Capital Rotary Club members John Guignard (standing left rear) and Rowland Alston (standing right rear) helped deliver new paperback dictionaries to this Arden Elementary School third-grade class as part of the club’s participation in The Dictionary Project. The project – begun by a non-profit organization in Charleston in 1995 – aims to help young people become good writers, active readers, creative thinkers and resourceful learners. Capital Rotary donated dictionaries to some 900 students in 12 Richland County District One schools for 2018. Over the past 14 years, the club has distributed personal dictionaries to 14,000 students in the Columbia area. A number of other Rotary clubs in South Carolina and throughout the country are Dictionary Project sponsors. One of Rotary International’s major goals is improving basic education and literacy for adults and young people.
South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster told Capital Rotarians that the state is “on the edge of great prosperity” and must not miss the “window of opportunity for economic expansion and growth that will take care of our problems.” McMaster – a Republican running for re-election in November against Democrat James Smith – was Sept. 26’s guest speaker for the Columbia area club. He said the state’s competitive advantages in attracting new industry include (1) “three great research universities – the Medical University, University of South Carolina and Clemson University”; (2) “the best technical college system in the country” to train the needed workforce; (3) the Port of Charleston, which is being deepened to accommodate the world’s largest container ships; (4) inland ports at Greer and Dillon, making South Carolina the only state in the nation with two inland ports located on major highways like I-85 and I-95; and (5) a “unique population” made up of residents who are “friendly, hardworking and proud of what we’ve accomplished.” McMaster became the state’s chief executive in January 20127 after serving two years as lieutenant governor, eight years as attorney general and four years as United States attorney. McMaster received his AB degree in history in 1969 from the University of South Carolina and his JD degree in 1973 from the University of South Carolina School of Law.
When Columbia hosts the 2019 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament Regionals next March, that could bring 20,000-25,000 visitors to town and generate a potential $9 million economic impact. Scott Powers, executive director of Experience Columbia SC Sports, is working alongside the University of South Carolina to make that experience welcoming, user-friendly and enjoyable for players, coaches, media and fans. Powers (shown at left with Rotarian Alex Serkes) was Capital Rotary’s Sept. 19 guest speaker. He said the event – to be held March 22-24, 2019 at Colonial Life Arena – is the first time Columbia has been an NCAA Regionals host since 1970. The eight college teams slated to compete in first and second round games won’t be announced until March 17. How well the tournament draws will be influenced by which teams will be playing, where they’ll be traveling from, each team’s fan base and their fans’ willingness to travel. Powers is encouraging the Midlands to get involved by offering community events, fun things to do while in town and food/drink specials. “All eyes will be on Columbia to determine whether we will be selected to host again,” he said. Powers has been Experience Columbia SC Sports director since 2004. He’s a USC graduate, a Leadership Columbia gradate and a founding member of the South Carolina Sports Alliance.
Two more Capital Rotarians have been recognized for donations to The Rotary Foundation in support of international programs promoting peace and world understanding. Shown in the photo from left are Blake DuBose, immediate past president and Foundation giving chair; E.J. Newby and Stephen West, both Paul Harris Fellow plus-one givers (signifying an initial $1,000 donation with an additional gift in the same amount); and Philip Flynn, club president. Newby joined Capital Rotary in 2017, while West has been a member since 2005.
On August 20th, Dr. Clinton (Jerry) Brown, better known to most as “Coach”, spoke at The Hampton County Rotary Club meeting. Coach Brown came to Wade Hampton High School, in Varnville, SC, in May 2017, filling the roles of Head Football Coach and Athletic Director. Dr. Brown’s success on and off the field begins with great focus and preparation in the weight room. He builds on young men’s strength and character, as well as their drive to win. As he spoke, he shared his beliefs behind his successes. “I am not there to be their friend, but to help them build their strength to succeed on the field and in life”, he stated. Coach’s life lessons were not easy, as he struggled at a young age growing up without a father. However, this and other experiences have helped him better understand from where some of his students come from. Just as his high school football coach was an example to him, he works to be an example to his students.
While Dr. Brown gives a lot of credit to his wife, who stands by his side and supports his career, his faith in God is most important to him. It is apparent Coach’s faith follows him onto the field and throughout his career. He explains, “You must be prepared if you expect to go to Heaven, just as you must be prepared if you expect to win a ballgame”.
Within a week after speaking to our club, Dr. Brown will be inducted into the South Carolina Football Coaches Association’s Hall of Fame in December 2018! During his career, Coach has won five State Championships and has been named Palmetto State Coach of the Year five times. As of today, he seems to be well on his way for another victory at Wade Hampton High School.
Coach’s efforts are not to show students and athletes how to reach the minimum, but rather to challenge them to exceed expectations and push beyond limits. This is his goal for not only on the field, but in life as well.
Dr. Brown’s philosophy can also be used to inspire Rotarians each and every day……to push beyond our comfort zones and exceed our own expectations!
The Alzheimer’s Association-South Carolina Chapter’s vision for the future is a world without the dreaded disease of dementia. Taylor Wilson (shown with Rotarian Tony Thompson), chapter director of communications and advocacy, was Capital Rotary’s guest speaker on Sept. 12. She detailed the statewide group’s work to educate, support and advance critical research for treating, preventing and, ultimately, curing Alzheimer’s. The chapter also promotes the needs and rights of patients and caregivers. Wilson said 89,000 South Carolinians have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s; there are 309,000 caregivers in the state. South Carolina’s death rate from Alzheimer’s is the nation’s highest and went up by 180% in the past year. Wilson lauded Rotary for its support of CART – the Coins for Alzheimer’s Research Trust – a project started in 1996 to provide funds for cutting edge research to cure Alzheimer’s disease. Wilson joined the Alzheimer’s Association staff three years ago and has spent the last 10 years working with non-profits around the Midlands area. She is a 2007 graduate of the University of South Carolina’s Darla Moore School of Business.
Four Capital Rotarians have been recognized for their donations to The Rotary Foundation in support of international programs promoting peace and world understanding. They are (from left in photo) Alex Serkes, a Paul Harris Fellow (donation of $1,000); Daniel Winders, a benefactor (pledging a $1,000 donation from his estate); Daniel Moses, also a benefactor; Frank Rutkowski, a Paul Harris Fellow plus-three giver (signifying an initial $1,000 donation with three additional gifts in the same amount); and Philip Flynn, club president. Capital Rotary members made nearly $13,000 in charitable contributions to the Foundation in the past year.
Congressman Wilson is proud to promote Rotary in many ways. He was instrumental in the re-establishment of the Rotary clubs in Bulgaria.
Photo #2 is Congressman Wilson
Pictured are Monica Vehige and Chicora President Angelika Senn. Monica is a vice president for ambulatory care for Mcleod Health. She was promoted to Administrator/Chief Operating Officer for Mcleod Seacoast and Loris Hospitals. Her commitment to Mcleod’s mission and values was the main item that drew her to this organization. She has been in the healthcare industry for more that 23 years. She updated the Chicora Rotary club in what McLeod Health is doing in the every changing healthcare industry. The Chicora Rotary very much appreciated the update and look forward the improvements in the healthcare industry that Monica and the Mcleod organization will provide for this and other areas.
Pictured are Pres. Angelika Senn and speaker Randy Webster. Webster is the Director of Horry County Emergency Management. He is a 35 year veteran of public safety. He updated the club in the current thinking in hurricanes potential in South Carolina. He is a member American Meteorology Society and served on the Homeland Security council. He covered a wide range of topics dealing Emergency Management and Homeland security. The presentation was followed by interesting question and answer session. Mr. Webster is an excellent presenter and was well received by the Chicora Rotary.