EarlyAct Club of Hilton Head Island Elementary – IB / Bell & Gavel Presentation

 Appearance Controls, Featured Video - 2nd Row Right Box, Making Connections  Comments Off on EarlyAct Club of Hilton Head Island Elementary – IB / Bell & Gavel Presentation
Mar 232015

EarlyAct Club of Hilton Head Island Elementary – IB’s president Elijah Oakes was presented with an EarlyAct bell & gavel by Rotary Club of Hilton Head Island’s president Andrea Siebold on March 10th.  This EarlyAct Club is one of two Hilton Head EarlyAct Clubs sponsored by Rotary and consists of 53 members that range in grades from 1st to 5th grades.


This year so far the EarlyAct Club has participated in a shoe drive which collected over 200 pairs of shoe donated to The Deep Well Project; collected, sorted and bagged food during the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays as a part of the Deep Well Project; rang the bell for The Salvation Army; collected supplies for dogs and cats donated to The Hilton Head Humane Association; and participated in an Adopt-A-Highway route as a part of Rotary ROCS (Rotarians Offering Community Service).

Rotary Club of Hilton Head Island Awards Law Enforcement

 Making Connections  Comments Off on Rotary Club of Hilton Head Island Awards Law Enforcement
Mar 192015
At last week’s meeting, The Rotary Club of Hilton Head Island recognized Christopher Outlaw of Wexford Plantation as Security Officer of the Year and Deputy Sheriff Erin Morris as Law Enforcement Officer of the Year.  The Firefighter of the Year will be recognized at a meeting later his spring.
Photo attached (left to right):  Christopher Outlaw, Erin Morris.

Rotary Club of Hilton Head Island Give 4-Way Test Award

 1st Row Left Box, Appearance Controls, Serving Community  Comments Off on Rotary Club of Hilton Head Island Give 4-Way Test Award
Oct 192014
The Rotary Club of Hilton Head Island has named the local Belk department store as recipient of its 2014 4-Way Test Award.  This award is presented to the business which best exemplifies the Rotary 4-Way Test:  Is it the TRUTH?  Is it FAIR to all concerned?  Will it build GOODWILL and better FRIENDSHIP?  Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?
Last year Belk provided shoes, flip flops and jackets for more than 200 children as part of the club’s Happy Feet program — all this from a store that doesn’t normally even stock children’s shoes.  And to make it even better, the Hilton Head Belk store has made a commitment to do the same thing this year for Happy Feet! The store manager, Kerry Paschal,accepted the award from Tom Trout, chair of the Hilton Head Rotary 4-Way Test Award Committee.

The Rotary Club of Hilton Head Island announced 2014 Inductee

 1st Row Center Box, Appearance Controls, Making Connections  Comments Off on The Rotary Club of Hilton Head Island announced 2014 Inductee
Sep 242014

HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. – The Rotary Club of Hilton Head Island announced today that the 2014 inductee into the Hilton Head Island Hall of Fame is Benjamin M. Racusin, Hilton Head Island’s first mayor.

The Hall of Fame was initiated in 2012 by the Rotary Club of Hilton Head Island as a gift to the community to acknowledge innovative and community-minded island residents. Selection of inductees is made by an anonymous group of longtime community leaders. Racusin certainly fits the mold as he led an intriguing life giving service to his community as a leader, a statesman, a former military officer serving in China with the OSS/CIA and as the distinguished first Mayor of the Town of Hilton Head Island.

Racusin, 98, passed away on Aug. 11, 2013, on Hilton Head Island. He was preceded in death by the love of his life, Helen Schuler Racusin, in 2011. The two were members of the Seabrook and Fraser Health Center community for 15 years.

In 1942, Racusin answered Uncle Sam’s call and was assigned first to the Army Air Corps in Miami Beach as an athletic noncom. In December 1944, after extensive training at Officers Candidate School, he was recruited to volunteer for duty in China and left for the Far East and Pacific areas with the Office of Strategic Service (OSS), the predecessor to the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).

He returned to Shanghai in December 1946 where he met his bride-to-be, Helen Schuler. They married three months later. When Helen took her discharge, she joined her husband at the OSS. They both had successful careers with the CIA, ending as training officers in 1971. The couple then retired to Hilton Head Island.

In May, 1983, a referendum to incorporate Hilton Head Island was passed by more than 60 percent of the votes cast. A group of Islanders asked Racusin to run for mayor.

“I told them, ‘No, I really don’t want to do it,’ ” Racusin said. “Helen and I had a little dog at the time, a Schnauzer named Dee Dee. Holding a cookie in our hands, we’d trained her to roll over and play dead. So when this group insisted I run for Mayor, I said we should let Dee Dee decide. So I asked, ‘Dee Dee what would you rather be, Mayor of the Town of Hilton Head Island or a dead dog?’

I held the cookie up and down she went,” Racusin said. The group did not accept Dee Dee’s decision, and Racusin won the election.

On Aug. 5, 1983, Racusin and his Town Council took their seats and the Town of Hilton Head Island was born.

Racusin’s lasting legacy is his selfless service to his country and to Hilton Head Island. His long and colorful life of action and dedication to improve the lives of others is cause for remembrance and celebration. He was passionate about philanthropy and those unsung heroes who made huge differences.

Racusin’s contributions and legacy will be celebrated at the Legends of the Lowcountry Hall of Fame Induction and Concert at 6 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 16 at The Sonesta Resort and Spa in Shipyard Plantation, Hilton Head Island. He will memorialized with a bronze plaque and kiosk at the Hilton Head Island Hall of Fame exhibit overlooking Jarvis Creek at Honey Horn Plantation.

Hilton Head Island Rotary Inducts 11 New Members in One Month!

 1st Row Left Box, Appearance Controls, Family of Rotary  Comments Off on Hilton Head Island Rotary Inducts 11 New Members in One Month!
Sep 152014
new members 2014Under the leadership of Joe Chappell, membership director, our club has inducted eleven (11) new members in the past month!  Seems worth reporting in the District newsletter.  Maybe we can get a healthy competition going which would benefit all of RI.
Mary Noonan
The attached photo includes 10 of the 11 new members (left to right):
Phoebe Taylor
Marcia Collett
Elizabeth Engelman
Tricia Lynch
Mark Lynch
Charlie Rey
Dave Hess
Rex Garrniewicz
Mark Grossbeck
Cheryl Belsterling
Not pictured:  Dave Orage

Gift of Life Brings New Life to 17th Patient

 Serving Community  Comments Off on Gift of Life Brings New Life to 17th Patient
Aug 232014

GOL Oscar PhotoHilton Head Island, S.C. . . . . Oscar Lopez-Fuentes, a 13-year old boy from Mexico. suffered

very serious burns in a house fire that took the life of his father. No resources were

available to pay for the treatment required to reconstruct his face and arms. Burn scars

(60% of his body) prevent him from extending his right arm and moving his neck; facial

scars affect his breathing. Rotary’s Gift of Life program gives Oscar new hope for returning

to his home with improved function and appearance and with increased confidence in his


Since coming to the U.S. in June, Oscar has had multiple surgeries and is already seeing

major improvements. Dr. Aaron Mason and Dr. David Reid, plastic surgeons, are doing the

reconstructive surgery at Hilton Head Hospital. Oscar is expected to undergo additional

surgeries, returning home some time in October.

Initiated by Dr. Robert Laughlin and Brian Carmines of the Rotary Club of Hilton Head

Island in 1996, the Gift of Life Program now enjoys the support of all five Rotary Clubs

in the Hilton Head/ Bluffton area. The program brings international children and young

adults to Hilton Head for plastic and reconstructive surgery. The goal is to enable

these patients to live a full and productive life, while helping to foster World Peace and

understanding of other cultures.

Priority is given to patients who are unable to secure treatment in their own country and

who need multiple operations to restore mobility, functionality, and the ability for self care.

Travel, housing, food, surgeries, and all related medical services are provided at no cost to

the family through the generosity of host families, medical specialists, Hilton Head Regional

Medical Center, local businesses, and Rotary. The seventeen program recipients to date

have been from Tajikistan, Iraq, the Philippines, El Salvador, and Mexico.

Oscar and Laura Rodriquez, his accompanying nurse, are staying with Bluffton host family,

Silvia and Louis DeLeandro. Antonio Junco, president of the Rotary Club of Texcoco,

Mexico, Oscar’s home town, visited Hilton Head this week and was pleased to see Oscar’s

progress. Anyone interested in providing day trips and outings such as fishing, museums,

arts events, etc. should contact: Dr. Robert Laughlin at 843-0384-9626 or his wife Linda at


# # #

Photo attached

Pictured left to right: Antonio Junco, Laura Bodriquez, Oscar Lopez-Fuentes, Silvia

DeLeandro and Louis DeLeandro.

Rotary Club of Hilton Head Rotarian of the Year

 1st Row Right Box, Appearance Controls, Serving Community  Comments Off on Rotary Club of Hilton Head Rotarian of the Year
Jul 312014

Brian Julius was awarded Rotarian of the Year for his outstanding world-wide impact with Teen Suicide Prevention in South Africa and Speaking Books

in Pakistan to encourage vaccinations and protect polio workers.

Brian receiving his award from President Paul Walter.

Rotary Club of Hilton Head Island Awards Scholarships

 2nd Row Center Box, Appearance Controls  Comments Off on Rotary Club of Hilton Head Island Awards Scholarships
Jun 092014

The Rotary Club of Hilton Head Island is pleased to announce its scholarhip winners for the 2014-15 school year.  A total of  $20,000 was awarded to eight  graduating seniors and four returning college students (pictured in the attached photo l to r):


David Maurer                  HHI High School

Christian Steinmetz        HH Prep

Natalie Mlodzinski          HHI High School

Leighton Smith                HHI High School

Logan Ballard  (rear)      HHI High School

Ciara McMahon              HHI High School

Adam Eudy                      Homeschool

Tommy Vater                  Wake Forest

Caroline Cauthen            College of Charleston

Hannah Brink                   HHI High School


Not Present:  Kevin McDonald                The Citadel

Justin Shaw                         Clemson

Aiden Brougham-Cook     University of SC


In addition, $5000 will be awarded to The Technical College of the Lowcountry for scholarship assistance.


Awards were made on the basis of merit and need.  Scholarship Chair Mary Briggs congratulated all of the recipients for their outstanding academic and extracurricular achievements and extended the Club’s best wishes for their continued success in  college.

May 312014
The Rotary Club of Hilton Head Island recognized at its May 15 meeting  the 2014 “Student of the Year” for each area high school and middle school.  Students were selected by their institutions.
A photo of the honored students is attached as well as a brief description of each student’s achievements.
Students honored (as pictured in the photo) were:
Front row (L to R):  
Hayden Garneiewicz, HH Prep Middle School
Sallie Collins, Sea Pines Montessori
Sara Rivera, HomeSchooled Middle School
Kaeleigh Judge, St. Francis Catholic School
Lauren Castner, HH Middle School
Back row (L to R):
Matt McCutchen, HH Christian Academy Middle School
Noah Corbitt, Heritage Academy Middle School
Jack O’Koniewski, Heritage Academy High School
Not Pictured:  
Hannah Brink, HH High School
Brad Meccariello, HH Christian Academy High School
Christian Steinmetz, HH Prep High School
Adam Eudy, HomeSchooled High School
Speaker for the student rcognition program was Charlie Wilmot, Hilton Head Prep’s 2013 Student of the Year, who has just completed his freshman year at Auburn University.  He told the awardees:  “All the hard work and leadership you have all shown to your fellow classmates, teammates, friends and teachers is why you are here today. You all challenged yourselves and went above and beyond.”  He joined the Rotary Club in wishing the students every success as they take the next step to high school or college.

Rotaract Club Chartered at USCB Bluffton

 Serving Community  Comments Off on Rotaract Club Chartered at USCB Bluffton
May 202014

New University of South Carolina at Beaufort Rotaract Club was Chartered and new officers installed on the steps of the USCB building in Bluffton on Monday, April 28. Assistant Governor David Tirard assisted in the Induction of officers and presented the charter for the new club. Samantha Smith was inducted as President, following Nathan Cooper who just completed his term as President and will now enjoy the much coveted role of Past President! The USCB Rotaract Club is jointly sponsored by the Rotary Club of Bluffton and the Hilton Head Island Rotary Club.

USCB Rotaract Club

© Copyright 2013-2021 by Rotary District 7770 Rotary International District 7770, Eastern South Carolina