We’ve had a wonderful time celebrating all the extraordinary achievements of The Rotary Foundation’s first 100 years. As we approach the end of this centennial year, it’s time to turn our attention to the Foundation’s future. What can we do right now to ensure that the Foundation will reach even greater heights in the next 100 years?
First, we must finish our work to eradicate polio. If we fail, we risk a global return of the disease — up to 200,000 new cases every year, within 10 years. But if we succeed, the world would enjoy a savings as high as $50 billion by 2035. There really is no choice: We must succeed.
What can you do? Raise money, advocate for government support and share the inspirational story of Rotary’s steadfast commitment to a polio-free world.
Of course, our work to end polio isn’t the only compelling story we have to tell. Your club’s district and global grant projects are successes that you should share with your local community and media. Tell them about the scholars you are sponsoring, the vocational training team that is visiting or travelling from your district, and the causes the Foundation supports.
After you’ve impressed people with the Foundation’s many accomplishments, ask them to join us — as members, supporters, or volunteers. I believe that every Rotarian should make an annual contribution to the Foundation, because it is our Foundation, and we are ultimately responsible for its success — yet that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t also encourage others to contribute. Telling others about our work — providing clean water and basic education, fighting disease, and promoting peace — helps drive interest in our Foundation and clubs.
Even though you and I won’t be around to celebrate the Foundation’s 200th anniversary in 2117, we begin to set the stage now. Working together, we can continue the Foundation’s long tradition of good work and give future Rotarians even more reasons to celebrate.
Foundation Trustee Chair