The event was a Saturday evening, May 11, 2013. But the planning began much sooner.
- February, 2012 – Million Dollar Dinner held in District 5360, Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
- April 2012 – I started asking Rotary International if 2012/13 RI President Tanaka could visit our District during his year as President.
- May, 2012 – I discussed a “Million Dollar Dinner” idea with 5360 counterparts and then shared the idea with fellow Rotarians in 5370.
- June 2012 – It was agreed we should put on the dinner.
- July, 2012 – after several months of asking – we were able to confirm our keynote guest for the event – 2012/13 Rotary International President Sakuji Tanaka. The date was secured for weekend of May 11, 2013. RI seemed even more responsive once I confirmed the reason for the visit – a major fundraiser for the Rotary Foundation. The importance of a high-profile keynote speaker booked well in advance cannot be under-estimated.
- Fall, 2012 – At the Rotary Zone Institute in Vancouver we met with Carolyn Ferguson, Major Gift Officer-Zone 24 (selected portions of Canada, USA, Russia and France), The Rotary Foundation. She was instrumental in coordinating the mechanics of attaining and recording new members of the Bequest Society.
- Sept 23, 2012 – At the District Conference we unveiled the fact the President of Rotary International would be in our District – a first. We also unveiled the main purpose of his visit, the Million Dollar Dinner.
- Fall 2012 – as District Governor I flogged the fact President Tanaka would be in our District to every club during the club visits. I also mentioned the “Million Dollar Dinner”.
- Fall 2012 – A committee was struck with Chair Don Lowry in charge. With great assistance from District Foundation Chair Ross Tyson – the committee included Rotarians that focused on event site, finances, sponsorship, promotion, logistics, etc.
- October, 2012 – We added the details of the event on the District web site for easy access and eventually registration.
- January, 2013 – It was decided we would charge $100 a plate for the event. Invitations went out to all who were new members of the Bequest Society. We also invited Paul Harris Society members (those who give $1000 every year to the Foundation) as a thank you, and new Major Donors. (Gave $10,000 in cash outright).
- April, 2013 – we are meeting monthly since fall for the most part. In April invitations
are mailed via post and email.
- May, 11 2013 – event held in a classy building just outside Edmonton, Alberta -Sherwood Park. 150 attend, including the President of Rotary International – Sakuji Tanaka – our featured guest.