We can’t WAIT!! Get your tickets NOW!
Still looking for last minute gifts and that perfect stocking stuffer? Give tickets to the famous annual Oyster Roast! Just $25 each, if bought in advance, for a special lowcountry tradition…fresh local roasted oysters, brats, home cut fries…great food, plus music by Low Country Boil…and the comradery of hanging out by the bonfire! This annual event is very popular and tickets sell out fast…so don’t wait!
They are HERE!! Tickets are available NOW from any Bluffton Rotarian or by calling 843.815.2277
Steve Miller, President of Bluffton Rotary Club and David Tirard, Assistant Governor for Area 4, present an official club banner to USC Rotaract Club officers, Mahogany Hickman (left), Secretary and (right) Samantha (Sam) Smith, President. The USCB Rotaract Club was officially recognized by RI in March of 2014 and is co-sponsored by both Bluffton and Hilton Island Rotary clubs. The banner presented Dec. 3 at the Bluffton meeting and the bell and gavel presented on Dec. 4 at the HHI noonmeeting along with Rotaract club T-shirts, previously given and designed by the USCB Rotaract club are all part of the “sponsorship package” traditional to our District 7770 just as they are for new rotary clubs. Both of our rotary clubs shared the costs.
Several members of the Bluffton Rotary Club received Paul Harris Fellow Awards in May: (from left to right) Steve Miller, PHF+1; Greg Johnson, Paul Harris Fellow; Tabor Vaux, PHF+1; Sidney Jones, PHF +1, Deborah Burt, PHF+2 and Brad Talbert, PHF+2. Congratulations to all for your achievement and contributions to Rotary International!
Bluffton Rotary Club President Dot Jeger presented a $1,000 Scholarship to Bluffton High School senior and Interact student, Laura Ortega, during Senior Awards Night. Laura will be extending her studies at Winthrop University in the fall.
The newly chartered Rotaract Club of University of South Carolina at Beaufort students and sponsors took an alternative spring break last month, to work in New Orleans. They helped build Habitat for Humanity houses, plus various other projects needed. Paige Frankovich, a freshman, Paige Castle, USCB sponsor, Bethany Brown, Co-VP and a freshman, and Daniel Northcutt, club treasurer and a junior, share their experiences with the Bluffton Rotary Club. The Bluffton Rotary Club helped fund the new club’s alternative spring break. The Rotaract Club of University of South Carolina at Beaufort is co-sponsored by the Bluffton and the Hilton Head Island Rotary Clubs.
Volunteer Nora Donaldson helps an elementary school student pick out a pair of shoes on Saturday at the Bluffton Rotary Club’s annual “Happy Feet” event at Payless Shoes. Rotarians treated 163 students at Michael C. Riley, Red Cedar and Bluffton elementary schools to free pairs of shoes.
Michael C. Riley Elementary School teacher Doris Beishir helps a student pick out a pair of shoes on Saturday at the Bluffton Rotary Club’s annual “Happy Feet” event at Payless Shoes. Rotarians treated more than 163 students at Michael C. Riley, Red Cedar and Bluffton elementary schools to free pairs of shoes.
Submitted by Jim Foster
Bluffton Rotary Club
The numbers are sobering.
Eleven percent of adults in Beaufort County – 27 percent in Jasper County – are functionally illiterate. They can’t read documents or maps. They can’t fill out a job application. They can’t understand a paycheck stub. They can’t read a story to a child.
Jean Heyduck, executive director of Literacy Volunteers of the Lowcountry, told Bluffton Rotarians that illiteracy is an economically and socially draining cycle that repeats itself. To cite just one example, she said, children of high school dropouts are five times more likely to have children who themselves become high school dropouts.
“Three out of four adults on welfare are functionally illiterate,” Heyduck said, “and we all pay for that in the form of higher taxes.”
The mission of Literacy Volunteers of the Lowcountry is to equip local adults with the reading, writing and speaking skills they need to be successful.
Of the 815 adult clients served by the organization last year, 80 percent were employed but in low-wage jobs, Heyduck said. Some were natives of other countries and understood little English, while others were native Americans who could not read or write at the most basic levels.
The organization’s clients are served by its 140 volunteers, who average about four hours of teaching each week in addition to time spent planning lessons.
“Our volunteers are the key,” Heyduck said. “The 20,000 hours of work they put in, if they were paid just the minimum wage, would amount to roughly $150,000.”
Prospective clients are tested at the beginning of the teaching process and then retested as lessons progress.
“I’m proud to say that 95 percent of our students reached at least one of their personal goals,” Heyduck said.
The organization’s biggest need in the Bluffton area is space, she said, noting that there is a waiting list of prospective clients due to a lack of space.
The Bluffton Rotary Club began assisting Literacy Volunteers of the Lowcountry after a needs assessment that the club used to determine which local organizations might benefit from its assistance. The club recently donated $2,500 to the literacy group to purchase books and instructional materials.
The group can boast a number of success stories. One of Heyduck’s favorites is Maria, who emigrated from Colombia and took a low-wage job in a Hilton Head residential plantation. After sharpening her reading, writing and speaking skills, she began to make progress in her job and now holds a management position. She is applying for U.S. citizenship.
Another success story, a landscaper named Mark, attended tutoring sessions on Sundays and was eventually able to pass his GED exam. Now, instead of working at a landscaping business in a low-wage job, he runs such a business himself.