The Oak Ridge Peace Forum has donated $7,500 of its net proceeds to the Peace Centers Endowment of The Rotary Foundation.
“The Rotary Peace Centers offer an avenue for extending peace activities throughout the world through its growing cadre of Peace Fellows,” said Fred Heitman, chair of the Peace Forum planning committee, which decided in early April to make the donation.
The Oak Ridge Peace Forum is sponsored by Rotary District 6780, which is now led by District Governor Jack Bailey of Oak Ridge.
More than 250 people attended the Peace Forum on March 9 in Pollard Auditorium. The planning committee consisted mostly of representatives of three Rotary clubs in Oak Ridge.
The highlight of the forum was the keynote address by Rotary International President Sakuji Tanaka. The Oak Ridge forum was the only peace conference in the continental U.S. that the RI president attended. He also spoke at the peace forums in Berlin and Honolulu and will attend the forum to be held in Hiroshima, Japan.
Bailey said that Tanaka’s theme and speech topic “Peace Through Service” has “helped all Rotarians see peace in its many dimensions and reinforces a worthy goal we work tirelessly to promote and achieve.”
Karen Wentz, past district governor of District 6780 and moderator of a panel discussion on peace through human understanding at the Oak Ridge Peace Forum, presented a check for $7,500 to RI President Tanaka and Rotary Foundation Chair Wilf Wilkinson. She made the presentation during a seminar given by Peace Fellows at a peace center jointly sponsored by Duke University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
The five other peace centers are located in Australia, Japan, Sweden, Thailand, and the United Kingdom. Except for the Thailand center, the peace centers offer a two-year master’s degree in peace and conflict resolution.
In the letter of transmittal delivered by Wentz during the seminar, Heitman wrote, “We thank President Tanaka for attending our Peace Forum and we honor him and his tireless work promoting peace with this gift.”
Bailey said most of the remaining funds from the Oak Ridge Peace Forum will be donated to Rotary’s efforts to complete the eradication of polio in the world.