Posted by Terrence Dalton
The Rotary Club of Akron had the pleasure of listening to our own Doug Kohl during our Tuesday, January 26th Club meeting.  His presentation was about our Akron Rotary Foundation. View the video of the meeting by clicking here.
Just like the Rotary Foundation of Rotary International, which was created in 1917 for the purpose of "doing good in the world," the Akron Rotary Foundation supports activities for youths and is dedicated to furthering world understanding and peace.
The Akron Rotary Foundation was founded on February 5, 1992. The agent of incorporation was Jim Redmond and Mike Sweeney, of Brouse McDowell, was the attorney who assembled and filed the documents with the state of Ohio that made the Foundation a legally recognized 501(c)3 charity, able to accept donations on behalf of the club and the camp. The first trustees were: Don Nelson, Ron Allen, Mike Rabe, Jeff Schobert, Mark Wernig, Don Kelly and George Rooney, Jr. Rotarians Jack Harig, Bud Rogers, Roger Read and others were also involved.
Today, the Akron Rotary Foundation’s board of trustees are Jim Redmond, Katy Miller, Mark Krohn, Rima Muakkassa, Jeff Sitz, Julie Brandle, Marsha Holcomb, Brian Steere and Doug Kohl. Long-time board member, Dan Reimenschneider, serves as a special advisor. The ARF Board invests, grows, then distributes the moneys to Rotary and community projects.
The Akron Rotary Foundation is established to benefit the programs of the club.  The earned income and corpus benefit the charitable causes of the Rotary Club of Akron.  As the Foundation’s assets grow, so does its ability to support in perpetuity Akron Rotary causes.
The Akron Rotary Foundation is committed to guidance, support, and education of area youth and special needs children. This is best said in the Akron Rotary Foundation's Vision and Mission Statements which read:
The Vision of the Akron Rotary Foundation is to provide funding for opportunities for youth that are supported by the Rotary Club of Akron with special emphasis on educational and recreational needs of emotionally and physically challenged children.
The mission of the ARF is “Funding the endless impact of the Rotary Club of Akron in our community and beyond.”
- Rotary Camp for Children with Special Needs
- Foreign Exchange Students (Rotary Youth Exchange)
- Scholarships - Akron Public Schools
- Other Causes of the Rotary Club of Akron
- Club President's Discretionary Fund
Since 1994, The Akron Rotary Foundation has contributed over $3,258,066 to the causes that make our community a great place to live and work.
            Rotary Camp for Children with Special Needs:  $2,889,888
            High School Scholarships:  $107,287
            Barrett Academy:  $163,969
            Other Community Efforts:  $96,922
In the winter of 2018, the Foundation board interviewed members of Rotary to better understand their knowledge of the Rotary Foundation and its mission.
Many knew the Rotary International Foundation – the philanthropic vehicle of Rotary International. It focuses world-wide on the mission of Rotary International.
Few were aware of the history of our local Akron Rotary Foundation and the many programs it supports. Discussions distilled our cause to 4 focus areas:
  • Community Development
    • Neighborhood improvement
    • Enhancing partnerships that improve neighborhoods
    • Energizing & impacting Akron community projects
  • Youth Empowerment
    • Interact – High School leadership programs
    • Rotaract – Encouraging young adults to lead
    • Akron area public school scholarships
    • Rotary Youth Leadership Academy (RYLA)
  • International Understanding
    • Rotary Youth Exchange – creating global citizens
    • Partnering with local Rotary Club & RI initiatives
    • RI’s 6 priorities
  • The Rotary Camp – a unique priority of the Foundation, this program enjoys favored status with the Foundation. At least 1/3rd of all Foundation earnings support the work of Camp
The establishment of a Foundation protects Rotary’s financial assets in case of future change or in event of catastrophic litigation. The Foundation has become a safe harbor for the contributions to Rotary’s important work in the local community.
To learn more about the Akron Rotary Foundation, the Planned Giving and Contribution Avenues for the ARF, I encourage you to go to .