South Carolina’s 20 electric cooperatives have a big stake in financial fallout from the V.C. Summer nuclear power plant abandoned a year ago by Santee Cooper and SC Electric & Gas. That’s according to Lou Green, communications executive vice president for the Electric Cooperatives of SC. Green (left in photo with Rotarian Tony Thompson) was Capital Rotary’s Aug. 22 guest speaker. He said co-ops are focused on financial impacts that resolution of the $9 billion failure might have on their 1.5 million customers. They are especially concerned about Santee Cooper’s fate since co-ops are the state-owned utility’s biggest customer base. Twenty-three lawsuits plus various legislative actions complicate the issue, but Green noted that a special committee is meeting now to study the idea of selling Santee Cooper to pay off its nuclear debt. “The state needs to come up with a process and bring options to the legislature,” Green said. “They’re the only ones who can make a decision about Santee Cooper.” Green joined the state co-ops organization in 1992 after working in radio and television. He is a University of Georgia graduate with a master’s degree from the University of South Carolina.
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.
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.
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.
Crawling through Viet Cong tunnels during his Vietnam War service was always an exercise in potential danger, according to C.W. Bowman, Capital Rotary guest speaker for June 27 (at left in photo with club member Chris Myers). Bowman – a draftee shipped overseas in January 1967 – was a point man, demolition-man and tunnel rat who cleared and destroyed underground complexes that could conceal hospitals, training areas, storage facilities, headquarters and barracks. Bowman said the dirty duty’s hazards included not only booby traps and enemy troops, but also snakes, spiders, scorpions and ants. Typically, he faced these dangers armed only with a flashlight and a .45 caliber pistol, plus a healthy dose of caution. Bowman served two tours in Vietnam and earned a Combat Infantry Badge, Purple Heart and Army Commendation Medal, among other awards. He later was a drill sergeant at Ft. Jackson. A native of Bordentown, NJ, Bowman has lived in South Carolina since 1973.
Columbia’s Capital Rotary has recognized 13 new Paul Harris Benefactors for making substantial contributions to the Rotary Foundation’s international humanitarian and educational programs. Benefactors pledge to make a $1,000 Foundation donation through their wills or estate plans. Those honored at the club’s June 20 assembly include (from left in Photo 1) Mike Montgomery, Felicia Maloney, Lee Ann Rice, Ben Carlton, Andy Markl, EJ Newby, Austin McVay, Allyson Way Hank, Perry Lancaster, Betsy Best, Abby Naas, Paul Gillam; (not pictured) Carol Caulk and Daniel Winders. The club also recognized those named Paul Harris Fellows, signifying a $1,000 contribution to the Rotary Foundation. They receive a special pin, a certificate and a medal to honor their donation. The group included (from left in Photo 2) Walker Williams; Neda Beal – Paul Harris Fellow+4 (initial $1,000 gift plus four others of $1,000 each); EJ Newby – Paul Harris Fellow+1 (initial $1,000 gift plus another of $1,000); Austin McVay and Felicia Maloney; Frank Rutkowski – Paul Harris Fellow+1; Betsy Best; Stephen West – Paul Harris Fellow+1; and Alex Serkes (not pictured).
Outgoing Capital Rotary Club president Blake DuBose presents the 2018 Rotarian of the Year plaque to public relations chair Pete Pillow (left) in recognition of his dedicated service and loyal devotion to the ideals of Rotary. Pillow, a retired journalist and public information officer, joined Capital Rotary in 2006. He’s been a Rotarian since 1980 and is a past president of clubs in Beaufort and East Spartanburg. He’s also a past president of the SC Chapter of the National School Public Relations Association and a College of Charleston graduate.
The Richland County Sheriff’s Department’s Project Lifesaver team aims to “bring loved ones home” safely when electronic tracking is needed to find at-risk wanderers – clients with Alzheimer’s, autism, Downs Syndrome or traumatic brain injury. Deputy Amanda Jordan (shown at left in photo with Rotarian Daniel Moses) briefed Capital Rotary on June 13, noting that 44 local clients and their families are enrolled in the program founded in Virginia nearly 20 years ago. Project Lifesaver began in Richland County in 2006 with only eight deputies and three clients. Today 80 deputies are trained, certified specialists in locating missing persons via electronic searching – a process that usually takes less 30 minutes as compared to a normal physical search lasting up to nine hours and sometimes involving hundreds of officers and volunteers. Jordan said Project Lifesaver is cost effective for law enforcement and provides better protection for lost individuals. Richland County does not charge its residents or their at-risk loved ones for receiving a transmitter and joining the program. Jordan, a University of South Carolina graduate, has served with the Sheriff’s Department for 14 years. She coordinates Project Lifesaver for the State of South Carolina, where 18 counties have signed on. There are 1,300 participating agencies across the US, Canada and Australia. To date more than 3,400 client rescues have been reported.
Paul Gillam (left in photo), a member of Capital Rotary’s scholarship selection committee, welcomes College of Charleston graduate Victoria Bailey to the June 13 weekly meeting. Bailey, recipient of a four-year scholarship from the club, graduated from Dreher High in 2015 and majored in biology/molecular biology. She plans to attend medical school and is eyeing a career as a surgeon, anesthesiologist or obstetrics/gynecology practitioner. 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.