Ione Cockrell, area assistant governor for Rotary District 7770, presents two banners to Capital Rotary past president David Boucher (left) recognizing the club’s 2015-16 giving to The Rotary Foundation. Those donations help strengthen peace efforts, provide clean water and sanitation, support education, grow local economies, save mothers and children, and fight disease around the world. Current president Tommy Gibbons holds a Leadership Citation badge for 2016-17 participation in local/district community service projects plus contributions for international humanitarian outreach.
Twenty-one members of Columbia’s Capital Rotary volunteered at Harvest Hope Food Bank to help pack over 150 boxes of groceries for distribution to the needy and elderly. Their participation was part of Rotary District 7770’s call for community service projects fighting hunger in the first quarter of 2017. Harvest Hope began in 1981 and since has expanded to feed the hungry across 20 counties in the Midlands, Pee Dee and Greater Greenville regions of South Carolina. The club counts the food bank’s executive director, Denise Holland, in its membership ranks.
Capital Rotarian Abby Naas and club president Tommy Gibbons introduce Andy Markl (center) as the newest member of the Columbia-area service organization. Markl, a Lexington native, is director at The Graphics Source, a local firm specializing in print, marketing and advertising materials. Educated at Midlands Technical College and Clemson University, Markl serves on graphics advisory boards for both schools and has worked for International Paper and graphics/printing firms in both Carolinas. He and his wife, Donna, are the parents of three children.
In March of 2016, Capital Rotary Club members assisted volunteers helping to rebuild a Columbia-area residence damaged during heavy rains and flooding in October 2015. That effort was coordinated by the St. Bernard Project, a national leader in family recovery following natural disasters. Now, about a year later, this same partnership has completed repairs to another flood-afflicted home – one occupied by Inez Pempleton and her family. Capital Rotary “adopted” the family as a Christmas project, contributing to their 2016 holiday celebration and helping them get their house back in order in February and March of this year. Repairs included removing damaged items from the home, demolition, mold remediation, putting up insulation and drywall in the basement, plus painting and digging a drainage ditch. A skilled volunteer group recruited by the St. Bernard Project was able to be on-site consistently for about two weeks to complete the work. In a letter, Ms. Pempleton thanked the St. Bernard group and Capital Rotary, saying that “I am so grateful to all of you for what you’ve done for us … We are so blessed to have you all in our lives. I pray God will be with you all throughout the coming year and all his love and blessing be with you.”
Capital Rotary president Tommy Gibbons welcomes University of South Carolina senior Arianna Miskin to a recent club breakfast meeting. Miskin hopes to qualify for a Rotary International Global Grant Scholarship to attend University College of London and earn a master’s degree in pediatrics and child health. Successful Global Grant scholars may be funded for graduate-level coursework or research for one to four academic years. Miskin, a Brooklyn, NY native, earned two USC Honors College research grants and has been active in student government, homeless outreach, homecoming and numerous other campus activities. She’s also been a volunteer for medical programs and afterschool child care during her collegiate career.
Felicia Maloney, executive director of the Columbia Empowerment Zone, Inc., joins Capital Rotary Club following induction ceremonies by president Tommy Gibbons. Maloney, a Baltimore, MD native, is a Limestone College and S.C. Economic Development School graduate. She formerly worked with the City of Columbia’s Office of Business Opportunities and with Columbia Housing Authority. Maloney was named the Greater Community Relations Council “Outstanding Volunteer of the Year” and has been a volunteer with Habitat for Humanity, United Way, Cooperative Ministries, Junior Achievement, City Year, Palmetto Health Foundation and Together We Can Read Initiative. Gloria Saeed was her Rotary member sponsor.
Capital Rotarian Bill Beers (left) is congratulated by club president Tommy Gibbons as the latest member to join the ranks of the club’s Paul Harris Fellows, signifying a $1,000 contribution to the Rotary Foundation. Paul Harris Fellows receive a special pin, a certificate and a medal to honor their donation. Gifts to the Rotary Foundation help fund international programs promoting world understanding and peace. Beers’ donation was assisted by David Boucher, the club’s chairman for Foundation giving.
Past president David Boucher (left) and sponsor Darren Foy (right) join in ceremonies inducting Walker Williams into the Capital Rotary Club. Williams, a portfolio designer for Anchor Investment Management, is a Columbia native who earned a finance degree from the University of Georgia and a Master’s in Business Administration from the University of South Carolina. He was a banker, securities trader and small business owner for 11 years. Williams is married to the former Laura Pinnell of Augusta; the couple has three children. Williams also has been active in the Boy Scouts, the Hammond School board of directors, the vestry at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral and the Executives Association of Greater Columbia.
Capital Rotary president Tommy Gibbons (left) and immediate past president David Boucher salute the club’s newest Paul Harris Fellow – Qing Wang – to acknowledge a $1,000 contribution to the Rotary Foundation in her name. Boucher, who assisted with the donation, is Foundation giving chairman for the club. Rotary Foundation contributions help fund international programs promoting world understanding and peace.
At the annual club assembly to review Capital Rotary’s accomplishments for 2016-17, president Dr. Tommy Gibbons highlighted the many accomplishments our club has celebrated: Our club is doing a great job again this year as usual. As we have for many years, we participate in Meals on Wheels, an annual Red Cross Blood Drive, an annual dictionary distribution project, Coins for Alzheimers Research Trust (CART), Polio Plus, Harvest Hope Food Bank, college scholarship fundraiser, excellent speakers, Fifth Wednesdays, and Club Socials. The Christmas social at Jay Von Kolnitz’s home is always special and the social we had at Spirit Communication Park was fun as well (Thanks Abby Naas!) We “adopted” the Pempleton family for Christmas gifts and will be helping them get their house back in order after the flooding. We will be volunteering to help thru the Saint Bernard Project. The project officially starts February 25, 2017. We contributed $500 to an international project this past fall. The money went towards an ophthalmic laser (mobile) for the Vincent Pescatore Clinic in Guatemala. Catherine Glen is a Global Grant Scholar for 2016-2017 that we sponsored. The 2011 University of South Carolina graduate taught special education students in rural Japan for the past three years. Her Rotary Global Grant scholarship funds a year of graduate study at Queen’s University Belfast in Northern Ireland, hosted by the Rotary Club of Belfast. Glen is seeking a master’s degree in the psychology of childhood adversity. She formerly worked with youth in treatment for substance abuse and mood disorders at the Medical University of South Carolina and was a Big Brothers Big Sisters volunteer. We are a 100% Sustaining Member club. We currently have 57 members (58 July 1, 2016). Through December, 2016 our club members have contributed $5,303 to the Rotary International General Fund, plus $2,051 to Polio Plus, for a total of $7,359. We have exceeded our Polio Plus annual goal of $1,500. We currently have 55 members who have earned at least one Paul Harris Fellow status, 41 PH Benefactors (including the PH fund in your will for $1,000), 4 Bequest Society Members ($10,000 upon death), and 4 Major Donors (> $ 10,000). Our club provided a $1,000 donation to District 6840 for flood assistance in Louisiana as well as $585 from individual members. Our club raised $2,100 at our Lake Murray Fishing event and $18,722 through our wreath project for our college scholarship fund. This fund provides a Richland County high school graduate $5000 a year up to 4 years for their college tuition. We select a new recipient each year. Today our club voted to approve the 2017-2018 officers and directors. Additionally we approved the revised Constitution and Bylaws. Notable speakers at our meetings thus far this year include Ray Tanner, Mark Hammond, Pamela Lackey and Ms. Columbia Suzi Roberts. Our 5th Wednesdays are offsite from our club and are always educational and interesting. We had 56 club members participate in distributing 936 dictionaries to third graders in 14 schools (Richland 1 and Lexington 1). This was a great community service project. Our Club PR-Media efforts from July 2016 – February 2017:
- Total amount of new items/photos sent to media – 19
- Breakdown of new items/photos by subject:
- New members added to club – 2 releases
- Reports of member accomplishments or donations to Foundation – 7 releases
- Report of club community activities/service to others – 5 releases
- Distinguished visitor at club meetings – 5