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Posted by Franz Huber on Oct 04, 2018
I don't know whether the large turnout was due to the attraction of having "Rotary Royalty" present - as a very popular Past District Governor, accompanied by his equally charming wife Dianne, Tony Heading would undoubtedly have some pull. Or was it his subject, The Rotary Foundation (TRF), which drew people in? I guess we'll never know.  And Tony certainly didn't disappoint.
 
Many of our members would only have been vaguely aware of TRF.  About half of our club's members are Paul Harris Fellows, meaning that the club has donated US$1,000 in their name to "our" charity.  Many of our members also chose TRF as their preferred charity and purchased a PHF for themselves and their partners. But really: how much do you know about one of the most outstanding charities in the world? One of the few which consistently rates four stars on Charity Navigator, which recognizes the fact that TRF has a whopping 92 % efficiency rating, with only a 2% overhead for administration? [Compare, for example, World Vision and the Red Cross, both very popular and undoubtedly highly reputable organizations, but they only get 3 stars. Ed.].
The Rotary Foundation has six areas of focus: 
  1. Promoting Peace
  2. Providing Clean Water
  3. Saving Mothers and Children
  4. Supporting Education
  5. Growing Local Economies
  6. Fighting Disease
You can get full details from Rotary International's website - click here. There are numerous sub-sections below each heading. Just looking at Fighting Disease: Rotary's signature project for the past three decades has been the eradication of Polio: from some 350,000 cases reported world wide when we started in 1986 (and, I suspect, many remained unreported), we now have just 18 cases reported, all in the war torn regions of Afghanistan and Pakistan. Nigeria again has had no cases reported.  And where else can you get Microsoft Founder Bill Gates to add two dollars for every one you donate? Yes, if you donate to the Polio Plus fund of The Rotary Foundation, that's how!
 
TRF is not just directly active on an international basis: via District Grants, any Rotary club can apply for a District Grant. Take as an example a project by the Rotary Club of Bribie Island: their own investment of $1,000 grew to $139,000 by taking advantage of all the various grants that are available.  Our own club benefited when last year we needed a container to ship the materials for the school in Apia, Samoa.
 
So, my fellow members and friends of Rotary: why not donate US$1,000 to our foundation and get a Paul Harris Fellowship recognition? It is entirely up to you whether you want to wear the PHF pin or not [I rarely wear mine except on formal Rotary occasions - far too ostentatious for my taste. Ed.], it is what is being done with your donation that counts. And with an efficiency rating that surpasses just about any other charity out there, you can relax that they are not wasting your money on administration, outrageous marketing expenses, commissions and - heavens forbid - "backshish".  Click on this link to go to our District Website where you can fill in the form, securely pay via Credit Card online and in turn be assured that it goes to the right place. And yes, you'll get a Tax Receipt - donations are fully tax deductible.
 
Picture above (by Charles Thomasson): They are quite a rambunctious mob at Surfers Sunrise - visit by a group from Taiwan. Tony and Dianne Heading on right.