A few years after the start of the new millennium, Rotary LBV members began recognizing the need for a club foundation in order to better serve the local communities.
Discussions and some research and basic planning followed, but the idea was never brought to fruition—not until Jean Campana became club president on 1 July of 2016 and
began taking steps to make it happen. PP Phil Wright got involved when he offered the free support of his personal accountant, Larry Herring. In turn, the accountant
obtained pro bono help of an attorney friend, Alec Ombres, and we were on our way. Three months into Jean’s presidency, working with professional support, she and other members developed
The Rotary Club of Lake Buena Vista Foundation (RCLBVF) by-laws and articles of incorporation. An application was submitted to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS)
for recognition as a 501(c)(3) charity. IRS approval came in the Fall of 2016, making the new foundation official.
The RCLBVF is governed by a board of directors in accordance with its by-laws and presided over each year by an elected president. Together, they handle the creation of the annual budget, oversight
of foundation finances, and disbursement of charitable funds. Jean held the position of president for over three years then passed the baton to the current president, Gregory Gorski, who has made the
annual Charity Golf Challenge event a great success and the club foundation's most significant source of funds.
The foundation’s fiscal year coincides with the Rotary year, beginning on July 1 and ending June 30 of the following year. Major charitable disbursements are usually set in July, after the
the foundation’s Charity Golf Challenge usually held in May. Other later and less robust sources for RCLBVF funds are earnings from members working at polling places during election
years and work with the Rotary Club of Dr. Phillips in operating a concession stand during the annual Arnold Palmer Invitational golf event. Typically, all RCLBVF funds are dispersed as charitable
contributions save for a reserve of about 10%.
Because they were charities supported by the club prior to formation of the foundation, top-tier fund recipients currently include:
- Education Foundation of Osceola County
- National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)
- Rotary Youth Exchange Program (RYE)
- Rotary Youth Leadership Academy (RYLA)
- WOW Legacy Group
Based on available funds and consideration of the criteria listed below, second-tier charities funded by the RCLBVF typically include:
- Lifeboat Project
- New Image Youth Center
- Orlando Union Rescue Mission
- Shepherd's Hope
Criteria for funding second-tier charities are as follows:
- Alignment with Foundation mission of promoting peace and goodwill.
- Local impact (Greater Orlando area)
- Number of beneficiaries (i.e., number of people served)
- Community visibility and recognition
- Recipient participation in club activities and events
- The 501(c)(3) charitable status of the organization
Growing SuccessThe capacity of the Rotary Club of Lake Buena Vista Foundation to make significant charitable contributions has grown steadily since its inception. This success has been due largely to the dedicated participation of club members in fund-raising activities. For example, over 90% of the membership participated in various ways in supporting the most recent golf event.
For more information, please contact current RCLBVF President Gregory Gorski