Highly trained and motivated rubber shrimp will mount their inner tubes and take to the water on October 5, 2013 as the Sea Island Rotary Club presents the 4th Annual Charity Shrimp Race at the Beaufort Shrimp Festival.
“The principal goal of this event is to raise money for our local charities,” says Rion Salley, Club President. “Our signature charities include: CAPA (Child Abuse Prevention Association), Hope Haven of the Lowcountry, Lowcountry Habitat for Humanity, and various Rotary service projects.” “The Charity Shrimp Race is the World’s largest Shrimp Race and the primary annual fundraiser for the Sea Island Rotary Club. For the past several years we have been able to donate more than $50,000 annually toward charity,” says Salley. “This is a wonderful way to help charity and maybe win something in return.”
The race is fun to watch for kids and adults. It is held along the sea wall at Henry Chambers Waterfront Park, during the Beaufort Shrimp Festival.
The race begins around 3 p.m. when 5,000 rubber shrimp wearing inner tubes are released from the nets of an authentic shrimp trawler into the Beaufort River. The shrimp float along in tidal current to the finish line. Each shrimp wears a unique number corresponding to one of the numbers on a purchased adoption ticket.
The shrimp have been training all summer and are anxiously awaiting the chance at being the first across the finish line. The winning shrimp wins $2,000 for the holder of the ticket that matches the unique number on that shrimp. The second place finish wins $1,000, third place wins $750, fourth place wins $500, fifth place wins $250 and 6th through 10th places each win $100.
More exciting, if any of the first ten finishing shrimp matches the “million dollar lucky number,” the adopter of that shrimp wins $1,000,000! Yes, that is ONE MILLION DOLLARS. The million-dollar lucky number is selected at random by a third-party Insurance provider before the race.
Adoption tickets are on sale now and are available online at www.RotaryShrimpRace.com or at local businesses such as Beaufort Chiropractic, BJHCHS Port Royal Medical Center, CBC National Bank, Bundy Appraisal & Management, CAPA’s Closet, Island Podiatry, Lowcountry Habitat ReStore, Harvey’s Barber Shop, Levin, Gilley & Fisher law firm, Palmetto State Bank, Regions Bank, Sanctuary Golf Club, Therapeutic Solutions, Wardle Family YMCA, Wells Fargo Bank, and of course from any Sea Island Rotary member.
Sea Island Rotary Club is a part of Rotary International, a worldwide organization of 1.2 million members dedicated to improving education, health and living conditions worldwide. The Rotary motto is “Service above Self.”
Florence Rotarians Andy Edmunds and Gerald Holley assist students
at McLaurin Elementary with the RIDDE program.
Florence’s three Rotary Clubs – Florence Rotary West, Florence Breakfast Club and Florence Rotary Club – collaborate each year with Circle Park Behavioral Health Services and Florence School District One to provide Rotarians in Drug Deterrence Education (RIDDE) to local third graders.
The program was established in 1994 by Rotary District 7770 in an effort to address the increasing amount of youth that were initiating alcohol, tobacco and other drug use at an earlier age. As a result, the Rotary District Governor challenged local Rotary Clubs to develop activities and programs to assist youth in resisting the initiation of alcohol, tobacco and other drugs.
Representatives from the three Florence area Rotary Clubs approached Circle Park and requested assistance in developing a program that would truly prove to not only be effective but long lasting as well. As a result, an eight lesson curriculum was developed that would be taught in 45 minutes sessions over an eight week period. The key component to the success of the program, and one that made RIDDE so unique, is that the Rotarians would actually volunteer to go into the classrooms each week and directly provide mentoring and leadership to the students. The program is currently being conducted at McLaurin and Wallace Gregg Elementary to a total of 200 third graders.
“The RIDDE program has made a significant difference with our third graders as they practice and utilize the skills they learn each week in RIDDE. We see a noticeable improvement in their conflict resolution, decision making, communication, and team building skills. These new skills serve them well as they deal with their everyday decisions not only here at school but at home as well,” Judy Tyner, Guidance Counselor for McLaurin Elementary, shared.
Since its inception in 1994, nearly 4,000 Florence School District One third graders have successfully completed the RIDDE program with nearly 200 local Rotarians volunteering in the classrooms. Though the three local Rotary Clubs provide the financial support to fund the program, the most valuable piece of RIDDE has been the actual hands-on mentoring that takes place directly with the youth.
“Of the many service projects that we are involved in our community, this one is particularly rewarding as it provides us a unique opportunity to team together with the other Rotary Clubs of Florence to combine our financial and volunteer support to address the most important resource in our community, our youth,” stated Randolph Tiller, long time Florence West Rotarian and RIDDE volunteer.
The program has been recognized by the State Department of Education, Florence School District One Partners’ in Education, the National JCPenney Golden Rule Award, International Rotary, as well as being featured in People magazine in 2000, Randy Cole, a Florence Rotary Club member and CEO of Circle Park Behavioral Health Services says “Circle Park is most appreciative of the opportunity to collaborate with two of the most critical and impactful influences on the health and welfare of our community – Florence School District One and our three local Rotary Clubs. We each share a common mission of developing the youth in our community to become not only better students but eventually healthy, happy and productive adults. The research today clearly indicates that the difficult choices and challenges facing youth today are happening earlier and earlier in their lives.
Our group is now able to help make eye glasses for the elderly. Another of the many Chiang Mai South service projects is preparing reader glasses of various strengths for many of the rural poor in their district. We learned how to smooth and sand precut plastic lenses and watched the skilled Rotarians start with a straight metal very tiny long rod and end up with a mental glass frame. In two days the club donated 150 pairs of glasses. Recipients come to a community center ( more or less like a covered open air shed. They are tested for correct strength and then wait as long as 6 or more hours while glasses are made for each person. EVERY SATURDAY members of this club are feeding hungry children, helping older needy adults, or working in other projects. We need your interest, prayers, and district support to obtain an RI grant in partnership with this club that will further health and community development initiatives.
7770 Rotarians hosted a final dinner for the Thai club. Our setting was an outdoor terrace 17 floors up in a local hotel. That day was also the birthday of the American YEO student studying in Chianf Mai. Imagine celebrating your 16th birthday in Thailand when you live in Alaska.
For all of us this trip has reinforced the wonder and work of Rotary on a club by club and international basis. No blog can ever fully express what we have seen and shared. All of us are honored to have been part of this exchange.
Harriett Hilton for the 7770 exchange group.
November 19th and 20th, Rotary Club of the Lowcountry targeted 6th graders of Beaufort County where many tell-tell signs start manifesting themselves in regards to bullying. Bullying is unwanted, aggressive behavior that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. The behavior is repeated, or has the potential to be repeated, over time. Bullying includes actions such as making threats, spreading rumors, attacking someone physically or verbally, and excluding someone from a group on purpose. Bullying brings fear and hopelessness into the life of an innocent person. Such action can mean misery for those who are subjected to bullying on a regular basis. These individuals are three times more likely to consider suicide than their peers. The booklets distributed will hopefully give guidance to someone being bullied and help others realize what they are doing is wrong.
Rotary Club of the Lowcountry partnered with Beaufort Country School District who worked with Beaufort High’sPerforming Arts Theatre Group to put on an assembly that every 6th grader in Beaufort County was invited to attend. Beaufort Middle, Lady’s Island Middle Robert Small’s Middle and Whale Branch Middle Schools all attend presentations at Beaufort High’s Performing Arts Center. The Theatre Group put on thought provoking skits and involved the students and the teachers. Beaufort High’s Theatre Group and Rotary Club of the Lowcountry then traveled to Bluffton Middle and Hilton Head Island Middle to put on the same presentation. The teachers were in attendance at the assembly as well since they are seeing some of these bullying behaviors taking place but unaware of the really harm being caused and may be turning a blind eye to the situation. The program was designed for the teachers to take action, let the victim know they don’t have to tolerate being treated this way, encourage bystanders who see something to say something and to let the bully’s know that this sort of behavior is not to be tolerated.
Rotary Club of the Lowcountry distributed anti-bullying activity books and bookmarks to each student as they exited the assembly. The school district also had the Rotarians distribute arm bands that had an anti-bullying message and telephone number listed in case they wanted to speak with someone outside their school.
The members of East Cooper Breakfast Rotary Club donated 100 bikes to Toys 4 Tots, enabling needy children around the Charleston area to get a bike for Christmas. ECB Rotarians have participated in this effort since 1998 and have given over 1,400 bikes to area children during that time. Rob Fowler and Marine organizers were on hand at the meeting, which will be featured on News Channel 2.
East Cooper Breakfast Rotary meets Tuesday mornings at 7:30am at the Cooper River Room at Mt. Pleasant Waterfront Park. Come out and join us!
Members of the Chapin Rotary Club completed their dictionary project for the year with the distribution of 57 books to the Little Mountain Elementary third graders. The club had previously handed out over three hundred dictionaries at Chapin and Lake Murray Elementary schools. Pictured from the left ; Marcia Ballentine, George McConnell, Bob Ballentine, Ron Saxton, and Tom Wilkinson.
Members of the Chapin Rotary Club traveled to Chapin Elementary to hand out 154 new dictionaries to the school’s 3rd grade classes.The annual project is spearheaded by Mr. and Mrs. Bob Ballentine (center). Mrs.Ballentine was a former principal at the school. The club will also be distributing free dictionaries to each 3rd grader at Lake Murray Elementary and Little Mountain Elementary.