Photo: Major Donors Stewart Brunner, Bruce and Marilyn Loveless, with District Governor and Major Donor Jay Craig from Bristow, Oklahoma, David Matty and Level 3 Major Donors Brenda and Larry Nelson. Photo: Brenda Nelson, MH Rotary PR Chair
November is Rotary Foundation Month, a time when Rotarians in 200 countries around the world celebrate the generosity of their members to the work of their global projects.
The Rotary Foundation (TRF) is the main source of funds for programs in six areas of focus: peace and conflict prevention/resolution; disease prevention and treatment; clean water and sanitation; maternal and child health; basic education and literacy; and economic and community development. All money voluntarily given to TRF is used in one of these areas, as well as the world-wide eradication of polio, through the “PolioPlus” fund. TRF is annually awarded a “4-Star” rating from Charity Navigator, making it one of the Top 5 charities in the world in reaching its intended purpose with little spent on administration of funds.
In 1985, there were 1,000 new cases of polio in the world every day. Last year, there were less than 100 anywhere in the world.
Since 1985, over $2.1 billion have been donated by Rotarians to fight polio through the “PolioPlus” program, which has immunized 3,000,000,000 children in 122 countries. Last year, the job was 99.9% complete, with less than 100 known cases, primarily in Afghanistan and Pakistan. But 2020 has been a challenge with country-to-country lockdowns and the inability of Rotarians and their community partners to immunize on a global scale, as in years past. But the fight goes on and, as Rotarians say, “We’re this close!” to eradicating this killer and crippler of children and adults.
The Rotary Club of Mountain Home has long been a supporter of the foundation, with gifts of almost $280,000 to both PolioPlus and the annual fund over the past 30 years. Those donations to TRF help the local club in the form of turn-back matching grants for their community programs and projects, mainly in five area school systems in Northern Arkansas.
A Rotarian who contributes a one-time gift of $1,000 to TRF is given a “Paul Harris Fellow” (PHF) award. The Mountain Home club has recognized 157 Paul Harris Fellows, with 34 currently on the roll.
Beyond that, there are several who have committed to give $1,000 per year to the foundation as “Paul Harris Society” members. And, within the club now, there are six “Major Donors” who have given at least $10,000 to TRF, with two recognized as Level Three Major Donors.
Honored during the month of November, the Rotary Foundation is the hands and feet and heart of Rotary projects throughout the world and here at home in Mountain Home.
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