Sakura Takano gave us an update on Rotary Charities, a nonprofit creation of the Rotary Club of Traverse City that provides funding, learning and connections to address our region's problems.
As explained in Sakura's PowerPoint presentation, Rotary Charities is one of the results of the Traverse City club's fortuitous acquisition of camp property in 1923.  Oil was discovered there in 1976, and the rest is history:  Rotary Charities was formed in 1977 and made its first grants in 1978. 
Within its service area (Leelanau, Benzie, Grand Traverse, Antrim and Kalkaska Counties) Rotary Charities has awarded $68m since 1977.  Its three strategic focus areas are Funding, Learning and Connecting.  Noteworthy grants have included $1m to NMC's Great Lakes Water Studies Institute, the saving of the State Theater and the Park Place Hotel and the purchase of the TLCP coal dock.   Rotary Charities also incubated the Grand Traverse Regional Land Conservancy, the Grand Traverse Regional Community Foundation and Home Stretch.
Of interest to all Rotarians within the five-county service area is the Rotary Endowment that Rotary Charities created with a $2.5m donation to the Grand Traverse Regional Community Foundation.  This endowment provides 1 to 1 matching grants for regional members and clubs.