Rotary Club of Charleston Presents Shining Light Awards

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May 182015

The Historic Rotary Club of Charleston bestows the Shining Light award on members who have gone above and beyond in their contribution to the club and community. These members exemplify Rotary’s motto of Service Above Self.


On October 28, President Digit proudly recognized Steve Dopp with this week’s Shining Light Award. Steve is a valued member of our club and his continuous support of the club’s fundraising efforts every year is much appreciated. Steve also stepped to the plate early and set the pace for selling boat raffle tickets by committing to sell five tickets. Thank you, Steve, for your dedication to Rotary and our fund-raising efforts.



On November 11, Michael Saboe was proudly recognized by President Digit as this week’s Shining Light. Michael is currently serving on our Board of Directors as the International Chair. For the past year he has spent countless hours working behind the scenes coordinating our next clean water project with Water Missions International, which will take place in the Spring of 2015. This has been a tedious and lengthy process and his determination to see it through until com-letion is much appreciated. Congratulations, Michael, and thank you for your overwhelming dedication to the club and our efforts to bring clean water to those in need.



On November 18, Cheryl Kaynard was proudly recognized by President Digit as this week’s Shining Light. Cheryl serves on our Education Committee as Operation Warm Chair. Operation Warm is funded by the RCCF and provides children at James Simons with winter coats. This year the decision was made to expand to also provide socks, hats and gloves. Cheryl did an outstand-ing job coordinating our efforts with the school. The delivery of the items to the children was scheduled to happen after the Thanksgiving holi-days, but due to the freezing temperatures this past week, Cheryl rallied her committee and got the coats distributed to the children this past Tuesday before the freeze. Thank you, Cheryl, for your dedication to Rotary and your efforts to ensure that all the children at James Simons have warm coats this winter.



On December 2, President Digit proudly recognized Doug Henderson as this week’s Shining Light. Doug serves our club in so many ways and is always one of the first to volunteer for a project. He currently serves as both Keyway Editor and Chair of the Senior Aging & Issues Committee, which is responsible for coordinating our upcoming Senior Giving Project. We thank him for the time he spends each and every week editing and putting our Keyway issue together. It is a tedious task and he does a fantastic job get-ting Rotary information out to our membership! Also, his enthusiasm for coordinating the gift giving and holiday party for the seniors at the Ansonborough House is much appreciated. Congratulations, Doug, and thank you for your continuous dedication and support of our club!


Shining Light - Henderson


On December 9, President Digit proudly recognized our newest member, Grace Jennings, as this week’s Shining Light. Grace, who joined us last month, is a former member of the Bennettsville Rotary Club. She has enthusiastically put her volunteer skills to work and jumped in feet first to help with the Holiday Parade of Boats event. All of her hard work and knowledge as an event planner is much appreciated. Congratulations Grace! We are glad to have you as member and thank you for your overwhelming support of our fundraiser!




On January 6, President Digit proudly recognized Fred Sales as this week’s Shining Light. Fred is our outstanding club photographer and nothing can keep him from a Rotary meeting/event — not rain, sleet, snow or even an injury! His enthusiasm for our club and documenting all of our meetings/events is much appreciated. We will have a wonderful pictorial record of our recent history to share with future Rotarians. Thank you, Fred, for your continuous support and dedication to our club. We sincerely appreciate your efforts to ensure the history of our club is well documented!



On January 20, President Digit proudly recognized Ned Jervey as this week’s Shining Light. Ned is doing a phenomenal job as our current program chair. He and his committee have the task of scheduling our keynote speakers each week. Thanks to their efforts we all get to enjoy top-notch speakers at our meetings. Congratulations, Ned! We appreciate your continuous dedication to the club and ensuring that we have outstanding program each week!




On January 27, President Digit proudly recognized Don Baus as this week’s Shining Light. As a new member of our club, Don quickly jumped in with both feet and got involved on several committees. His volunteer efforts on the Vocation Service committee helping to coordinate our weekly Vocational Spotlight and Rotary Windows program, as well as serving on the Keyway committee writing articles is much appreciated. Congratulations, Don! We thank you for your enthusiasm for Rotary and willingness to volunteer your time on several committees to help make our club the best!




On February 3, President Digit proudly recognized Tammy Coghill as this week’s Shining Light. Tammy is a busy Rotarian and wears many hats! She is always willing to volunteer to help a committee or a project. She is very active on the Education Committee as she currently is heading up our efforts with our Y-Achievers program. She has coordinated work place visits (“World of Work Tours”), as well as college visits for the students in this program. Tammy was a valuable member of the Boat Parade committee. She assisted Jeanne with keeping the tickets organized, as well as many other tasks. She was a key volunteer at the actual event. Tammy is also an important member of the Keyway Committee – always taking her turn to write the lead article with a big smile! Congratulations, Tammy! We thank you for your enthusiasm for Rotary and your willingness to volunteer your time on various committees.



More Shining Light Awards to come!

Rotary Club of Charleston Awards 3 Blue Badges

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May 072015

The Historic Rotary Club of Charleston is proud to graduate Lee Cox, Doug Hart, and PDG Bill Clowney from Red Badges to Blue Badges! Each new member of the club starts out with a red badge. Over the course of several months, new members engage in community service, club service, and socials enabling them to learn more about the history of Rotary and the club they’ve joined. After completion, members graduate and proudly display their Blue Badges.

Historic Rotary Club of Charleston Red Badge Social

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Feb 252015

A Historic Rotary Club of Charleston Red Badge Social was held at the recently re-opened Vendue Inn.  A large crowd of more than 40 attended the event.  The night began in the gallery at 26 Vendue Range across the street from the main hotel.  The staff at the Vendue served us a number of incredible appetizers such as Korean Shrimp Tacos with Wonton Kimchi, Peanuts, and Green Onion; Mini Chicken Pot Pies; and Briased Short Rib Canape with a Raisin Puree to name a few.  A cash bar offered numerous wine options and assortment of mixed drinks and beers.  The Vendue’s General Manager Ken Merkel  was in attendance.  Ken will be accompanying his tennis player friend, our own Paul Stoney, at one of our meetings during March Madness.  After appetizers and drinks in the gallery Ken Merkel and David Burt lead the attendees on a tour of the property.  Everyone visited the studio of the artist in residence at the hotel, Fred Jamar…  or simply Fred as he is known to his fans.  We then toured the main hotel which now visually connects all 5 1780’s warehouse buildings that make up the Vendue Inn along the southern edge of Vendue Range.  We visited the new restaurant “the Drawing Room”, and we got to see 3 of the newly renovated rooms.  Lastly we visited the new coffee shop “the Press” which is located in the bulding closest to  East Bay Street, the site of the state’s first newspaper, The South Carolina Gazette, operated by the first female publisher in the United States.  The Press was specifically designed to pay homage to this historical fact and the times of the Industrial Revolution.




Rotary Club of Charleston Member Recognized for 35 Years of Perfect Attendance

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Feb 042015

Congratulations to long-time Rotarian Ricky Bailey who was recognized for achieving 35 years of perfect attendance (Is he even that old?). Great job, Ricky! We appreciate your continuous dedication to our club! You set an excellent example for all Rotarians to follow.


Photo: L-R: Ricky Bailey and President Digit Matheny

Rotary Club of Charleston Brings Holiday Cheer to Seniors

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Jan 092015

One of the many service projects that the Rotary Club of Charleston participates in annually is the holiday lunch and gift giving for the seniors at the Ansonborough House.


First, money is raised at our club’s lunch meeting.  Then, volunteers go shopping for gifts. This year’s prized request was a crock pot! Then, more volunteers wrap every present.


And finally even more volunteers assist staff of the Ansonborough House throw a holiday lunch and gift giving party.  Music is played, food is enjoyed, and every senior gets treated to a gift and even some holiday fudge!




A big thank you to all those members who participated in our annual senior giving project by either generously “Giving” a monetary contribution used to purchase gifts or by “Serving” as hard working elves shopping, wrapping, and distributing gifts. Our club should be proud … we were able to spread a little holiday cheer to all the seniors at the Ansonborough House.



Rotary Club of Charleston Lights Up the Night!

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Jan 062015

WOW! What a great First Annual Rotary Parade of Boats event! Congrats to Jeanne Jamme and all her fellow Rotarians that pitched in to help plan and execute an awesome party that the City of Charleston was proud to see!




The event was well attended from the club and public at large with an overall count of 650 people enjoying the night. Even Santa stopped by!



Congratulations to our member, Catherine Jones, who was the winner of the boat drawing! We look to have some “Rotary meetings” aboard Catherine’s new water ride soon! Overall every Rotarian should be proud of the club’s efforts and determination to ensure the night was a success. Combined with the tickets sales and boat tickets sales the club raised $29,486 dollars! Congrats Rotarians, way to Light Up The Night! Looking forward to the 2015 event!



Rotary Club of Charleston Gives the Gift of Warmth

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Nov 252014

On Tuesday, November 18, members of the Historic Rotary Club of Charleston set out to give the gift of warmth now that the temps have dropped into the 20s!  The club originally planned to present the goodies to the students between Thanksgiving and Christmas but the arctic blast that arrived in Charleston early in the week persuaded us to move quickly and distribute the items prior to the freeze Wednesday night.

The Club participates annually in Operation Warm – a project that is aimed at providing warm winter attire to kids who may not be properly equipped for the colder temperature. The Historic Rotary Club of Charleston is one of 160 Rotary club  partners that have handed out over 100,000 coats.

Our club chose to work with our partner school, James Simons Elementary, to identify children who need winter weather apparel and ordered 120 coats and purchased accompanying hats, gloves and socks.  Members of the Education Committee helped students pick from a wide range of colors and styles and individual fashion sense was on full display as each child chose his or her winter outfit!

Next year, we hope to repeat Operation Warm and expand it to include hygiene kits, undergarments and, perhaps windbreakers.



Rotarians L-R: President Elect Paul Stoney; Alissa Lietzow; Whitney Franklin (); Cheryl Kaynard; John Channell; Doug Holmes; and President Digit Matheny; holding up some of the 86 brand new winter coats that were handed out this past Tuesday.

At the first station, students got to pick out a new winter coat – ranging in sizes from 6-16.

Pictured below, Operation Warm coordinator and Shining Light of the Week winner, Cheryl Kaynard, helps a student pick out his new coat.



After selecting matching gloves and warm socks, students headed over to meet our Club President, Digit Matheny, who assisted them in picking out a warm knit hat.



Rotarian John Channell helped package each student’s new items.



And for some additional smiles, check out these happy campers who are loving their new coats and accessories.





President Digit Matheny gives a thumbs up for a successful afternoon!



Nov 222014

Trident United Way’s Day of Caring provides an opportunity for corporate volunteer teams to partner with agencies and schools to increase community engagement. On November 14, 2014, members of the Historic Rotary Club of Charleston participated in two Day of Caring Projects at their partner school, James Simons Elementary coordinated through Charleston Promise Neighborhood.



Day of Caring 3

(Rotarian Veterans L-R: Bob Miller,  Kathy Jones, Rob Turkewitz, and Luke McPhail;

Rotarian Non-Veteran DOC Coordinator: Alissa Lietzow)

The first project was Honoring Veterans, which was perfectly timed with Veteran’s Day being earlier that week. Some of the Rotary Club’s own veterans shared their stories about life in the military with 4th, 5th, and 6th graders.

Day of Caring 4

Day of Caring 5


Another set of Rotarians helped with the second project, teaching Healthy Habits to 4, 5, and 6 year olds. The main focus was on proper hand washing. Each student left with a neat hand magnet reminding them when to wash their hands.

Day of Caring

Rotarians Photographed Below, L-R: Alissa Lietzow, Sandy Morckel, John Channel, Cooper Coker, [volunteer], and President-Elect Paul Stoney

Day of Caring 6

Rotary Club of Charleston Welcomes Newest Member

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Nov 192014

The Historic Rotary Club of Charleston welcomes our newest club member, Grace Jennings. Grace was sponsored by President Digit Matheny and is a former member of the Bennettsville Rotary Club. She joins us under the classification of Event Planning.



District Governor visits Rotary Club of Charleston

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Nov 072014

On October 21, 2014, our club heard from Dr. Jimmie Williamson, District Governor for our Rotary District 7770. Dr. Williamson has served Rotary in many capacities including as President of the Cheraw Rotary Club. He is both a Paul Harris Fellow and a Benefactor. He received his undergraduate degree from Winthrop and holds a Ph.D. from the University of South Carolina. An author of widely used textbooks, he is active in his community having served on the Chesterfield County School Board among other institutions and currently serves as CEO of the South Carolina Technical College System.

Dr. Williamson brought greetings from Rotary International President Gary Huang, who is the first RI President from mainland China. He gave our club a quick lesson in Chinese and we learned that this year’s Rotary theme – Light up Rotary – has its origin in a saying from Confucius that it is better to light a candle than to sit in darkness.

Growing up in Hartsville, SC, Dr. Williamson was exposed to Rotary early on when the Hartsville Rotary Club sponsored paper covers showing the Rotary emblem and the four way test to protect text books used by the Hartsville schools and when his boy scout troop was sponsored by the same club. Clearly having Rotary on the minds of members of the community early in life is an important way of keeping Rotary vibrant and bringing in new members. In that light, one of the first challenges for Rotary this year which Dr. Williamson mentioned was having a “Rotary Day” when local Rotarians can invite prospective members to join Rotarians in serving the community. He thought our planned “day of caring” with United Way was a wonderful opportunity to meet this challenge. He noted that we all have ready opportunities to bring others into the Rotary family by simply bringing in members of our own families such as spouses and children.

The second challenge Dr. Williamson mentioned was polio eradication. Rotary can reach its goal for funding this challenge if each member were to give just $25.00. The Gates Foundation will provide two-for-one matching on all gifts from Rotary which certainly allows the impact of Rotary to be multi-plied. At this time there are three countries in which polio is endemic – Pakistan, Afghanistan and Nigeria.

The third challenge Dr. Williamson spoke of is the CART fund – Coins for Alzheimer’s Research Trust. Five million Americans have this disease and as shown from Dr. Williamson’s query of our club’s members, at least half of us know someone experiencing this debilitating disease or caring for someone with it. The purpose of the CART fund is to offer grants to researchers so they may jump start their programs in order to obtain funding from the National Institutes of Health. Since 1999 the CART fund has provided $5 million in such grants. He urged the club to support programs on dementia or have a small fund raiser for the CART fund.

Of particular interest to our club was Dr. Williamson’s challenge to assist Rotary’s efforts in support of literacy. Dr. Williamson remarked about how the Rotary Readers program, with which our club is so heavily involved, was started in our district with the Hilton Head Club.

The final challenge on which Dr. Williamson commented was fighting hunger. He noted that 28% of school children live in families where the source of their next meal is not certain. To meet this challenge, the district encourages all clubs to conduct a fund raiser or food drive during the week before Valentine’s Day 2015.

In closing Dr. Williamson praised our club’s efforts stating that he was proud to be in a district with clubs like ours. He noted that District 7770 is at the top in giving in the United States and worldwide. He urged us all to continue to “Light up Rotary.”

Submitted by Alex Dallis, Keyway Committee

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