The promise of today's Rotary Foundation
Foundation Trustee Chair Robert S. Scott discusses the 2007-08 Foundation goals.
The dreams of past Rotarians have become the present, just as the dreams of today's Rotarians will bring a better future, said Rotary Foundation Trustee Chair Robert S. Scott at the International Assembly in San Diego, California, USA.
Speaking to the audience of incoming district governors, Scott discussed the 2007-08 Foundation goals:
"I inherited a set of goals that I wholeheartedly believe in and support," Scott said. Trustee Bhichai Rattakul began the year as Foundation trustee chair and sought Scott's input in developing the goals before stepping down in July.
The Foundation's most important goal in 2007-08, and one close to Scott's heart, is ridding the world of polio. "I firmly believe that polio eradication is possible," he said.
Continuing all the Foundation's work is crucial, he explained, which is why it’s important for every Rotarian to contribute every year.
Foundation alumni can also donate and may eventually become Rotarians, making them a vital source of support. That's why reconnecting with them is the third goal. "Alumni are a forgotten resource to Rotary," said Scott, who encouraged the governors-elect to invite their district's alumni to the first all-day Rotary Alumni Celebration at the 2008 RI Convention in Los Angeles.
To achieve the final goal, Rotarians must work together to show that peace is possible. Though it may seem unattainable, Scott told the audience, "you are an example to the world, showing that men and women of diverging views can indeed break bread together in an atmosphere of fellowship and friendship. Yes, peace is possible."
Rotarians have dreamed of and created the Foundation, its scholarship and peace studies programs, and the polio eradication effort. Over the last 10 years, said Scott, "a conservative estimate is that Rotary has directly affected the lives of 20 million to 30 million people, and then we have had the ripple effect of two billion children having been immunized against polio."
Through the graduates of the peace studies programs, the eradication of polio, and the generosity of donors, the family of Rotary will fulfill the promise of the 2008-09 RI theme and Make Dreams Real.
Read the full speech.