John introduced our speaker.  John has been the “Foundation Shepard” for our club, and he asked our District Governor who would be the best to give a speech on the Rotary Foundation during Foundation Month.  That man is Don Hart.
Don is familiar with our region, especially participating in several sporting events over time.  As District Rotary Foundation Chair, he makes sure every member of the Columbia Center Club a Paul Harris Fellow.  The Tarakea Project was completed with the assistance of the Rotary Foundation.
Don informed us that this year was the 100th anniversary of the foundation.  His aim was to teach the group on what the foundation is and what it can do for us.  He introduced his chair members, including Chandi who is the Grant Chair.  The team also includes quite a few other members who focus on various aspects of the foundation.
In its 100th year, they’re trying to raise $300 million dollars.  So far they’ve obtained $37.5 million.  Don also showed us an analysis of our own fundraising, in which the prior year we did exceed our goal by almost ~$2000. 
When we put our money into the Rotary Foundation, it is split into two funds: The Share fund and the World fun.  The money sits in both accounts for 3 years, including the year it was collected.  The more members that contribute to a grant, the more money that can in total be contributed due to matching grants from the foundation. 
Don encouraged working with other clubs on projects.  Not only does this help with funding, but it helps to encourage the building of relationships between different peoples and groups.  He relayed an experience in Mexico that his club and local clubs there had helping with sub-standard living conditions.  Together they worked on a series of projects that took roughly 7-8 years to accomplish and even looked for funding outside of grants.  This was in Zapote de Picachos.  For 2016-2017, Don’s club is working on a project with Park Middle School. 
There are Vocational Training Teams to provide education on district and global grants.  Also, scholarships are another resource, specifically for students, in the form of district, global, and peace scholarships.  However, they are lacking in applications as of late.  It doesn’t cost the club anything for students to pursue this; it all is paid by Rotary International.
He finished by encouraging us to pursue projects with the Rotary Foundation.  “That’s where you’ll find it changes lives, including yours.” He said.