Capital Rotarian Darren Foy welcomes recent Ben Lippen School graduate Claire Davis as a guest at the club’s Aug. 15 meeting. Davis, who will attend North Carolina State University to major in mechanical engineering, is one of two scholarship winners named by the club after applicant interviews in April of this year. In high school she was a National Honor Society member, earned a National Merit Commendation and was a U.S. Presidential Scholars candidate. Capital Rotary has been supporting higher-education opportunities for local high school students for more than 20 years. The club’s scholarships are based on a combination of academic performance, extracurricular activities and economic need.
Blake Dubose (left in photo), immediate past president of Capital Rotary, receives a plaque from current president Philip Flynn in recognition of service to the Columbia-area club. During DuBose’s 2017-18 tenure, Capital Rotary received a “Public Image Award” and a leadership citation from Rotary District 7770, among other honors. Professionally, DuBose is president of DuBose Web Group, a website design and development firm founded in 2007. He is a graduate of Newbery College.
Pawmetto Lifeline’s work on behalf of animal rescue and welfare in the Midlands paid dividends for more than 45,000 companion pets in the Midlands last year, according Jack Sloan, director of development for the non-profit and Capital Rotary’s Aug. 8th guest speaker. Sloan (shown at right in photo with club president Philip Flynn) said the ultimate goal is to have a no-kill community here, so that no healthy, adoptable dog or cat is euthanized in a municipal shelter or dies because it is homeless. Pawmetto Lifeline’s 80 employees and 200 volunteers treat pet overpopulation with adoption, medical care, rescue and education programs. Sloan said there’s special emphasis on spay/neuter services as the most cost-effective and humane way to reduce the number of unwanted pets. Sloan, a graduate of The Citadel with an MBA from the University of Tennessee, joined Pawmetto Lifeline after a long career at national and state chambers of commerce. He’s also been a board member for several clubs and organizations including Columbia Rotary.
Isaac Burt, a member of the sales team at Columbia’s Godwin Motors, has joined Capital Rotary. Burt (center in photo with club president Philip Flynn at right and sponsor Matthew Pollard) is a native of Portsmouth, NH. He was a high school swimming, football and track and field athlete and a college swimmer and wrestler. Burt majored in political science with a religion minor at Greensboro College in Greensboro, NC, where he also served as junior class president, student body president the following year and as a resident advisor for two years. He was a Founders Scholarship recipient at the college.
South Carolina treasurer Curtis Loftis briefed Capital Rotary members on his role as the state’s “private banker” when he was the club’s guest speaker Aug. 1. Loftis said his office manages, invests and maintains custody of tens of billions of dollars in public funds. As “the taxpayer’s friend,” Loftis said he is committed to transparency and accountability in improving cash flow and eliminating fraud, waste and abuse. He touted the success of the Unclaimed Property Program that has returned more than $137 million in unclaimed funds to state residents. Loftis also praised growth in South Carolina’s Future Scholar 529 College Savings Plan, where he has overseen an increase in the number of enrollees to 145,000 accounts and total assets of $3.34 billion. A 1981 University of South Carolina graduate, Loftis is a member of Cayce-West Columbia Rotary and serves on a number of state and national boards and commissions.
The City of Columbia’s Office of Business Opportunities director has joined Capital Rotary. Melissa L. Lindler (shown at center in photo with sponsor Gloria Saeed and club president Philip Flynn) took her city post after more than 20 years of experience in government and non-profit work. Most recently she was district planning and outreach director for Congressmen Jim Clyburn. Previously she was a staff member at the SC Department of Education and at South Carolina State University. She received her BA in political science and a master’s degree in public administration from the University of South Carolina, and earned graduate certification in public management from Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis. Lindler’s volunteer activities include board service for the International African American Museum, the Southeastern Institute for Women in Politics, the Columbia Chapter of the Society, Inc., Jack and Jill of America Foundation, Inc. and the Total Care for the Homeless Coalition.
New Capital Rotary member Catherine Mabry (center in photo) is welcomed to the club’s ranks by president Philip Flynn and sponsor Chris Myers. Mabry, who handles community outreach for Shives Funeral Home, received a Bachelor of Arts in communications from the University of Alabama. She previously worked in retail positions and in physician services at Baptist Medical Center and Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte, NC. A member of and current elder for Eastminster Presbyterian Church, she is married to commercial realtor Hank Mabry, a former Rotarian, and the couple has two adult children.
Rotary clubs in South Carolina’s Midlands will hold a gala fund-raiser in Columbia Friday evening, Aug. 17 to benefit the CART (Coins for Alzheimer’s Research Trust) Fund. Tickets are now available, along with sponsorship opportunities and item donations for life and silent auctions.
The black tie optional event will be held at the historic event venue at 1208 Washington St. from 7 to 11 p.m. Advance tickets are $100 per person or $175 per couple. Tickets at the door will be $125 per person or $200 per couple. Admission includes live music, heavy hors d’oeurves, open bar and free valet parking.
Sponsorships range from $250 to $5,000 and include a pre-event champagne reception, event tickets, advertising listings and additional promotional considerations. More information about tickets and sponsor information is available at www.cartgala.org.
Gala organizers hope to raise $40,000 for the CART Fund. One hundred percent (100%) of CART donated funds go to grants for cutting edge, high-impact research aimed at preventing or finding a cure for Alzheimer’s disease. The CART initiative began in South Carolina over 20 years ago and has since been adopted by Rotary clubs throughout the United States. Alzheimer’s is the sixth-leading cause of death in the U.S. and South Carolina ranks number 1 in deaths from the disease.
Working to overcome effects of significant childhood trauma leads to better lives for youngsters and their families but requires “a lot of human capital,” according to Achieve Columbia executive director Robert Lominack, Capital Rotary’s July 11 guest speaker. Lominack (shown with Rotarian Ione Cockrell) co-founded the non-profit program in 2012 after working as a defense lawyer and high school teacher. Currently embedded at Hand Middle School, Achieve Columbia builds long-lasting and deep relationships with at-risk students and families beginning in 7th grade and continuing through high school graduation. Lominack said mitigating trauma’s negative impact “gives our students a wider window into the world and helps them find their place in it.” With a combination of group and individualized mentoring, tutoring, resource coordination and counseling, Achieve Columbia successfully deals with issues including student behavior and academics, homelessness, transportation and life beyond high school. Lominack is a Greenville, SC native and was educated at the University of the South in Tennessee and at Northeastern Law School in Boston.
Columbia’s Capital Rotary Club is gearing up for the annual summer blood drive to be held Wednesday, July 25, 2018, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Scheduled donations and walk-ins are welcome at the donation site – first floor conference room, CB Richard Ellis Building, 1333 Main St. in downtown Columbia. The goal is 75 pints of blood, according to Red Cross staff member Libby Wright (at center in photo with president Philip Flynn and drive chairman Paul Gillam at left). Wright said the club over the past nine years has collected 516 units of blood, helping to save the lives of more than 1,500 patients. Because of high demand and lagging blood donations in summertime, Wright said the Red Cross is making an “emergency appeal” now for participation by prospective donors.