A plaque presented to the First Presidency by representatives of the local district of Rotary International on Friday morning, Feb. 25, acknowledged the Church's help with the organization's humanitarian goals.
Kelly Atkinson, governor of Rotary International District 5420, handed the plaque to President Gordon B. Hinckley during a brief meeting in the Church Administration Building. Also present were President Hinckley's counselors President Thomas S. Monson and President James E. Faust and Elder Quentin L. Cook of the Seventy and Gene Banks, who will be the district governor in 2006-2007.
The text on the plaque states that it was presented to the Church "in appreciation of the many years of friendship and support of Rotary's humanitarian goals and in celebration of the 100th anniversary of Rotary International."
The recognition given to the Church was part of the district's centennial celebration; Rotary International was started in 1905. The district, which includes 40 community-based clubs throughout Utah, held a Centennial Celebration Dinner on Saturday, Feb. 26, in Salt Lake City, attended by nearly 700 Rotarians at a downtown hotel. At that time, there was a public presentation of the plaque to the Church, accepted by Elder Cook who is also a member of Rotary.
Elder Banks, who is serving a mission for the Church Educational System in Salt Lake City, said recognition for a person or organization that has contributed to the Rotary's service mission is part of the centennial celebration. He said the Church was chosen because of its constant support of the Utah Rotary district over the years.
Brother Atkinson emphasized the support the Church has given Rotary International's goal to eradicate polio from the earth. He said that Church contributions have enabled the inoculation of more that 12 million children around the world. He was optimistic that the Rotary goal of making the world free from polio by the end of this year is realistic.