HAMMONTON – Dr. David Zelley from the Garden State Rotary Club of Cherry Hill spoke to the Hammonton Rotary Club Thursday, May 22, about the importance of supporting the Rotary International Foundation.
Each year, local Rotary clubs are asked to make a contribution to RI Foundation. Half of that money is returned to their home district and distributed to support local initiatives, and half supports Rotary International’s world wide initiatives to help the less fortunate.
Zelley, district governor designate for 2015-2016 for Rotary District 7640, noted that Rotary International Foundation supports local projects through its district level grants and an application process that is open to the 51 South Jersey area Rotary clubs in District 7640.
One district grant supported project is the Cathedral Kitchen in Camden, which serves 400 meals a day and provides nourishment and job training for those struggling to make a living and put food on their table.
In a Hammonton, a Rotary district grant helps support one of Hammonton Rotary Club’s most important projects, the St. Vincent de Paul Food Pantry located in the basement of St. Joseph’s Convent.
RI Foundation global grants support projects that focus on six main areas: peace and conflict prevention/resolution, disease prevention and treatment, water and sanitation, maternal and child health, basic education and literacy, and economic and community development.
Zelley, a dentist from Haddon Heights, has made many trips abroad in support of RI Foundation projects, providing free medical and dental care to the needy in Ghana, Thailand and Nicaragua. He also participated in Rotary’s polio eradication program, inoculating children against polio in India and Nigeria.
“We go to countries where the only dentist they will ever see is when we come once a year,” he said, noting that he has seen examples where lack of proper oral health care has taken the lives of children.
Foundation funds have supported burn victims in China, food programs in Romania and Uganda, computers for school children in Mississippi, and clean water in India among dozens of projects.
The Hammonton Rotary Club’s contribution to the Rotary International Foundation is made possible through the generosity of people in the Hammonton community who support the club through donations and by patronizing its fundraisers.
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