he often wears a safety hat should anything fall to earth. This was of course demonstrated by Prexy ED, and LENNY took it away, leading us in God Bless America.
We had one Visiting Rotarian, Vic Austria, who is President of the Manila Makati North Club and he was accompanied by his brother, a physician who lives in San Francisco. LENNY was of course with SUNNY, and PEGGY had her helper, Joy, along. PP HOMER NEWMAN introduced MASAKI NAKODA, our Ambassadorial Scholar. PDG BILL GOODWYN met a former Rotarian, Jack Paul, and introduced him he will next be a Special Guest. Those at the Head Table included Incoming President GORDON FELL, SUSAN KLEIN, and PP DON NELSON, plus at the other table, Program Chair STEVE PETTISE and our Speaker, PP STEVE DAY.
BRIAN BUMPAS is out of the hospital, and his address is The Breakers Hotel, 210 E, Ocean Blvd, #111l, Long Beach, CA 90802, (562) 432-6700 and he would appreciate cards.
JOHN HEIDT reported on the Westwood Cleanup Day this past Saturday. They had 360 participants, plus about 50 adults, and it was a big success. They will have another on May 1st. Since he was on his feet, he also reported on the progress plans of the Westwood Subway Line. This will take up where it now ends at Wilshire and Fairfax, continue on Wilshire, jog to Century City, and then back to Wilshire, to the beach. Sounds great, but it’s a few years away.
Our Auxiliary will visit Union Station on Wednesday May 12th. Starting with a chartered bus pickup at the parking lot for Westwood United Methodist Church, the bus first stops at Union Station, then continues for an 8-course lunch at Empress Pavilion, and back to Westwood. Cost is $20, checks to MARGIE DOWNIE, 633 S. Burlingame Avenue, LA 90049.
May 13th to the 16th is the District Conference at La Quinta those who have signed up so far include DON and ROZ NELSON, GORDON and VACHAREE FELLL, ALIYAH LEVIN, ANN SAMSON, and KATHIE and ED GAULD. You can register at www.rotary 5280.org.
I made an ineffective pitch for my favorite charity, HEIFFER. I brought along some folders on what they do and I’ll have them again next week this is a charity you can support!
A major injustice has at long last been resolved. Those of you who hang on every word in this Windmill will remember who can forget such a Day In Infamy, really? that on April 1st, when Rotary birthdays for the entire month were to be celebrated, only ONE member who was counted on to show the flag wasn’t there! Of course, it was ELLIOTT TURNER, and this being his first time back, he was called forward to face the music. Once the charge was presented, the five attorneys who were present SEAN MCMILLAN, GEORGE COX, MARK BLOCK, HOMER NEWMAN and RON LYSTER, agreed unanimously on his guilt. The appropriate fine was set at $65.00, this having something to do with his claimed age on that day. Amid some tears and snuffling, he might not have felt better, but WE ALL DID!
Prexy ED introduced our Speaker, PP STEVE DAY. ED noted that STEVE joined WVRC in 1990, served as President, and was also Rotarian of the Year. STEVE’s professional specialty is tax planning, both individual and corporate He is married to Marsha, and they have two sons, Jeff and Kevin. STEVE’S subject is The Rotary Foundation, and why we should all be Paul Harris Fellows or above.
Why We Should All Be Paul Harris Fellows or Above
STEVE had an excellent Power Point presentation, as you would expect. Our mission is to enable Rotarians to advance world understanding, goodwill and peace through the improvement of health, support of education, and the alleviation of poverty. The first gift to what was to become the Endowment was from then-International President Arch C. Klumph in the amount of $26.50. They made their first grant, of $500 to the International Society for Crippled Children in 1919. In 1928 the Endowment had grown to $5,000, and the name was changed accordingly. Today, donations to the Foundation are over 2.4 billion dollars.
Our polio eradication program started in 1985, and since then we have inoculated over two billion children. The Disaster Recovery program is just that they are there in every country. There are also Direct Grants, and Health, Hunger and Humanity Grants. We are probably familiar with Matching Grants recall our request for the Turkey project was just approved, for example. STEVE recalls a program when CHRIS GAYNOR was President, in which we helped dig water wells in the Philippines. In 1991, when RON LYSTER was President, we participated in an eyesight program in Ghana STEVE and HARLAN LEWIS went to Ghana, accompanied by an optometrist, and they helped over 150 children with proper lenses. Our Educational Programs start with Ambassadorial Scholars, and we help teachers.
We have three types of funds. There is an Annual Fund, a Permanent Fund, and PolioPlus. Those giving $1,000 to the Foundation become Paul Harris Fellows presently, WVRC has 503 Fellows. This honor can now be half-financed by using our own WVRC Rotary Endowment, which means you can become a Paul Harris Fellow by donating $500, with WVRC picking up the balance. This comes from the Virginia Gandy Fund Virginia was the daughter of our Founding Member JOHN SANDMAN, and her Fund has over $230,000 at present! All new members automatically become Sustaining Paul Harris Fellows, since the Club contributes $100 to start them off. For those who want to become members of the Paul Harris Society, this is done by contributing $1,000 annually, and we have several of these. The top giving group is the Arch C. Klumph Society, for those giving $250,000 or more. Our own PEGGY BLOOMFIELD has just given one million dollars to the Klumph Society and her son, and our former member, BILL BLOOMFIELD JR, who belongs to the Manhattan Beach Club, as joined her in this. The goal by 2025, is to have one billion dollars in the Permanent Fund.
Our total Polio Eradication effort has cost 1.2 billion dollars so far. We have a new goal of raising $200 million, and when we do, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation will provide another $355 million! During our original campaign in the 80’s, chaired by PP HOWIE HENKES, WVRC raised $120,000 all by itself. The donations are held for three years from date of deposit, after which the interest on them can be used as the Foundation decides. Half of all income is returned to the District from which it came, for use by that District. The Rotary Magazine always lists various ways you can contribute, of course. Presently we have 42 Benefactors they have willed $1,000 or more to Rotary. The Bequest Society has pledged $10,000 or more to Rotary, and in total we have 524 members worldwide. STEVE feels we can do better in these areas, and will be making efforts in that direction.
I couldn’t resist commenting on PolioPlus. When Rotary began our Eradication Program in 1985, 300,000 children PER YEAR were coming down with Polio. Last year, the total number was about 1,000! This is something that each one of us can be very proud of and we should be!
PP STEVE DAY, thank you for another inspiring report on our Rotary Foundation.
Thought for the Day:
Life consists not in holding good cards but in playing those cards you hold well.