Capital Rotary president Blake DuBose congratulates Andy Markl (left), the club’s most recent addition to the ranks of 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. Foundation gifts help fund international programs promoting world understanding and peace. Markl is a Lexington native who operates The Graphics Source, a firm specializing in print, marketing and advertising materials. He joined Capital Rotary in April 2017.
An “understanding gap” affects the problem of homelessness among people 17-24 years of age in the Midlands, according to Stacey Atkinson and Jacquan Riley, guest speakers at Capital Rotary’s April 4 meeting. The pair (shown in photo with Rotarians Perry Lancaster at left and Tony Thompson at right) said there were 130 homeless youth in the area last year. Atkinson, a retired juvenile justice official, said the situation is a housing, economic and education issue but more public awareness could create a “community of care” to seek solutions. “We need leaders willing to serve as mentors and life coaches for these young people,” Atkinson said. “We need leaders who can offer opportunities for these young people to show what they have to offer.” She also noted there’s a need for scholarships to help youth enroll in technical college trades and certificate programs leading to quick, stable employment. Atkinson is graduate of Leadership South Carolina and has been a licensed SC Master Level Social Worker since 1989.
Dominion Energy’s proposed $14.6 billion merger with South Carolina’s SCANA Corp. is a remedy for “the largest utility failure in modern history” – that is, the $9 billion loss of the abandoned V.C. Summer nuclear power plant. That’s according to Dominion executive Dan Weekley, who told Capital Rotarians March 14 that the Virginia-based company seeks this “friendly acquisition” because it believes the Palmetto State is “on the verge of explosive growth” needing energy reliability. Weekley said merger benefits include (1) a $1.3 billion cash payment to customers – a value of $1,000 for average residential users; (2) additional reductions of up to 7 percent from current electric and gas rates; and (3) a $1.7 billion write-off of existing debt related to the failed nuclear project. Weekley noted that Dominion already has a business presence in the state, citing recent construction of an 1,100-acre, 270,000-panel solar farm in Jasper County. He said Dominion – the sixth-largest producer of solar power in the country – is about 10 times SCANA’s size, with projects equally divided between electricity and natural gas. Weekly joined the company in 2000. He’s a graduate of Marshall University and earned a master’s in business administration from Indiana University of Pennsylvania.
President Blake DuBose and sponsor Ann Elliott welcome Betsy Best (left) to Capital Rotary Club membership. Best, a Charlotte, NC native, is a partner in Blume Franklin-Best & Young, a Columbia criminal defense law firm. She has undergraduate and advanced degrees from the University of South Carolina and University of Wyoming, and previously worked for the SC Carolina Commission on Indigent Defense and the Richland County Public Defenders Office. She was the 2012 Public Defender Association’s “Public Defender of the Year” and is incoming chair for Justice 360, a non-profit organization that promotes criminal justice system equality and fairness. She’s a member of the National Association for Criminal Defense Lawyers, the Palmetto Club and Rockbridge Club, Inc.
Westwood High School principal Dr. Cheryl Guy told Capital Rotarians that she achieved a 30-year dream when she appeared as a contestant on the game show “Jeopardy” earlier this year. Guy, the club’s guest speaker Dec. 20, started her “Jeopardy” quest in 1986. A successful audition in Charleston – her fourth try over the years – resulted in a trip to Culver City, CA for videotaping in September 2016. Her “Jeopardy” episode aired in January 2017. She was the top winner that day with a prize of $20,600, but lost to another contestant in a subsequent appearance. Her total winnings were $22,600. Guy noted that the daily syndicated “Jeopardy” is TV’s top quiz show, attracting 23 million viewers a week and winning a record 33 daytime Emmy Awards. Since its premier in September 1984, the program has been hosted by Alex Trebek (in photo with Dr. Guy). Guy, a 1984 University of South Carolina graduate, worked at Camden High and at Spring Valley High before moving to Westwood when it opened in 2012. (Photo courtesy Jeopardy)
The First Tee Columbia program uses golf to teach young people life lessons and leadership skills, according to executive director Sally Beacham (shown with Capital Rotary member Chris Ray). Beacham, guest speaker at Rotary’s Sept. 27 meeting, said First Tee’s instruction helps youngsters 5-17 become good golfers and even better people by imparting core values such as respect, integrity, honesty, confidence, confidence and sportsmanship. An affiliate of the World Golf Foundation, Columbia’s First Tee is part of the elementary physical education program in five Richland District One schools and plans to add Richland District Two schools in the future. Beacham said First Tee participation has grown from 105 students to 335 over the last several years. She joined the non-profit after playing collegiately at St. Andrews Presbyterian College, where she was captain of the women’s golf team and a member of the all-conference team in 2008.
The Summerville Rotary Oktoberfest is jointly hosted by the Summerville Evening and the Summerville Oakbrook Rotary clubs. This is our sixth year hosting the event which have been very successful in the past, the most successful were hosted in Hutchinson Square, Historic Summerville where we will be again this year. The funds raised are jointly shared by both clubs and placed into charitable giving accounts. No funds raised during the event are used for operating club expenses.
Rotary Club of Hilton Head Youth Exchange coordinators, Lindsay Bunting and Bob DeValentinoorganized a lunch with the club’s SEVEN RYE (Rotary Youth Exchange) students. Our 3 students that went on exchange last year (Dylan Brown, Lily Gallagher,Caitlyn Campbell) all recently returned home. Our three outbound students for 2017-18 (Arianna Serpe, Virginia Lloyd, Gracie Pietz) are soon leaving for their year abroad. And our inbound student, FedericaMarongiu, is on an extended exchange and returns home to Italy the end of July!!! Countries represented by these students are Italy, Spain, Peru, Slovakia, Czech Republic. All agreed it was a delightful lunch at Hudsons on the Docks and enjoyed sharing experiences and expectations.. Also attending were Peter Cooper and President Karen Cully!!
Do you worry about Alzheimer’s? We do not have a cure for Alzheimer’s disease, but we must find one. Finding a cure starts with you. Give generously to the CART Fund through your Rotary Club. We had a successful Alzheimer’s Gala on Saturday, July 22, 2017 at the Gaillard Center in Charleston, SC to raise money for Alzheimer’s research. Those in attendance had a terrific time enjoying a great meal, very good featured speaker music from the WhitsEnd Band and an entertaining auction.
Rotary District 7770 is the home district of CART, having been started at the Rotary Club of Sumter by Roger Ackerman in 1995. Every year the CART (Coins for Alzheimer’s Research Trust) Fund gives research grants focused on finding a cure for Alzheimer’s disease, and the money raised through the gala will go toward that effort.
Capital Rotary Drive Helps Answer Emergency Blood Appeal
In the middle of an emergency appeal facing critical blood shortages, Capital Rotary’s summer blood drive collected 65 units to benefit up to 195 people. Rotarians (from left) John Guignard, Chris Ray, Blake DuBose and Bryan Goodyear await their turn to participate in the service project that’s supported the American Red Cross with 516 blood donations – potentially saving 1,548 patients’ lives – over the past seven years. “Thanks to our volunteers and donors, we lived up to Rotary International’s 2017-18 motto of ‘Making a Difference’,” said DuBose, president of the Columbia-area club.