- Walk to end Alzheimer’s – Walk to raise awareness and funds for Alzheimer’s care. Our club raised over $1,400 for this worthy cause. Lead Organizer: Bill Thielfoldt
- Dictionary Project – Rotarians provided dictionaries to every third grader at DI Elementary, Cainhoy, & Phillip Simmons schools with 240 dictionaries delivered. Lead Organizer: Derek Epperson
- Charleston Seafarers Project – 6th year of providing merchant seaman, at sea during the Christmas holidays, with wrapped boxes containing toiletries and other necessities. 100 boxes provided. Lead Organizer: Pat Richards
- Meals on Wheels Blankets – Blankets were wrapped and given to Meal on Wheels recipients to keep warm during the Winter. 100 blankets provided. Lead Organizer: Billie Bacon
- Baldwin Carson Outreach Community Center – In a partnership with the Daniel Island Community Fund, Rotarians provided funds for new playground facility. The Daniel Island Community Association assisted with installation of the equipment and Rotarians provided a wooden border and mulch making this a great place for children to play. Lead Organizer: Tom Richards and special thanks to Ed Heavey for his carpentry skills and leadership.
- Lowcountry Food Bank – “Fresh for All” initiative providing fresh vegetables and fruits to those in need in the Cainhoy community. Lead Organizer: Jim White
- Cainhoy Food Drive – 171 meals delivered to the Cainhoy Community Center for local residents. This is the first of three food drives being funded in part by Rotary District Grant funds. Thanks to Publix who provided the meals at cost and donated an additional 40 whole turkeys! Lead Organizer: Cecil Mills
On Saturday, May 18, members from the Bluffton, Okatie and Hilton Head Island Rotary Clubs came together for a work day at the Bluffton Boys & Girls Club. Approximately 15 members or friends of the three Rotary clubs worked on some needed projects, including dismantling about 30 old bicycles, crushing oyster shells and making an oyster shell path to the new garden, painting bathrooms, organizing the library and painting outside safety posts. This is a true example of Service Above Self and working together to accomplish a shared goal.
The Bluffton Rotary Club celebrated the anniversary of its charter from 1988 on April 28. Included in the celebration were special guests District Governor Ed Duryea and his wife, Cindy; Assistant Governor Sandee Brooks and her husband Mike Rambo; and our incoming Assistant Governor: David Tirard and his wife, Susan.
The celebration of our anniversary included a Parade of Presidents, reading of the roster of charter members and special recognition by District Governor Ed Duyrea for John Kinzer and Michael Reeves, who both received awards in recognition for being charter members and still part of the Bluffton Rotary Club today.
A little history of the Bluffton Rotary Club and how we came to be chartered:
• The first Rotary Club was founded by Paul Harris & the first meeting was held in Chicago in 1905
• Rotary came to SC in 1915 when the Greenville and Spartanburg Clubs were formed
• The Columbia Club was chartered in 1916
• In 1920, the Columbia Club sponsored the Charleston Club
• In 1934, the Rotary Club of Charleston sponsored the Beaufort Club
• In 1967, the Rotary Club of Beaufort sponsored the Hilton Head Island Club
• In 1988. The Hilton Head Island Club sponsored and assisted in the formation of the Bluffton Club
And so on April 25, 1988, 29 men – all distinguished citizens of Bluffton – celebrated the first Charter Night of the Bluffton Rotary Club. Their first project was a community Thanksgiving Dinner and an oyster roast. The oyster roast has become one of the major fund raisers and a signature event of each Rotary year.
Over the past 25 years, we’ve seen a lot of changes in Bluffton and have contributed a lot to Bluffton. Some of our accomplishments include:
• Bluffton Rotary acted as the guiding force to build our Rotary Community Center & the “Field of Dreams” or Oscar Frazier Park, both of which have been turned over to the Town. The first gala to raise funds for the Community Center was in 2003, 10 years ago.
• We have been very involved in supporting many local charities, such as Boys & Girls Club, Bluffton Self Help, Bluffton Jasper VIM over the years
Annually, we support:
- Happy Feet
- Student of the month
- Rotaract Club at TCL and Interact Club at Bluffton High School
- Bluffton High Interact scholarship
- Christmas Angels program
- Ring the bell for the Salvation Army
- Support inbound and outbound international exchange students
- Help with International projects such as the Eradication of Polio & funding Water Missions
The Bluffton Rotary Club has shaped, changed or touched many lives over the past 25 years. By putting “Service Above Self” for 25 years, to help support our local community, our community has supported us in return.
Florence Breakfast Rotary Club members, in cooperation with Rack Room Shoes in Florence, gave tennis shoes to a number of Southside Middle School Students Wednesday morning, April 25. The children were selected by teachers, based on need.
Each selected a pair of shoes, some of whom posed for the photo. As one little boy proudly commented, “This is my first ever pair of Nikes.” What fun to put such a smile on their faces!
Beaufort High students’ anti-bullying show invited to Rotary Zone meeting
A troupe of drama students from Beaufort High School is attracting growing numbers of fans who support the group’s anti-bullying show, and local Rotarians think so much of the students’ work that they bankrolled a trip to a regional Rotary conference in North Carolina.
“If You See Something, Say Something,” is a collection of dramatic sketches aimed at getting students to intervene or contact responsible adults when they witness their fellow students being bullied.
“It’s a very positive message delivered in a very powerful way,” said Bill Evans, chairman of the Beaufort County School Board and a member of the Rotary Club of the Lowcountry. “And it’s exciting to see the production’s creativity and energy gaining a wider audience.”
The Zone 33 Rotary Peace Symposium April 5 in Chapel Hill, N.C. attracted Rotarians from South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, Tennessee, Delaware, Maryland and the District of Columbia. The Beaufort High group performed last month at an Eastern South Carolina Rotary conference in Myrtle Beach, where the students also participated in a question-and-answer session and discussed ways in which the show might serve as a model for statewide Rotary programs.
Seven Rotary clubs in Beaufort County – Hilton Head, Van Landingham, Sunset, Bluffton, Beaufort, Sea Island and Lowcountry – contributed to defraying the drama students’ traveling expenses to Chapel Hill, and the school district is covering their transportation costs.
Beaufort High Drama Director LaRaine Fess and her students performed their show to sixth-graders across Beaufort County earlier this year. Rotary Club of the Lowcountry members distributed anti-bullying activity books and bookmarkers to students as they left the assemblies, and both contained the school district’s toll-free anti-bullying hotline numbers (843-322-2435 or 866-611-1102) and e-mail address (bcsdbullyinghotline@beaufort.
“Rotary’s partnership with this performance – and the club’s broader partnership with the school district to help prevent bullying – is what schools and communities should be all about,” said Chief Student Services Officer Gregory McCord. “We continue to receive messages from middle-schoolers throughout the district who talk about how the show has helped to change their attitudes and perceptions, either as an active participant in bullying or as an observer.
“At the end of the day, we have students and the community fully engaged in support of a unified message”, McCord added.
VIDEO INVITATION (not to be missed) REGISTRATION LINK
FRIDAY, MARCH 22
12:00PM Opening Luncheon
3:00 PM Plenary Session I
7:30 PM Dinner/Dance “Texas Two-Step” Country/Western Attire Suggested
SATURDAY, MARCH 23
8:30 AM Plenary Session II
11:00 AM Plenary Session III
2:00 PM Community Service Project
6:00 PM Awards Dinner, Black Tie Optional
SUNDAY, MARCH 24
9:00 AM Worship/Necrology Service
10:00 AM Plenary Session IV
Additional information on this event is available on the District Database. (click the Calendar tab at the top)
COLUMBIA, SOUTH CAROLINA (January 28, 2013) – Jim Hudson, founder and principal of Jim Hudson Automotive Group, and Charter Member (1981) of the Columbia East Rotary Club was recently presented with the coveted Order of the Palmetto by South Carolina Governor Nikki R. Haley.
Pictured from L – R: Governor Nikki R. Haley with Sybil & Jim Hudson (Photo credit – Clark Berry Photography)
“On behalf of the people of South Carolina, I am pleased to award Jim Hudson the Order of the Palmetto – our state’s highest civilian honor. This award is in recognition of his extraordinary work and dedication to the citizens of our state,” said Governor Nikki R. Haley.
The Order of the Palmetto is considered to be the highest civilian honor first awarded in 1971 to recognize a person’s lifetime achievements and contributions to the State of South Carolina. Past recipients of the Order of the Palmetto include singer James Brown, author Pat Conroy, tap dancer Clayton “Peg Leg” Bates, Civil Rights activist Septima Clark, among many others including past governors.
A native of Turkey, North Carolina, Hudson moved to Columbia, South Carolina in 1961, where through hard work and experience, he successfully built a portfolio of automotive dealerships known today as Jim Hudson Automotive Group.
Hudson’s dedication to customer satisfaction is indisputable. For ten consecutive years, 2001-2010, his Columbia Lexus dealership ranked number one or two in the nation for customer satisfaction. Hudson’s consistently high customer service rating was a major factor in Toyota’s selection process when it came time to award another dealership in Columbia.
Hudson’s dealerships have received many awards, including the Lexus Elite highest honors for the past ten years, the President’s Award highest honors for Toyota, and Cadillac Buick GMC highest award for Excellence.
Among the most important things in Hudson’s life is his family. He and Sybil, his wife of 49 years, have two sons, Ken and Keith, and six grandchildren.
Hudson believes it is important to monitor laws and proposed legislation that might affect the many employees of the automotive industry and their families. “We must be one voice on the local and national level to protect our free enterprise system and the small business people of America,” he says. Backing up his beliefs with action, Hudson has been active in industry organizations and has been an automobile dealer spokesman for political issues in South Carolina and in Washington, DC. In 2008, he was the Chairman of the American International Automobile Dealers Association and lobbied in Washington, DC for import dealers throughout the United States. Hudson continues to be involved in lobbying Washington, D.C. on the behalf of small businesses not only in South Carolina, but nationwide.
Hudson has served on several dealer council boards for his franchises, advertising boards, SCADA (past president) and other state associations. He has received the Rotary Foundation President’s Award and is a Paul Harris Fellow. In 30 years of membership, he has perfect attendance.
Hudson works with the state’s community colleges on automotive training and funds scholarships for high school seniors. He has been awarded #1 new car dealer in South Carolina and voted #1 by the State newspaper for the past 10 years. He has been featured in Time Magazine three different times and most recently in the September 2008 issue as the Time Magazine Quality Dealer of the Year. He has been awarded Motor Trend Quality Dealer of the Year and is listed in the Automotive Hall of Fame.
He has served the Columbia community in many ways, including as member of the Chamber of Commerce board, Cultural Council board and Rotary Club. He has also served as a sponsor for such charities as Sunshine for Children, the Heart Association, the National Kidney Foundation, the Salvation Army and Woodyard Fund, the Oliver Gospel Mission, Meals on Wheels, Harvest Hope, and the Boy Scouts of America Indian Waters Council.
Hudson’s commitment to his community has been demonstrated through acts of kindness in providing numerous cars and trucks to countless of families in need.
As a devoted Christian businessman, Hudson is keenly aware of life’s trials and tribulations. That’s why Hudson Automotive Group has partnered with Corporate Chaplains of America to administer to the needs and fellowship on a voluntary basis to more than 500 employees.
At all his stores – over 500 employees have access to a minister on a moment’s notice, a service that will always remain personal and confidential.
As a result of Hudson’s leadership and the talented individuals that comprise his team, Automotive News Recognized Jim Hudson Automotive Group as one of the top 125 dealership groups in The United States.