Foundation honors two California couples for major gifts
Past District Governor Steve Brown (top) and his wife, Susan, (not pictured) and Larry and Linda Sundram (bottom) were recently inducted into the Arch C. Klumph Society. Rotary Images/Alyce Henson
Two couples from District 5340 (California, USA) were recently inducted into the Arch C. Klumph Society, which honors people who give at least $250,000 to The Rotary Foundation.
Past District Governor Steve Brown and his wife, Susan, and Larry and Linda Sundram were honored 25 February during a ceremony at RI World Headquarters in Evanston, Illinois, where their portraits now hang in the Arch C. Klumph Gallery.
Brown has traveled extensively to underdeveloped countries, promoting the Foundation and overseeing projects. The Foundation's positive impact in these areas shows why contributions are so vital, he says.
"Your dollar can make a bigger difference when it's spent in underdeveloped countries," explains Brown. "In many countries, there are no safety nets. People could really hit rock bottom if it weren't for the Foundation."
A successful lawyer, Brown became a charter member of the Rotary Club of La Jolla Golden Triangle in 1986. He has participated in a National Immunization Day (NID) in Eritrea and facilitated Matching Grant projects in Kenya, Mexico, and Russia.
Much of his current passion is directed toward Afghanistan, which he has visited several times to support humanitarian and educational projects. In October, Brown and a fellow club member, Fary Moini, met with Islamic leaders in Jalalabad to emphasize the importance of the polio eradication effort.
"There are needs all over the world," he says. "Being an Arch C. Klumph member means I'm an investor in the Foundation. I have a strong vested interest to see that the Foundation thrives and carries out its mission to help people worldwide."
The Sundrams, who are both Rotarians, are also committed to the Foundation's international reach. Larry has traveled to India for an NID and has been involved with several Matching Grants in that country. He is currently the District 5340 Group Study Exchange Subcommittee chair.
The couple has been married for 32 years, and both retired from the insurance industry in 2002. Larry joined the Rotary Club of Vista in 2003, and Linda is president of the Rotary Club of Camp Pendleton, which she joined in 2006.
Linda credits her husband with introducing her to Rotary.
"Rotary is the best organization I've seen at breaking down cultural barriers to create peace and understanding," she says. "It's a great feeling to donate to such a wonderful foundation, realizing that people will be helped long after we're gone."
The Sundrams have helped support the humanitarian work of U.S. military units in Afghanistan and Iraq by helping to collect and forward supplies. Each year, Larry and members of his club distribute Christmas gifts to disadvantaged children and their families in Ensenada, Mexico. The Sundrams also support the Permanent Fund and the Annual Programs Fund.
"The Foundation is the most effective way to get the most money and resources into the hands of people who are in the most need," says Larry. "Giving to the Foundation gives us peace of mind that the money will be used to its optimum potential."