White Hat Society
The Society was created in September 2004 at the Zone Institute in Scottsdale, AZ to encourage accelerated, significant annual giving to The Rotary Foundation and it has been successful, generating over $2,000,000. To date there are over 100 members in 20 Districts, mostly in the Southwestern US, and you can identify members by their distinctive White Hat pins.
Interestingly enough, this is not a program of The Rotary Foundation (TRF), rather it was started by a group of Rotarians to honor Past RI Director and Foundation Trustee Ron Burton of Oklahoma, a Charter Member. Contributions are made by the individual through his/her own Club in the usual manner, in any form accepted by TRF (stock, capital assets, irrevocable insurance policies, etc. as well as cash or credit card), and applied to any of the Foundation’s programs (including Annual Programs Fund, Polio Plus, or The Permanent Fund). Donations to the Annual Programs Fund count towards Paul Harris Fellowships and Major Donor status in the usual way.
Membership requires a donation of $5,000 to The Rotary Foundation in a single Rotary Year, but NOT every year. The intention is that this is a new contribution and does not involve existing “Points”. In addition, a member must recruit one other Rotarian to join the Society. There is recognition for subsequent donations, and a donation of $25,000 results in a Lifetime Award.
Being a group of Rotarians, the Society operates on the Four Way Test, your word is sufficient. Once you have made your contribution, you notify the White Hat Secretary in Texas (D 5870) PDG Patsy (Pat) Derr, and the membership information is sent to you. There is no District or Zone office involvement.
In addition to the pins and certificates, there is an Annual Meeting of The White Hat Society, and to date it has not been scheduled during the International Convention. The last three have been in Sao Paulo, San Francisco and New York, but that may change as the group grows. Guaranteed there will be fun and friendship wherever they meet.
For more information, visit their website http://www.taptrain.com/rotary/.