Charter Night tradition is to recognize and honor past presidents of the club. Prior to dinner, Past presidents Barry and Jack were recognized, followed by past presidents still active in the club. Honorary club members, the Board of Directors, and then leaders of the successful Art Auction were also recognized.
After dinner, Rich Brandes presented some Rotary history and then showed a video of Bill Gates announcing the $2 million matching challenge to Rotary for Polio Plus. Rich and Dean then commented on the recent announcement that the challenge had been met in early January. Good work Rotary! And that the Gates Foundation had voted an additional $50 million to the polio eradication effort. In addition, a new success was announced in India; no new cases of polio were reported during the past year. As a result, only 3 countries remain with endemic polio – Pakistan, Nigeria and Afghanistan.
Since Rotary launched the polio campaign in 1985, Rotarians worldwide have contributed over $1 billion and two billion children have received oral vaccine. It is estimated that 5 million children have been spared disability and 250,000 lives saved during this period. It’s good to be part of something important.
Past Presidents Erich and Joe then shared the podium and talked about our clubs 45 anniversary. Many stories and laughs from the days of old were shared. President Tom then thanked the club for their good work during the year and awarded Rotarian of the Month pins. Awards went to Erich, Vivian, Ron, Tom B, John P, Lin Scott and Jennifer. Tim Bosma conducted a lively wine auction, achieving far more revenue than one would guess from the wine being auctioned. And with a lot of laughter, Charter Night 2012 was brought to a close.