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...building peace is the prerequisite for economic and social development.

Heart of America Endowed Peace Fellowship

In 2005 the Trustees approved an initiative to raise $95 million to permanently endow our Rotary Peace Centers by 2015. Raising dollars in a quiet campaign reaching out and receiving gifts from approximately 300 donors, the Major Gift Initiative is over halfway there. (Ed. note: as of March 2014, the goal has been raised to $125 million by June 30, 2015. We are nearly to the $100 million mark)

In the 2006-07 Rotary year, our Zones set the tone of commitment by establishing the Heart of America Endowment with the cash flow supporting the peace centers program. Each of our districts committed five years ago to contribute $2500 of District Designated Funds each year over a four year period. A few years after this first step, a major new concept surfaced. Instead of just supporting the general program, the 26 Rotary Districts of Zones 30 & 31 wanted now work to actually endow a Heart of America Peace Fellow by raising $750,000 in the Heart of America Endowed Fund. This would fund a Heart of America Peace Fellow approximately every other year. Past RIVP John Germ announced that if $650,000 was raised, he had a donor who would donate an additional contribution of $100,000 and complete the project. We crossed that milestone in April 2013.

Due to a re-evaluation of expenses necessary to fund the two year Peace Scholar program, we learned that our $750,000 endowment would fund a new Heart of America Endowed Rotary Peace Fellow about every third or fourth year. So we continued on, raising our goal to $1 million in order to fund a new peace fellow every other year.

As of March 5, 2014, we now have $1,002,850 donated to the Heart of America Endowed Fund!! Endowment staff at The Rotary Foundation have confirmed this should be sufficient to fund a new "Heart of America Endowed Rotary Peace Fellow" every other year.

What do we need to do now? We need to find Peace Center candidates and nominate them. Every district can nominate several candidates each year. Endorsed applications must be submitted before July 1 each year. Once the international selection committee has chosen the class for the next year, if any of the selected candidates are from Zone 30 or 31 districts, or District 5710 - they may be named the Heart of America Endowed Rotary Peace Fellow.

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Our thanks to every one of the Rotarians in the Heart of America. You are "Making Peace Possible."