The Rotary Foundation: Rotarians advancing world understanding, goodwill, and peace

District 5370 Rotary Foundation chair Wayne Kauffman (RC of Edmonton Riverview) has experienced first-hand how donations from Rotarians to the Rotary Foundation can make a difference.

In 2007, he witnessed the installation of a water system that continues to deliver safe drinking water to 85 homes in a village in northern Ecuador.


Rotary Foundation chair Wayne Kauffman speaks to members of the Rotary Club of Edmonton South

With money from the Rotary clubs of Edmonton South, Grande Prairie and Edmonton Riverview, along with grants from the Alberta Wildrose Foundation and the Rotary Foundation (a total of $72,000), a 4.2-kilometre pipeline was laid to bring water from the source, 1,500 metres above a chlorination station in the village.

Every family in the village participated in the project by digging a section of the trench for the pipeline. They continue to contribute to the system’s upkeep, based on each family’s consumption.

“As a Rotarian, I take a lot of pride that clean water still flows in that community and kids are not getting sick from drinking the water,” Wayne said during a recent presentation, one of more than 30 that he and grant subcommittee chair Wayne McCutcheon (RC of St. Albert) have made to Rotary clubs since 2015.

Wayne Kauffman: “We can do more!”

For Kauffman, there’s a simple theme to these presentations: “We can do more!”

By more, he means that more Rotarians can donate to The Rotary Foundation and those who already support it can increase their contributions, which in turn will mean that more money will be available to support local and international projects.

TRFlogoDuring the 2016-17 Rotary year, Rotarians in District 5370 contributed $341,504 to the annual fund, which exceeded the District’s 2016-17 goal by 133 per cent. This translates to an average of $156.15 from each Rotarian in District 5370.

But only about half the Rotarians in District 5370 contributed to the foundation, a figure Kauffman would like to see increase. He wants to help Rotarians “understand why it’s so important that we all give to The Rotary Foundation.”

He points to the fourth object of Rotary International: “The advancement of world understanding, goodwill and peace through a world fellowship of business and professional persons united in the ideal of service.”

“How do we do it?” he asks, before answering his own question. The Rotary Foundation, the purpose of which is to “enable Rotarians to advance world understanding, goodwill, and peace through the improvement of health, the support of education, and the alleviation of poverty.”

He is disappointed that there are clubs within the District from which no donations were received last year.

On the other hand, there are clubs where 100 per cent of the members donate to the foundation and where, on average, Rotarians are donating hundreds of dollars. The top clubs, based on per capita donations during 2016-17, were:

Edmonton South ($478.43)

Fairview ($365.57)

Whitecourt ($362.08)

Wayne McCutcheon’s role is to “help you spend money”

While Wayne Kauffman focuses on raising funds for the Rotary Foundation, Wayne McCutcheon looks at the foundation from a different perspective. “My role is to help you spend money,” he says. “I’m available to help clubs apply for grants.”

After three years, half the money donated to the annual fund is returned to the District to support local and small international projects. For 2017-18, $101,000 was available for District grants (half of the $202,000 donated to the foundation from District 5370 in 2014-15).

Grants of $3,500 each were awarded to 41 clubs this year, to help fund projects. These funds were combined with funds raised by the clubs themselves, and in some cases, grants from the federal and provincial governments to implement projects.

The window to apply for 2018-19 District grants opens following the Spring Leadership Training (April 6 and 7). The deadline for applying is May 31, 2018.

The application form is available on the District website.

PresCitation#1_ TRFYou can donate to The Rotary Foundation Canada by cheque or online. Click here to donate online or send your cheque to:

The Rotary Foundation Canada
c/o 911600,
PO Box 4090 Stn A
Toronto, Ontario M5W 0E9

Contact information:

Wayne Kauffman, Foundation Committee Chair (780) 464-6043

Wayne McCutcheon, Chair District/Global Grants

(780) 850-0698


Register today for the 2018 Rotary International Convention in Toronto, June 24-27, 2018. Registration fee increases after December 15, 2017.



Half-day Indigenous awareness session will help you take a step toward reconciliation

Indigenous awareness training line (4)

Amy Smith (Rotaract Club of Edmonton) believes that the journey to reconciliation begins with understanding the culture and history of Canada’s Indigenous people.

With this in mind, Amy has arranged for a half-day Indigenous Awareness Session on Saturday, Dec. 16, from 9:00 a.m. to noon, which is being sponsored by the Rotaract Club of Edmonton and the District 5370 Rotary Aboriginal Program. Amy and spiritual guide Heather Poitras will facilitate the session, which is available to Rotarians at no cost.

This session be held at the District office, 16030 104 Ave., in Edmonton.

Click here to register.

“People want to learn more about Indigenous culture, but aren’t sure where to begin,” Amy says. “This will be a safe setting in which to learn.”

Participants will gain insight and understanding on how Indigenous people view Canada’s history, including colonization and its effects, treaties, and the sensitive topic of residential schools. This will also be an opportunity to learn a little about Indigenous culture and to enjoy some bannock and tea.

The Rotary Aboriginal Program is a District 5370 initiative that strives to build partnerships with Indigenous people, with the goal of Rotary clubs connecting with the Indigenous community.

On its website, the program states that its purpose “is to raise awareness about the realities of Aboriginal people in our Rotary district and to support Aboriginal groups, Rotary clubs and agencies to build capacity with respect to issues and Aboriginal communities.”

“Before Rotarians begin to do projects with Indigenous people, it’s important to understand their cultural and protocols,” Amy says.

Knowledgeable Facilitators

Heather and Amy hosted a similar session with Amy’s team at Health Canada, where she works in the human resources department, to eliminate employment barriers for members of the Indigenous community.

Amy is a Métis woman who has a degree in political science and native studies from the University of Alberta. In 2018, she will begin a master’s degree at the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia on a Rotary scholarship.

Heather, who has a Bachelor of Arts in Native Studies from the University of Alberta, has worked for Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada for over 23 years.  During this time she has accomplished many things in the efforts to enhance Indigenous awareness.  She has been involved with National Aboriginal Day since it was declared in 1996.

She was also instrumental in the establishment of an Indigenous Cultural Centre in Canada Place, serving as the spiritual lodge keeper for more than 15 years.  She has served as a executive member for Indigenous staff both for INAC and the entire federal public service.

Amy says that Heather’s work has impacted the lives of thousands of people and has had a “huge influence for Indigenous staff at Canada Place.”

Heather is proud of both her Metis and First Nation culture and is honoured to share it with others.  Her extensive cultural knowledge and experience is based on the medicine wheel teachings, which is a tool designed to benefit all nations.  She will take you on a spiritual journey, giving you gifts to help you on your own personal and professional paths.

“In a sharing circle, we are all equal,” Heather says. “Most importantly we all have a voice and the ability to share our knowledge and experience.”

Amy hopes participants will be open to seeing Canada from a new perspective, even if it may make them uncomfortable at times. But she emphasizes that this learning will occur within the safe environment of a sharing circle.

“People should feel they can share without fear and they will have the opportunity to ask questions. We really want people to ask questions.”

If you want to learn more about Indigenous history and culture, you should register soon, as several of the 40 places have already been spoken for.


Register today for the 2018 Rotary International Convention in Toronto, June 24-27, 2018. Registration fee increases after December 15, 2017.