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Rotary Reports on the Money It Shares

Rotary Club of San Marino members were treated recently to a review of ways the local group spends its money to bolster worthwhile causes near and far.
San Marino chapter members John Jones and Mike Driebe explained the scope and work of the Rotary Foundation — among other things — at the March 23 meeting at San Marino Community Church.
Jones is president of Rotary Charities, the philanthropic arm of the local club that financially supports TLC, Rotary Youth Leadership Awards, scholarships, Interact, Rotary Readers and more. Driebe has been designated to serve as district governor for the organization’s District 5300 in 2024-25.
The club has an endowment that supports its annual mini-grants to the local schools — about $40,000 — and another endowment that supports scholarships, about $10,000. Both endowments returned less than usual this past year because of overall stock market turbulence.
San Marino’s club ends up disbursing about $175,000 every year through Rotary Charities and through its contribution to the Rotary Foundation. Jones noted that the club pays very little — only about $700 — for administrative expenses.
The club’s biggest source of funds is the San Marino Motor Classic, then endowment income and, finally, member donations. The Rotary Foundation — to which Jones refers as “Rotary in the Sky” — is where the international organization places funds collected from clubs around the world. San Marino’s group contributes via an assessment for each member from dues, Polio Plus donations and individual members’ donations.
Altogether, local Rotarians provide about $35,000 a year to the Rotary Foundation, which distributes such funds worldwide to its Seven Pillars of Focus, the largest of which has to do with disease prevention, such as polio eradication.
On another front, Chris Norgaard updated the group on the help that he and others from San Marino have given to an Afghan refugee trying to get family members out of Afghanistan, as well as the ongoing efforts of the San Marino community to assist some young Ukrainians start new lives in the United States as their country suffers devastation from the Russian invasion.
Norgaard noted the assistance of photographer Nick Boswell, who has donated hundreds of dollars’ worth of headshots to Ukrainians seeking — and sometimes finding — employment in acting or related fields. Norgaard also gave a nod to the efforts of Chris Gorham, a San Marino resident and accomplished actor who has helped the Ukrainians make connections in the film industry.
Norgaard has also given a car to one of the Ukrainian refugees.


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