Capital Rotary member Gene Oliver (center in photo) was recognized Oct. 3 for his latest donation to The Rotary Foundation in support of international programs promoting peace and world understanding. Oliver is a Paul Harris Fellow plus-three giver (signifying an initial $1,000 donation with three additional gifts in the same amount). Oliver – a retired college administrator – joined the Capital club nine years ago and has been a Rotarian for more than 50 years. Immediate past president Blake DuBose (left) is the club’s chair for Foundation contributions, while current president Philip Flynn is at right.
Two more Capital Rotarians have been recognized for donations to The Rotary Foundation in support of international programs promoting peace and world understanding. Shown in the photo from left are Blake DuBose, immediate past president and Foundation giving chair; E.J. Newby and Stephen West, both Paul Harris Fellow plus-one givers (signifying an initial $1,000 donation with an additional gift in the same amount); and Philip Flynn, club president. Newby joined Capital Rotary in 2017, while West has been a member since 2005.
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.
Capital Rotary held a club social event June 6 at the new Hunter-Gatherer brew pub located in Columbia’s historic Curtiss-Wright Hangar at Jim Hamilton-L.B. Owens Airport. The steel and glass hangar was built in 1929 by the Curtiss-Wright Co., one of 30 or so located across the country. It was dedicated as Columbia Municipal Airport in 1930. In its brew pub configuration, the 13,000-square-foot hangar houses a 527-gallon brew house, a bottling and kegging line, a 1,200-square-foot tap room and a 1,000-square-foot event space, plus a pizza kitchen. An outdoor rooftop Observation Deck seats 40-plus, with views of the airport and, through windows, down into the brewery. Rotarians enjoying an evening of fellowship included (from left in photo) Philip Flynn, Ann Elliott and Jay von Kolnitz.
Capital Rotarian Abby Naas was in costume and armed with a light saber for “Star Wars Night” at the Columbia Fireflies baseball game on Friday, May 4. She was among a host of District 7770 club members enjoying a Rotary Night celebration, too, at Spirit Communications Park. The evening of baseball, hot dogs and good sportsmanship combines fellowship and fund-raising, with additional proceeds going to the Rotary Foundation. The hosting Fireflies are a minor league affiliate of the New York Mets. Naas joined the Fireflies staff in January 2015 as marketing and public relations vice president.
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.
In 2015, I became a Rotarian. T-Bone Jones suggested that I attend different Rotary Clubs because every Rotary Club is different. When I heard him say every Rotary Club was different I knew I was in the right place. I love diversity. I love learning about different cultures. In life we have good and we have bad. Most of us can agree that lying, stealing, cheating and murder are bad. Music styles, cultures, hairstyles, sports and locales are different. Most things in life are neither good nor bad, but different.
The Myrtle Beach Rotary Club is over 75 years old. For the first time in the history of the Myrtle Beach Rotary Club we have a pregnant Rotarian. In fact, we have not one, but two pregnant Rotarians. Lauren Benton and Jessica Smith are our expecting Rotarians. They are due October 6 and both will have boys. Yes, you read that sentence correctly both Rotarians have the same due date!
With this exciting news Kathy Miranda wanted to hold a baby shower as a program at our Rotary Club meeting. When I first heard Kathy mention this program idea I was concerned. I had heard comments from Rotarians from other clubs that baby showers were not appropriate programs. I had even heard of a Rotarian being brought to tears by another Rotarian when she was collecting money for a baby gift for a Rotarian at another club. She was told it was not appropriate for her to collect money for a present. I listened to Kathy’s idea of holding a baby shower, but I made no comment.
To my surprise our club leader’s liked Kathy’s idea and fully supported the baby shower idea. Mark Oulsey said to me, “I think a baby shower for a program is a great idea.”
I was even contacted by our District Governor Gary Bradham to write a story. Jim Rozier proudly stated, “I am President during our first Rotary baby shower.” Not only were we going to have a baby shower we were going to surprise our mother’s to be.
Kathy Miranda was a wonderful shower hostess and bought lots of thoughtful decorations. Pat Stanley helped Kathy decorate the room. Kathy even baked cupcakes and made punch. Our club was full of excitement as members arrived with gifts for our two mother’s to be. Men were chuckling that today was the first time they had attended a baby shower. B.J. Maynard even asked if we were going to stand around and drink beer.
Barry Thigpen arrived first with presents in hand. He proudly boasted that his wife Pat had done the shopping. Excitement was in the air as Rotarians arrived with gifts in hand. Rotarians gazed with pride at the decorations.
Lauren Benton and Jessica Smith both arrived clueless of their shower. They were both thrilled that we made them feel so special.
Sun Fun by MJ Schwartz was a list of most popular baby names. MJ reminded us how special our club is to have two prospective new members on the way.
Matt Sedota and Eric Long had a wonderful game of Know your Rotarian. We all laughed and roared as Lauren and Jessica entertained us with the answers to a variety of questions. They were asked anything from how many days are in a week to how many bones does a baby have?
Kathy Miranda finished up the program with a round of games. We guessed the number of candies in the baby bottle. We completed the nursery rhymes. Also, we played the Price is Right with baby products.
My fears were relieved and I was reminded why I love Rotary. As T-Bone Jones told me all Rotary Clubs are different. Some Rotary Clubs feel that baby showers are not appropriate programs. Some Rotary Clubs feel that you shouldn’t collect money for a present. All Rotary Clubs are different. I am a proud member of the Myrtle Beach Rotary Club. Our club has baby showers for programs.
I think David Michaux said it best, “everyone is involved!”
District 7770 is very proud to announce that we will be sending 16 Long Term Outbounds to join over 8,000 students who will be participating in Rotary Youth Exchange for the school year 2017-18! Rotary Youth Exchange is an amazing program that changes so many young lives. We want to especially thank the Rotary Clubs for sponsoring the students while they are studying abroad: Beaufort, Charleston Breakfast, Daniel Island, East Cooper Breakfast, Hilton Head Island, Lowcountry Beaufort, Mt. Pleasant, North Charleston Breakfast, St. Andrews (Charleston), Summerville and Summerville Evening. Our students will be traveling to 11 different countries all around the world. Below is a picture of our Current Outbounds for the school year of 2017-18. We can’t wait to see how their journey studying abroad will change their life forever!