Rod Funderburk

National Principal of the Year – Akil Ross

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Oct 242017

Chapin High School Principal Akil Ross was named 2018 National Principal of the Year by the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP)’s.  He is a member of the Rotary Club of Chapin Sunrise and has been the principal at the school for seven years.  The association praised Ross for significant improvement in graduation rates and academic proficiency.  That improvements happened after he helped raise money to provide extra instruction for struggling students to reduce dropouts, the group said.  He pushes for social as well as academic development among students, encouraging volunteer efforts that improve the Lexington County community and areas around it.  Ross is known for what he calls the six Rs: “Ready to learn, Respectful to others, Responsible to ourselves, Rigor in teaching, Relevance in learning and meaningful Relationships among students, faculty and staff.”  His message to students and staff is: “We are a thousand passions with one heartbeat.”  It’s a motto that he says will foster an environment where students are challenged academically while pursuing interests.  Congratulations to Rotarian Akil Ross on this achievement.


Alzheimer’s Gala Funds to the CART Fund

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Sep 262017

Do you worry about Alzheimer’s?  We do not have a cure for Alzheimer’s disease, but we must find one.  Finding a cure starts with you.  Every year the CART (Coins for Alzheimer’s Research Trust) Fund gives research grants focused on finding a cure for Alzheimer’s disease.  Rotary District 7770 sponsored an Alzheimer’s Gala at the Gaillard Center in Charleston in July to have fun and to raise money for Alzheimer’s research.  Thanks to many people dedicated to finding a cure for Alzheimer’s, the event raised $12,320.  A check representing the funds raised through the gala was presented to Roger Ackerman for the CART Fund on Tuesday, September 25.



Jul 252017

Do you worry about Alzheimer’s?  We do not have a cure for Alzheimer’s disease, but we must find one.  Finding a cure starts with you.  Give generously to the CART Fund through your Rotary Club.  We had a successful Alzheimer’s Gala on Saturday, July 22, 2017 at the Gaillard Center in Charleston, SC to raise money for Alzheimer’s research.  Those in attendance had a terrific time enjoying a great meal, very good featured speaker music from the WhitsEnd Band and an entertaining auction.

Rotary District 7770 is the home district of CART, having been started at the Rotary Club of Sumter by Roger Ackerman in 1995.  Every year the CART (Coins for Alzheimer’s Research Trust) Fund gives research grants focused on finding a cure for Alzheimer’s disease, and the money raised through the gala will go toward that effort.


Apr 142017

You are invited to a night out at the ballpark.  Friday, May 19, 2017 has been designated as Rotary Night with the Columbia Fireflies.  It will be an opportunity for Rotary club members to have a great social time.  Tickets are $9.00 each and food vouchers are $5.00.  We will all sit together along the first base line and have a great time.  Bring your family and friends and join us for a wonderful time together at the ballpark.


Oct 172016

At the recent Rotary Zone Institute, District 7770 was recognized for its contributions to the Rotary Foundation during the 2015-2016 Rotary year.  I would like to thank Foundation Chair, Lou Mello, and all of his team for their leadership.  To each of the members of the district, I want to convey my appreciation for your support of our charity, the Rotary Foundation.  Gifts to the Rotary Foundation sustain vital programs which build good will and reduce disease, improve economic development, provide teachers with books and school supplies, improve the health of expectant mothers, extend cultural understanding and eradicate polio worldwide. We are indebted to those in our district who help us carry out the successful global and local projects that continue the great work of Rotary.  Rotary District 7770 was #26 in the world and #1 in Rotary Zone 33 for total giving, and #15 in the world and #1 in Rotary Zone 33 for annual fund giving during the last Rotary year.  The various other achievements for the year are displayed on the attached page.

Those pictured are Rotary International President Elect Ian Riseley, Past Director Robert Hall, Rotary International Foundation Trustee Barry Rassin, Past District Governor Rod Funderburk, Director Joe Mulkerrin, and Regional Rotary Foundation Coordinator Kay Davis.



Oct 122016

Joseph Sublette, Rotary Club of Sumter Palmetto (SC), served as District Governor in 1988-1989. Joe passed away October 9, 2016.  He was a mentor and friend to many, and will be greatly missed.  The following is his obituary.

Joseph Shepard Sublette SUMTER – Joseph Shepard Sublette, 86, husband of Janet Brunson Sublette, died Sunday, October 9, 2016, in Palmetto Health Richland in Columbia. Born in Westminster, SC, he was a son of the late Alva Tindal Sublette and Jessie Tannery Sublette. Mr. Sublette was a member of First Presbyterian Church where he served as a Deacon and Elder and was a member of the Bethany Sunday School class. He was a former member of Swan Lake Presbyterian Church (Pitts) and Mt. Pleasant Presbyterian Church. He attended Furman University until being drafted into the U.S. Army to serve in Korea. After a banking career he returned to Sumter and became owner and operator of Electrical Wholesalers. He was founder of the Rental Center, Parties-R-Us and the Lighthouse. He was Charter President of the Sumter Palmetto Rotary Club which was organized in 1976. He was a Past District Governor of District 7770, Treasurer and was twice named Rotarian of the Year of the club and of the district. He received the “Service Above Self” Award, numerous Rotary Foundation awards, and district service awards. He received the Meritorious Service Award from Rotary Foundation International. He was a Paul Harris Fellow and a major donor fourth-level. He led a Rotary group study exchange to the Caribbean. He was co-chairman and founder of the first Crime Stoppers in South Carolina and former chairman of the Salvation Army’s Boys and Girls Club where he was named Man of the Year. He served as chairman of the USC Mid-Carolina Commission for Higher Education. He was a founding member of United Ministries of Sumter. He was a charter member of the board of Covenant Place and was honored with “Board Member Emeritus” for life. An avid deep sea fisherman, he won the 28th Annual Georgetown Blue Marlin Tournament: 1st Place Angler. Surviving are his wife; one son, Joseph Shepard “Shep” Sublette, Jr. (Linda); one daughter, Denise Sublette Dunn (J.D.) all of Sumter; two granddaughters, Brittany Grooms Rogers (Jimmy) and Kristen Sublette Timmons (Ben); two great-grandchildren, Henry and Charles Rogers; and a son-in-law, Gary Garner. He was preceded in death by a daughter, Renee’ Sublette Garner. A Celebration of Life Service will be held at 1 P.M. Friday at First Presbyterian Church with Rev. Nick Cheek and Rev. Josie Holler officiating. Private burial will be in the Sumter Cemetery. Honorary pallbearers will be members of the Palmetto Rotary Club. The family will receive friends from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Thursday at 2770 Windmill Drive. In lieu of flowers memorials may be made in memory of Joseph S. Sublette to Rotary Foundation, One Rotary Center, 1560 Sherman Avenue, Evanston, IL 60201-3698, to First Presbyterian Church, 9 W. Calhoun Street, Sumter, SC 29150 or to a charity of one’s choice. On-line condolences may be sent to Elmore Hill McCreight Funeral Home & Crematory, 221 Broad Street, Sumter, is in charge of the arrangements (803) 775-9386.



Oct 122016

John L. Ramsey, Rotary Club of Summerville (SC), served as District Governor in 2005-2006. John recently passed away and will be greatly missed.  The following is his obituary.

John Lefferts Ramsey CHARLESTON – The earthly travels and adventures of John Lefferts Ramsey are complete, but he surely wanders in another realm; one which the prophet says cannot be corrupted by man! For the trumpet sounds, John has been summoned and is truly now at peace. John is survived by his wife of 48 years, Johanne Dunbar-Forbes Ramsey, daughter Ashley Lupo (David), three grandchildren, Ethan, Chase, and Reese, of Marco Island, and many cousins. He is predeceased by his parents, Sarah Lefferts Ramsey of Leesburg, Virginia, Reginald P. Ramsey of Cleveland, TN, his brother, Edmond R. Ramsey, of Miami, Florida and his son, Andrew Lefferts Ramsey of Charleston. John was born in Miami, Florida, a descendant of Dutch, English, and Scot pioneer families from the 17th and 18th centuries of New Amsterdam and the James River. His love of nature and travel was born in his childhood adventures in the Florida Keys, the Everglades, and in summer trips around the United States with his family. John was a graduate of Coral Gables High School (’63). He attended The Citadel in Charleston, SC, before receiving an appointment to West Point. A boxing injury led him to the University of Miami (’67), where he met his wife Johanne. His education continued at the University of Neufchatel, Switzerland and Georgetown University (M.A. ’68). Beginning in 1969, John began working for the newly formed Postal Service where he served in management positions at the national, regional, district, and sectional center levels, retiring after 32 years while serving as Postmaster of Summerville, SC in 2001. John’s most important impact was in his love for his family and in his love of learning, both of which he nourished through his vast travels, wildlife adventures, and service opportunities on five continents with his wife, children and grandchildren; John was a voracious learner, speaking several languages. John, a true believer in Service Above Self, was extremely active in Rotary International, serving as President of the Rotary Club of Summerville and Rotary International District Governor for District 7770. He and his wife gave greatly of their time, including giving polio vaccinations in rural India and support for orphanages in South Africa. In celebration of his heritage, John was a member of the MG Wm Moultrie Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution in Charleston where he served in a number of leadership positions, including President for several years and was selected to serve the State of South Carolina as State President of the Sons of the American Revolution. Services will be held at 10 A.M. Monday, October 10 at St. Timothy’s Anglican Catholic Church at 1900 Old Parsonage Road, Charleston. The family will receive those who wish to join them in celebrating John’s life at the Ramsey Family home at 32 Brisbane Drive, Charleston, SC, immediately following the service between 12:00 and 3 Monday afternoon. Interment will be held at the Adams Family Cemetery in Newton County, Georgia, at a later date. Visit our guestbook at Charleston.


Oct 012016

Even the most independent among us, if fortunate to live long enough, may experience a decline in mobility or health that can strip away our independence and diminish the quality of our lives.  Living longer means more years spent in the struggles that accompany old age.  Some senior citizens may become hungry and alone.  For millions of Americans, Meals on Wheels is literally the difference between remaining in their own homes and needing to relocate to a nursing facility.  The nutritious meal, friendly visit and safety check help them cope with three of the biggest threats of aging: hunger, isolation and loss of independence.  Research proves that when seniors have the right support, they gain greater quality of life, need fewer hospital stays and live longer.

At the Irmo Chapin Recreation Commission’s two community parks, Crocked Creek and Seven Oaks, Meals on Wheels are delivered 5 days a week to seniors in the community.  The Commission operates seven meal routes that serve 40-60 seniors per day.  One of those routes is covered twice per week by volunteers from the Rotary Club of Lake Murray-Irmo.  The picture shows John Slavich, one of the many volunteers from the club, preparing to hit the road with meals for some of the seniors in the Irmo area.  This act of service provides the senior with a warm, nutritionally balanced meal, a wellness check, and a friendly visit.  This act of service also reminds our Rotarians that service above self is a vital part of Rotary membership.


Sep 192016

Rotary Leadership Institute (RLI) is a series of fast-paced, interactive, one-day courses offered to refine a Rotarian’s leadership skills and increase their base of knowledge in Rotary.  Courses are fun, topical, interactive, and geared toward busy business and professional persons who want to be more effective leaders in their vocation and club.  Participants will not learn everything about all of Rotary’s programs, but they will gain a greater appreciation for the avenues of service and programs of Rotary International.

We had a very successful Rotary Leadership Institute (RLI) in Myrtle Beach on Saturday, September 17, 2016 at the Horry Georgetown Grand Strand Campus.  We had three graduates:  Keith Finley (Cayce-West Columbia), Karen Cully (Hilton Head Island) and Daniel Simmons (Sanford).   Join us at future events for a good time of learning and making new friends.  Registration for future events can be done online at




Jul 182016

The Rotary Club of Lexington always enjoys inducting new members.  But the meeting on July 14 was especially exciting as current and founding member Jim Barfield, in his almost 50th year as a Rotarian, inducted his daughter Margaret.  Jim, right, and Margaret are pictured with longtime member and past president Warren Herndon.


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