For George Atwell, two long-term relationships in his life began while he was a high school educator: first, he met his wife of 54 years Marian, a fellow teacher, and second, he began a 43-year affiliation with Rotary.
"When I was a high school principal, the Leesburg Rotary Club approached me about starting Interact at the school", George said. "Then, two months later, they invited me to join Rotary in early 1967. I've been with it ever since!"
Currently serving as president of his Rotary Club for the second time, George was recognized in 2002 with the Service Above Self Award. He is known for his "impersonations" of Paul Harris at various Rotary gatherings, "I speak to Rotary groups and try to embody Paul Harris and explain how he came to found the organization." Moreover, his two daughters, son-in-law, and three grandchildren are all Paul Harris Fellows.
George supports Rotary's many cultural and educational programs, but he is perhaps most proud of Rotary's fight to eradicate polio. He has recently attended National Immunization Days in India, Egypt, and Nigeria, where he administered polio vaccinations to children. "I am going to do my best to see polio brought to an end," George said.
While George had made several outright gifts over the years, he was intrigued when he received a Rotary mailing regarding charitable gift annuities to support the Permanent Fund. "I had sold some assets and decided this was a good time to make a gift to The Rotary Foundation," he said.
After talking with the Foundation's planned giving staff and his accountant, who is also a Rotarian, George simply "signed the papers and mailed in the check" to fund the gift annuity, which makes fixed quarterly payments to both George and Marian for the remainder of their lives. If one outlives the other, the survivor will still receive the full payment. "Right now, I give the payments right back to Rotary because I can afford to do that at this point," George explained.
George's gift annuity enables him to live his Rotary legacy, while at the same time securing his and Marian's future.
To learn how you can support Rotary and receive benefits in return with a charitable gift annuity, click here.