To Heart International Welcomes President Of Rotary International
By: Amy Lafferty
(November 4, 2019) –
On Friday, Heart to Heart International welcomed Mark
Maloney, President of Rotary International and his wife Gay to our headquarters
in Lenexa, Kansas. We were honored to have the opportunity to give the
Maloneys a tour, describe the work HHI does around the world, and detail
the instrumental role Rotary played not only in the creation of the
organization, but how its members still contribute to this day.
From left: Rick Randolph, Randy Stabenow,
Larry Lunsford, Kim Carroll, Gay and Mark Maloney,
Terry Lynch, Jim Mitchum, Pat O’Donnell, Gary Morsch.
Rotary International President Mark Maloney
presented HHI founder Gary Morsch with the “Connecting the World”
pin in recognition of his dedication and work to helping people around
Heart to Heart International has a long history of working with
Rotary clubs to help people in need. In fact, the very inception of
Heart to Heart International is based in the works of Rotarians.
Here’s the story:
In 1992, after an investigative trip to Russia, Dr. Gary Morsch and
his fellow Rotarians learned the hospital pharmacies were empty, and
doctors had no way to provide patients with life-saving medicines. Consequently,
when Dr. Morsch returned to the U.S., he challenged his local Rotary
Club in Olathe, Kansas, to help provide medicines and medical supplies
to hospitals around Moscow. Rotarians jumped into action and the project
began to snowball.
Rotary members Dr. Gary Morsch, Ray Mattix, Jim Kerr and Dave Lundgren
developed a plan to deliver desperately needed medications and medical
supplies to distribute to hospitals and pharmacies throughout Moscow.
This project needed a name – Heart to Heart International,
since the airlift was from the heart of America and going to the heart
of Russia (Moscow). A plane was next on the agenda to procure. And with
the help of Congresswoman Jan Meyers and Bob Dole, they secured a C5
Galaxy aircraft, the biggest aircraft in the world.
All Olathe Rotarians were busy getting donations for the effort. With
a matching grant from Kansas Rotary district 5710, and donations and
matching grant from the Kansas City Missouri Rotary district, Olathe
Rotarians had gathered $50,000 desperately needed to make the effort
In May 1992, the Heart to Heart International C5 Cargo plane landed
in Moscow with 75 tons of pharmaceuticals and medical supplies, bringing
aid to thousands of people in need.
Though it was originally thought to be a one-time project, the airlift
turned out to be just the beginning of almost 30 years of providing
aid to people in need through Heart to Heart International.
“From the initial idea of sending a mobile medical unit that transformed
into actually sending a C5 Cargo plane carrying 75 tons of pharmaceuticals
and medical supplies exemplifies our Rotary Motto, SERVICE ABOVE SELF.
This is an effort that will always be held dear in the hearts of those
Rotarians that helped make it happen, as well as all Olathe Rotarians
“The Rotary Wheel” June 2018, Olathe Rotary
May 1992 – delivering aid to Moscow, Russia. The beginning of
Heart to Heart International.
Thank you to everyone who came out on Friday: Mark and Gay Maloney,
Gary Morsch and Pat O’Donnell from Olathe Rotary, and Terry Lynch,
President of Olathe Rotary; Rick Randolph and Kevin Tubbesing from the
Ambassadors Rotary Club; Larry Lunsford and Jim Mitchum from Rotary
Club of Kansas City Plaza, and HHI CEO Kim Carroll and HHI COO Randy
Do you have a story of how Rotary and Heart to Heart International have
worked together? We would love to hear them. Send any stories to email@example.com.
Source: Heart to Heart Website; Courtesy: eFlash_Rotary Kalamassery
Source: Rotary International