The Foundation is a nonprofit corporation supported solely by voluntary contributions from Rotarians and friends of the Foundation who share its vision of a better world. Rotarians who make major contributions to the Paul Harris Fund - one of the largest private funds in the world - are honored as Paul Harris Fellows.
This year the Rotary Club of Brentwood named 19 new Paul Harris Fellows, plus conferred two Paul Harris +1 awards at a special program in November. Rotary District Foundation representative Mark von Hoetzendorff said that he had never known a club, no matter how large, to present 19 Paul Harris Fellows in a single club in one year.
Rotarians honored as Paul Harris Fellows were Lisa L. Bass, Bob Brockman, Mike Davies, Fred Ehler, Ed Ferraro, John Fink, Steve Gursky, Mac Kaiser, Thais Kishi, Jeff Schults, and Jim Spann. Rotary family members honored as Paul Harris Fellows were Mary Beccera, Gretchen Clare, Brianna Lucca, Leonard McCurley, Rose Pierce, Veronica Roche, Karen Spann, and Erin Meredith Tiras. Jim Wangeman and David Roche received their PH +1 pins.
Originally set up in 1917 as an endowment by Rotary International President Arch C. Klumph "for the purpose of doing good in the world," the endowment became known as the Rotary Foundation in 1928 when the fund grew to more then $5,000,000. Two years later, the Foundation's first grant of $500 was made to the International Society for Crippled Children, which later became the Easter Seals.
Since the first donation of $26.50 in 1917, the Foundation has received contributions totaling over $1 billion. More than $70 million was donated in 2003-04 alone. To date, more than one million individuals have been recognized as Paul Harris Fellows - those who have given $1,000 to the Annual Programs Fund or have had that amount contributed in their name.
Brentwood Rotarians support the Rotary Foundation not only with direct contributions to the Annual Programs Fund but through fundraising efforts as well. During the 2007-08 term, Brentwood Rotary will contribute over $2,500 toward a Matching Grant (a District 5160 Mission to Mexico Wheelchair Distribution Trip), sponsor an Ambassadorial Scholar, host the incoming Group Study Exchange (GSE) team from Madagascar, and provide grants to Rotoplast and the LN-4 Prosthetic Hand project.
By the efforts of its members in reaching out to East County and to the world, the Brentwood Rotary Club pushes forward the Rotary value of "Service Above Self."
- Contributed by Lisa Bass