By Yinka Babalola, regional Rotary Foundation coordinator, zone 20A-English
At a colorful dinner ceremony presided over by the visiting Rotary International President-elect Gary C.K. Huang in a Nairobi hotel on 7August 2013, Rotarians in newly formed district 9212 launched their first Paul Harris Society (PHS).
ARRFC Eric Kimani spoke at the event, asking Rotarians to engage more fully with their Foundation by becoming Paul Harris Society members. Twenty-two Rotarians responded to his personal, passionate speech by committing US$146,000 to become Charter Members of the PHS.
Recently adopted as a formal recognition program, Paul Harris Society membership is reserved for individuals who contribute $1,000 or more each year to the Annual Fund, PolioPlus or an approved Rotary Foundation grant. Districts who appoint Paul Harris Society coordinators are provided with additional support and resources, helping them identify new members and thanking those who have already made their commitment to contribute each year.
District 9212 recently appointed Past Assistant Governor Richard Omwela as its PHS Coordinator, making it the third district in the zone to make an appointment, effectively showing the success this appointment can have on fundraising. Zone 20A English now has a Paul Harris Society formally in place in districts 9212 and 9101. Regional leaders are excited by the results and are encouraging other districts in the region to appoint Paul Harris Society coordinators, leveraging the immense potential this new donor group delivers to Rotary Foundation efforts.
Speaking at the dinner President-elect Gary expressed his deep gratitude on behalf of Rotary International for the commitment that Rotarians exhibited. He expressed his admiration for how local Rotarians’ financial support of The Rotary Foundation and commented on their deep involvement in Service above Self, as evidenced by the various club projects he had the opportunity to see during his tour.
Learn more about the Paul Harris Society on Rotary’s website.