We are at the halfway point of this Rotary year. There is plenty to look forward to in 2018 as we complete the first year of The Rotary Foundation's second century of service. By working in partnership with our Foundation, Rotarians are making a difference in ways we could never have imagined when we began.
First, our signature polio eradication initiative continues to bring us closer to the historic day of a polio-free world. Following our tremendous World Polio Day event in Seattle, and the thousands of local events hosted by Rotary members around the world, we are keeping up the momentum to reach this year's polio fundraising goal of $50 million (including District Designated Fund contributions). We are already closing in on that target thanks, in part, to the efforts of Rotarians and friends who participated in the recent Miles to End Polio bike ride to raise funds for the cause.
Second, our Foundation's comprehensive fundraising target of $360 million this year will empower you and other Rotarians to continue helping people all over the world.
In addition, the Building TRF Endowment: 2025 by 2025 initiative is progressing well. Our goal is to build an endowment of $2.025 billion by 2025 to ensure the long-term financial stability of the Foundation and provide essential resources well into the future.
Another emphasis relates to our work in peacebuilding and the Rotary Peace Centers program. Applications for Rotary Peace Fellowships become available this month. Be on the lookout for great candidates and support our Peace Fellow alumni in the field by inviting them to work with you as advisers on your projects.
Between February and June, RI President Ian H.S. Riseley is convening six Presidential Peacebuilding Conferences, which will showcase the connections between our work in each area of focus and sustainable peace. You are invited to attend!
Of course, the biggest event of the Rotary year will be the 2018 Rotary International Convention in Toronto from 23 to 27 June. We will celebrate not only the highlights of this Rotary year, but also the 50th anniversary of Rotaract.
In the new year, let us continue to show that we are People of Action! And let the world take notice: We Rotarians are Making a Difference.
Paul A. Netzel
Trustee Chair 2017-18