Rotary Club of Hilton Head Island member Jim Deas discusses the Club’s projects on WHHI-TV. An upcoming project is a Scavenger Hunt/Raffle on April 28 to benefit Island Rec. The club is raising $50,000 for a new gym for the facility. See the video below for additional projects.
Gubernatorial candidate James Smith (in photo with Rotarian Gloria Saeed) says South Carolina needs “smart government” to move forward responsibly and promises to deliver that if he’s elected. Smith, currently a state representative, is running in June’s Democratic primary and was Capital Rotary’s April 18 guest speaker. He addressed three main topics: (1) need for a state energy policy that “drives efficiency” on the part of utilities and promotes solar power – where South Carolina is “15 years behind other states” making progress; (2) supporting and improving public education, which he called a governor’s “number one job” because “education equals jobs” for our work force; and (3) reapportionment of Congressional and state legislative districts after the 2020 census, which Smith said offers a chance to remedy “30 years of gerrymandering” that’s led to partisan politics where “party is more important than government of, by and for the people.” Smith, a Columbia native with undergraduate and law degrees from the University of South Carolina, was first elected to the SC House in 1996.
US Drug Enforcement Administration representative Pat Apel spoke to the Florence Rotary Club on April 9th about the opioid epidemic in South Carolina. He noted that opioid overdose is the #1 cause of accidental death in the US, and the crisis is becoming more serious due to fentanyl lacing of pills manufactured in home labs.
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Advocacy for, preservation of and education about the capital city’s unique houses and gardens has been the mission of Historic Columbia since the non-profit organization’s founding in 1961. A milestone will be celebrated in May with the 200th anniversary of construction of the Hampton-Preston Mansion, according to Robin Waites, Historic Columbia’s executive director since 2004. Waites (shown at right in photo with Rotarian Allyson Way Hank) was Capital Rotary’s April 11 guest speaker. She said the historic property’s May reopening follows more than a year’s worth of mansion repairs and restoration of its gardens and grounds. Also featured is a holistic reevaluation and restructuring of the site’s historical interpretation. Waites noted that from the 1820s to the 1870s, the estate grew to be Columbia’s grandest residence under the Hampton and Preston families and the many men, women and children enslaved there. In addition to the mansion, Historic Columbia provides house and garden tours at four other sites downtown, offsite bus and walking tours, and education programs for youth and adults. Waites was the SC State Museum’s chief curator of art before joining Historic Columbia’s staff.
Capital Rotary is awarding scholarships to two college-bound Midlands students following 19 applicant interviews in late March. Club members on the selection committee included (from left in photo) Paul Gillam, Allyson Way Hank and Darren Foy, plus Pete Pillow (not pictured). A $20,000 scholarship – $5,000 annually for four years – is going to C.A. Johnson High School senior Amariyah Ayee, while Ben Lippen School senior Claire Davis is getting a $10,000 scholarship – $5,000 annually for two years. Ayee, second-ranked in her class, plans to attend Claflin University and hopes to become a pediatric surgeon. Davis will seek to major in engineering and plans to use that knowledge to solve clean water problems in third-world countries. Capital Rotary has been supporting higher-education opportunities for local high school students for more than 20 years. The club’s scholarships are based on a combination of academic performance, extracurricular activities and economic need.
Capital Rotary president Blake DuBose congratulates Andy Markl (left), the club’s most recent addition to the ranks of Paul Harris Fellows, signifying a $1,000 contribution to the Rotary Foundation. Paul Harris Fellows receive a special pin, a certificate and a medal to honor their donation. Foundation gifts help fund international programs promoting world understanding and peace. Markl is a Lexington native who operates The Graphics Source, a firm specializing in print, marketing and advertising materials. He joined Capital Rotary in April 2017.
An “understanding gap” affects the problem of homelessness among people 17-24 years of age in the Midlands, according to Stacey Atkinson and Jacquan Riley, guest speakers at Capital Rotary’s April 4 meeting. The pair (shown in photo with Rotarians Perry Lancaster at left and Tony Thompson at right) said there were 130 homeless youth in the area last year. Atkinson, a retired juvenile justice official, said the situation is a housing, economic and education issue but more public awareness could create a “community of care” to seek solutions. “We need leaders willing to serve as mentors and life coaches for these young people,” Atkinson said. “We need leaders who can offer opportunities for these young people to show what they have to offer.” She also noted there’s a need for scholarships to help youth enroll in technical college trades and certificate programs leading to quick, stable employment. Atkinson is graduate of Leadership South Carolina and has been a licensed SC Master Level Social Worker since 1989.
It’s not often a resident of Carolina Forest turns 100 years old, let alone a Rotary Club Member! On Wednesday, April 4th, the Carolina Forest Sunrise Rotary Club celebrated 15 years as an organization, but perhaps more noteworthy, celebrated the recent 100th Birthday of Rotarian Dr. Carl Records.
Centurion Dr. Carl Records has more than 50 years as a Rotary member and is one of three founding members of Carolina Forest Rotary Club fifteen years ago, at a spry age of 85 years old. Dr. Records first was active in Rotary in Cape May, New Jersey, as well as Mid Jersey Cape in New Jersey, then the Conway Rotary Club in Conway, South Carolina, all before helping to found the Carolina Forest Rotary Club. Dr. Records has served as Secretary to three Rotary clubs, as well as Treasurer, Vice President and President of two Rotary Clubs. Over the years he has attended international conferences in Atlantic City, Philadelphia, Indianapolis, Sao Paulo (Brazil) and Birmingham (England). Dr. Records lives in Carolina Forest with his wife, Helen.
The Spring Valley Club celebrated its annual Community Grant Day on Thursday, April 5 with many Columbia area non-profits represented at the lunch meeting. Proceeds from the club’s annual pecan sale were distributed to 29 local organizations and in May a total of six scholarships will be given. A total of $43,300 was given back to the community in the form of community grants and scholarships to graduating high school seniors. Thanks to all the Columbia area Rotary Clubs who supported the Spring Valley pecan sale again this year.