CART was started in the Sumter, South Carolina Rotary club in 1995 by the late Mr. Roger Ackerman. CART stands for Coins for Alzheimer’s Research Trust. In the first 2 years of 1995 -1996 the collection of coins for CART grew from Roger’s home Rotary District 7770 to the other South Carolina District 7750. In 1997 CART added North Carolina Rotary District 7710 as their third giving District and fourth was our own North Carolina District 7730. We are very proud to have been in the forefront of starting and continuing this great charity. The first CART Chair for District 7730 was Milt Iossi, a PDG (93-94) and he served from 1997 to 2004. Brian Garrett followed from years 2004 to 2011 and the current Chair Norman Rogers has served from 2011 to Present. All 3 CART chairs have been members of the Rotary Club of South Brunswick Islands.
CART is my passion because my wife Nancy died of Alzheimer’s in 2010 after an 11 year battle with this terrible disease. She was only 61.
CART has grown rapidly in the past years and I have been promoted to the CART Chairman Central Division with responsibility for all 8 CART districts in North Carolina and South Carolina.
To participate in our District 7730 a club may use blue plastic CART buckets at each meeting or some clubs put the contribution for CART in their annual budget or collect a special offering at times during the year. There is no set way to collect for CART and no set time frame to send me the checks: monthly, quarterly, yearly, the point is for all 50 clubs to contribute. I request that each Rotarian contribute $.50 per week for 50 weeks in the year for a total of $25.00 per year.
When I started in CART in 2011 there were 11 Rotary Districts participating in the CART fund in NC, SC, and GA. Over the 8 year period to 2019 we have added districts in Virginia, Tennessee, Maryland and Florida to bring our total to 23 Rotary districts (900+ clubs) and we have received permission from Rotary International to speak with clubs and Districts nationwide. CART is growing and we are excited at what we could do for the research community if we could add more. The Fund gives grants for research that would not ordinarily get funded and is basically SEED money to get their research in front of a drug company and possibly into a clinical trial. In 2011 there were 63 research institutes that applied for CART grants: In 2012 there were 97 in the grant process. As the need for funds has grown each year CART has stepped up our growth and our contributions. In May 2019, the new recipients will be announced to receive 5 grants totaling $1,000,000 and our total giving for all years will be $8.2 Million and a total of 50 grants. The Fund is well respected in the research and grant community; the CART organization is proud of the fact that 100% of the gifts in our little blue buckets go towards the grants. The CART Fund has continually been recognized by the SC Attorney General as the number 1 charity in use of the gifts for its intended purpose.
This coming year, I would like to be invited to give more programs. Statistics say that Alzheimer’s disease will affect 10% of the membership in every club, almost 200 of our Rotarian brothers and sisters in our district. It would be great to have 100% participation in the clubs this year. In 2013 to add a competition factor to our giving to CART I was given permission by Mr. Roger Ackerman (the late Father of CART) to create the Roger Ackerman District 7730 Golden Bucket.
The way you win the Golden Bucket to keep in your club for one year is quite simple, give more to CART than the rest of the 50 clubs. There will be 2 Golden Buckets given each year; one for the most given and one per capita given. The contest runs from June 1st to June 30th of each year. The Golden Bucket will be presented each year by the outgoing Governor at the installation of the New Governor for the next year. If you win the Golden Bucket 2 times you get to keep it at your club for life. The Kinston Evening Rotary Club and the Leland Area Rotary Club have already won both Golden Buckets for 2 years running and have been awarded the Golden Buckets forever.
District 7730 clubs have set new CART records 3 years in a row ; in the Rotary year 2017-2018 gave $65,472.93 ; 2016-2017 $42,488.01 and in 2015-2016 $22,052.23 and we hope to do even better next year. In the summer of 2016 one man, Jerry Kanter of the Kinston Evening Rotary Club, decided to challenge the district to match his contribution. His challenge was that for his 89th birthday he would swim 89 laps at a pool in Kinston, N.C. and asked other Rotarians to match his contribution of $1.00 per lap. Because he was being filmed on TV, Jerry had to beat his own challenge and he swam 101 laps. The response was overwhelming…friends and family across the country, strangers on Facebook, Rotarians in Districts all over the country and more sent checks totaling over a staggering $ 8,000. See what one person of passion can do!
Call me or send an e-mail and I will give you a good program to get you up to date on the CART NATION and it is always a photo opportunity to showcase Rotary in your local media.
Please make sure all checks are made out to the CART Fund Inc and sent to the following address:
CART Chairman District 7730
7985 Castaway Lane NW
Ash, N. C. 28420
For further information about CART go to http://www.cartfund.org/