On Friday, July 14, 2023, the Rotary Club of Prior Lake released their charitable giving for the Rotary year 2022-2023, which runs from July 1-June 30. The date of the release coincided with the start of the Prior Lake Rotary’s Lakefront Music Fest, the Club’s largest fundraiser. Those funds go to the Prior Lake Rotary Foundation and then are used to do good in the community and throughout the world. The good is through projects the Club participates in and/or funds, and worthy non-profit organizations the Club contributes to, and as the event has grown, so has the overall charitable impact. In total, the charitable giving for the year was $408,631. The chart below breaks down the giving by category.
Besides the monetary giving, Club members donate countless hours to projects such as being mentors for the S.T.R.I.V.E. program at Bridges Area Learning Center, facilitating an ethics program for high school students, preparing meals for families through Ronald McDonald House-Twin Cities’ Cooks For Kids program, and serving some of the county’s neediest families through the holiday gift bag initiative. This year, the Club initiated a Rotary grant to fund a major bed building event through the organization, Sleep in Heavenly Peace. We had many local partners help both financially and with volunteers, and local Rotary Clubs did the same. Over 3 days in May,  315 volunteers worked 936 hours to successfully build 142 beds for young people who do not have a bed of their own.
The Club also contributes to other Rotary Club projects and initiatives within our District and in other parts of the country. Those projects that Prior Lake Rotary partners with numbered 13 this year, and totaled $15,825, and these included projects located in other countries. The Club ventured into another project in two villages in Kenya. These water projects were done using a Program-Related Investment. Using the investment of $80,000, safe water enterprises will be set up, water sold, and a portion of the sales coming back to our Foundation. It is estimated the loan will be paid back within 3 to 5 years. And the enterprises will positively impact the lives of 40,000 people.
Beyond the Club, members are extremely generous giving to Rotary International’s programs. For the 10th year in a row, the Rotary Club of Prior Lake was #1 in the 5960 Rotary District for contributing to PolioPlus, Rotary International’s initiative to end polio. In total the Club and its members gave $44,689. And the Club and its members are perennially #1 in the District in total and per capita giving on an individual basis to The Rotary Foundation, the body that is the engine for all the good done worldwide. The total in 2022-2023 was $75,215, and most all Club members contributed to the number.
But whether giving through the Club or individually, the members know it is not the money given, but the difference those monies make with positively impacting our community and communities across the world. The overall number of lives positively impacted through our doing and giving was over 300,000, something the Club started measuring this past year.