Rod Funderburk

Jan 042016

Not only is January the first month of a new calendar year; but it is also the month we, in Rotary, focus on vocational service.  Vocational service encourages all Rotarians to hold high ethical standards in our business affairs and our professions, to recognize all useful occupations as worthy of respect, and to dignify work as an opportunity to serve society.  Whether we are serving customers, teaching students, or treating patients, whether we’re involved in commerce, research, the media, or any one of countless other fields – we take pride in doing our work with competence and integrity. Every occupation fills a need; and by doing our work well, we are contributing to our communities and to our society.

Vocational service is important to Rotary even though it may seldom be mentioned in club meetings.  By valuing all occupations equally and by maintaining a diverse vocational mix in our clubs, we ensure that our clubs reflect our communities and enhance our service to those communities.  Diversity of vocations promotes a valuable way for our members to find the connections and opportunities that help us individually and our clubs.   By maintaining high standards individually, we earn a reputation that we share collectively.

The new calendar year offers us new opportunities, new challenges, new possibilities, and new ways to make the world a better place.  For some, the beginning of a calendar year brings resolutions.  Will you resolve to exhibit the values of the Four-Way-Test in your vocation?  Will you resolve to support the Rotary Foundation and the Polio Eradication campaign?  Will you resolve to support the efforts to find a cure for Alzheimer’s disease through C.A.R.T.?   Will you resolve to introduce a new person to Rotary this year?  Will you resolve to be a gift to your part of the world this year?

While we are on the subject of calendars, please mark your calendar for our District Conference March 18-20, 2016 at the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center.  We will be celebrating the accomplishments of our clubs and that celebration needs to include all of you.  You’ll Come – Have Fun!

Rod Funderburk




Dec 152015

FAA Flight Service manager Todd Clamp (r) joined the Chapin Rotary Club for breakfast and briefed members on the variety of aviation activities throughout South Carolina. He also presented Rotarian John Stickney (l) with the Wright Brothers Master Pilot Award. This FAA award recognizes pilots who have demonstrated professionalism, skill and aviation expertise by maintaining safe operations for 50 or more years.


Eau Claire North Columbia Rotary Salutes Student Academic Achievement and Civic Participation at 30th Annual Thanksgiving Celebration

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Dec 142015

Excitement was in the air on November 23, as Eau Claire North Columbia Rotarians celebrated their 30th annual tribute to student achievement. More than 50 young people from Eau Claire Cluster schools entertained us, cheered in delight and proudly displayed certificates and treasured Kindle readers awarded to them for their successes in the classroom and in the community.

Joining Rotarians in the celebration were Richland One Superintendent Dr. Craig Witherspoon, Columbia City Councilman Sam Davis, business and community leaders, principals from each of the nine area schools and, of course, parents who all proudly shared in their children’s success.

The Thanksgiving tradition began in 1985 as collaboration with College Place United Methodist Church and included a dinner for residents of local community care homes who joined the students and families for fellowship and recognition. Over the years, ECNC Rotary has presented honors to two generations of area students. This year the club and its sponsors provided the Kindle Fire readers to further enrich academic involvement by students.

Many thanks to all our schools for their continued dedication to nourishing the minds and bodies of our youth, to the community for its inclusive support of our schools, to College Place UMC for its ongoing commitment to the spiritual and academic growth of area students, and to Eau Claire North Columbia Rotarians for making this historic event a success.


E.E. Taylor72 2224


Edward E. Taylor Elementary School students were among nearly 50 young people to be recognized in November at ECNC Rotary’s 30th Annual Thanksgiving Celebration of Student Achievement. Pictured are (l-r, rear) Richland One Superintendent Dr. Craig Witherspoon, Eau Claire Community Council President Christie Savage, North Columbia Business Association Chairman Donald Gist, EE Taylor Principal Debbie Hunter, and Rotary President Coco Mann. Students pictured are Taijvey Wilkins, Ashleigh Williams, Trevor Johnson, Marcus Pearson, Shaniya Williams and Zanobia Richardson

See more pictures of our honorees on our Facebook page at


Dec 142015

Thanks to the Lexington Rotary Club for sponsoring Charly Von der Wense, an exchange student from Germany! Charly is 16 years old and is from Hannover, Germany. She loves riding horses, shopping and photography. Charly has been playing the flute for 8 years now. She currently attends River Bluff High School in Lexington, South Carolina. We would like to thank Michael and Allison Ford for being Charly’s first host family. Charly recently volunteered at the Club Project to teach parenting skills to parents in a local shelter. On November 12, Charly was a speaker at the Lexington Rotary Club! Below is a picture of Charly and her host family at a Clemson football game! If your club is interested in sponsoring an exchange student like Charly, please contact Allison Ford at or Vicki Tatum at



Dec 022015

“Remembering No More: A Story of Change – Life in the Carolinas Alzheimer’s Special” is a segment of Carl White’s Life in the Carolinas, which first aired November 21, 2015.  In this special episode, Carl explores Alzheimer’s Disease. Focusing on the story of Vera, a gracious lady who suffers with Alzheimer’s, he explores the disease, how it impacts on patients and those who love the patients, and the efforts of the many men and women who are working to eradicate this devastating disease.

Vera lives in a memory center in Rock Hill South Carolina. Carl visits with her and discusses how Alzheimer’s has impacted her life and the lives of those who love her. Vera’s charm, sense of humor, and her vulnerability, are clear as she laughs, sings, and sometimes forgets. It is a bittersweet interview. He ends their visit with a promise to take her dancing some time.

Roger Ackerman, Rotary Member in Sumter SC Rotary Club, is the founder of C.A.R.T., or Coins for Alzheimer’s Research Trust. He discusses, with great emotion and affection, his mother-in-law’s struggle with Alzheimer’s, and how her suffering inspired him to explore ways to fight this disease. By emptying their spare change before each meeting, his club soon collected several thousand dollars. This seed grew. Today they provide millions of dollars for seed grant funding of Alzheimer’s research. Bill Shillito is the Executive Director of the C.A.R.T Fund. 1580 clubs and growing in the region contribute to the fund.

Allan Levey, MD is an Alzheimer’s Researcher at Emory University’s Brain Health Center. He tells Carl that Alzheimer’s Disease is a brain disease, not merely a function of aging. He was the first recipient of a C.A.R.T. grant and now serves on the review panel.

Ben Bahr, PhD, Alzheimer’s researcher and a professor at UNC Pembroke, is another recipient of a C.A.R.T. grant. He compares Alzheimer’s to a house where garbage piles up because it has no way to get rid of naturally accumulating waste (for example, byproducts of nutrients). Liposomes usually eliminate these wastes, acting as organic garbage disposals. People with Alzheimer’s have faulty or reduced lipsomes.

Erik Musiek, MD, PhD, is an Alzheimer’s Researcher in Washington University, St Loouis MO. He tells Carl that the government tends to fund established projects and labs. He is the 2015 recipient of the annual C.A.R.T grant.

Other members of Rotary International share their stories with Carl, including Robert Hall, a Rotary director, and his wife Charlene. They emphasize how universal it is, and its far reaching impact. Robert says, “What I like about Rotary is the power of one, the results of many.”

While research is a long-term resource, there are other short-term approaches to addressing the ravages of this disease. Carol Howell, Executive Director of Senior Life Journeys and Vera’s daughter, discusses one of the way her program battles Alzheimer’s Disease: music.

Carol has a life long association with choirs and has directed several church choirs. She has organized and leads The Carol Howell Agape Singers, a choir composed of people with Alzheimer’s. They were invited to perform at the 16th annual C.A.R.T. Fund Meeting in May 2015.

Dr. Bahr and Dr. Levey agree that music enhances an individual’s ability to recall and is a very useful therapy in the treatment of individuals with Alzheimer’s Disease. People who may not remember many other things often remember songs and how to dance.

In the end, Carl fulfills his promise to Vera. He arrives at the Blackstock Bluegrass venue in Blackstock SC during a blackout caused by a storm, where Vera and others have gathered for an evening of entertainment. At first Vera does not remember him, but they are soon dancing into the night.

Music truly is magic. As life begins to diminish, women like Vera, and organizations like the Rotary’s C.A.R.T., give hope to millions that Alzheimer’s will be cured. The memories fade, the lights grow dim, and yet, gracefully and bravely, Vera and many others dance on.

Nov 302015

What does December mean to you?  For some, it means shopping, socials, and celebrating Christmas and Hanukkah.  For some it is a time to spend with family and friends.  It is certainly a time to reflect on the accomplishments of the year and get ready for the next year with aspirations of making the next year even better than the one that is ending.

For Rotary clubs, December is a good time to assess the progress made toward goals.  Has your Rotary Club accomplished everything that was planned for this portion of the year?  Have you individually and collectively demonstrated to your portion of the world that you are truly a gift to the world?  Between now and June there is still time to make the Rotary year goals a reality, but for some procrastination may get in the way.  Someone once told me that a Rotary club member becomes a true Rotarian when he or she finds their reason to serve and realizes they are a part of something much larger than the local club.  It is referred to as a Rotary moment.  Have you discovered your Rotary moment?  I challenge every reader of this newsletter to take stock of their involvement in Rotary and determine to become the very best Rotarian that you can be.  Each of us is challenged by the Rotary leadership to demonstrate our gifts to the world this year.  Will you accept that challenge?

Merry Christmas!

Rod Funderburk



Nov 302015

Dr. Rodell Lawrence, the new Executive Director for the 153—year old Penn Center, shared his vision with the members of the Rotary Club of Beaufort for the future of this National Historic Landmark which included: preserving a legacy for the next generation; providing education (history, art and culture); contributing to the economy through tourism, and business and hospitality training; and establishing a program to feed the hungry children from the island communities.

Dr. Lawrence

Nov 232015

On November 10, 2015, the Rotary Club of Sumter Sunrise celebrated a World’s Greatest Meal event during their breakfast meeting when the program was presented by DRFC Lou Mello. The club members contributed $370 that morning to help eradicate polio. This represents $1,100 contributed toward polio eradication after the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation match is applied. This total is enough to provide approximately 1,850 oral polio vaccines or approximately 1,000 injectable vaccines – truly a Gift to the World!



Nov 212015

Marine Colonel Peter Buck, Commanding Officer of the Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort, outlined the plans for the future development of the air station, including the growth of and international participation in the F-35B fighter program and the acquisition and expansion of the Townsend Bombing Range in Georgia.

Col Buck

Nov 202015

The Surfside Area Rotary Club with its 30 years serving the Surfside community is gearing up for our annual Thanksgiving Meal deliveries. Each year we bring our team of Rotarians to our local Wal Mart store to purchase Turkeys along with all the trimmings. We dress up boxes and fill them with the groceries needed to make the basic thanksgiving day meal. We deliver the boxed groceries to local needed families. These families are selected through our local school system.

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