RI Foundation Explained – November 4, 2019

President Rosemarie, no longer sporting purple hair, opened the meeting at 12:25pm. Don Duquette started the meeting with thoughtful words: “Today we celebrate our Rotary Foundation and the work that it does around the world. The task we set ourselves to is enormous. Service above Self. When the going gets tough, the tough get going. There are so many reasons for discouragement. The political climate and divisions among Americans has rarely been this bad. International tensions run high. Climate change looms as an existential threat. An astounding 21% of American children, 1 in 5, lives in poverty. That is, in families earning less than $24,000 per year”.  He continued with quotes from the Talmud, Doris Day and Marge Piercy that all inspire us to just buckle down and do the work, knowing that even small improvements matter.

Don Devine gave us the background of two beautiful love songs and then led us in singing them –  Let Me Call You Sweetheart and When You are Smiling.

President Rosemarie began the business meeting presenting an award for our generous donations to Polio Plus last Rotary year. Thanks to all for those donations.

Rotaract President Luis Orozco invited us all to the Charter Dinner which will be November 12 at the Cottage Inn. Luis is excited about a very successful recruiting season for Rotaract and wants to share these new members with us. The dinner begins at 6:30pm and costs $20.00. Contact Bev Sieford to make reservations: bsieford@gmail.com.
Luis also asked us to become Mentors to Rotaractors. Don Duquette, duquette@gmail.com, and Dennis Powers, carhart2018@aol.com, will connect you with a Rotaractor. President Rosemarie shared her happy four year mentorship with a premed Rotaractor and urged us to become mentors.
Luis announced that the Rotaract Spring trip will be to Honduras. They are finalizing details now, including  funding. You can support the trip by Renting a Rotaractor to do odd jobs around your house or helping with the upcoming holiday decorating and parties.  Contact Luis to rent one: orozluis@umich.edu.

Lauren Heinonen, who always has something new and refreshing to share, invited us to help organize a Girls on the Run event on Sunday, November 24.  Girls on the Run is a nation wide organization that helps the more than 200 local councils to organize young girls to come out after school to participate in an enrichment and running program.  The program inspires self confidence, teaches life skills, and gets girls who may not have other opportunities to move, learn teamwork and meet new friends.  The program culminates is a 5K run/walk/crawl – any way to cross the finish line. Volunteers are needed to work indoors directing traffic around the registration stations, welcoming successful runners back, and helping manage arts and crafts tables.  The time people are needed is 6:45am – 10:45am (coffee provided!) and the location is the Ellen Thompson Women’s Health Center on the St. Joseph Mercy Campus.  Contact Lauren to be part of this fun event:  heinonen.lauren@gmail.com.

President Rosemarie led us in a moment of silence for Bob Pehlke who was a long time member of our club.  He taught at the University of Michigan and served as Department Chairman from 1973 to 1984.  He moved to Bonita Springs, Florida where he passed away on October 22,, 2019.

Bob Dascola then talked about Reno Maccardini and shared pictures.  Reno was the youngest of three children of parents who immigrated from Italy.  He grew up in Bessemer and was a proud YOOPER.  He hitchhiked south, worked on the Chrysler line and attended Michigan State.  He had a long and varied 38-year  career at Michigan Consolidated Gas, which brought him to Ann Arbor.  He loved engaging in the Green-Blue conversation.  After retiring from Mich Con he did some business consulting.  He passed away peacefully on November 7, 2018 in Ann Arbor.  Reno loved Rotary and left a very generous bequest to the Ann Arbor Rotary Foundation.  His wife Becky presented a check for $10,000 to Foundation Development Chairman Norman Herbert.

Before moving to the program, President Rosemarie congratulated Ken Fischer who will be honored with an honorary degree of Doctor of Fine Arts during the University’s winter commencement on December 15, 2019.  His service as President of the University Musical Society from from 1987 to 2017 garnered him widespread recognition as a national leader in the arts. In 2015, President Obama recognized UMS with the National Medal of Arts. Ken’s outstanding contributions to the cultural life of the University and Southeast Michigan will be formally acknowledged by the conferral of this degree.

Notes from the Program

Kevin Kelly is a Major Gifts Officer for Rotary International.  His territory includes most of the Upper Midwest.  He does a lot of traveling to cover this geography, being away from home in Northville at least one week a month.  When asked what it is like to ask people for money, he says he just helps people achieve their philanthropic goals, whether with a contemporary gift, by setting up a bequest or Charitable Remainder Trust.

Kevin reminded us that our Annual Gifts to The Rotary Foundation are invested for 3 years and then half of it comes back to the District. The other half goes to the World Fund of The Rotary Foundation. The District splits, for example,  $100,000 so that $50,000 is available to Clubs to apply for District Grants. The other $50,000 is set aside for the District to utilize in Global Grants.

Currently the Endowment has $400 million invested with $700 million in expectanacies.  A $25,000 gift to the Endowment can generate $1000.00 a year in spendable earnings.

Kevin mentioned that gifts to Rotary, whether to local foundations and clubs or to Rotary International, can be made through charitable annuity trusts, bequests, and Required Minimum Distributions.  The gifts can be made to donor advised funds.  He then told us of the bequests of Joe Simington, a veterinarian in Berwick, PA.  He left a bequest to Polio Plus that was distributed over three years and totaled over $7.2 million.  Matched by the Gates Foundation, his gift sent more than $14.6 million to fight polio.  Dr. Simington was very quiet.  Although he gave generously to his community and Rotary, Kevin was unable to find out any thing about him from his seven-member club or others around town.

Kevin was very complimentary about our Club, noting at least two times that we have an active international committee, a busy local presence and a local foundation – to quote him, we “get it”.  He brought a video but the electronic genies did not want us to see it that afternoon.  He will send it so we can see it later.

After questions, President Rosemarie told us to be on the lookout for our 1-2-3 letters.  The $200 Community Service Assessment is due by December 31. That is an obligatory donation to the Ann Arbor Rotary Foundation. You will also be invited to make an additional gift the the Ann Arbor Rotary Foundation if you wish above the $200 mentioned above.  Lastly you will also be invited to make donations to Rotary International. These gifts can be for EREY, Polio Plus or The Rotary Foundation of Rotary International.

We will also be including information regarding the 2:1 match that the club provides. Based on your giving to Rotary International as of Polio Day, we will provide points to you to help you achieve a Paul Harris Fellow which requires 1000 points. For instance if you had given $700, you would only need to give $200 to reach 1,000 points as we would provide you 100 points with the 2:1 match.