The Alzheimer’s Association-South Carolina Chapter’s vision for the future is a world without the dreaded disease of dementia. Taylor Wilson (shown with Rotarian Tony Thompson), chapter director of communications and advocacy, was Capital Rotary’s guest speaker on Sept. 12. She detailed the statewide group’s work to educate, support and advance critical research for treating, preventing and, ultimately, curing Alzheimer’s. The chapter also promotes the needs and rights of patients and caregivers. Wilson said 89,000 South Carolinians have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s; there are 309,000 caregivers in the state. South Carolina’s death rate from Alzheimer’s is the nation’s highest and went up by 180% in the past year. Wilson lauded Rotary for its support of CART – the Coins for Alzheimer’s Research Trust – a project started in 1996 to provide funds for cutting edge research to cure Alzheimer’s disease. Wilson joined the Alzheimer’s Association staff three years ago and has spent the last 10 years working with non-profits around the Midlands area. She is a 2007 graduate of the University of South Carolina’s Darla Moore School of Business.
Working to overcome effects of significant childhood trauma leads to better lives for youngsters and their families but requires “a lot of human capital,” according to Achieve Columbia executive director Robert Lominack, Capital Rotary’s July 11 guest speaker. Lominack (shown with Rotarian Ione Cockrell) co-founded the non-profit program in 2012 after working as a defense lawyer and high school teacher. Currently embedded at Hand Middle School, Achieve Columbia builds long-lasting and deep relationships with at-risk students and families beginning in 7th grade and continuing through high school graduation. Lominack said mitigating trauma’s negative impact “gives our students a wider window into the world and helps them find their place in it.” With a combination of group and individualized mentoring, tutoring, resource coordination and counseling, Achieve Columbia successfully deals with issues including student behavior and academics, homelessness, transportation and life beyond high school. Lominack is a Greenville, SC native and was educated at the University of the South in Tennessee and at Northeastern Law School in Boston.
Columbia’s Capital Rotary Club has earned district recognition for its communications efforts in 2017-2018. Pete Pillow (in photo with president Blake DuBose at left and District 7770 Gov. Gary Bradham at right) received a “Service Above Self Award” as Public Image Chair, while the club was a “Public Image Media Award” winner for medium-sized clubs. District 7770 is comprised of 80 clubs and about 5,000 Rotarians in 25 eastern counties of the state. Pillow posts photos and news on the club’s website and Facebook pages, prepares a monthly e-newsletter and issues press releases to local and district media. He is a retired journalist and public information officer who joined Capital Rotary in 2006. In the past 2½ years the club has distributed 170 news releases, had 12,000 website visitors and reached 11,000 people through social media.
At a mid-year assembly to review Capital Rotary’s accomplishments to date in the 2017-2018 Rotary year, president Blake DuBose thanked members for achieving highlights that included:
- Attaining a current membership level of 61 Rotarians; plans are under way to create a new online proposed member application form plus an online explanation of membership responsibilities.
- Donating 936 free dictionaries to third-graders in 14 Richland County District One schools.
- Collecting 65 units of blood at the annual Red Cross Blood Drive, each donation helping to save the lives of up to three people.
- Making a $1,000 donation for Harvest Hope Food Bank’s “Back Pack” and “Kids Café” programs to feed hungry children.
- Supporting domestic and overseas relief efforts with a total of $8,000 in donations for natural disaster victims in Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico and Mexico.
- Taking part in the World Polio Week international campaign to eradicate polio. The club raised $882, matched by Rotary District 7770 for a total donation of $1,764
- Assisting three local college students with scholarships that will total $5,000 per year each.
- Sponsoring two families through the Families Helping Families organization. Members contributed $625, then matched by the club, for a total donation of $1,250 used to purchase Christmas wish-list items such as clothing, toys, personal items, food and furniture.
- Continuing community service projects with weekly Meals on Wheels delivery and annual volunteering at Harvest Hope Food Bank.
- Supporting The Rotary Foundation with 55 Paul Harris Fellows ($1,000 donation), 40 Benefactors ($1,000 donation via will), four Bequest Society members ($10,000 donation upon death), six Major Donors (donation greater than $10,000) and eight Paul Harris Society members ($1,000 donation yearly).
- Exceeding the club goal ($1,680) for PolioPlus contributions (total $2,38 to date).
- Publicizing our activities with 45 club website and social media posts; reaching 6,181 people through social media; 2,262 website visitors; 40 postings on District 7770’s website and newsletters; 59 press releases posted by local media; and seven monthly club activity recaps e-mailed to members.
Lee Ann Rice (center) is welcomed as Capital Rotary’s newest member by sponsor Katherine Anderson and club president Blake DuBose. Rice, a Greenville native, is the S.C. Human Affairs Commission’s general counsel. She formerly practiced law in Myrtle Beach, where she was a Chicora Rotary member, a Paul Harris Fellow, and was 2011 Rookie Rotarian of the Year. Rice is the mock trial team coach for Brookland Cayce High School and is a Women In Philanthropy member through United Way. She’s also a candidate for the state government’s Certified Public Manager program, Class of 2019. She attended Furman University and the University of South Carolina’s School of Law.
Capital Rotarian Abby Naas has been named Female Executive of the Year for the South Atlantic League. Naas joined the staff of the Columbia Fireflies minor league baseball team in January 2015 as marketing and public relations vice president. She became a Capital club member later that same year. Naas now will be the South Atlantic League’s nominee for the Rawlings Woman Executive of the Year Award, an industry-wide honor presented annually by Rawlings and minor league baseball. Prior to joining the Fireflies, Nass was twice named Midwest League Female Executive of the Year while working for the Fort Wayne TinCaps in Indiana. (Photo courtesy of Columbia Fireflies)
Capital Rotary program committee members Philip Flynn (left) and Mike Montgomery welcome
guest speaker Elisa Strickler to the club’s Aug. 2 breakfast meeting. Strickler, who holds a
Master’s Degree in Public Administration from the University of South Carolina, is the Hospice
and Palliative Care Foundation’s grants and programs specialist. She explained how the
foundation provides finance, education, technology and bereavement support to patients and
families facing terminal illness. Since its founding in Spartanburg in 2000, the foundation has
grown to serve and enhance the quality of life for hundreds of families in every county of South
Installation of Officers for Rotary Club of Cheraw
The Rotary Club of Spring Valley is pleased to announce that Stevie Johnson was selected the 2017 Rotarian of the Year. Club president Wendy Fuess presented the award at the club’s annual meeting on Thursday, June 15. Johnson joined Rotary in 2013. She currently serves on the board of the Spring Valley Rotary club as the President-Elect and Community Services Director responsible for overseeing the club’s community service programs. She is a Rotary Foundation sustaining member and a Paul Harris fellow.
“Stevie took on multiple roles and stepped in wherever and whenever needed this past year and has made significant contributions to our club and to our community. She exemplifies Rotary’s motto of Service Above Self,” said Fuess. She previously served as club secretary and is the club’s primary liaison to the USC Rotaract Club. Rotaract (which stands for Rotary in Action) is a Rotary-sponsored service club for young men and women ages 18 to 30.
Johnson is a portfolio manager serving homeowner associations and managing on-site staffs with Southern Community Services. She and her husband Johnny reside in Northeast Columbia and have two grown children Christopher and Patrick. She is also active with the Spring Valley Presbyterian Church community.
Founded in 1978, the Rotary Club of Spring Valley has 110 members dedicated to service above self. Rotary is the world’s oldest service organization (founded in 1905) and is one of the largest global humanitarian service organizations. To learn more about membership, visit www.springvalleyrotary.com or contact Sharleen Craig at (803) 917-0053 or by email at sharleen4homes.com for more information. The club meets for an excellent buffet lunch and program every Thursday from 1 to 2 p.m. in the Grand Hall of Northeast Presbyterian Church located at 601 Polo Road.
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Karen Warner (center) had the dual distinction of being the presenter at the July 12th Rotary Club of Beaufort luncheon meeting, where she discussed Beaufort’s Digital Corridor. Additionally, she was inducted as the Club’s newest member. With Karen are (left) Rotary Club of Beaufort President Suzi Oliver and (right) Rotarian Nick Hunt, who sponsored and introduced Karen.