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WESTERN movies were the most popular film genre for several
decades and they were well-known around the world. In many
of them, after a victorious battle between the good guys and the
bad guys, the hero would accept the appreciation of his friends
and supporters, then ride off alone into the sunset.
I won’t be alone due to my Rotary friends, but I will be riding into
the Rotary sunset on June 30 and I can’t avoid the comparison,
because my life has been much like a movie for more than 50
years. From the time I was selected as a Rotary Scholar in 1959,
good things started happening for me, and they have continued
in much the same way as they did in the heartwarming movies
Due to my Rotary Foundation scholarship to study in South
Africa, my life has been an amazing adventure. I never dreamt
when I was sailing from New Orleans to Cape Town on a Lykes
Line freighter ship in 1961 that I would be the presiding officer
at the 2011 Rotary Convention in that same port city of New
Orleans exactly 50 years later. But it happened, and I truly have a
deep appreciation and passion for The Rotary Foundation.
I also am fortunate that I found a way to utilise my farm heritage
with the music and lyrics of “Cowboy Logic” and the wisdom of
the Code of the West as recited in the book Cowboy Ethics. It has
been a signal honour to play a role in the fantastic story of Rotary
as it has emerged onto the world stage. But above all else, I am
proud to acknowledge that I am a living, breathing product of
The Rotary Foundation – because I was a Rotary Scholar.
The Rotary Foundation
At the end of the
movie – the cowboy
WE are members of a Rotary club to do good
in the world, from our local community to the
greater world community. To this end, The Rotary
Foundation sets goals on both contribution and
grant spending, and in turn your club sets goals,
be it for membership, projects, meetings or for
The goal for the Annual Fund, the fund that
delivers the global and district grants, has a
worldwide goal of $US130 million and, with the
Rotary year rapidly coming to an end, it is time to
see if your club can be part of reaching this goal
by contributing to The Rotary Foundation. It is also
changeover time and a large number of Paul Harris
recognitions are presented this month. It is the
$US1000 contributions to The Rotary Foundation
that make this recognition possible and in most
cases this contribution comes from club funds.
Along with the changeover event comes a new
president and management team in your club. Part
of the responsibility of that team is to set the goals
for the coming year. As this is the centennial year
for The Rotary Foundation, part of that goal setting
should be about how you and your club are going
to celebrate 100 years of Doing Good in the World.
The goal for the Annual Fund this coming year is
$US150 million. You might say this is a big jump on
past goals, but when one considers this milestone
and the excitement this event will generate, maybe
the figure should be $US200 million!
That aside, it really is time to look to November,
Foundation Month, and plan that big event that
will ensure your club both celebrates The Rotary
Foundation and makes its biggest ever contribution.
If there was ever a year to 100 per cent engage
with the Foundation, this is it.
A simple plan may well be that every member
contributes $26.50 and that every club contributes
$2650 in the same week in November. In my
district that is planned for the week commencing
November 7, the first full week in November, and
will be in addition to a club or member’s normal
giving for the year.
Why not use November to recognise a community
leader who is doing good in your community? If
every club did this, imagine the impact that we
could have. Imagine the amount of press that could
be generated. Imagine the opportunities this would
create to Do Good in the World.
The Rotary Foundation
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Carrying the story into the early
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in history; a gift to the children of the 21st century. Volume
1: Making the Promise is available from the Rotary Shop
for $15. Order your copy today from shop.rotary.org
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