Five Hundred Rotarians and guests from the metropolitan Philadelphia area gathered at the Springfield Country Club to welcome Rotary International President, John Germ. The dinner event was to celebrate Rotary District 7450’s Million Dollar Journey, a year long effort to raise at least one million dollars for the work of The Rotary Foundation.
President Germ, who has already traveled over a million miles since beginning his one year term on July 1, 2016, told of his personal experiences in witnessing to the outstanding work done with the help of grants from The Rotary Foundation, which is celebrating its 100th birthday this year. The most visible program is Rotary’s 30 year program to eradicate polio. Overall, the annual number of polio cases has plummeted by more than 99 percent since the initiative was launched in 1988, when polio infected about 350,000 children a year. More than two billion children have been immunized in 122 countries, preventing five million cases of paralysis and 250,000 deaths. Today there are fewer than 100 cases worldwide in three countries.
The Rotary Foundation has been so successful in mobilizing Rotarians and community volunteers that the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation have made significant matching gifts toward this effort. President Germ told of his personal attendance at an immunization event and the grateful looks of parents who knew their child would now be protected from Polio. He is also proud that The Rotary Foundation is in the top five charities as rated by Charity Navigator, an organization that rates charities on financial health, accountability and transparency of reporting. The Rotary Foundation scores 97.87 out of 100 points. As the charitable arm of Rotary International, the Foundation taps into the global network of 1.25 million Rotarians around the world who invest their time, money, and expertise into their committed priorities of Promoting Peace, Fighting Disease, Providing Clean Water, Saving Mothers and Children, Supporting Education and Growing Local Economies.
Jeffry Cadorette of the Rotary Club of Media as emcee for the evening. Hogie and Ann Hansen of the Swarthmore club were recognized for a lifetime of contributions to the Foundation as were district Rotarians who were members of the Bequest Society, having committed at least $10,000 in planned gifts for The Rotary Foundation. The evening culminated when District Governor Dave Haradon and Million Dollar Journey Chair Bonnie Korengel presented President Germ with a check representing the $2,355,376 raised by the district for the Rotary Foundation. Germ stated: “We have much work to do to meet the challenges of international poverty, illiteracy, and malnutrition with sustainable solutions that leave a lasting impact. My sincere thanks to all of you for this marvelous effort in support of our Foundation and for inspiring the goods works we do around the world and specifically in the Philadelphia area.”
Rotary International is a service organization dedicated to “Service Above Self” and “Doing Good in the World.” If you would like to learn more about it, go to www.Rotary.org or for information about a local Rotary Club, visit the Rotary Club of Media at its Thursday meeting, 12:15 p.m. at DiFabio’s on Providence Road, or visit its website www.mediarotary.org