Posted by Carl Gerhardt on Feb 27, 2018
On 2/27/2018, Rotarian Frank Parker spoke to the Magnolia Rotary Club about the importance of the Rotary Foundation and the need for our club to support it with 100% member participation. Pictured above is Magnolia Club Rotarian Frank Parker.     
Before fully explaining the Rotary Foundation, Frank Parker told everyone that there are a great number of resources about the Rotary Foundation located online at Frank brought up the web site on the main screen and pointed out where to find the information about the Rotary Foundation by clicking on "Our Foundation" under the "About Rotary" column heading.
Frank pointed out that the Rotary Foundation is a "4 Star Charity" which is the Charity Navigators highest rating. Frank also told everyone that the Rotary Foundation spends 91% of all of its revenues on rotary programs helping people around the world. These rotary programs include Polio Plus, Global Grants, District Grants, Peace Centers, Program Operations, Fund Development, and Administrations. Frank then told everyone that all funds given to the Rotary Foundation are placed into secure investments which generate interest. Every 3 years, the interest in kept in the fund and the original money is used to fund the programs mentioned above. As a result, every year, there are funds flowing back into these programs while the Rotary Foundation Fund continues earning new interest.
Frank pointed out that our club has received an award for 100% membership participation in the Rotary Foundation for the last three years and for the last two years, we have received the "Best in District" for giving more per capita than any other club in the district.
Frank then showed a film showing K.R. Ravindran, a member of the Rotary Club of Colombo, Western Province, Sri Lanka, and last years Rotary International President. Ravi, as he is affectionately known, told a story about a boy (called Zachary) in Mongolia who accidentally spilled boiling hot water all over himself and sustained terrific burns over a third of his body. Because the accident happened in such a remote part of the world, it took over a day to get him to the nearest hospital. However, even this hospital was not equipped to handle the boys burns and told his parents that the boy literally had only days to live if he could not be taken to a modern burn ward in the United States. The parents of the boy prayed for their son as hard as they knew how to and asked everyone they new for help. Although everyone they knew tried to help, the local airplane companies would not allow the boy to board one of their planes because he was in such a critical condition and they did not want to be responsible for his death.
It was at this time that the boy's parents reached out to Ravi and told him that as the International President of the Rotary, he could make anything happen. Ravi was not sure this was true but he decided to do the best he could so he reached out to friends in the government as well as other rotary friends including those in the United States and within several days, the local government granted the boy safe passage on the airlines and rotary friends all over the world working together got the boy the help he needed in the United States. The story had a happy ending as the boy is alive and well today.
Ravi also spoke about how the God of the universe sees everything as a tapestry woven by the many threads of all of our efforts. However, here on earth, humans only see the parts of the tapestry directly around them and never get to see the beauty of the magnificent tapestry as a whole. The point being that when we work together, we can help create parts of that magnificent tapestry. Such was the case of the boy named Zachary.
Ravi then told everyone that when he finally finished his very busy year as International President of Rotary, that he looked forward to returning home and spending more time with his family. Although he did spend some time with his family, he got involved with his local rotary club again and with his help, his club was able to screen 40,000 local women for cervical cancer with around 7,000 women showing positive for cervical cancer. these women were then sent to their local doctors for treatment. Once again, he was part of a thread that made up the magnificent tapestry of the universe.
Frank then told everyone that our club as well as thousands of other clubs around the world are a small part of that magnificent tapestry whenever we help people out in our communities and around the world. Frank said the United States is lucky in that it is a population of volunteers unlike many countries where no one cares about anyone but themselves and their own families.
Frank then asked Real Provencher to talk a little about the Rotary Foundation and the good it does in the world.
Real Provencher then spoke about the mechanics of the Rotary Foundation by explaining that if our club gave $100 for each member every year, we would give about $2500 to the Rotary Foundation. However, we have been receiving the maximum $3,000 District Grant each year so we are getting a pretty good return on our money and are able to do more for our community with that money. Real than pointed out that even though we are a relatively small club within our district we keep winning 100% Rotary Foundation Participation awards each year. Real also pointed out that the five Paul Harris Fellow awards that we give out each year would not be possible without the contributions of our membership. This year, we will give out two member Paul Harris Fellow awards, two Community Leader Paul Harris Fellow awards, and one Paul Harris Fellow award to the MISD student who has the most community service hours.
Real then mentioned that some of our members simply pay their $100 (or more) by writing a check at the end of the year. However, our club treasurer can bill an extra $25 on our quarterly dues invoice if a member chooses that route. If anyone wants to change they way they pay their amount, they just need to talk to the club treasurer or pay the Rotary Foundation directly.