Members of the University of South Carolina’s Rotaract Club got hands-on community service experience Feb. 13 when they joined other volunteers from Capital Rotary at Harvest Hope Food Bank for an hour of packing groceries for distribution to the hungry. Taking part were (from left in photo) Kara Owens, sophomore in marketing; Tina Sorensen, freshman in nursing; Alex Stevens, sophomore in biomedical engineering; Gioia Chakravorti, sophomore in international business/supply chain and operations management; and Rotaract president Joel Welch, a senior in accounting/finance. Also present but not pictured were Angie Church, freshman in international business/accounting and Mandy Spiegel, freshman in international business/finance. Rotaract clubs are open to adults ages 18-30 interested in community service, in developing leadership and professional skills, and who enjoy networking and social activities.
Foregoing their regular breakfast meeting, Capital Rotary Club members spent an hour of community service volunteer time Feb. 13 at Harvest Hope Food Bank’s Shop Road headquarters in Columbia. They bagged and stocked five bins with approximately 3,000 pounds of edibles destined for the Emergency Food Pantry. Harvest Hope, begun in 1981, works to meet the needs of hungry people in 20 counties in the Midlands, Pee Dee and Greater Greenville regions of South Carolina. Capital Rotarians traditionally volunteer at the facility at least once a year as a group.
New Capital Rotary member Le Frye (center in photo) is welcomed to the club by president Philip Flynn and sponsor Lee Ann Rice after induction ceremonies Feb. 6. Frye, a Saluda native, has spent her life in the Midlands and graduated in 2002 from the University of South Carolina with a Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism and mass communications, public relations. She is the managing partner at Starboard Communications, an advertising and public relations firm that specializes in political affairs. Frye has over 15 years of planning, managing and executing various aspects of successful political and advocacy campaigns in the Palmetto State.
At a mid-year assembly Feb. 6 to review Capital Rotary’s accomplishments to date in the 2018-2019 Rotary year, president Philip Flynn shared highlights that included:
- Making $1,500 in charitable contributions to Rotary districts hit by natural disasters, including those affected by Hurricane Florence locally, by Hurricane Michael in Georgia/Florida and by the California wildfires.
- Donating 741 dictionaries to third-graders in 16 Richland District One elementary schools.
- Creation of a new Codified Policy for the club that’s a “standard operating procedure” resource for future leaders and committees.
- Collecting 58 units of blood at the annual Red Cross Blood Drive, each donation helping to save the lives of up to three people.
- Assisting five local college students with scholarships – current enrollees at the College of Charleston, Claflin University, the University of South Carolina, North Carolina State and Anderson University.
- Adopting a local family and providing gifts for the holiday season as part of the 2018 Midlands Families Helping Families Christmas program.
- Continuing community service projects with weekly Meals on Wheels delivery and annual volunteering at Harvest Hope Food Bank.
- Supporting The Rotary Foundation with $242 per capita member giving that ranks among the top 10 clubs in District 7770.
- Serving as lead club for a Global Grant Project, partnering with the Rotary Club of Sunyani East in Ghana, Africa to construct the Nkrankrom Elementary School. Our club donated $2,500, District 7770 raised more, and with a Rotary Foundation match, Sunyani East was awarded about $94,000 to build the school.
- Publicizing our activities with 39 club website and social media posts; reaching over 2,700 people through social media; 1,643 website users; 38 postings on District 7770’s website and newsletters; 53 press releases posted by local media; and six monthly club activity recaps e-mailed to members.
Capital Rotary members Jay von Kolnitz (right in photo) and Jack Williamson (center) were recognized by club president Philip Flynn (left) on Feb. 6 for their latest donations to The Rotary Foundation in support of international programs promoting peace and world understanding. Von Kolnitz is a Paul Harris Fellow plus-four giver (signifying an initial $1,000 donation with four additional gifts in the same amount). He is a 30-year Rotary member and was a longtime sergeant-at-arms for the club. Williamson is a Paul Harris Fellow plus-one contributor (signifying an initial $1,000 donation with an additional gift in the same amount). He joined the Capital club in 2008 and currently serves as sergeant-at-arms.
Capital Rotary members got a firsthand look Jan. 30 at Nephron Pharmaceuticals Corporation’s expanded facility in Lexington County. The $125 million investment adds 36,000 square feet of manufacturing space to the company’s West Columbia campus located off 12 Street Extension near the Amazon distribution center. Nephron is a leading maker of respiratory and other sterile medications for hospitals, retail pharmacies, mail order pharmacies, home care companies and long-term care facilities. Nephron announced plans to move to the Midlands in 2011 and relocated its headquarters from Orlando, FL. Capital Rotary first visited the campus in October 2014. The club tours various points of interest throughout the community as part of its Fifth Wednesday program that substitutes field trips in place of a regular weekly breakfast meeting.
In their Jan. 23 meeting Capital Rotarians were urged to help educate, inspire and encourage South Carolinians to participate in the nation’s 2020 census. Guest speaker Doris Greene (at left in photo with club member Daniel Moses) said the decennial population count data is used to determine federal funds for the state and in legislative and school redistricting. The 2010 numbers resulted in federal monies averaging $1,499 per year for each South Carolina resident for 10 years. Census Day is coming April 1, 2020, with results due by Dec. 31 of that year. Greene said the goal is “to count everybody residing in South Carolina whether they are a citizen or not.” She said “complete count committees” are being formed for community outreach to boost participation. The state’s 2010 response averaged 75 per cent, with every county reporting higher numbers. The 2020 census will offer and encourage people to respond via the internet so that the count can be accurate, secure and convenient. Greene is serving as a census leader for the third time. The Columbia native has been a CA Johnson High School teacher, a Midlands Tech faculty member, an adjunct professor at Benedict College and worked at the SC Department of Education. She is a magna cum laude Benedict College graduate with a master’s degree in adult education from the University of South Carolina and has been on the Habitat for Humanity International board.
Human trafficking is a growing multi-billion-dollar crime worldwide. Victims include children, the homeless or people from difficult family situations, undocumented immigrants and the disabled. Capital Rotarians heard details from Jan. 16 guest speakers Sherri Lydon (left in photo) and Elliott Daniels (right in photo). Lydon is US Attorney for the District of South Carolina, while Daniels is an Assistant US Attorney. Human trafficking is modern-day slavery – using force, fraud or coercion to exploit victims. They can be manipulated physically or psychologically and pressed into domestic service, commercial sex trafficking or forced labor. Victims may be exploited by employers, family members, caregivers or intimate partners, friends or acquaintances. In 2018 South Carolina had 127 human trafficking hotline reports, mostly for commercial sex or forced labor. Incidents were most numerous in Richland, Horry, Greenville and Charleston counties. Daniels said more citizen awareness combats human trafficking. He urged support for non-profit organizations that help and shelter victims, plus offering them job opportunities. To keep children safe from being lured into trafficking via the internet, he said parents need to “know who your kids are talking to online” and set social media boundaries. Lydon is a Clemson and University of South Carolina Law School graduate who was appointed the state’s US Attorney in May 2018. Daniels has undergraduate and law degrees from George Washington University and studied international law at Oxford University.
As Rotarians we share a common bond and Rotary Fellowships only add to our commitment and enjoyment to Rotary. The fellowships are international groups that share a the common passion and interest. Being part of a fellowship is a fun way to make friends around the world, explore a hobby or profession, and enhance your Rotary experience.
The official fellowship is not controlled by Rotary International but is approved by them requiring by-laws, constitution and membership from at least three different countries to start a new fellowship.
Most of the fellowships are open to Rotarians, family members, and program participants and alumni. Most have an application process and a small yearly fee or “lifetime” selection. Many have local active chapters and many meet on line.
The list of Rotary Fellowships approved by Rotary International is linked here.
Currently there are two “active” Rotary Clubs which grew out of a fellowships. The Rotary Club of Motorcycling Rotarians in District 6380 meets on line every Wednesday at 7pm Eastern, Online at https://zoom.us/j/237350826. All are welcome and it counts for a makeup.
If you have questions concerning fellowships, you can contact the district fellowship coordinators Terry & Jaime Moore at 843-297-6691.
The International Marathon Fellowship of Rotarians began in 2005 with a group of Rotarians coming together to run the Paris Marathon. In 2006 the Fellowship received it’s charter recognition and since that first run together in Paris, the group gathers once a year somewhere around the world to participate in a long distance running event together. Not only do they run together, but the Fellowship also makes an annual contribution to End Polio.
Rachel Cole, of the Summerville Evening Rotary Club, joined the Fellowship in 2015 as the Fellowship returned to Paris for the celebration of the 10th running event
together. When joining the Fellowship, Rachel was the only participant from the United States and continues to be the only active member of the Fellowship since the Fellowship was in the States for the New York Marathon in 2008. While in Paris, Rachel was asked to serve as the US Representative for the Fellowship. Rachel also attended the International Conference in Atlanta, GA to help represent the Fellowship in the House of Friendship.
In 2018 the group met in Queenstown, New Zealand for the marathon in November. The group participated in the marathon, half marathon, and 10k runs. The travel destination was much further for the majority of Fellowship members, as most are located in Europe, so the annual turnout was a bit smaller than when in European countries. But, that didn’t stop the group from having wonderful time! Thanks to the gathering in 2018 the Fellowship is able to donate around $1,700 to the End Polio Fund, a great achievement for the smaller group of around 35 people that gathered this year.
While in New Zealand, Rachel was inducted as the President Elect for the Fellowship. Rachel is the first woman President Elect and the first US Representative to hold a board position for the Fellowship. This presents an exciting opportunity for Rotarian runners in the States as Rachel will be focusing on increasing US membership and possibly bringing a run to the US for the Fellowship in the next 2 to 4 years.
In the meantime, Rachel will be training to join the group again in 2019. This year’s event will be in August and they will meet in Reykjavik, Iceland for the marathon. The week prior to the run many of the members will enjoy a weeklong tour together around the country. It’s a great time for Rotarian Fellowship and Fun! The Fellowship is open to all Rotarians for a lifetime membership fee of 100 Euros. You can find out more about the Fellowship by visiting www.rotarianrun.org or by reaching out to Rachel at firstname.lastname@example.org.