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!
The Rotary Club of Charleston is serious about membership. At today’s meeting, the last of March Membership Madness, we inducted the 16th new member – just this Rotary year! With another application pending and several more prospects, it’s possible to hit a year end (June 2017) goal of 20 new members.
Here’s a summary of our newest members:
Water and Sanitation
According to Water Missions International
842,000 people die every year globally due to diarrhea caused by inadequate drinking water, sanitation and hand hygiene. That is approximately 2,300 people/day.
Approximately 2.4 Billion people live without adequate sanitation. That’s 35% of the Global population.
Reductions in time to collect water has been found to increase school attendance.
Every $1 invested in water and sanitation provides a $4-$35 economic return.
District 7770 has donated over $100,000 for clean drinking water
Many of our Clubs have donated to the District Water Project. This Water Project has written and delivered over $100,000 in Water Systems to underdeveloped countries. I would like to congratulate those clubs that have been a part of these grants.
Rotarians from the Historic Rotary Club of Charleston participated in Water Missions International’s Annual Walk for Water. The funds raised will support safe water community development projects. It was a family-friendly, non-competitive event. Rotarians began their walk with an empty bucket symbolizing the trek that millions take each day to fetch water. Halfway through the walk, buckets were filled with water and the journey was completed.
The Rotary Club of Bluffon also had a walk for water to support the water system they provided in Peru. The Bluffton club recently sent a congratulatory Facebook post “to our friends at Rotary Club Paita Centro in Peru from your friends at the Bluffton Rotary Club in SC. So grateful to have had the opportunity to partner with you to bring clean water to the wonderful people of Miramar:
Walter Hughes a Virginia Rotarian has taken several groups to Ghana to provide clean water. Our District has contributed Global Grant money and talent to these missions.
Walter said, “I am honored to be a White House Champion of Change. I’m accepting on behalf of Rotarians and friends from a team of more than 80 Rotary clubs in the United States, Canada, Switzerland, Ghana, and South Sudan. We are celebrating the end of Guinea worm disease in Ghana in West Africa. It all started with a dream. I’m the lucky guy who gets to witness lives transformed around the world.” District Rotarians, Dr. Anne Matthews PRIVP, David Michaux PRID, Helen Ryan Rotarian and others accompanied Walter on one such mission.
It was “Ladies Day” at Spring Valley Rotary last week, when we inducted three new members, Brenda Milton, sponsored by Martie McParland and Patsy Brewer, Gwen Rawls, sponsored by Paula Matthews and Gina Pollack, sponsored by Stevie Johnson. Our club continues to have the highest percentage of women Rotarians in our District, just one of the many ways we are a diverse Rotary Club. Thanks to these members for sponsoring new members.
Brenda Milton is a retired Media Specialist in Richland District One with 31 years of service in the Army Reserves. She currently volunteers with Richland School Districts 1 and 2, serving as a mentor to students and assisting teachers in the class room. Gina Pollack is First Citizens Bank Branch Manager and is new to Columbia as of September of 2015, relocating from Massachusetts. Gwen Rawls is the owner of Gwen Rawls Italian Shoe Boutique in Trenholm Plaza.
Welcome to our newest Spring Valley Rotarians.