State treasurer Curtis Loftis touched on the highlights of his role as South Carolina’s “private banker” when he addressed Capital Rotary members Feb. 5. Loftis (shown in photo) is responsible for managing, investing and retaining custody of nearly $50 billion in public funds. He said state government is “doing well” financially, but he remains vigilant to “see that we are good stewards of your money.” For instance, Loftis praised the SC Department of Transportation for “doing more work at less cost than ever before.” But he warned that some nonprofit entities tied to corporate (instead of local) interests are getting public funds for services that state agencies and employees could provide more economically. He said some $450 million is awarded to nonprofits, but in some cases “we don’t know what good they do for how much.” Loftis was first elected treasurer in 2010. A 1981 graduate of the University of South Carolina, he is a member of the Cayce-West Columbia Rotary Club. Loftis has held leadership positions in numerous state, regional and national fiscal authorities and associations.
Day! From what I hear, Punxsutawney Phil did not see his shadow.
So, it looks like we will have a short mild winter. Or, so it goes!
In the Rotary world February is Peacebuilding and Conflict Prevention Month. How great is it to be part of an organization that is recognized around the world as one that treasures and promotes peace among all nations and peoples of the earth! And, our District takes this seriously. We make a significant contribution from our District Designated Funds to the Rotary Peace Centers each and every year. And, we often send Global Scholars to study for advanced degrees in peace and conflict prevention and resolution. In addition, many of our clubs are involved in humanitarian efforts that have delivered, as a collateral impact, goodwill and understanding that leads to more peaceful communities. Never forget the importance of what we do and that it can have a lasting impact on peace. Who do you know that can help us increase this impact? It might be your neighbor. Invite them to join us on this journey!
February is also the month when we celebrate the birthday of Rotary. This year, on February 23rd, we will celebrate 115 years of Rotary fellowship. It is absolutely amazing what the idea of one man has become. But, then that’s Rotary! Look at what the ideas of other lone individuals have become. Roger Ackerman and the CART Fund. Herbert J Taylor and the Four Way Test. Arch Klumph and The Rotary Foundation. What a great month to remember Paul Harris’ contribution to the world by supporting The Rotary Foundation. Through our gifts to the Foundation and the work we do, we can indeed be a force for good in the world. As Paul Harris once said, “Whatever Rotary may mean to us, to the world it will be known by the results it achieves.”
Finally, we are now just less than 2 months away from All Club Conference 2020. We truly hope you can “see yourself” joining us for, as Past District Governor Lambo Schwartz used to say, “a little bit of Rotary and a WHOLE LOT OF FUN!” We have a great conference planned, but there is one thing that may be missing – YOU! If you have not registered yet, please don’t wait to do so. With 3 different service opportunities for the weekend, great entertainment both Friday and Saturday nights, awesome speakers and as much fellowship as you and Rotarians from around the District can bring, we think this will “clearly be seen” as an event you’ll be glad you attended. The hotel room block at the Hilton Columbia Center will sell out quickly, so don’t wait until it’s too late.
Have a great February! And remember, “Rotary Connects the World!”
District Governor 2019-2020
Capital Rotary members visited the University of South Carolina football field on Jan. 29, but they weren’t there to see Gamecocks on the gridiron. Instead, nearly 30 Rotarians (shown in group photo) got a behind the scenes look at current amenities and details about coming improvements at Williams-Brice Stadium. Zach Smeltzer of Gamecock Sports Properties led the way, starting upstairs in the press box, then moving down to premium seating areas and Champions Club suites, a Hall of Captains (portraits of team leaders through the years) and the postgame press conference room for coaches, players and media. Smeltzer said renovations now under way will mean a better gameday experience for fans plus extra revenue. The $22.5 million project includes: (1) The 2001 Club, a wedge-shaped section of open-air, suite-like seating in a corner over the tunnel where the team takes the field and a club area beneath; (2) The South Club – an enclosed area underneath the south end zone seats; (3) The East Club – a new deck, more outdoor suites and an indoor club area; and (4) The West Club – a concourse club area near the top of the west lower deck. Project design and planning took more than a year, according to the contractor.
The president and executive director of the S.C. Commission on Higher Education is Capital Rotary’s newest member. Rusty Monhollon (at left in photo with sponsor Bryan Goodyear) moved from Missouri to the Palmetto State in 2019. He previously served as assistant commissioner for academic affairs in Missouri’s Department of Higher Education. A native of Topeka, Monhollon taught U.S. history at Washburn University there and at the University of Kansas. He also taught at the University of Missouri-Columbia, at Rockhurst University in Kansas City, Friends University in Wichita and Hood College in Frederick, MD. He was a summa cum laude Washburn graduate and earned his master’s degree and doctorate at the University of Kansas. In addition to service on a number of academic boards, committees, commissions and organizations, Monhollon has been a Scout leader, a Habitat for Humanity volunteer and a member Missouri’s Columbia South Rotary Club. He was a welder/machinist before attending college.
One of only 1,550 clubs to achieve Top Three Highest in Per Capita Annual Giving. One of only 3,400 worldwide to achieve the status of Every Rotarian, Every Year. One of only 4,000 clubs worldwide to become a 100% foundation giving club.
The Rotary Club of the Lowcountry recently finalized the proceeds for the 14th Annual Memory Links Golf Tournament. We added in our quarterly Blue Bucket contributions and the Grand Total is $10,091.00 !! Thanks to all our sponsors and golfers, and of course to all of our members and friends who helped put the tournament together. This event is a ton of fun for a great cause, so if you missed it this year mark your calendar for June 6, 2020.
Past District 7770 governor Gary Bradham told Capital Rotarians on Jan. 22 how recent projects spearheaded by the international service club improved life in Ghana’s impoverished communities. Bradham (in photo with Capital president Abby Naas) also celebrated the local club’s $1,000 contribution toward construction of a new elementary school. In addition to schools, Bradham said district projects included deep wells for clean water and installation of microflush toilets in place of pit latrines that smell bad and pollute water and soil. Over half of Ghana’s population lives in rural areas, and only 10% have access to basic sanitation. Two-thirds can obtain safe drinking water only after making a 30-minute round trip. Bradham said Rotary’s public works employed 300 people and totaled $1.6 million in donated and matching funds. Last year Capital Rotary was a contributor and lead club for building a new Nkrankrom Elementary School in the African nation. Bradham is a retired Air Force officer who’s been a Myrtle Beach Rotary member since 2005. He’s held numerous local and District 7770 leadership positions since that time.
After being badly injured by a roadside bomb in Iraq in 2005, Steven Diaz (in photo) was left with scars including post-traumatic stress, partial blindness, traumatic brain injury and a seizure disorder. The former Marine told Capital Rotarians on Jan. 15 that the battle to survive led him to become a founding member of Hidden Wounds, a volunteer organization aiding others with emotional and psychological challenges. Diaz said Hidden Wounds works to provide immediate and emergency psychological treatment for active-duty, veteran and retired military service members regardless of discharge status. In many cases, he said, Hidden Wounds is a safety net until the Department of Veterans Affairs is able to deliver long-term treatment through government-funded programs. Diaz believes that sharing his story promotes better understanding of post-war ailments affecting many veterans and their family members, thus helping to “ease and heal the hidden wounds of the people we love.”
Keeping Richland County’s older citizens healthy, independent and safe has been the goal of Senior Resources for the past 42 years, says Beth Struble, interim director of development for the non-profit that began in 1967. Struble (shown with Rotarian Perry Lancaster) was Capital Rotary’s Jan. 8 guest speaker, detailing the agency’s work in supplying food, helping at home and promoting active living. Capital’s members – as volunteers – are most familiar with the Meal On Wheels program delivering hot food daily to the homebound. But Senior Resources also provides clients with bags of fresh produce monthly and has a senior care pantry for non-perishables, household goods and personal hygiene items. Home help includes personal care, transportation to doctor visits and other medical-related trips, and Pet Pals – monthly dog and cat food delivery for seniors’ four-legged companions. Active living services are (1) four wellness centers for physical fitness; (2) “foster grandparents” who mentor and tutor at-risk students, primarily in elementary school; and (3) senior companion volunteers assisting with light housekeeping and meal preparation. Struble said all these programs enable clients to remain at home as long as possible, delaying or preventing institutional care needs.
ALSO INCLUDE CLUB NAME!!!