Foundation Presidents Report – “A Year in Review”

Prepared by:  Carter Sales, Foundation President 2020-2021
June 24, 2021


When the Denver Rotary Club Foundation was founded in 1969 we had an annual operating budget of just $100 per year.  In the past 52 years we have come a long way. Today our operating budget is now almost $300,000.

One of the most important functions of the DRCF is the granting process and how we positively impact our local and worldwide communities.  Since our inception, we have granted over $8 Million to our local and international communities including partnerships with Rotary District 5450, Rotary International and local Rotary clubs here and throughout the world.  75 years ago our club founded what is now known as Denver Kids, Inc.  I am pleased that we continue to support DKI which is our longest standing Grantee and partner organization. During that time our grants to DKI have totaled more than $4.5 Million.


We measure the success of our mission in terms of the impact that our Grants provide, primarily supporting youth and Education.  For example during the year:

  • The High School Scholars Grant supported 13 students who were awarded $1 Million in Scholarships and Grants over their 4 year College Careers.
  • The Scholastic Art Awards Grant led to 2,200 Art Entries and $34,000 in Scholarships for those students.
  • The World Community Service Committee Grant funded 18 Humanitarian projects totaling $52,000
  • The Community Resources, Inc. Grant enables 10 DPS students to be matched with 10 career mentors.
  • The Denver Kids, Inc. Grant helps to support 1,100 kids with a HS graduation rate of 82%.
  • The Junior Achievement Grant supports 100 students in the JA Finance Park program.

This year The Grants Committee was chaired by Jack Green and awarded $149,000 in grant awards. Committee member Jim Johnston suggested innovative ways to revise the application format and granting guidelines to attract more Grant Applications, and the committee agreed.  The net result is that we added   four new grantees. They are EarthLinks, Music Through Education, Colorado Center for Civic Learning & Engagement and the St. Francis Center.  These new grantees will broaden our reach in our community while enabling Club 31 members to expand our active participation in these deserving organizations. These grants will be funded beginning in July when we begin the new fiscal year.  Special thanks to the Grants Committee!

During the year the COVID-19 virus continued to challenge everyone. We, as Rotarians, stepped up to meet the challenges and I am pleased to report that the DRCF had another successful fundraising year.

  • Our first club fundraiser, the peach sale, was on the verge of being cancelled due to a spring freeze devastating the peach crop. The resourceful peach committee co-chaired by Bryan Guice and Kevin Shelledy found a grower in Paonia, CO and our peach sale was saved.
  • Harriet Downer organized our annual drive to support Colorado Gives Day. 37 members donated over $7,500 making it the highest level of support in 5 years.
  • We approved a disaster relief fund of $5,000 that went 50% to COVID Disaster Relief and 50% to the District 5450 Colorado Wild Fire Relief fund.
  • Our first spring fundraiser, The April Fools unTalent show was a huge success thanks to our energetic and spirited un-organizers Jill Santuccio, President Debbie and Lauren.  We raised an impressive $38,000 along with two donors who provided matching funds of $5,000 and $10,000.
  • The First Annual Rotary Woohoomanity Bike Challenge was also successful as we were the second highest fundraising club in the district and raised a total of $4,562. The DRCF sent 1/3 of the funds in the amount of $1,519 to Polio Plus. Thanks to Jim Goddard, Brian Sweet, Colleen Cozad and her husband, Brad, for joining the Club 31 Woohoo team. Thanks also to the donors who supported the Club 31 Team!
  • I also want to give a special shout out to Todd Bacon who publishes our Celebrate our Service series that highlights many of the works and positive impact that the DRCF achieves throughout the year.
  • Our members continue to step up and support the DRCF. This year seven Gold Fellows, three Silver Fellows and two Fellows were recognized for their contributions.  Thank you to those members and the other members for your continued support of the foundation.
  • Finally I am pleased to report that our investment portfolio reached $4 million in value for the first time since 2007.

Before I hand the leadership baton to Sid Brooks, I want to sincerely thank Lauren Mast who not only is the Executive Director of the club but she is also the Chief Operating Officer of the Foundation.  This was her first year taking over for Darlene and going solo.  Her untiring work and knowledge of the club and the foundation made my term as president easy and I could not have done it without her.

It has been an honor and a privilege to serve as your Foundation president. I have also been fortunate to have the support of our board of Trustees, Debbie and the DRC Board of Directors, Jill and of course Lauren. Thank you Club 31 members and friends who have supported the DRCF to make this a rewarding and productive year!

Posted in President Messages.

One Comment

  1. Great job Carter,
    Don’t retire too quickly because now that I am on the board I will need to ask you many many many questions.

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