November 2017                            


Foundation Month is here!

While I believe we should all think about
the Rotary Foundation year ‘round, Rotary International has deemed November as Foundation month. This gives us the opportunity to celebrate the good work we do as Rotarians through programs of The Rotary Foundation and to remind ourselves of the various options to support that work.

The Rotary Foundation has three funds: the Annual Fund, the Endowment Fund and PolioPlus.

Annual Fund - SHARE—Gifts to the Annual Fund help Rotary clubs take action today to create positive change in communities at home and around the world. Contributions help strengthen peace efforts, provide clean water and sanitation, support education, grow local economies, save mothers and children, and fight disease.

Through the SHARE system, contributions to The Rotary Foundation Annual Fund are transformed into grants that fund local and international humanitarian projects, scholarships, and activities, such as vocational training teams.

At the end of every Rotary year, contributions directed to the Annual Fund-SHARE from all Rotary clubs in the district are divided between the World Fund and the District Designated Fund (DDF). At the end of three years, our district can use the DDF to pay for Foundation, club, and district projects that your club and others in the district choose. Districts may use up to half of their DDF to fund district grants. The remaining DDF may be used for global grants or donated to PolioPlus or the Rotary Peace Centers.

Permanent Fund—This is an endowment fund. All contributions are invested in perpetuity and only the interest will be spent. This fund supports our Rotary Peace Scholars and other programs as determined by the trustees. You can support the Permanent Fund in two ways:

  • By contributing cash or assets, including property, securities (stock & shares), or whole life Insurance policies

  • By bequest (codicil to your will)

PolioPlus—This fund is only used for the eradication of Polio. We have eradicated wild Polio in all but three countries in the world: Afghanistan, Pakistan and Nigeria.

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has partnered with Rotary and is matching 2-to-1 every dollar contributed to The Rotary Foundation.

Thank you for your past donations to the Rotary Foundation. Through your generous donations we have been able to and will continue to accomplish great things!



District 5970’s “Rotary Rush” is on again for the months of November and December. It provides an incentive for 200 Rotarians to become first-time or multiple Paul Harris Fellows (PHF).

Normally, a Rotarian must contribute $1,000 to The Rotary Foundation to become a first-time PHF and an additional $1,000 for every multiple PHF thereafter. Through Rotary Rush, Rotarians who contribute a minimum of $100 cash during November of December 2017 can benefit from a 1-for-1 points-to-dollars match. A group of generous Rotarians have contributed their points to this effort.

For example, you may have accumulated $500 in contributions to The Rotary Foundation. Then, if you add $250 in cash in November or December, our donors will match 250 points to your giving account, which allows you to receive your first or multiple PHF award.

This match is available to the first 200 Rotarians who submit their requests.  What are you waiting for? Make a difference today!

How to Apply for Rotary Rush—If a member of your club wishes to participate in Rotary Rush, the club will need to fill out Form 123-EN, available at Please email the completed form to or mail the completed form to District 5970 Foundation Committee, C/O John Last, 324 29th St. SW, Mason City, IA 50401. Follow the directions on the form for payment options.

If you have additional questions, you can email Michelle Bell DRFCC at Or call Jessica Rucker, president of the Rotary Club of the Cedar Valley at 913-219-0201.



A $15,000 project led by the Cedar Rapids Downtown Rotary Club has transformed the historic Kosek Bandstand Plaza in the center of the city’s Czech Village.

The plaza area is a popular local attraction and a tourist destination for thousands of visitors to Czech Village. It is the center of the May Houby Days festival and serves as a venue for Friday evening music concerts in the summer. During the holidays, a Christmas tree decorates the plaza.

Over the years, the plaza and 28 inset tile dedication plaques listing the names of historic Czech Village businesses had fallen into disrepair. The Flood of 2008 made the situation worse, and settling concrete created uneven surfaces and pooled water that posed a safety hazard.

The Rotary project involved removing the existing plaza surface and replacing it with poured concrete, removing a tree stump, cleaning up landscaped beds, adding new plantings and re-grading and seeding turf areas for easier mowing and maintenance. The sidewalk was also redone, and a row of engraved polished granite pavers has replaced the old tile dedication plaques.

A group of 40 Rotary volunteers participated in a workday focused on landscaping the plaza. Rotary’s leadership also inspired five other organizations to become involved in the project.

The Cedar Rapids Parks and Recreation Division replaced an extensively cracked public water fountain, added new benches and waste receptacles and pruned trees in the plaza area. The Czech Heritage Foundation donated $5,000 to the project. The National Czech & Slovak Museum and Library managed the project, coordinated contractors and provided labor for grading and seeding at no cost. King’s Materials, owned by a Rotary member, donated the concrete, and Olmstead Construction discounted its bill by 25 percent.

The CR Downtown Rotary Club contributed $5,000 to the project, matched by a district grant of $5,000. The Czech Heritage Foundation completed the funding with a $5,000 donation. Dedication of the plaza took place at the Czech Village Fall Festival. An upright stone in the plaza is engraved with the Rotary logo and club recognition. One of the engraved pavers along the sidewalk lists the project donors.


Michelle Bell
District 5970 Rotary Foundation Chair