Rotary Foundation Month Speaker -- November 9th
In celebration of Rotary Foundation Month, Bob Carroll was our speaker at last Tuesday's meeting. Bob is a lifelong resident of the Spokane area. He graduated from Gonzaga University and spent his career in the financial services industry serving as a vice president at both Merrill Lynch and Smith Barney. 

Bob is retired, is a past president of the Deer Park Rotary Club and currently serves as an Assistant District Governor in the Spokane area. He is also on the District Committee that evaluates applications for District Simplified Grants. He is a Paul Harris Fellow Plus Six and is a member of the Paul Harris Society. He addressed questions concerning the District Simplified Grant process and shared ideas for grantsmanship.

He spoke to the membership about the three main funds of the Foundation -- the Permanent Fund, the Annual Programs Fund and the PolioPlus Fund. As an endowment, only a portion of the earnings in the Permanent Fund are spent in support of the Foundation programs each year. The Annual Programs Fund  provides grants and awards through Foundation programs. Bob spoke to the EREY (Every Rotarian, Every Year) initiative encouraging Rotarians to contribute $100 or more to support vital Foundation programs (SEE PREVIOUS STORY ON "PAUL HARRIS DUES").

The PolioPlus Fund supports Rotary's top goal of a polio-free world. Polio is very close to being eradicated currently limited to a small number of cases in only four countries. The Foundation still needs to raise $50 million by June 30, 2012 in support of the challenge grant from the Gates Foundation, having already raised $150 million toward a combined Rotary/Gates total of $555 million.

It was recently noted that an outbreak of imported polio cases has occurred in Angola. Outbreaks of imported polio cases are not uncommon during eradication efforts. However, outbreaks highlight our global vulnerability to infectious disease. It reinforces the fact that polio "control" is not an option and only successful eradication will stop the disease.

In summary, Bob referenced the Hall of Fame pitcher, Jim Bouton, who near the end of his major league baseball career reflected on missing baseball. He determined that it was something bigger than himself. Using this thought as a metaphor, Bob asked each of us to reflect on that moment when we decided that as Rotarians, we were involved with something greater than ourselves.