On Saturday, Oct 17, 550 Rotarians and guests from District 5340 and a few other Districts gathered at the grandstand Mission Tower Ballroom at The Del Mar Fairgrounds for a celebration of Millions for Hope Rotary Foundation fundraising. HOPE stands for Health, Overcoming Poverty, Education. This is our district initiative to benefit The Rotary Foundation’s mission to advance world understanding, goodwill, and peace through the improvement of health, the support of education, and the alleviation of poverty.
The party started with a social time in the courtyard outside the ballroom. We enjoyed entertainment by the Mira Costa College Jazz Band.
Once inside the ballroom, we heard the story about how our district was challenged 2 years ago to raise money for the Rotary Foundation.  During the dinner, we learned how the goal for the amount to be raised became, over time, 15 million dollars.  By July 1 of this year, our district had reached the $10,000,000.00 level. The funds raised were the result of a major effort to have our district's Rotarians place estate gifts to the Rotary Foundation in their estate plans.
RI President Ravindran had to ask the DJ stop his program so he could make another announcement. Once the music stopped and the crowd became quiet, Ravi announced that someone in attendance at this gala had spoken to him on stage. That person said he would match the amount that our district had raised!!  The stunned crowd now realized that the total amount raised in District 5340 now had become $31,000,850.  The announcement caused another buzz of excitement. This was an unimaginable and remarkable result for District 5340!