November is Foundation Month, a time I’d like to reflect on the charity arm of Rotary, its humble beginnings and what it has achieved since its inception almost 100 years ago. 
The first donation to the Foundation was back in 1917 of $26.50. Now this would have been a considerable amount at the time but I doubt anyone would have forecast how this first act of generosity would grow into the $1 billion figure it is today.
Such strong support, along with Rotarian involvement worldwide, ensures a secure future for The Rotary Foundation
 as it continues its vital work for international understanding and world peaceOur top priority continues to be the eradication of polio, an ambitious campaign that has not only been incredibly successful, but has gained interest and financial support from those beyond the realms of Rotary. People like Bill Gates who has ridden the Polio Project alongside Rotary, matching funds raised by us through his successful business endeavours. Mr Gates has described
the efforts of Rotary as amazing saying: “There’s been an amazing organisation that has been behind this….it was directly due to Rotary that the Polio Eradication Campaign started.” But it is not only the Polio Campaign that benefits from the Rotary Foundation. It is directly linked to our future vision plan to address our six areas of focus: peace and conflict prevention/resolution; disease prevention and treatment; water and sanitation; maternal and child health; basic education and literacy; economic and community development. 
This district should be extremely proud of the contribution it makes to the Foundation. Rotary International has provided me with certificates to a number of clubs throughout our district to congratulate and thank them on their generosity. I intend to present these certificates to the clubs at the Rotary Conference in March. It is indeed a recognition that deserves celebration along with the satisfaction that the money raised within Rotary is indeed making a difference to communities around the world, including our own. 
Clubs in the district recently celebrated World Polio Day and I congratulate those clubs who took the campaign into the publ ic arena. Murrurundi is quite a small club and despite this, after showing the Polio video to students at their local school, members promised to match dollar for dollar monies raised within the school. Nelson Bay Club used a local expo to take the message into the community and the Scone Club also visited its local school to spread the message. 
None of us can achieve great things alone but together, anything is possible and it is this whole of community,  collaborative action that is reigning in this insidious disease.
Read more in the District Digest