May 022013

Highly trained and motivated rubber shrimp will mount their inner tubes and take to the water on October 5, 2013 as the Sea Island Rotary Club presents the 4th Annual Charity Shrimp Race at the Beaufort Shrimp Festival.

“The principal goal of this event is to raise money for our local charities,” says Rion Salley, Club President.  “Our signature charities include: CAPA (Child Abuse Prevention Association), Hope Haven of the Lowcountry, Lowcountry Habitat for Humanity, and various Rotary service projects.”  “The Charity Shrimp Race is the World’s largest Shrimp Race and the primary annual fundraiser for the Sea Island Rotary Club.  For the past several years we have been able to donate more than $50,000 annually toward charity,” says Salley.  “This is a wonderful way to help charity and maybe win something in return.”

The race is fun to watch for kids and adults. It is held along the sea wall at Henry Chambers Waterfront Park, during the Beaufort Shrimp Festival.

The race begins around 3 p.m. when 5,000 rubber shrimp wearing inner tubes are released from the nets of an authentic shrimp trawler into the Beaufort River. The shrimp float along in tidal current to the finish line.  Each shrimp wears a unique number corresponding to one of the numbers on a purchased adoption ticket.

The shrimp have been training all summer and are anxiously awaiting the chance at being the first across the finish line. The winning shrimp wins $2,000 for the holder of the ticket that matches the unique number on that shrimp. The second place finish wins $1,000, third place wins $750, fourth place wins $500, fifth place wins $250 and 6th through 10th places each win $100.

More exciting, if any of the first ten finishing shrimp matches the “million dollar lucky number,” the adopter of that shrimp wins $1,000,000!  Yes, that is ONE MILLION DOLLARS. The million-dollar lucky number is selected at random by a third-party Insurance provider before the race.

Adoption tickets are on sale now and are available online at or at local businesses such as Beaufort Chiropractic, BJHCHS Port Royal Medical Center, CBC National Bank, Bundy Appraisal & Management, CAPA’s Closet, Island Podiatry, Lowcountry Habitat ReStore, Harvey’s Barber Shop, Levin, Gilley & Fisher law firm, Palmetto State Bank, Regions Bank, Sanctuary Golf Club, Therapeutic Solutions, Wardle Family YMCA, Wells Fargo Bank, and of course from any Sea Island Rotary member.

Sea Island Rotary Club is a part of Rotary International, a worldwide organization of 1.2 million members dedicated to improving education, health and living conditions worldwide. The Rotary motto is “Service above Self.”

For more information go to or

Zone 33 Rotary Peace Symposium Includes Anti-Bullying Message from Beaufort High Students

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Apr 142013

Beaufort High students’ anti-bullying show invited to Rotary Zone meeting

BHS StudentsA 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 (

“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.


Final Two Days of Thai Friendship Exchange

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Jan 262013

Our group is now able to help make eye glasses for the elderly. Another of the many Chiang Mai South service projects is preparing reader glasses of various strengths for many of the rural poor in their district. We learned how to smooth and sand precut plastic lenses and watched the skilled Rotarians start with a straight metal very tiny long rod and end up with a mental glass frame. In two days the club donated 150 pairs of glasses. Recipients come to a community center ( more or less like a covered open air shed. They are tested for correct strength and then wait as long as 6 or more hours while glasses are made for each person. EVERY SATURDAY members of this club are feeding hungry children, helping older needy adults, or working in other projects. We need your interest, prayers, and district support to obtain an RI grant in partnership with this club that will further health and community development initiatives.

7770 Rotarians hosted a final dinner for the Thai club. Our setting was an outdoor terrace 17 floors up in a local hotel. That day was also the birthday of the American YEO student studying in Chianf Mai. Imagine celebrating your 16th birthday in Thailand when you live in Alaska.

For all of us this trip has reinforced the wonder and work of Rotary on a club by club and international basis. No blog can ever fully express what we have seen and shared. All of us are honored to have been part of this exchange.

Harriett Hilton for the 7770 exchange group.

Thailand Exchange Update

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Jan 222013

Saturday – Tuesday were varied and wonderful days. All of Saturday was spent traveling to the Hilltribe area to one of the poor villages and then providing food, school supplies, and treats to about 40 young children. Chiang Mai South Rotarians took large amounts of noodle soup ingredients, ice for making shaved ice with milk dessert, book bags with books, paper, and toothbrushes to this remote site. The one room education center is also where the village teacher sleeps. Residents of this village are Burmase refugees that are not given documentation and cannot therefore qualify for public schools per SE, health care given to Thai citizens, and other services citizen residents might have. Every Saturday this Rotary group goes to one of the remote villages giving similar help. Impressive to me was the fact that Rotary fathers had brought their own children to see and help these less fortunate children.

Upon leaving the village, we went to mountain vacation cabin of one of the Rotarians. The owners and other hosts of the dinner slept in tents so we could have space in cabin.

Sunday after returning to Chiang Mai, we went to the downtown night market, visited several watts or Buddhists temples and chosen between a Thai massage or spending time in the regional museum. My museum visit gave me a detailed and beautifull visual look at the Northern Thailand Lanna culture.

Harriett Hilton for Friendship Exchange

Thailand Hill Tribe People

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Jan 132013

Hill tribe is a term used in Thailand for all of the various tribal peoples who migrated from Yunnan, Tibet, or elsewhere in China over the past few centuries. They now inhabit the remote border areas between Northern Thailand, Laos and Burma (Myanmar). These areas are known for their thick forests and mountainous terrain. The six major hill tribes within Thailand are the Akha, Lahu, Karen, Hmong/Miao, Mien/Yao and Lisu, each with a distinct language and culture.


The hill tribes are subsistence farmers who use slash and burn agricultural techniques to farm their heavily forested communities. Tighter conservation of Thailand’s virtually depleted forests, however, has forced hill tribe people to abandon their traditional agricultural methods. Traditionally, hill tribes were also a migratory people, leaving land as it became depleted of natural resources.

Quoted from Wikipedia

Rotary Club of the Lowcountry in Beaufort Celebrates Annual Change of Watch

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Aug 262012

Rotary Club of the Lowcountry recently celebrated their annual Change of Watch. Check out this article published in the Beaufort Tribune.

The Change of Watch is a celebration of the induction of new officers. The gavel passes to Incoming President Richard “Dick” Bowen (left) from Garrett Wreden (right) who becomes the Immediate Past President.




The other officers and directors are: Charlotte Gonzalez (VP-President Elect), Peach Morrison (Secretary), Doug Crowley (Treasurer), Gay Rodgers (Sergeant at Arms), Terri Stokes (Foundation Chair), Scott Merrifield (Club Service Chair), Jeff Althoff (Community Service Chair), Bill Evans (New Generations Chair) and Alan Beach (Vocational chair).

The Rotary Club of the Lowcountry meets for breakfast every Friday morning from 7:30 to 8:30 at the Golden Corral Restaurant located on Robert Smalls Parkway in Beaufort.

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