Rotary Club causes here and worldwide | Rotary News

Local Rotarian Bill Maule has travel plans. He’s heading to Atlanta in June for Rotary’s 108th annual International Convention.

Few institutions, civic or otherwise, have survived 108 years, but Rotary has, and for good reason.

Rotary brings together a global network of volunteers dedicated to tackling the world’s most pressing humanitarian challenges. Rotary connects 1.2 million members of more than 35,000 Rotary clubs in over 200 countries. Their work improves lives here in Kingston-North Kitsap, across America, and around the world.

In Atlanta, the keynote speaker will be Bill Gates, co-chairman of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The Gates Foundation and Rotary International have an ongoing match of 2:1 to support polio-eradication efforts up to $35 million a year.

The Global Polio Eradication Initiative, a public-private partnership, includes Rotary, the Gates Foundation, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the World Health Organization and the United Nations Children’s Fund.

The incidence of polio has plummeted by more than 99.9 percent, from about 350,000 cases a year in 1988 to just 37 confirmed in 2016.

Rotary, including matching funds from the Gates Foundation, has donated $1.6 billion to polio eradication.

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Kingston North Kitsap Rotary Club members staged another successful community event on Feb. 25, a Texas Hold ’Em Poker Tournament. Almost $2,000 was raised in this first-ever event.

Proceeds go to Kingston Rotary’s 2017 priority projects, including purchase of an electronic readerboard in Kingston, Food4Kids, Kingston High School scholarships, and Village Green Foundation.

According to Clint Boxman, one of the event organizers, “The event turned out to be more about fellowship than fundraising. It was a lot more fun than anticipated.”

The tournament winner was John Loftus of Kingston. He won two nights at a bed and breakfast in Fairbanks, Alaska, including airfare. Loftus said, “On short notice, Kingston Rotary was able to put together a poker tournament that was fun for all involved and well attended. Lots of money was raised for good causes, and I think it bodes well for their next attempt.”

Paying it forward, leftover (unopened) food and beverages were donated to the Severe Weather Shelter in Kingston and the Boys and Girls Club snack reserves.

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Kingston Rotarians are already racking up some of the almost 5,000 hours they give to the community each year in planning for their annual summer calendar of events.

The beer and wine tent at Mike Wallace Park will go up in May in preparation for another series of concerts in the park this summer. Rotary operates the tent as a service to the community and in support of the overall experience at Kingston’s summer concerts.

In June, it’s the 11th annual Swing for Rotary golf tournament at White Horse, June 16. Sign up to play, or get more information, at Special thanks to last year’s primary sponsors, including The Point Casino, Liberty Bay Auto, CHI Franciscan Health, Les Schwab and Windermere Real Estate.

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Kingston Rotarians meet at 11:45 a.m. on Wednesday’s at the Village Green Community Center in Kingston. Guests are always invited. Come join the fun. Get involved.

— Ron Carter is the communication chairman for the Kingston North Kitsap Rotary. Contact him at