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No. 810 — 21 May 2003

New York club's foundation donates US$100,000 to PEFC

A decision to donate US$100,000 is not made lightly — no matter how large the organization — yet when the foundation of the Rotary Club of New York received such a request for the polio eradication fundraising campaign (PEFC), it wasted no time in saying yes. On 29 April, during the regular weekly meeting of the club, which has nearly 200 members, the foundation presented a check for the total amount to a pleasantly surprised Past District Governor Jack Blane, International PEFC adviser.

"I was expecting to go and be part of a photo op where I would receive a large cardboard replica of the check," says Blane. "What I didn't expect was to come away with a real check for the total amount.

"That's the beauty of [the gift], that's what we're encouraging."

Although clubs and foundations have the option of spreading their pledges over 36 months, cash is urgently needed to purchase vaccine and deliver it to the children in the few remaining countries where the poliovirus continues to circulate. To this end, large Rotary clubs with foundations have been encouraged to make leadership gifts to the PEFC, setting an example for others to follow.

"The trustees of the New York Rotary foundation feel very keenly about supporting this last push and enthusiastically agreed to the $100,000 donation," says Morton Eydenberg, chairman of the foundation. "The members of the Rotary Club of New York have also expressed their support for this donation and are proud to lead the way for other Rotary clubs around the world."

Since the tragic events of 11 September, the New York club's foundation has been actively involved in the disbursement of more than $1.4 million to families affected by the attacks on New York. Yet even while taking on this tremendous responsibility, the foundation has continued to raise funds to support the club's annual commitments, which include the Gift of Life Donor program; Taller Boricua, a community arts organization for minority students; and MuseumKids, a program organized by the Metropolitan Museum of Arts to introduce painters and sculptors to minority children and their families.

"All involved here are wishing for a 2005 celebration when polio is eradicated from the face of the earth," says Eydenberg.