Associate Conductor Brett Mitchell leads The Cleveland Orchestra at the benefit concert in Severance Hall, which was completed in 1931 and has been called one of the world’s most beautiful concert halls.

Rotary members in Cleveland, Ohio, USA, celebrated 100 years of The Rotary Foundation on 23 October with a banquet and a concert by The Cleveland Orchestra that have so far raised more than $2.1 million for the Foundation's next century of good work.

Arch Klumph, a Cleveland Rotarian, planted the seed for The Rotary Foundation in 1917, with his idea of having an endowment fund dedicated to "doing good in the world." Today's District 6630 leaders thought that a concert was a fitting way to honor Klumph and mark the centennial because of Klumph's love of music. Klumph performed in several predecessors of The Cleveland Orchestra.

"We felt very strongly that here in the home of Arch Klumph we needed to take stock of what the Foundation has accomplished this past 100 years. It's almost impossible to quantify," says Mike Johns, an event organizer and past RI director. "If you look at where we are and where we are going, we've just scratched the surface on what we can do."

The banquet inducted four couples into the Arch Klumph Society for giving $250,000 or more to the Foundation over their lifetimes: Geoff and Kim Goll, Rotary Club of Salem, Ohio; Frank H. and Nancy Lyon Porter, Rotary Club of Cleveland, Ohio; Edna and Martin Sutter, Rotary Club of Fort Bonifacio Global City, Makati City, Philippines; and Norman R. and Marjory A. Veliquette, Rotary Club of Elk Rapids, Michigan, USA.

The Porters, who were inducted posthumously, contributed $500,000 toward polio eradication, Rotary's top priority. The Golls have also directed $200,000 of their contributions to PolioPlus.

Johns says the event was designed to educate the community about The Rotary Foundation. Videos interspersed between musical pieces highlighted Rotary's work and the fight to end polio.

"We had a lot of people there who didn't know what Rotary was, and they made a great discovery," he says. "I think Rotary members around the world should really reach out to the public this year and show them what our Foundation does."

Learn more about The Rotary Foundation centennial

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