2017-2018 Rotary Club of Ellsworth Handbook
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Rotary is a worldwide organization of business and professional leaders that provides humanitarian service, encourages high ethical standards in all vocations, and helps build goodwill and peace in the world. Approximately 1.3 million Rotarians belong to more than 33,000 clubs in more than 200 countries and geographical areas.
Rotary club membership represents a cross-section of the community's business and professional men and women. The world's Rotary clubs meet weekly and are nonpolitical, nonreligious, and open to all cultures, races, and creeds.
The main objective of Rotary is service — in the community, in the workplace, and throughout the world. Rotarians develop community service projects that address many of today's most critical issues, such as children at risk, poverty and hunger, the environment, illiteracy, and violence. They also support programs for youth, educational opportunities and international exchanges for students, teachers, and other professionals, and vocational and career development. The Rotary motto is Service Above Self.
Although Rotary clubs develop autonomous service programs, all Rotarians worldwide are united in a campaign for the global eradication of polio. In the 1980s, Rotarians raised US$240 million to immunize the children of the world; by 2005, Rotary's centenary year and the target date for the certification of a polio-free world, the Polio Plus program will have contributed US$500 million to this cause. In addition, Rotary has provided an army of volunteers to promote and assist at national immunization days in polio-endemic countries around the world.
The Rotary Foundation of Rotary International is a not-for-profit corporation that promotes world understanding through international humanitarian service programs and educational and cultural exchanges. It is supported solely by voluntary contributions from Rotarians and others who share its vision of a better world. Since 1947, the Foundation has awarded more than US$1.1 billion in humanitarian and educational grants, which are administered by local Rotary clubs and districts.
   Four Avenues of Service
Based on the Object of Rotary, the Four Avenues of Service are Rotary's philosophical cornerstone and the foundation on which club activity is based:
     Club Service focuses on strengthening fellowship and ensuring the effective functioning of the club.
     Vocational Service encourages Rotarians to serve others through their vocations and to practice high ethical standards.
     Community Service covers the projects and activities the club undertakes to improve life in its community.
     International Service encompasses actions taken to expand Rotary's humanitarian reach around the globe and to promote world understanding and peace.
  Object of Rotary
The Object of Rotary is to encourage and foster the ideal of service as a basis of worthy enterprise and, in particular, to encourage and foster:
  • FIRST. The development of acquaintance as an opportunity for service;
  • SECOND. High ethical standards in business and professions, the recognition of the worthiness of all useful occupations, and the dignifying of each Rotarian's occupation as an opportunity to serve society;
  • THIRD. The application of the ideal of service in each Rotarian's personal, business, and community life;
  • FOURTH. The advancement of international understanding, goodwill, and peace through a world fellowship of business and professional persons united in the ideal of service.
   The Four-Way Test
From the earliest days of the organization, Rotarians were concerned with promoting high ethical standards in their professional lives. One of the world's most widely printed and quoted statements of business ethics is The Four-Way Test, which was created in 1932 by Rotarian Herbert J. Taylor (who later served as RI president) when he was asked to take charge of a company that was facing bankruptcy.
This 24-word test for employees to follow in their business and professional lives became the guide for sales, production, advertising, and all relations with dealers and customers, and the survival of the company is credited to this simple philosophy. Adopted by Rotary in 1943, The Four-Way Test has been translated into more than a hundred languages and published in thousands of ways. It asks the following four questions:
"Of the things we think, say or do:
             1.  Is it the TRUTH? 
            2.  Is it FAIR to all concerned?
            3.  Will it build GOODWILL and BETTER FRIENDSHIPS?
           4.  Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?"
   The Rotary Foundation
The Rotary Foundation  (Celebrating its 101st Year Anniversary) is a not-for-profit corporation that supports the efforts of Rotary International to achieve world understanding and peace through international humanitarian, educational, and cultural exchange programs. It is supported solely by voluntary contributions from Rotarians and friends of the Foundation who share its vision of a better world.
The Foundation was created in 1917 by Rotary International's sixth president, Arch C. Klumph, as an endowment fund for Rotary "to do good in the world." It has grown from an initial contribution of US$26.50 to more than US$117.9 million contributed in 2004-05. Its event-filled history is a story of Rotarians learning the value of service to humanity.
The Foundation's Humanitarian Programs fund international Rotary club and district projects to improve the quality of life, providing health care, clean water, food, education, and other essential needs primarily in the developing world. One of the major Humanitarian Programs is Polio Plus, which seeks to eradicate the poliovirus worldwide. Through its Educational Programs, the Foundation provides funding for some 1,200 students to study abroad each year. Grants are also awarded to university teachers to teach in developing countries and for exchanges of business and professional people. Former participants in the Foundation's programs have the opportunity to continue their affiliation with Rotary as Foundation Alumni.
For more information on current Foundation program awards and financial status see the Rotary Foundation Fact Card and the Rotary Foundation Annual Report, both of which are available for download.
    Ellsworth Rotary Foundation
The Ellsworth Rotary Foundation was established on September 26, 2006 as an entity separate and apart from the Rotary Club of Ellsworth. The development of the organization was led by Daniel A. Hurley, III.  The foundation is overseen by a board of directors that are elected by members of the Ellsworth Rotary Club and must keep a separate set of minutes and financials from the club. The foundation is a nonprofit 501(c) (3) charity and was established as a means to facilitate scholarships and charitable grants where the donor wishes to take advantage of a charitable deduction.  In addition the foundation is registered as a charitable entity with the State of Maine. Donors are allowed to take a charitable deduction on their income tax returns for cash or property donated to the foundation.  In addition, the foundation encourages individuals to remember our local Rotary by making bequests under their will or their estate plan. Those interested in making a gift to the foundation are encouraged to check with the club president and their own financial advisors.
Board of Directors – Rotary Foundation
Ashley Johnson, Board Chair             479-1414       ash83johnson@gmail.com
Dan Hurley,    Treasurer                    667-6271       dhurley33@twc.com
Lincoln Ehrlenbach,   Vice Chair       667-8501       lehrlenbach@gmail.com       
Jack Frost                                            664-5548       jfrost@mainehospital.org
Raymond Williams                             667-7121       rlwilliams724@gmail.com
Dave Wells                                         667-6206       djwmsw@gmail.com
Schedule for Special Events, Board Meeting & Club Assemblies (July 2017 – June 2018)
Jul         11                                 Rotary Board Meeting w/ District Gov - 4:30 pm @ Timberland Acres
Aug         5                                 55th Annual Rotary Blueberry Pancake Breakfast
Aug         8                              Rotary Board Meeting – 4:30 PM @ Timberland Acres
Sep           5                                Ellsworth High School Freshman Barbecue
Sep          12                               Rotary Board Meeting – 4:30 pm @ Timberland Acres
Sep          23                               Autumn Gold Pancake breakfast
Sep          26                               Club Assembly and Social
Oct         10                               Rotary Board Meeting – 4:30 pm @ Timberland Acres
Oct         17                               HCTC Student Recognition/Vocational Speaker
Oct         24                            Rotary Blood Drive – Noon to 6:00 PM  - No Meeting
Nov           7                                Membership Nite
Nov        14                            Rotary Board Meeting – 4:30 pm @ TBA
Nov         21                               Thanksgiving Dinner
Dec (M, W, F)                          Loaves & Fishes Food Pantry Service (since 1981)
Dec       5                                    Club Assembly – Election of 2016 Club & Foundation Officers
Dec       9                                    12th Annual Gifting Experience**
Dec     12                                   Rotary Board Meeting – 4:30 pm @ TBA
Dec     12                                   HCTC Student Recognition/Vocational Speakers
Dec     19                                   Holiday Party
Dec     26                                   NO Meeting
Jan        9                                   Rotary Board Meeting – 4:30 pm @ TBA
Feb      13                                  Rotary Board Meeting – 4:30 pm @ TBA
Feb      27                                   HCTC Student Recognition/Vocational Speakers
March Monday’s                      Everybody Eats am shift 11-3 pm shift 3-6:30 (since 2012)
March   13                                Rotary Board Meeting – 4:30 pm @ TBA
March   27                                Club Assembly and Social
April      10                                Rotary Board Meeting – 4:30 pm @ TBA
April       10                               57th Annual Ellsworth H. S. Honors Banquet
April      24                                HCTC Student Recognition/Vocational Speakers
May         8                 Rotary Board Meeting – 4:30 pm @ TBA
May        18                               67th   Annual Rotary Charity Auction                               
June       12                                40th Paul Harris Recognition**
June       19                                Rotary Board Meeting – 4:30 pm @ TBA
June       26                                Transition Ceremony/Club Assembly
Rotary Projects & Events
The Rotary Club of Ellsworth supports the community and organizes events to obtain funding needed to carry out its mission of “service above self”.  Club members participate in these programs and events with the additional benefit of the good fellowship fostered among the members and raising public awareness of the Club.  Below is an outline of some of the key projects and events that are completed each year.
Blueberry Pancake Breakfast
Historically the pancake breakfast is held on the second Saturday in August. The pancake breakfast has been an annual event since 1962.  The breakfast committee begins meeting regularly in May – ordering food, arranging the big-top tent rental, soliciting donations, arranging for electricity and propane, printing of posters and tickets, and preparing press releases and assigning tasks for one of its oldest and most successful community event and fundraiser.  Much is to be accomplished prior to the event to make this a success and all hands are on the tables and chairs for setup on Friday evening before the griddles begin to steam on Saturday morning.  Tickets are for sale six weeks in advance and the event would not be a success without presales and the patron business sponsorships.  Many Rotarians enlist the help of family members to help out at the breakfast.  Entertainment is provided by the old ragtime music of the Fletcher’s Landing Philharmonic led by our own Rotarian Michael Povich.  Cindy Shoppe is again chairing the Breakfast Committee for the 55th annual Blueberry Pancake Breakfast on August 5, 2017 at the Knowlton Community Park.
Rotary’s Charity Auction
This was the second year the Club held its annual auction at the Big Cats Event Center which provided for a much larger space, an opportunity to expand food offerings, and adding entertainment.    The auction was the Club’s original fundraiser, first held in 1951.  Each year the Club selects a nonprofit as a partner with proceeds to be shared between Rotary and the charity.  In recent years, nonprofit partners have included: Maine Coast Memorial Hospital, The Next Step, Downeast Health Services, The Woodlawn Museum, Downeast Family YMCA, the Ellsworth Community Playground, Downeast Horizons, The SPCA of Hancock County, and the GRAND.  The auction requires much advanced planning.  The Committee’s duties include sending letters to businesses announcing the auction and reminding them of the many ways that Rotary supports the community, both within Hancock County and Internationally.  The event has expanded in recent years and nearly 300+ individual quality items are obtained to be auctioned off to the highest bidder.  Having this many items and over 150-200 bidders requires a great deal of coordination and preparation.  But the efforts are well worth it.  In recent years, Rotary has raised significant funds and at least $10,000 has gone to the nonprofit partners in each of the last four years and $16,000 to Maine Coast Memorial Hospital in 2017. Rotarians are encouraged to submit recommendations for nonprofit partners in the fall so that the Committee, chaired by the current President Elect, is able to start planning by January.
Loaves & Fishes Food Pantry
Rotary has become an active participant in the Loaves & Fishes Food Pantry.  In fact, Rotary Past President H. Lincoln Ehrlenbach has served as the Pantry Board Chair from 2006-2013.  Domenic Efter also has served on the Board of the Pantry. Charlene Churchill currently serves on the Pantry Board year-round. The Pantry came about in the 1970s under the direction of Mary Anderson, a member of St. Josephs Church. Each December members of the Club are responsible for all Pantry activities.  Shifts include stocking shelves and helping clients make food choices, picking up baked goods and produce at Hannaford, Walmart, and Shaws, and occasionally assisting with storing a large food delivery at the pantry.  The Pantry is open to the public on Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings and two Friday evenings a month.  It is located on the Bucksport Road next to the Unitarian Universalist Church.  The telephone number to the Pantry is 667-4363.
Red Cross Blood Drive
Since 1981, the Club has been directly involved in organizing a Red Cross Blood Drive in Ellsworth. This event was held on a Tuesday in August and has now moved to October. Members chose from a variety of duties, including: assisting with greeting at the event and registration of donors, escorting donors to various next locations, and providing food and drinks to those who have given the gift of life. Jim Vickers and Scott Kimball have taken the lead on this project for many years and will be assisting with the coordination of this event which takes place on October 24, 2017.
Ellsworth High Senior’s Honor Banquet
In its 57th year, the Seniors Honor Banquet is one of the Clubs most enjoyable events.  Typically, the “Top 50” EHS Seniors are invited to attend the event.  Each is recognized for their individual accomplishments through their high school years and their plans for employment and/or post-secondary education are shared at a special ceremony in May.  To assure the comfort of the students, Rotarians “host” students, contacting them the week prior to the event to review the schedule and plan for the evening.  Students and parents have the opportunity to ask any questions that they may be curious about prior to the Banquet.  Many Rotarians enjoy bringing family members to this event, which also features a guest speaker.  At least four scholarships have been awarded by Rotarians for many years.  In 2017 four scholarship awards of $500 and a $1,000 Kaufman Four Way Test Scholarship was awarded.  For 2018, we expect to add another $500 scholarship focused on demonstrated leadership and service. In many years, individual Rotarians have awarded additional scholarships on behalf of their businesses or loved ones.
           EVERYBODY EATS free community meal                                                                     
Everybody Eats has provided free nutritious meals every Monday from 3-6pm since June 2009. We strive to provide these meals in a welcoming, friendly environment. Many people in our extended community find themselves with food needs, and all are welcome.
This grass roots program serves on Mondays at St. Dunstan’s Episcopal Church in Ellsworth, we have served over 26,000 meals, and volunteers have donated more than 10,500 hours of time.
During March of each year, Rotarians have volunteered at Everybody Eats either during the morning preparation from 11am until 3pm or during the serving and clean up from 3pm to 6:30pm.
The Gifting Experience
In October of 2006, Rotarian Jack Frost proposed the idea of reaching out to families in the greater Ellsworth area and offer children (ages 8-10) the opportunity to share holiday gifts with their immediate family. Funds are provided by Rotary and some local businesses to enable children to purchase gifts for their family members.  For many this is their first opportunity to share the gift of giving.  The program was quickly organized with the support of area school principals and guidance counselors and 12 families were involved in 2006; the number has grown each year.  The program is held on the second Saturday in December.  Many Rotarians have come to greatly enjoy the process of guiding children as they seek gifts for loved ones.  After the children have finished wrapping presents and have lunch at the Camden National Bank downtown branch, they receive a present and a book of their own.
Rotary and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation announce $450 million commitment to end polio
ATLANTA, Ga. (June 12, 2017) – Today in Atlanta Rotary President John Germ and Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, announced a commitment of up to $450 million to support the eradication of polio.
To an audience of nearly 40,000 Rotary members attending the humanitarian organization’s annual convention, Rotary and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation renewed their longstanding support for ending polio – a paralyzing, life-altering scourge on the verge of becoming the second human disease ever to be eliminated. Rotary committed to raise $50 million per year over the next three years, with every dollar to be matched with two additional dollars from the Gates Foundation. This expanded agreement will translate into $450 million for polio eradication activities, including immunization and surveillance over the next three years. This critical funding helps ensure countries around the world remain polio-free and that polio is ended in the remaining three endemic countries: Afghanistan, Nigeria, and Pakistan.
Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and RI President John Germ announce new pledges toward the polio eradication effort at the Rotary Convention in Atlanta. 
“In 2016, fewer children were paralyzed by polio than ever before, thanks to the dedication of Rotary members and our partners,” said Germ. “The paralysis of even one child by a preventable disease is unacceptable, and I'm proud to see our members redoubling their commitment to ensure we reach every single child with the polio vaccine.”
In a partnership spanning a decade, Rotary and the Gates Foundation, along with the other Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) partners, have led the effort to end polio worldwide. This funding extension reaffirms a commitment established at the 2013 Rotary Convention in Lisbon, Portugal, when the Gates Foundation pledged to match Rotary contributions two-to-one, up to $35 million per year through 2018. Rotary, including matching funds from the Gates Foundation, has donated more than $1.6 billion to polio eradication. 
“The vision of eradicating polio began with Rotary, and its support of that effort has been unwavering for more than 35 years,” said Gates. “Rotary’s commitment to raise $150 million over the next three years to end polio forever is a testament to the compassion, generosity, and kindness of more than a million Rotarians around the world.”
Today’s announcement comes on the heels of the news that world governments and other donors have pledged to contribute US$1.2 billion total to the GPEI for polio eradication efforts. The government funding—also announced today at the Rotary Convention—will substantially help to close the US$1.5 billion funding gap, allowing partners to immunize 450 million children every year and support rigorous disease surveillance in both endemic and at-risk polio-free countries. While the government funding announced today makes considerable headway in the fight to end polio, continued support from donors remains vital to achieve a polio-free world.
The global eradication of polio has been Rotary’s top priority since 1985. Through the Global Polio Eradication Initiative – a public-private partnership that includes Rotary, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the World Health Organization, and UNICEF – the incidence of polio has plummeted by more than 99.9 percent, from about 350,000 cases a year at the start of the initiative to just 37 cases in 2016.
Community Support Guidelines
The following guidelines will enable the Rotary Club of Ellsworth to evaluate requests for funding:
The Rotary Club of Ellsworth Donations Committee will review all written requests for donations and make recommendations to the Board of Directors on a regular basis - usually monthly.  Written requests to the Committee should include the specific purpose of the donation and the total cost of the project or purpose. Consideration will be given for fund raising activities that an organization is doing on its own.  The budget for 2016/17 for local donations is $9,000.
The Rotary Club of Ellsworth prioritizes support for local organizations, but in line with Rotary International goals, the Club considers requests from organizations outside the geographic area.  For any request greater than $500, the Club recommends that a representative of the organization attend a Board meeting to describe the project for which the funds are being requested.
The Rotary Club of Ellsworth will consider donations to individuals in exceptional cases only. The Club will not support requests for activities that constitute self-enrichment travel.  The Club may choose not to approve requests that do not support Rotary objectives and priorities at the time of the request.  The Club may accept or reject requests at its discretion. 
Community Support has helped:
Abnaki Girl Scout Council                                American Legion Baseball
American Red Cross                                         Beech Hill School Destination Imagination
Beth C. Wright Cancer Resource Center                       Big Brothers Big Sisters
Birds Acre Property Purchase                           Camp CaPella  
Challenger Little League                                   Child & Family Opportunities              
Diabetes Community Walk                              Down East Family YMCA                     
Downeast Health Services                                Downeast Horizons                                         
Eastern Area Agency on Aging                                     EHS Student – Anjanette M. Tucker     
Ellsworth High School Alumni Association        Ellsworth Public Library                      
Emmaus Homeless Shelter                                Everybody Eats-free community meal  
Friends in Action – Community Connections     Frenchman Bay Conservancy
Hancock County Deferred Sentencing Program           HCTC Students                                                
Grand Auditorium                                            Hills House
Katahdin Area Boy Scouts                                 Katrina Relief  
Loaves & Fishes Food Pantry                             Maine Coast Memorial Hospital            Prescription Assistance
Maine Mentoring Partnership                          People to People – Alisha MacLean
Schoodic Arts for All                                        Skills USA VICA, HCTC                       
SPCA of Hancock County                                  Special Children’s Friends                   
Surry Elementary School                                  Tanglewood 4-H Camp and Learning Center
The Next Step Domestic Violence Project         Tommy McNeil Memorial Fund
United Cerebral Palsy of Maine                                    Volunteers of American – Camp Postcard        
Woodlawn Museum                                         UVM Medical Student Abby Gross
Red Cross Blood Drive 
TOTAL SUPPORT $170,802 Since 2006
*Excludes support to nonprofit auction partners
Rotary International                        www.rotary.org
International Zone 22                      www.rotaryzone22.org
Rotary District 7790                        www.rotary-7790.org
Rotary Club of Ellsworth                www.ellsworthrotary.org
E-clubs were designed for potential Rotarians who could not attend
regular Rotary meetings. They are valid clubs recognized by Rotary
International. You pay dues to your e-club and the district in which it
is based and to Rotary International.

 Rotary eClub One:                                http://rotaryeclubone.org/
 Rotary eClub of 3310:                          http://www.rotaryeclub3310.org/
 Rotary eClub of District 7890:              http://www.rotaryeclub7890.org/
 Rotary eClub of Southwest USA           http://www.rotaryeclubsouthwest.org/  
 Rotary e-Club NY1 of District 7150      http://www.rotaryeclubny1.com/
 Rotary eClub of London Centenary       http://www.erotarylondon.org/
HCTC Student Recognition Program
The Hancock County Technical Center (HCTC) Student Recognition Program has been supported by the Rotary Club of Ellsworth since 2006.  Nine students per year receive special recognition.  This has been very successful and has built strong relations between the Club and HCTC.  This program fits very well with one of Rotary’s objectives – the opportunity to recognize the importance of all vocations. 
For 2017/18, Rotary will set aside four meeting dates to recognize students.  The proposed dates are: October 17, 2017; December 12, 2017; February 27, 2018; and April 24, 2018.  The students, their parents, and the instructors will be invited to each meeting.  Rotary will seek out career professionals in the students’ respective vocations to speak at the meeting. 
These individuals will be asked to share their knowledge of training and skills required to advance in the career field – offering encouragement and specific advice for their respective vocations.  Bringing this aspect to the recognition can raise the level of awareness within the business community of the HCTC programs, possibly leading to new opportunities for on-the-job training, internships or employment for the students.   
Rotarians are members of Rotary clubs. Rotary clubs belong to Rotary International. To become a Rotarian, you must be invited to join a Rotary club by a member of that club.

A qualified candidate for Rotary club membership is an adult of good character and good business, professional, or community reputation. The candidate holds or has held an executive position with discretionary authority in any worthy and recognized business or profession and serves or has served as a community leader.
There are many reasons to join a local Rotary club:
An original goal of Rotary was to allow club members to meet periodically and enlarge their circle of business and professional acquaintances. As members of the oldest service club in the world, Rotarians represent a cross-section of their community’s business owners, executives, managers, political leaders, and professionals – people who make decisions and influence policy.
Club members have many opportunities for humanitarian service, both locally and internationally. Service programs address concerns such as health care, hunger, poverty, illiteracy, and the environment. Rotarians regularly experience the fulfillment that comes from giving back to the community.
Rotary was founded on fellowship, a cornerstone that continues to attract members today. Rotarians enjoy camaraderie with like-minded professionals, and club projects provide opportunities to develop enduring friendships. Club members who travel have friendly contacts in almost every city of the world.
Rotary sponsors some of the world’s largest exchange and educational programs. Rotary clubs provide innovative training opportunities and mentoring for young leaders, and they involve family members in a wide range of social and service activities.
Encouraging high ethical standards and respect for all worthy vocations has been a hallmark of Rotary from its earliest days. In their business and professional lives, Rotarians abide by The Four-Way Test:
Of the things we think, say or do: -Is it the TRUTH?  -Is it FAIR to all concerned? -Will it build GOODWILL and BETTER FRIENDSHIPS? -Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?"
Rotary is an organization of successful professionals. Team-building, fundraising, public speaking, planning, organization, and communication are just some of the leadership skills that club members can exercise and enhance. Being a Rotary leader provides further experience in motivating, inspiring, and guiding others.
History of Rotary
The world's first service club, the Rotary Club of Chicago, Illinois, USA, was formed on 23 February 1905 by Paul P. Harris, an attorney who wished to recapture in a professional club the same friendly spirit he had felt in the small towns of his youth. The name "Rotary" derived from the early practice of rotating meetings among members' offices.
Rotary's popularity spread throughout the United States in the decade that followed; clubs were chartered from San Francisco to New York. By 1921, Rotary clubs had been formed on six continents, and the organization adopted the name Rotary International a year later.
As Rotary grew, its mission expanded beyond serving the professional and social interests of club members. Rotarians began pooling their resources and contributing their talents to help serve communities in need. The organization's dedication to this ideal is best expressed in its principal motto: Service Above Self. Rotary also later embraced a code of ethics, called The 4-Way Test, that has been translated into hundreds of languages.
During and after World War II, Rotarians became increasingly involved in promoting international understanding. In 1945, 49 Rotary members served in 29 delegations to the United Nations Charter Conference. Rotary still actively participates in UN conferences by sending observers to major meetings and promoting the United Nations in Rotary publications. Rotary International's relationship with the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) dates back to a 1943 London Rotary conference that promoted international cultural and educational exchanges. Attended by ministers of education and observers from around the world, and chaired by a past president of RI, the conference was an impetus to the establishment of UNESCO in 1946.
An endowment fund, set up by Rotarians in 1917 "for doing good in the world," became a not-for-profit corporation known as The Rotary Foundation in 1928. Upon the death of Paul Harris in 1947, an outpouring of Rotarian donations made in his honor, totaling US$2 million, launched the Foundation's first program — graduate fellowships, now called Ambassadorial Scholarships. Today, contributions to The Rotary Foundation total more than US$80 million annually and support a wide range of humanitarian grants and educational programs that enable Rotarians to bring hope and promote international understanding throughout the world.
In 1985, Rotary made a historic commitment to immunize all of the world's children against polio. Working in partnership with nongovernmental organizations and national governments thorough its PolioPlus program, Rotary is the largest private-sector contributor to the global polio eradication campaign. Rotarians have mobilized hundreds of thousands of PolioPlus volunteers and have immunized more than one billion children worldwide. By the 2005 target date for certification of a polio-free world, Rotary will have contributed half a billion dollars to the cause.
As it approached the dawn of the 21st century, Rotary worked to meet the changing needs of society, expanding its service effort to address such pressing issues as environmental
degradation, illiteracy, world hunger, and children at risk. The organization admitted women for the first time (worldwide) in 1989 and claims more than 145,000 women in its ranks today. Following the collapse of the Berlin Wall and the dissolution of the Soviet Union, Rotary clubs were formed or re-established throughout Central and Eastern Europe. Today, 1.2 million Rotarians belong to some 32,000 Rotary clubs in more than 200 countries and geographical areas.