Okatie Rotary Installs New Officers

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Jul 062014

June 24th, to celebrate Founder’s Day, the Okatie Rotary Club organized a festive evening that included an elegant dinner at Sigler’s Rotisserie & Seafood.

ADG David Tirard was present to install the new officers for 2014-2015, along with swearing in new president Barbara McFadden, and officers JohnMosca, Annemarie Neubecker, Bill Beltz, Matt Smith and Julie Leister.


Mike Sigler (owner of Sigler’s restaurant), Markel’s Card & Gift Shop (top rated gift store in Bluffton) and Bob McFadden (a member of the Okatie Rotary Club) were honored and named a Paul Harris Fellow. Judy Trombino was recognized as Rising Star and Matt Smith was named Rotarian of the Year for the club. Barbara McFaddin was sworn in as 2014- 2015 President.

ADG DAvid Tirard swearing in new president Barbara McFadden copy

Special guests included Mark Postlethwaite and Mike Veina, owners of Markel’s Card & Gift Shop, along with Markel’s signature “exquisite bow” gifts used as awards throughout the evening. Other guests included Susan Tirard from the Hilton Head Island Rotary and Sandee Brooks, District Governor Nominee 2016-1027. Mark Smith was named Rotarian of the Year.

Annemarie Nuebecker recognizing Matt Smith Rotarian of the Year

Okatie Rotary Club Holds Food Drive for Rotary Has a Heart

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Feb 242014

L to R L to R Bluffton Self Help John Orth, President Annemarie Neubecker, Okatie Rotary member David Jacox (2)

During the month of February, Rotary District 7770 sponsored “Rotary Has Heart”, an outreach project to insure that no child would go hungry in our community.

After a discussion with the Okatie Rotary Club at a January meeting, President Annemarie Neubecker met with Lili Coleman, Executive Director of Bluffton Self Help to share the idea of a food drive. The meeting resulted in a great partnership between Okatie Rotary and the non-profit organization which serves families in need.  David Jacox, Rotarian from the Okatie Club, organized the effort by creating fliers and coaching club members on where to shop for items. Lilli Coleman, Executive Director of Bluffton Self Help, visited the Okatie Rotary Club on February 4th in order to express her support and gratitude for the effort. Okatie Rotary gathered non-perishable foods from various locations and plantations in the area. The food drive ended officially on February 14th Valentine’s Day.

Bluffton Self Help Board Member, John Orth, attended the Okatie Rotary Meeting on February 11 to express thanks on behalf of the organization as well as to accept a preliminary accumulation of food items.


Feb 112014

Bluffton Self Help photoDavid Jacox, member of the Okatie Rotary Club (along with president Annemarie Neubecker) presented Lili Coleman, Bluffton Self Help’s executive director, a check for $50.00 that was given by the Ladies Rose Hill Golf Club. The Okatie Rotary is sponsoring a food drive to benefit Bluffton Self Help as part of the “Rotary has Heart”  initiative to help assure that no child goes hungry on Valentine’s Day.

Lili Coleman spoke at the Okatie Rotary Club yesterday with an overview of all that they do for our community. Lili reported that February is one of their lowest times of year for food supplies.


Okatie Rotary Club Holds Happy Feet Event

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Jan 232014

Rotary, Happy Feet event, group photoThe Okatie Rotary Club sponsored a successful charity event entitled “Happy Feet” on Saturday, January 11, 2014. In partnership with Payless Shoes of Bluffton, children from two local elementary schools were able to shop for new shoes and socks with their parents.

Denise Charles and Samantha Wolters, Social Workers from Pritchardville and Okatie Elementary Schools respectively, were instrumental in identifying needy children from their schools. Both were on hand to assist students and their parents along with several teachers from the schools.

Families were treated to hot coffee, hot chocolate, orange juice and fresh donuts after their shopping experience, served by Rotarians.

This event was made possible through matched a Rotary District grant and matching Okatie Rotary funds.

Happy feet 2Kim Washington, Assistant Manager for Payless Shoes, opened the store at 7:15am to prepare for the families. Cain Quinones and Vincent Clayton, Managers from Savannah Payless stores also assisted families along with Rotary volunteers who measured feet, and distributed socks.

The event, which was held from 7:30-9:30am, served 84 families.

Rotarians who participated were John and Joy Mosca, Fred Niehoff, Barbara Mc Fadden, Jane Higdon, Matt Smith, David Jacox, and Frank Nappi. Current President, Annemarie Neubecker commented that the smiling faces of children and families made an otherwise dreary morning memorable.

Okatie Rotary Club – 20th Annual Polo Fundraiser

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Oct 242013

Polo horseDistrict Governor Lou Mello, District Communications and PR Chair Andra Watkins and their spouses joined Area 4 Assistant Governor David Tirard and members of the Rotary Club of Hilton Head Island in supporting Okatie Rotary’s 20th annual polo for charity event on Sunday October 13.  A beautiful day in Rose Hill Plantation, Bluffton, SC supplied the backdrop for a most successful event, which will enable the club to donate over $7000 to local charities. “This is a remarkable result for a small club of 22 members.”

rotary group

Arron Jenkins, a Bluffton Boys Girls Club volunteer and Bluffton High School Senior gave a Grammy award winning performance singing our National Anthem at the opening of the event.

Aaron Jenkins

Submitted by Jane Higdon
Okatie Rotary Club



Rotary Clubs Host First Beaufort County Interact Symposium

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Oct 172013

On September 28th the Bluffton, Okatie and Hilton Head Island Rotary Clubs hosted the first Beaufort County Interact Symposium for all Interact students within Beaufort County at the Bluffton Boys & Girls Club. Interact Clubs from Hilton Head High School, Hilton Head Prep, Bluffton High School, Beaufort Academy, Beaufort High School and Battery Creek are all represented.

Everyone arrived early on Saturday and participated in fun group activities designed for the students in all the four participating schools to get to know one another. This was followed by a service event; various projects needed by The Boys and Girls Club were tackled enthusiastically by the students. They cleaned and built and scrubbed and designed and created until all the work was done, they then came together for lunch and closing activities.

Over 65 students participated in the Interact Symposium, which included team building, planning, service projects and just plain enjoying a fun-filled day. There were over 20 Rotarians involved.  We hope to have several students from this group go to the Rotary Youth Leadership Awards Program in June.

Event organizer and past president for the Hilton Head Rotary Club Mike Jukofsky said, “The conference was a great way for all the Interact kids from across Beaufort County to meet and learn about other clubs…what they are doing, membership concerns, projects, meeting activities…a time for sharing and learning. It was a great success and we hope to have started an annual event for the Interact students in Beaufort County”.




Okatie Rotarian Receives Third Paul Harris Award

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Aug 032013

Submitted by Jane Higdon
Okatie Rotary Club

Barbara McFadden receives her pin from District Governor Lou Mello. Barbara is now a three time Paul Harris Fellow and a member of the Paul Harris Society.

rotary district 7770

Okatie President Annemarie Neubecker Wins Literacy Award

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Jul 162013

annemarie neubecker, okatie rotary clubOkatie Rotary Club President Annemarie Neubecker is Literacy Volunteers of the Lowcountry’s 2013 Volunteer Tutor of the Year.

Congratulations, Annemarie!

To read more, check out the article in the Island Packet by clicking the link below.

Article – a love of learning

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