History of the
Clarence Rotary Foundation

(A Not-For-Profit Corporation)

In keeping with Rotary's program of continuing education for old and new members, it was decided to give a history of CRF, Clarence Rotary Foundation. This is not to be confused with Rotary International Foundation, which is also a first class fund that should be contributed to each year, so Paul Harris awards can be continued and world charities helped.

Our CRF is locally owned and operated, and chances are good, as a member of Rotary, you will at some time serve on this Board. This foundation, still in its infancy, was founded on May 4, 1988.

Dave Burke was the first President, Ron Boehm - Secretary, and George D'Amico was Treasurer. The following were first Directors Paul DelPrince, Tom Sweeney, Paul Herman, Casey Andrzejewski, Clyde Lockie and Dick DeWitt. By-laws were adopted and Ed Dinki, Esq. and Richard Milewicz, CPA were appointed as legal and accounting advisors.

All new groups take time to develop and gather momentum, and we are no different. Recently, Past Foundation President Frank Harris and Director Rev. Carl Steufert spearheaded the adoption of our Mission Statement and CRF brochure.

Our Mission Statement is as follows:

The Clarence Rotary Foundation seeks to exemplify Rotary's highest ideal "Service Above Self". The Foundation hopes to make that ideal a reality through its direct financial support of worthy charitable and educational projects.

Therefore, the Mission of the Clarence Rotary Foundation is to establish, foster, and encourage programs that have a positive, lasting impact in promoting greater understanding between people.

The guiding principle of the Foundation seeks to maximize its impact by contributing primarily to the capital funding projects of self-sustaining institutions and programs.

Further, in funding projects, allocations are made only from the Foundation's income earned on principal, thereby preserving the principal. This procedure assures that the Foundation is an ongoing participant in community-oriented programs.

Eligible projects are selected and approved for institutions by the Foundation's Board of Directors, annually.

We presently have more than $50,000 in our fund, but our principal must grow greater since we only spend the interest for our charities. Previous directors have worked aggressively on fund raising with shrimp sales, yard sales and other creative promotions. We will again sell Koeze's nut canisters for the holidays and have added the sale of Entertainment Books along with a special fun auction.

We are hopeful that by reminding and educating our club members that, WE ARE YOU, may increase periodic contributions at weekly meetings, for special events (birthdays, anniversaries, special good fortune happenings, etc.)

The Clarence Rotary Foundation is tax exempt under Section 501(C)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Remember the CRF for your charitable gifting and always consult your Tax Advisor regarding deductibility of your charitable contributions. The Attorney-members of the Clarence Rotary Club will prepare your last will and testament free of charge in return for a contribution to the CRF.

In 1995 we made our first disbursement to Clarence High School for a worthy student active in community service, and in 1996 we sponsored a High School weather station for expanded student science education. We will determine another worthy cause in 1997. The dreams and visions of our foundation founders will come to be as our principal grows. Please help us.


An early history of our foundation shows the CRF was started with a club grant of $3,500. The first years were spent creating by-laws, setting up areas of responsibilities, number of directors, voting procedures, legal responsibilities, etc. The first fund raiser was a sweater raffle in 1988 that net $50 for the foundation. The Miss Buffalo boat ride in 1990 was chaired by President Dave Burke and I remember the giant subs he brought on board. Paul Herman was chairman of the first shrimp sale in 1991 that raised the grand total of $1,704.80.

In 1993 winter wreaths were sold along with the shrimp that was distributed from Dick Milewicz's office. The nut sale became part of our fund raiser in 1994 headed by Steve Carlson and Chuck Kohut. The entertainment book sale started in 1996 headed by Dave Thielman.

Over the years many various ideas for fund raising have been explored and considered, such as flea market sales, art shows, dinner dance, athletes night with prominent sports figures as speakers, rose sales, walk-a-thon and fruit cake sales.

All of these will and some have added to our principal fund but the best is still the use of codicils to wills and charitable trusts. There is no question that our large future funds must come from bequests from community and club members. To assist in doing this our Rotary Club attorneys have offered to do free wills for members if a portion is donated to the foundation. This is certainly an area that needs our concentrated efforts".

Past Presidents of The Clarence Rotary Foundation

David Burke Oct 1988 - Jan 1991
Richard DeWitt Jan 1991 - June 1992
Clyde B. Lockie July 1992 - June 1993
Ronald M. Boehm July 1993 - June 1994
Robert A. Wutz, Jr. July 1994 - June 1995
Frank Harris July 1995 - June 1996
Robert Geiger July 1996 - June 1998

Thomas Coseo July 1998 - Present