This was a thrill of a lifetime and I am so honoured to be a part of it. Raising 4.5 million dollars! The media release says it all below.
A unique fundraiser occurred Saturday evening, May 11, 2013 in Edmonton, Alberta that successfully raised 4.5 million dollars for the Rotary Foundation – well over the target of one million dollars. Organizers were particularly excited to have in attendance the President of Rotary International, Sakuji Tanaka. Kevin Hilgers is the Governor for the district that includes northern Alberta, NW Saskatchewan, NE British Columbia and Northwest Territories. “The fundraiser was unique whereby we asked Rotarians to include the Rotary Foundation via their will and estate planning. In other words – become a member of the Foundation’s Bequest Society. We asked them to provide documents so we could substantiate and track the commitments, and certainly recognize them for their efforts.
Our object was to find over one million dollars of new commitments to the Rotary Foundation. This also included members who chose outright gifts of cash to the Foundation. We marketed this for almost a year. It wrapped up May 11 with the Million Dollar Dinner. In the end a check totaling just under 4.5 million dollars was handed to President Tanaka in front of a crowd of 150 supporters of the Foundation. Even after we printed that check we had several more commitments come in so in fact we are over the 4.5 million mark. Many in the room were stunned at the amount raised. 4.5 million dollars in commitments to the Rotary Foundation! We will make a difference tomorrow and in the future, locally and around the world – thanks to these individuals we recognized at this event”.
Hilgers adds, “The picture (attached) says it all. It’s not every day you can “wow” the President of Rotary International in your own hometown. It certainly was a thrill in many ways.” Lastly some advice for any other Rotary Districts who wish to hold such an event. “We had a team that put on a terrific event. It really sparked interest in this sort of fundraising. It captured the imagination and excitement of Rotarians. If anyone wishes to look into doing a Million Dollar Dinner we would be happy to share. I would highly recommend doing this. It’s a very fresh approach and one that obviously inspired many”.
UPDATE – I had so many ask about this unique fundraiser I built a “How-To” website so others can easily do the same. www.milliondollardinner.net
Update: The magazine Rotary Canada did a story on the event, click here.