Nov 142017

Columbia’s Capital Rotary Club has made donations for two humanitarian causes – one to eradicate polio, the other to provide disaster relief in the U.S. and overseas.

The club raised $882 that will be matched with District Designated Funds to become a donation of $1,764 for the worldwide campaign to eradicate polio.  Ending polio has been a mission of Rotary International since 1985.  Rotarians have contributed more than $1.7 billion and countless volunteer hours to immunize more than 2.5 billion children in 122 countries.

Capital Rotary’s contribution – and the resulting match from District 7770 in eastern South Carolina – was made to celebrate World Polio Day/Week.  World Polio Day was established by Rotary International over a decade ago to commemorate the birth of Dr. Jonas Salk, who led the first team to develop a vaccine against poliomyelitis.

The local club’s disaster relief donation totaled $8,000 earmarked for rebuilding lives and communities following hurricanes in Texas, Florida, and Puerto Rico, plus the September earthquakes in Mexico. “We are coordinating through Rotary for the best way to distribute our funds to make a difference,” said Capital president Blake DuBose.

“Our board voted for this donation because we remember when Columbia was impacted by a 1,000-year flood in 2015 and an outpouring of support came from all parts of the country,” DuBose added.  “The greater Columbia area was the beneficiary of an incredible amount of giving then, so we’re doing what we can in the same spirit now.”

Nov 072017

November Message

Rotary: Making a Difference is truly a message of our times.  As we approach November things continue to be an exciting time in my Rotary story.  I have visited sixty-seven clubs and participated in another dozen events for RLI, service projects, three fundraisers, four social functions, two recognition events, and one 50th Anniversary Celebration with the Membership of our District.  I have thoroughly enjoyed my travels and experiences around the District!  As we begin November, we celebrate Rotary Foundation Month and other special holiday times.

We were faced with an extremely active hurricane season, which impacted many of the District’s Rotary Foundation plans and programs.  We had to postpone the Fall Club Foundation Seminar and reschedule the Grant process and Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signing /training, but we are back on track. Clubs reported collecting and donating over $20,000 to one of the four Foundation Donor Advised Funds established for disaster relief.   We executed a highly successful World Polio Day / week Campaign and Challenge resulting in significant giving to Polio Plus to eradicate Polio… nearly $50,000 was collected by the clubs and donated to the Rotary Foundation and was matched by the full $25,000 DDF.  The overall impact after all matches from the Gates Foundation and World Fund was more than $250,000 provided by District 7770 for this one week effort!  Congratulations and thanks to everyone who participated.

As we continue to view our Rotary Foundation as our “Charity of Choice,” I urge you to continue to give and raise funds to help those in need and who so desperately need the assistance.  We are an extremely giving people within District 7770.  People who understand that others have needs that are greater than their own.  I urge each of you to give generously to our Foundation!  Our Foundation is an excellent steward of the money we give, constantly receiving the highest praise and ratings for non-profit organizations.

At the Fall Club Leadership Foundation Training, clubs received their District Grant match checks.  With these checks, numerous Community Service projects will be executed. Projects like dictionaries, Happy Feet, Backpack Buddies, and Rise Against Hunger Meal Packing events, to name a few.  The fall will be another fun-filled season for these projects as well as the major fundraisers to be held to raise money for the Foundation for programs and projects in the coming years.

I am confident that District 7770 will make a difference in 2017-18 through the Rotary Foundation.  Have a Happy Thanksgiving!  Gear Up and Get Excited About Rotary!

Gary Bradham

District Governor, 2017-18



SC Philharmonic Keeps Classics Alive

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Nov 012017

Community engagement and educational programs help the SC Philharmonic keep classical music alive, fun and relevant in the Midlands, according to music director Morihiko Nakahara, Capital Rotary’s guest speaker for Nov. 1.  Nakahara (shown demonstrating a conductor’s baton signals to the orchestra) has promoted interactive and outreach efforts since joining the Philharmonic in 2008.  Some of the most successful include (1) “Conduct the Phil” – an open podium where spectators take their turn leading groups of string players at public events; (2) concerts, youth orchestras and in-school programs to spark students’ passion for music; and (3) a “healing harmonies” project that sends Philharmonic musicians to area healthcare facilities to assist in “soothing the soul while the body mends.”  Nakahara says outreach is necessary to “break down the barrier between musicians and the community at large” so the Philharmonic can continue to perform and promote high-quality symphonic music.

Paul Allen Ten Star Rotarian Program

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Oct 252017

Paul Allen Ten Star Rotarian Program

This program began in 1935 when a member of the West Point Mississippi Club wanted to increase attendance and maintain interest in the club’s development. Tom Douglas was the author of the program. It was presented to the RI Board of Directors and was approved as a voluntary activity for interested clubs in 1960 at the RI Convention in Miami.

Five Points Rotary adopted the program in 1964 under the leadership of Paul Allen who was the sole proprietor of the program.  In 2016, Paul handed the program over to two members of the Five Points Rotary Club, PDG Nancy Moody and District Public Image Chair Mary Gasque. Under the leadership of 2016-17 District 7770 Governor Sandee Brooks, the program was renamed the Paul Allen Ten Star Rotarian Program to reflect Paul’s leadership and dedication to the program. The Program and pin were revised to keep current with Rotary’s progress.

Link to the current application here

National Principal of the Year – Akil Ross

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Oct 242017

Chapin High School Principal Akil Ross was named 2018 National Principal of the Year by the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP)’s.  He is a member of the Rotary Club of Chapin Sunrise and has been the principal at the school for seven years.  The association praised Ross for significant improvement in graduation rates and academic proficiency.  That improvements happened after he helped raise money to provide extra instruction for struggling students to reduce dropouts, the group said.  He pushes for social as well as academic development among students, encouraging volunteer efforts that improve the Lexington County community and areas around it.  Ross is known for what he calls the six Rs: “Ready to learn, Respectful to others, Responsible to ourselves, Rigor in teaching, Relevance in learning and meaningful Relationships among students, faculty and staff.”  His message to students and staff is: “We are a thousand passions with one heartbeat.”  It’s a motto that he says will foster an environment where students are challenged academically while pursuing interests.  Congratulations to Rotarian Akil Ross on this achievement.


Oct 192017

Cybercrime costs U.S. business more than $1.3 billion yearly and often takes the form of bogus e-mails, according to Lt. D. Britt Dove, supervisory agent for the S.C. Law Enforcement Division’s (SLED) Computer Crime Center.  Dove (at right, talking with Rotarian Tommy Gibbons) was Capital Rotary’s Oct. 18 guest speaker.  He said every business connected to the internet is a potential cybercrime victim.  Businesses are vulnerable to being scammed by e-mail as criminals expand their ability to steal money directly or to turn stolen data into money.  Dove detailed several safeguards that include (1) educate employees to recognize suspicious e-mails; (2) be cautious when e-mails request confidential information or information out of the ordinary; (3)  double check e-mail sender details carefully, watching for similar domain names or characters that have been swapped for other letters; (4) forward e-mail responses instead of hitting “reply” so you can type out the genuine e-mail address for the person you wish to communicate with; and (5) confirm details of the e-mail request by contacting the sender using a known phone number.  Lt. Dove is a University of South Carolina graduate, a former West Columbia Police Dept. investigator, and is active in the Secret Service Electronic Taskforce, FBI Cyber Taskforce and the S.C. Attorney General’s Internet Crimes Against Children Taskforce.

Growing Membership Key to Rotary’s Success

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Oct 112017

Adding quality members is the key to success for Rotary clubs, and Columbia’s Capital Rotary must continue to apply that formula, according to past president David Boucher.  Boucher, now serving as membership director, focused on the importance of growth at the Oct. 11 meeting.   Boucher said international membership numbers were fairly flat for the past five years while Capital Rotary added to its ranks, especially among female members.  The club’s attrition rate over the last three years – 8.6% – compares favorably with that of Rotary District 7770 at 14.4%.  Boucher believes Capital Rotary’s growth assets include (1) outstanding existing membership, (2) quality speakers each week, (3) a convenient meeting time at 7:30 a.m. on Wednesdays, (4) accessible downtown parking, (5) a good meeting venue at the Palmetto Club, (6) improved social media and public relations and (7) a membership “growth culture.”  But noting that “complacency is Rotary’s number one enemy,” Boucher warned that “attrition is real” and the need for “growing clubs with quality Rotarians” must be met to ensure future opportunities for service.

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