Capital Rotary’s Philip Flynn (at right in photo) presents a new lapel pin to Dr. Tommy Gibbons, recognizing him as a Paul Harris Fellow Plus-Five contributor to The Rotary Foundation, the international service club’s charitable fund to support programs for world understanding and peace. Gibbons has made an initial $1,000 donation to the fund, followed by five additional gifts of $1,000 each. Gibbons served as Capital Rotary president in 2016-2017. Flynn, the club’s immediate past president, is chairman of Foundation giving and international service during this year. Paul Harris Fellow honors are named for the Chicago attorney who founded Rotary International in 1905.
Indigenous waterfowl display to adorn fountain originally commissioned by Rotary Club in 2002; Club’s anniversary date to be proclaimed “Historic Rotary Club of Charleston Day” by Mayor’s office
February 29, 2020 – CHARLESTON, S.C. – The Rotary Club of Charleston marked the 100th Anniversary of its formation as a club on Saturday, February 29 with the dedication of a bronze sculpture display that will adorn the famed “Rotary Fountain” in Marion Square. The event featured a proclamation by the office of Charleston Mayor John Tecklenburg honoring the date as “Historic Rotary Club of Charleston Day.” Visiting Charleston fof the occasion were District 7770 District Governor Johnny Moore, as well as Past Rotary International Vice President Anne Mathews. Representatives from the Washington Light Infantry and Sumter Guard, which own Marion Square, were also be on hand.
The statue was designed by well-known wildlife artist Scott Penegar and features animals indigenous to the Lowcountry. The art will be mounted on the fountain that welcomes visitors at the southwest corner (King & Calhoun Streets) of Marion Square, a feature originally commissioned by the Rotary Club in 2002. The Charleston Rotary Club has a long history of beautifying Marion Square, dating back to the 1940s when it helped install plants and trees to upgrade the popular gathering spot.
The addition to Marion Square is part of the club’s 100th Anniversary celebration activities. A gala dinner was held immediately following the sculpture’s dedication at The Francis Marion Hotel, itself a beneficiary of Rotary’s community largesse when the club helped secure capital for construction of the hotel in the 1920s. The gala featured special addresses from PJ Browning, Publisher of the Post and Courier as well as Ms. Matthews, a past vice president of Rotary International, both of whom spoke about the impact Rotary has had locally and worldwide.
Additional recognition of the Rotary Club’s 100th Year of Community Service in Charleston includes:
- A $50,000 grant by the club to the Charleston Police Department to assist in the creation of a Leadership Development Institute
- The publication of an updated version of the club’s official history book, edited by Rotarian and noted journalist Andy Brack.
- A retrospective video on the impact of Rotary in Charleston, including its role in helping start the local chapter of the Boy Scouts, the Trident United Way, the Charles Webb Center, and The Coastal Community Foundation.
Rotary brings together a global network of volunteer leaders dedicated to tackling the world’s most pressing humanitarian challenges. We connect 1.2 million members from more than 35,000 Rotary clubs in almost every country in the world. Their service improves lives both locally and internationally, from helping those in need in their own communities to working toward a polio-free world. More information can be found at www.rotary.org
The Rotary Club of Charleston, founded in 1920, is comprised of business and civic leaders who are dedicated to making an impact through service and support of important initiatives both locally and internationally. www.charleston-rotary.org
In a thought-provoking presentation, Valerie D. Johnson, Director of Education for Donate Life SC, shared statistics and life-changing scenarios with Myrtle Beach Rotarians. According to Johnson, thousands of people die each year awaiting organ transplants. “The number of people in need of transplants continues to outpace the number of organs donated,” Johnson said. Today, approximately 115,000 people are on the national transplant waiting list, and over 1,000 of those are on the South Carolina waiting list. Fifty-six percent of adults in the United States, and over 2 million in South Carolina, have registered their decision to make life possible and become organ, eye and tissue donors at the time of their death. “We encourage everyone to make their decision known by signing up on the state’s donor registry at the SC Department of Motor Vehicles, at DonateLifeSC.org, or through the iPhone Health App Medical Tab,” she urged.
The mission of Donate Life South Carolina is to increase the supply of organs and tissues for transplantation and provide assistance for South Carolina transplant recipients. Donate Life South Carolina established and currently maintains the SC Organ, Eye, and Tissue Donor Registry. Its vision is to make available an organ or tissue for every South Carolinian in need of a transplant.
Photo: Valerie Johnson of Donate Life SC
Ray Pinson, the Manager of Local Government and Community Relations for Santee Cooper, brought Rotarians up to speed on the future of one of South Carolina’s largest utilities.
According to Pinson, state legislators and the Governor are examining how to move forward. At the instruction of the legislature last year, the South Carolina Department of Administration (DOA) solicited proposals for three types of bids regarding the utility’s future:
- A proposal from the new leadership at Santee Cooper outlining necessary reforms the utility should take.
- Proposals from outside utility companies to manage Santee Cooper, allowing the utility to remain under state ownership.
- Proposals from outside utility companies to purchase Santee Cooper from the state outright.
“The option to reform or sell Santee Cooper is perhaps the biggest opportunity South Carolina has had, and probably will have, to make sure that the state’s energy system is transitioning into a 21st energy system. Unfortunately, these plans have us looking more backward than forward,” said Pinson.
Photo: Ray Pinson of Santee Cooper Addresses Myrtle Beach Rotarians
Myrtle Beach Police Chief Amy Prock recently provided Rotarians with an overview of how the department’s 300 officers and staff provide a wide range of protection and enforcement services for residents, visitors, and businesses. The department has a community-oriented policing philosophy and offers services through four major divisions: Uniform Patrol, Investigative, Support Services, and Administration. Special programs include the Citizens Police Academy, Neighborhood Watch Program, and Animal Control. Chief Prock encouraged Rotarians to be part of the process by participating in programs, seminars, and the “See Something-Say Something” initiative. Chief Prock began her career as a Patrol Officer in 1996 and worked her way up through the ranks before becoming Myrtle Beach’s first female Chief of Police in 2017.
“We live in a challenging time,” Prock told Rotarians. “The police can’t solve the ills of society, but we are going to move forward. We need to be looking through the windshield more than through the rearview mirror.”
Photo: (l-r) Don Hovis, President of the Rotary Club of Myrtle Beach with Police Chief, Amy Prock
Don Hovis, President of the Rotary Club of Myrtle Beach, welcomed an audience of more than 1,400 to this year’s Bravo Broadway concert. President Don thanked concert goers for their support, which to date has generated more than $250,000, benefitting dozens of local nonprofits.
In his remarks, Don encouraged those who want to ‘give back’ to consider Rotary. ”From Rotary’s major initiative to eradicate Polio from the face of the earth, we have reduced polio cases by 99.9% since our first project to vaccinate children in the Philippines in 1979. To date, Rotary has immunized more than 2.5 billion children in 122 countries and has spent over three billion dollars to help others. From the clean water projects here in the US, and around the globe, to building schools in Ghana, to our local Rotarians who assist young children in Freedom Readers’ fight for literacy, Rotarians are at work in this community, in your community, and around the globe. If you are looking for a great opportunity to give back, I encourage you to attend a local Rotary Club meeting. We would welcome you, and I think you would find it a rewarding, worthwhile experience,” he concluded.
Photo: 2020 Bravo Broadway, credit: Tides Eye Photography
On February 23, 2020, the Mt. Pleasant Rotary Club hosted its 36th annual Soccer Classic at Charleston County School District’s athletic field at Wando High School. Eighteen girls’ and boys’ high school soccer teams participated, competing in abbreviated games. All participants received a commemorative T-shirt.
Over seventy individual and corporate sponsors joined forces with the Rotary Club to produce the competition. All members of the club participated in this day-long athletic undertaking.
The Soccer Classic has been a popular community event for decades. Not only does it support and showcase young athletes in the area, but it is also the Mt. Pleasant Rotary Club’s main fundraiser to finance many community service projects.
The event was able to net approximately $34,000 this year. Two of the major projects funded are Backpack Buddies, supplying food during the school year for 145 children in the East Cooper Area, and Happy Feet, supplying shoes and socks for approximately 250 school children.
Below is a recap of our activities for February. Pictures will follow in a separate email.
February 5th – Leslie Jackson, owner of Assistend Living Locators, spoke at our weekly breakfast meeting about their ability to assist families in finding the right care for a loved one and they can negotiate their living arrangements. A big welcome to Dr. Rebecca Zechmann for joining the club.
February 12 – Bob Moran, General Manager of Volvo Car Open, spoke at our weekly breakfast meeting about the impact and organization of the Women’s Tennis Tournament, an update on scheduling musical events and the activities that they have available for their members. Sheldon Kramer is our newest member of the club.
February 19 – Past presidents, Bille Bacon and David Pagliarini provided members at the breakfast meeting history of lessons as to what the club was like during their tenure, including their accomplishments and challenges.
February 27 – Members joined Daniel Island Business Association for fellowship, oysters, chili and cocktails. It was a well attended event.
Our service opportunities included bringing food items for ECCO, and hands on projects were at the Lowcountry Food Bank and Hibben Warming Shelter.
Pictures include: Leslie Jackson, Dr Rebecca Zechmann, Bob Moran, Sheldon Kramer, Past presidents and current president, Oyster roast, Ecco, Lowcountry Food Bank
This year marks the centennial for the Rotary Club of Charleston, a group with a long legacy of uniting civic leaders to address local needs.
To celebrate the milestone, the organization is doing what it does best: engaging in projects aimed to benefit the community.
One of those efforts includes a $50,000 pledge toward launching the Leadership Development Institute, which will serve as a training program for the Charleston Police Department.
In January, members of the Rotary Club of Eau Claire/North Columbia presented the Rotary Club of Bethlehem, West Bank Palestine with $500 to assist them with their Gardens Project. Dr. James Thomas of the Rotary Club of Eau Claire/North Columbia presented the funds to Dr. Mazin Qumsiyeh, Director of the Palestinian Center of Biodiversity, and a member of the Bethlehem Rotary Club in Bethlehem.