National Park Ranger Greg Cunningham briefed the Chapin Rotary Club on the organizations centennial campaign (findyourpark.com) and also upcoming events at our Congaree National Park. This park protects over 26,000 acres of old-growth bottomland hardwood forest, the largest such area left in the United States.For more information, go to www.nps.gov/cong
District 7770 is very proud to announce that we will be sending 13 Long Term Outbounds and 1 Short Term Outbound to join over 8,000 students who will be participating in Rotary Youth Exchange for the school year 2016-17! 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: Bluffton, Hilton Head Island, Mt. Pleasant, St. Andrews (Charleston), Charleston Breakfast, Sumter, Charleston, Lexington, and North Charleston Breakfast. Our students will be traveling to 10 different countries all around the world. Below is a picture of our Future Outbounds for the school year of 2016-17. We can’t wait to see how their journey studying abroad will change their life forever!
We would like to thank the Mount Pleasant Rotary Club for sponsoring Milena Urroz. She is enjoying her exchange in Italy this year! Milena is 16 years old and is from Charleston, South Carolina. Milena loves playing the guitar. She has been playing the guitar since she was five years old. She also enjoys playing the clarinet as well. Milena has one goal and that is to become an agent for the FBI. She is having the time of her life in Italy. We want to thank Aquileia-Cervignano-Palmanova Rotary Club for hosting Milena! Below is a letter from Milena explaining how much fun she is having in Italy:
For the past seven months I have been living in Italy, apart from all my parents and friends back home. Before getting on the plane from Charleston to Venice my head was full of fear and questions. Questions like, “Will Italy accept me into their culture and traditions?”, “Will my host families open up to me and become like my real family?”, “Will I make friendships that will last throughout my life?” and the the scariest question was, “Can I do it? Can I be an exchange student for a year?” Seven months in and I have only had positive answers to these questions. I have melded into the Italian traditions as if I was Italian my whole life, the bond between my host families and I is unbreakable, I know for a fact that when I get on my plane to go back home and say “goodbye” to my friends that it won’t be the last time I see them, and the best realization I have made is that yeah, I can do it. I can be an exchange student for a year…..maybe even longer. The adventures that I have had here in Italy will stay with me forever, from getting off the plane at Venice and finding my host family, to my first walk around Venice, to going to my first club, to taking walks on the beach that remind me of home, to taking a trip to Naples, then to Verona, then switching host families and getting that new feel again. That feeling of being an outsider, but not in a bad way. Changing host families has to be one of the best adventures I have had so far, not because I didn’t like my first host family ( I loved them), but because its like starting your exchange all over. Its a new beginning, and I am all for new beginnings. I now have about three months left. I try not to think about the departure and try to think about the present because anything can happen. About my friends, my school, my city, and my family. I want to give a big thank you to everyone who helped me get to where I am, and I want to give a special thanks to Vicki Tatum, Lou Mello and my parents for their support and care.
Here is the latest blog post by one of our Ambassadorial Global Scholars, David Wolfer. David is attending the University of Cape Town, South Africa.
Here is the latest blog post by one of our Ambassadorial Global Scholars, Emily Williams. Emily is attending the University of Juan Carlos III in Madrid, Spain.
The Rotary Club of Hilton Head Island is pleased to announce that member Brian Julius has been awarded Rotary International’s distinguished Service Above Self Award. This award is given annually to only 100 persons from Rotary International’s membership of 1.2 million worldwide. Julius was recognized for his innovative “Speaking Books” program to carry the messages of polio eradication and healthy living to illiterate populations of the world. To date, Julius has produced more than 60 educational books in 30+ languages on such topics as maternal child health, immunizations, hand washing, HIV, suicide prevention and teaching literacy. By simply pressing a button to the corresponding illustrated page, users are able to listen to the messages recorded in their own languages. Rotary International’s PolioPlus Program to eradicate polio became a new focus for “Speaking Books” in 2014. Working with Rotary, the World Health Organization and UNICEF, Julius began targeting Pakistan and Nigeria, the only two countries where polio still existed. Community workers and health professionals use the books to educate families on the steps to prevent polio and to dispel the fear of necessary immunizations. These books have become an important tool in Rotary International’s efforts toward eradicating polio worldwide. The Service Above Self Award was made to Brian Julius at the annual Rotary District 7770 Conference in Columbia last week. Brian Julius, Rotary International’s 2016 Service Above Self Award recipient, with Nancy Moody, District 7770 Conference Chair and Past District Governor.
Thanks to the Lexington Rotary Club for sponsoring Charly Von der Wense, an exchange student from Germany! Charly is 16 years old and is from Hannover, Germany. She loves riding horses, shopping and photography. Charly has been playing the flute for 8 years now. She currently attends River Bluff High School in Lexington, South Carolina.
Both the Rotary Club of Lexington and our Rotary Youth Exchange student Charly von Der Wense were thrilled to have her parents Christine and Georg from Hanover, Germany at a morning’s breakfast meeting! Charly is pictured with her parents and her two sets of South Carolina host parents, Eric and Allison Ford and Lynne and Billy Rauton.
Dear fellow Rotarians,
Welcome to Seoul, the site of the 107th Rotary International Convention. Celebrate with us the joy of bringing the work of Rotary into our communities to Be a Gift to the World. The convention is a great way to experience what it truly means to be a part of Rotary. You will not only be inspired by fascinating speakers and productive breakout sessions, but also have an excellent opportunity to meet fellow Rotarians from around the world. You will experience firsthand the vibrant city of Seoul, as well as exchange ideas, build your skill set, and have fun.
The House of Friendship also provides a space where you can connect with different cultures and clubs. As a city with a long, rich history and the latest amenities, Seoul is the ideal location for a Rotary convention and a delightful travel destination to explore. It is both the capital and largest metropolis in Korea as well as home to an expansive number of parks, museums, shopping centers, and restaurants that showcase Korea’s rich culinary tradition.
Stop by any street vendor throughout the city to try traditional snacks like tteokbokki, gimbap, or Korean barbeque. Visit the now-famous Gangnam district, made popular by K-pop recording artist Psy. Explore COEX Mall, one of the largest underground shopping malls in Asia, filled with everything from trinkets to high-tech devices. Visit Dongdaemun Market, open 24 hours a day, for a wide variety of goods, including silks and fabrics. While the convention will offer its own social activities and events, be sure to visit Lotte World Adventure, an entertainment complex that is home to the world’s second-largest indoor theme park and an outdoor amusement park. Both feature family friendly stage shows and attractions. Shopping malls, movie theaters, and the Korean Folk Museum can be found a short monorail ride away, making it a wonderful family vacation experience. Before becoming president of Rotary International, I had the pleasure to attend 25 Rotary conventions. Each convention has its own flavor and has always been an enriching experience. I took advantage of the ability to meet and get to know my fellow Rotarians. I recall having conversations with club members from all over the world, on the buses and trains, in the House of Friendship, and in the main meeting halls. These are folks who I otherwise never would have had the chance to meet. In fact, while in Seoul, I will look forward to meeting you as well. Vanathy and I invite you to join us and your fellow Rotarians as we see the sights, discover what it’s like to be a citizen of the world, and learn how we can continue to Be a Gift to the World.
Rotary International President, 2015-16
- A child born to a mother who can read is 50% more likely to survive past the age of five.
- If all students in low-income countries left school with basic reading skills, 171 million people could be lifted out of poverty, which would be equivalent to a 12% cut in world poverty.