Rotary Log for June 18, 2020
President Leo opened the meeting and welcomed all those joining via Zoom.  Judy Ringer led the singing of “You’re a Grand Old Flag,” followed by Larry Murphy’s thoughtful invocation.
Leo thanked those who had already paid their dues and reminded others to pay as soon as possible. Checks can be mailed to PO Box 905, Portsmouth, NH 03801.
Jon Flagg shared a very interesting Rotary historical moment.  He read out a resolution passed by Rotary International in October 1927.  The sentiments seem very appropriate to our times.
Edward Blaisdell, First President of Portsmouth Rotary Club
"Whereas: Politics is the science of government, and a politician, one versed in the science of government, and
Whereas: Our government is a democracy in which every citizen male or female, is a politician to some degree, and
Whereas: Every citizen, male or female, should be a politician in the true sense of the word –
Be it resolved: That it is the duty of every citizen male or female, to inform himself or herself concerning our government and its needs to the best of his or her ability –
And be it Further Resolved: That it is the duty of every citizen, male or female, to exercise the right of suffrage by going to the polls, and voting according to their information and the dictates of their conscience –
And be it Further Resolved: That the perpetuation of our government depends upon the political character of our people and the exercising of the constitutional right of voting."
Jon then discussed the results of the polling email he had sent out regarding the resumption of live meetings.  Some 107 replies were received with the following results.  Thirty-six members were comfortable with resuming live meetings on June 25th.  Fourteen members preferred July 16th and 11 voted for August 13th.  Forty-six voted to start after Labor Day.  Since some members voted twice and some perhaps not at all, Jon will send out a second poll email.
Jon has discussed the possibility of resuming Rotary socials with Caitlyn Hassett. Caitlyn has first-hand knowledge of the current COVID guidelines for restaurants.  With social distancing rules still in place, she did not think Rotary gatherings would work.  Jon threw out the idea of an open-air social at a member’s home while still following COVID guidelines.  He will send out an email and would appreciate feedback.
Our favorite fine master, Neal Ouellett, was up next.  His theme revolved around events on this date in history.  On this day in 1928, Amelia Earhart flew across the Atlantic as the first female passenger.  For that, he fined every woman who had flown in 2020 two dollars. 
Following this theme, fines were levied on those who had owned a VW Beetle. Work on the prototype began on this day in 1936.  Paul McCartney was born on this day in 1942.  Neal fined everyone born before (and after) that date one dollar.
He ended in1910 when the first Father’s Day was celebrated in Spokane, Wa. He fined all fathers two dollars and all those who had had a father one dollar.  Jon jumped in to mentioned Edwin Blaisdell. He became Portsmouth Rotary’s first president on this date.  Jon suggested a two-dollar fine for anyone who has Blaisdell in their family name.  That includes himself as his mother’s maiden name is Blaisdell!
James Petersen introduced our fellow Rotarian, Dave Underhill. Dave is District 7780’s Global Grants Coordinator for the Rotary Foundation.  Dave gave a very informative and enlightening presentation beginning with a reminder of Rotary’s Vision Statement: “Together, we see a world where people unite and take action to create lasting change across the globe, in our communities and in our world.”
The Foundation is the engine that drives action taken by Rotarians around the world.  It’s the magic of Rotary, giving donors a say in how their donations are re-invested.  The Foundation focuses on six area. Those areas are Promoting Peace, Fighting Disease, Providing Clean Water, Saving Mothers and Children, Supporting Education and Growing Local Economies.
Dave reminded us that Rotarians have invested more than $1.2 billion to eradicate polio.   Rotary has pledged to give $50 million a year to PolioPlus until 2021.  This amount will be matched 2:1 by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.  Rotary helped put into a place an infrastructure for the elimination of polio. This is now proving helpful in many countries fighting the COVID pandemic.
The Rotary Foundation funds the five Rotary Peace Centers which give out 130 Fellowships a year.  So far 1,300 Peace Fellows have been trained.
Dave’s financial slides showed how contributions from members are handled. In the last fiscal year, the Rotary Foundation raised over $360 million. Roughly 91% of funds raised are redistributed, proof that the Foundation has very low overhead costs. 
Approximately, $26 million was allocated to Districts.  The District’s Annual Fund receipts are split 50/50 between the District Designated Funds and the World Fund.  Half the District Designated Funds go towards District Grants and Cultural Exchanges. The other half go to Global Grants, Peace Centers and Polio Plus. 
Global Grants begin with Club funding. As an example, if a Club (or group of Clubs) designates $10,000 for a project, the District will match that amount.  The Rotary Foundation World Fund then matches the District’s contribution. So, the total amount available to the Club would be $30,000, a 2:1 match.
Dave next explained the District 7780’s interim results for fiscal year 2019-2020.  Total District giving as of this report was $398,635.  Our Club has $20,000 Annual Fund goal.  We exceeded that by almost $5,000.  The Club’s Annual Fund giving-per- capita is higher than the District’s and considerably higher than the average club.  Dave explained that our club matches a $500 donation, helping a donor reach $1,000 and thus become a Paul Harris Society member.
The Club’s Polio Plus goal has not quite been attained.  This year’s goal is $5,000 and we are at $3,844 as of June 17th.  Dave encouraged members to donate whatever they could to reach our goal.  Explaining the many ways members can donate to the Foundation, Dave suggested that we make it our charity of choice.
Rotary has an outstanding performance as a charity, mainly because we are the engine that drives and supervises it.  For those wondering how they can help during this pandemic, Dave suggested a donation to one of the Funds. One can target specific grants and areas of focus.  Dave ended his presentation with examples of how gifts of any size make a big impact.
Barb Miller asked if the Foundation supports Rotaplast.  Rotaplast is an organization affiliated with Rotary but not funded or governed by it.
Leo commented on his recent cultural exchange visit to Colombia. He is looking into future projects that could be funded by Rotary.  The 2:1 match significantly increases the amount available for such endeavors.  Dave stressed the importance of these cultural exchanges which open doors, find Rotary partners and identify projects.
In answer to a question from Judy Ringer, Dave confirmed that Rotary can identify a donor from the member’s email address.  The District and club therefore get credit for each donation.  Janice Cassidy asked where she could find her Rotary ID number.  It can be found in ClubRunner under Member Profile.
Jon Flagg asked if the slide presentation could be put on the website.  Dave will send it to Dennis Moulton to be uploaded.
Leo announced that we raised $455 for PolioPlus in Venmo donations during last week’s meeting. Thanks to all who donated!
Frank Firicano requested clarification on the Bequest Society. Dave explained that this is when a member pledges to donate $10,000 or more to Rotary in their will.  A Benefactor pledges $1,000 or more.
John Sullivan led the members in the 4-Way Test with help from Jon Flagg who hung the Rotary banner around his neck for all to see.
Respectfully submitted, Francoise Meissner
Photos by Don Chick