DG Jimmie’s April Message

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Apr 062015

Thanks to the hard work of the District Conference Planning committee, headed by William and Wanda

Johnson, our 2015 Rotary District Conference was a HUGE success! The venue proved to be just what

we needed as we came together to celebrate the many points of light in our District! If you missed the

conference, you missed a number of informative and stimulating sessions with discussions surrounding

dementia, hunger projects, literacy projects and many other humanitarian efforts. When two or more

Rotarians are gathered, there is often LOTS of fun and this conference proved to be just that.

We now turn our sights on finishing the year as strongly as possible. If your club has not yet completed

its fundraiser for our Foundation, or made your contribution to Polio Plus and to CART, now is the time

to do so. Our foundation is an excellent steward of our money and your generous contributions keep

enabling Rotarians worldwide to “do good” in the world. It’s also not too late to invite a future Rotarian

to one of your club meetings or social events! Remember, your spouse, children or “significant other”

may be just the Rotarian that your club is looking for!

However you celebrate this season of renewal, please remember our mission of “Service Above Self”

and give of your time, talents and resources for humanitarian efforts. Happy Spring! As we move

towards summer, please continue to “Light Up Rotary”!

Get involved with the District-wide service project!

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Mar 082015

This year District 7770 has chosen to demonstrate the Rotary motto of Service Above Self in unison by stocking the shelves of one of our public school districts with much needed books to promote literacy among the students.  Most of us know that the concerned parents of Clarendon School District one originated the case that led to integrated schools across our nation.  Despite the progress made in recent decades, the District remains burdened by high poverty rates, and a low tax base to generate funding for education.


The Superintendent has explained that the students of the District must overcome a pattern of “generational illiteracy” that needs to be confronted early in the educational process.  Rotary is in a unique position to help by stocking the shelves of the libraries to move these children out of the illiteracy cycle, and move them to a productive life.


To participate, you and your club members need only to bring or send new books, appropriate for grades K-6, to the District Conference on March 20-22.  A team is in place to accept the books, identify them as donated by Rotary, and  transport them to “the front lines” of the battle to end illiteracy in our District.  I know our District Rotarians will rise to the occasion and use Rotary’s focus on literacy, one of the “ties” that binds us, to make a real difference in the lives of these children.  For further  information, contact Pat Richards, District Literacy Chair.

You can reach Pat    patphrichards8@gmail.com

DG Jimmie’s February Message

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Feb 032015

What a wonderful way to show our Rotary Love by participating in “Rotary Has Heart!” Last year, we

were asked by RIVP Anne Matthews to be involved in an activity on February 14 which revolved around

addressing hunger and hunger related issues. Clubs and individuals were asked to be involved in some

activity to demonstrate that “Rotary DOES have heart” and that collectively, we can do something about

the 28% of children in South Carolina who face food anxiety issues on a daily basis. This year, I am

asking your club to take the effort one step further – instead of being involved for only one day, I am

asking the clubs of District 7770 to be involved in “Rotary Has Heart” the entire week leading up to

February 14 (from February 8 – 14, 2015). What an appropriate way to show our love for our fellow

man than to be involved in an effort that feeds the hungry. Join your fellow Rotarians in making “Rotary

Has Heart!” an annual event!

On another note – our minds are turning towards our 2015 District Conference to be held on March 20-

22, 2015 at the Marina Inn in Myrtle Beach, SC. The theme this year is “Rotary…the (bow)ties that bind

us together”. William Johnson and his team are busily putting together a conference that will be FUN

and information filled! Registration is NOW OPEN! Please go to our Rotary District 7770 website, click

on the calendar, scroll to March and REGISTER!!! We look forward to celebrating our accomplishments

this year and look forward to continuing to “Light Up Rotary”!

I’m sure you saw my email congratulating Gary Bradham from the Myrtle Beach club on his appointment

as DG for 2017-18. Join me in supporting Gary as he begins the process of becoming our DG.

Finally, this month, tell those that you love, “I Love You”. Remember that love is best shown if it is

multiplied – put your Rotary sprit in action and love your fellow man through service.

With “loving” respect,

DG Jimmie Williamson

DG Jimmie Williamson’s January Message

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Jan 052015

2015 – a new year, a new opportunity! Here’s’ hoping that you are looking enthusiastically toward a

new beginning as our calendar moves over to 2015. We have much to be thankful for, and many

challenges ahead of us. As Rotarians, we are the eternal optimists. As a people, we believe in what is

POSSIBLE and what CAN happen rather than be limited by belief systems that keep us from realizing our

potential. We know that COLLECTIVELY and INDIVIDUALLY, we can make life better for each other, our

international brothers and sisters and humanity. WE CAN and WILL make this a better world, one

Rotarian at a time.

I trust that you have resolved to make life better for the community you serve. Whatever you are

passionate about, take that notion and make great things happen in 2015! Remember to support

Rotary’s charity – our Rotary Foundation – as those dollars will also make great things happen in 2015.

With the right combination of effort and resources, our impact is unlimited. Here’s to a NEW YEAR and


On a more practical note, I hope that you will resolve to be as involved in our District 7770 as possible. I

hope that you will mark your calendar for our District Conference March 20-22, 2015 at the beautiful

Marina Inn in Myrtle Beach. Our theme this year is “Rotary: The (bow)ties that bind us together”. We

are planning an educational and inspirational conference with one central theme – FUN! Please make

plans to join us in March as we Light Up Rotary!

Happy New Year to each of you!

In Rotary Service,


DG Jimmie Williamson’s December Message

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Dec 022014

As I reflect on the many facets of Rotary, I am reminded of my “Rotary family”. Sure, my immediate

family is connected to Rotary, some in more tangible ways than others, but I have an extended family

that I also refer to as my “Rotary family”. For me, it includes the members of my home club, Cheraw, as

well as members of various clubs in this district. I am connected, however, to the District Governor’s

and their spouses in Zones 33 and 34. They have become integral members of my family as we have

shared training and education about our organization. As I have traveled abroad, I have also become

aware of my brothers and sisters in foreign lands – all working on behalf of Rotary and delivering

“service above self” no matter where they live.

The one element that unites us all however, is that we are “Rotarians”. That does not just mean that we

are Rotary members (which we all are), but we’ve had some event during our Rotary life that moved us

from becoming “just a member” to being a true “Rotarian”. What was your moment? Mine was when I

realized that I had been the beneficiary of so many projects that the Hartsville, SC Rotary club had

sponsored. I was a member of a local Boy Scout troop, used book covers that the Hartsville club had so

graciously provided and in general, enjoyed a better quality of life in my bucolic hometown all because

of the good works of Rotarians. What was your moment when you realized you were part of something

much larger and much more grande? Email me your “moment” (jwilliamson@agapesenior.com). I’d be

interested to hear when you realized you were more than just a member and were a true “Rotarian”.

The family of Rotary welcomes you, and many others who want to “do good” in the world – will you join

our family by becoming true Rotarians and commit to our ideals?

Whatever is beautiful, whatever makes you smile, whatever makes you realize that love abounds –

regardless of where we are located; ALL of this, I wish for you and your family during this holiday


Happy Holidays!


District Governor Visits Sea Island Rotary Club

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Nov 102014
Our club was delighted to have District Governor Jimmie Williamson visit us on October 28 meeting  DG Jimmie told us of his background and his Rotary experiences, and especially what inspired him to be a Rotary leader. He left us with a greater appreciation for all of the good things that Rotary does, and how we can join him in lighting up Rotary Our DG flanked by President Larry and AG Dick We demonstrated our commitment to doing good works locally by presenting a check to Rosalyn Brown and Woody Rutter of Thumbs Up for their support for our charity shrimp race. Thumbs Up is a year-round program that focuses on academic achievement and character development by working one on one with referred youth. Rotary 10-28-2014 (4)

District Governor visits Rotary Club of Charleston

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Nov 072014

On October 21, 2014, our club heard from Dr. Jimmie Williamson, District Governor for our Rotary District 7770. Dr. Williamson has served Rotary in many capacities including as President of the Cheraw Rotary Club. He is both a Paul Harris Fellow and a Benefactor. He received his undergraduate degree from Winthrop and holds a Ph.D. from the University of South Carolina. An author of widely used textbooks, he is active in his community having served on the Chesterfield County School Board among other institutions and currently serves as CEO of the South Carolina Technical College System.

Dr. Williamson brought greetings from Rotary International President Gary Huang, who is the first RI President from mainland China. He gave our club a quick lesson in Chinese and we learned that this year’s Rotary theme – Light up Rotary – has its origin in a saying from Confucius that it is better to light a candle than to sit in darkness.

Growing up in Hartsville, SC, Dr. Williamson was exposed to Rotary early on when the Hartsville Rotary Club sponsored paper covers showing the Rotary emblem and the four way test to protect text books used by the Hartsville schools and when his boy scout troop was sponsored by the same club. Clearly having Rotary on the minds of members of the community early in life is an important way of keeping Rotary vibrant and bringing in new members. In that light, one of the first challenges for Rotary this year which Dr. Williamson mentioned was having a “Rotary Day” when local Rotarians can invite prospective members to join Rotarians in serving the community. He thought our planned “day of caring” with United Way was a wonderful opportunity to meet this challenge. He noted that we all have ready opportunities to bring others into the Rotary family by simply bringing in members of our own families such as spouses and children.

The second challenge Dr. Williamson mentioned was polio eradication. Rotary can reach its goal for funding this challenge if each member were to give just $25.00. The Gates Foundation will provide two-for-one matching on all gifts from Rotary which certainly allows the impact of Rotary to be multi-plied. At this time there are three countries in which polio is endemic – Pakistan, Afghanistan and Nigeria.

The third challenge Dr. Williamson spoke of is the CART fund – Coins for Alzheimer’s Research Trust. Five million Americans have this disease and as shown from Dr. Williamson’s query of our club’s members, at least half of us know someone experiencing this debilitating disease or caring for someone with it. The purpose of the CART fund is to offer grants to researchers so they may jump start their programs in order to obtain funding from the National Institutes of Health. Since 1999 the CART fund has provided $5 million in such grants. He urged the club to support programs on dementia or have a small fund raiser for the CART fund.

Of particular interest to our club was Dr. Williamson’s challenge to assist Rotary’s efforts in support of literacy. Dr. Williamson remarked about how the Rotary Readers program, with which our club is so heavily involved, was started in our district with the Hilton Head Club.

The final challenge on which Dr. Williamson commented was fighting hunger. He noted that 28% of school children live in families where the source of their next meal is not certain. To meet this challenge, the district encourages all clubs to conduct a fund raiser or food drive during the week before Valentine’s Day 2015.

In closing Dr. Williamson praised our club’s efforts stating that he was proud to be in a district with clubs like ours. He noted that District 7770 is at the top in giving in the United States and worldwide. He urged us all to continue to “Light up Rotary.”

Submitted by Alex Dallis, Keyway Committee

DG Jimmie Williamson’s November Message

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Nov 032014

Charity – a noun:

1. The voluntary giving of help, typically in the form of money, to those

in need.

2. an organization set up to provide help and raise money for those in


As we view our Rotary Foundation, we must essentially view it as “our charity”. The

Rotary Foundation is our way to give help to those who need it the most and a way to

raise money for those in need. We are generous and philanthropic people; people who

recognized that there are others who’s needs are much greater than our own. This

month, as we look at the Rotary Foundation, I urge EACH of you to give generously.

Our Foundation is an excellent steward of the money we give, consistently receiving

high marks on GuideStar, the non-profit barometer of foundations who deliver on their

stated purpose. I am proud of our district in SO MANY ways, but especially proud

when I reflect on the fact that we are #1 in the U.S. in Foundation giving and #6 in

the WORLD in Foundation contributions!! Just think, a state in the U.S. known for its

economic challenges, and a portion of the state most noted for unemployment and low

per capita income, rises to the top when we are asked to give. We are generous people

who understand the concept of giving to others when possible. Won’t you join me in

November as we focus on giving and sharing? There is a world out there in need of our

help and our assistance. Our Foundation is but one way in which to deliver to those

most in need. Make a gift today – give generously! Happy Thanksgiving!

DG Jimmie Williamson Visits Rotary Club of Mt Pleasant

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Nov 012014

District Governor Jimmie Williamson, on his trek through the LowCountry, visited the Rotary Club of Mt. Pleasant at lunchtime on Wednesday, October 22.  His presentation about the importance of “Lighting Up Rotary” gave inspiration to our members, who realized the we can each positively affect lives.  In honor of DG Jimmie’s visit, the Board members sported colorful bowties.

DG Jimmie Williamson Visits Georgetown Rotary

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Oct 192014
The Club was honored to have District 7770 Governor James (Jimmie) Williamson, Ph.D visit. He was greeted with our standard “How Shi Shi” as well as a standing ovation.
DG Jimmie gave a rousing speech discussing his passions: community service, Polio Plus and Alzheimer’s research. Everyone received his comments with great enthusiasm.
In honor of DG Jimmies visit, President Nat presented a check for Polio Plus for $915 from member donations.  Then a check for $15,000 was presented to  Randy Hollister, CART representative from the Pawleys Island Club for Alzheimer’s research.
Everyone left the meeting today felling very proud to be a Rotarian.
Picture 1: DG Jimmie Williamson
Picture 2: Pictured from left to right;  PP Paul Yarborough, President Nat Kaminski, DG Jimmie Williamson, Randy Hollister, Paul Seccomandi and  PP George Chastain.
DG at Georgetown
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