Rotary Foundation detailed for Bainbridge club

Published 5:47 pm Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Margie Kersey, a very active member of Rotary, who lives in Stone Mountain and serves as the state Rotary Foundation chair, spoke to Bainbridge Rotary this week concerning the Foundation— its giving and its getting.

She began with a quick history of how the Foundation came to be organized and first funded—all for $26.50. In 1917, a club from Kansas City attended an international convention held in Atlanta, and for the first time the group heard about how forming a foundation could have the purpose of doing good in the world. After the club went home, they had $26.50 left from their hospitality suite, and sent the Rotary president a check in that amount.

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Kersey said whenever anyone asks her what the Foundation is, she replies, “What do you want to do?” indicating there is no limit to what projects can be undertaken and accomplished with help from the foundation. As this is the 100th year anniversary of the Rotary Foundation, the International President has challenged every Rotarian to give $26.50 to the foundation. Kersey said, “They can do more with $26.50 than any of us in this room.”

She continued with a list of some of those things: It can provide clean water for 150 children in Africa, feed a family in India for six weeks, provide training materials for school children in Costa Rica, and 200 purple pinky markers for immunization day, immunize 42 children against polio, and provide de-worming tablets for 28 children in the Philippines, to name a few.

There were 37 cases of polio reported world-wide last year and only three this year, so far.

The top project of Rotary world-wide is the eradication of polio throughout the world. The Gates Foundation has partnered with Rotary to help make that happen.

Kersey said clean water was the biggest challenge of the world now, as thousands die each day from lack of clean water. Many of the Rotary Clubs are involved in projects to provide clean water to areas where people spend all day to bring water to their home, hoping it is clean.

As Kersey spoke on other projects undertaken by Rotary clubs, she said every place she goes to speak she tells about the Bainbridge Rotary Cub and how they used a Foundation grant the first year to put Telemedicine into the schools.

“Everything you can imagine gets done with the $25 a month that goes from your dues to the Foundation. Each club looks to see what is needed in their area.” She spoke of a city that had serious drug problems in their neighborhood and the drug dealers were putting out a “hit” on the drug dog. As police dogs are very expensive, the Rotary club purchased a bullet-proof vest for the dog.

At the conclusion of her talk, Kersey recognized two Bainbridge persons she described as good friends who had achieved the status of major donors to the Foundation. She then presented Dr. Don Robinson and his wife Mary with pins designating their status, as well as an etched crystal paperweight.