Rotary Club of Charleston Hits Goal of 20 New Members

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May 242017

We did it! We hit our goal of inducting 20 new members this Rotary year! Super grateful for our rockstar Membership Committee.

As a follow up to our March posting listing the 16 new members, here is a summary of the 2016-2017 newest members!


bodkin Bart Bodkin


Bo Crouch


Thomas Giovanniello


Peter LaMotte

And for a refresher of the 16 new members previously announced:

1Lance Becker

2Jonathan Campaigne

15Tom Carico

14Amy Chico

3Nicolle Davies

4Heidi Finniff

5George Jarck

6Kate Marty

7Curt Mercandante

8Courtney Parades Plotner

9Lisa Stokes

10John Strickland

11Beth Britton Stuckey


Robert Sullivan

12Alvin Williams

13Margaret Ann Youngs

Rotary Club of Charleston Inducts 16th New Member

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Mar 282017

The Rotary Club of Charleston is serious about membership. At today’s meeting, the last of March Membership Madness, we inducted the 16th new member – just this Rotary year! With another application pending and several more prospects, it’s possible to hit a year end (June 2017) goal of 20 new members.


Here’s a summary of our newest members:

1Lance Becker

2Jonathan Campaigne

15Tom Carico

14Amy Chico

3Nicolle Davies

4Heidi Finniff

5George Jarck

6Kate Marty

7Curt Mercandante

8Courtney Parades Plotner

9Lisa Stokes

10John Strickland

11Beth Britton Stuckey


Robert Sullivan

12Alvin Williams

13Margaret Ann Youngs

Rotary Club of Charleston Welcomes 3 New Members!

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Aug 162016

The Rotary Club of Charleston celebrates Membership Month by acknowledging some of our newest members! Stay tuned as we have more going through the induction process now!


Welcome to our newest member Margaret Ann Youngs! Margaret Ann was sponsored and introduced by Past President Paul Stoney. She will hold the classification of Eleemosynary/Executive. We are excited to have her join us in membership!



Welcome to our newest member Heidi Finniff! Heidi has recently relocated to Charleston and is a previous member and Past President of the Lakewood Rocky River Sunrise Rotary. She was sponsored and introduced by David Burt and will hold the classification of Banking/Business. We are excited to have Heidi join our Rotary club!




Welcome into membership – George Jarck! George, who was introduced and sponsored by President-Elect David Burt, was inducted this past Tuesday. He will hold the classification of Real Estate. We are excited to have George as a member!


Rotary Club of Charleston Hosts Program to Support CART

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Aug 152016

Virtually every Rotarian’s hand went up when guest speaker, Cindy Alewine, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Alzheimer’s Association of South Carolina, asked how many of us were directly or indirectly affected by Alzhei-
mer’s disease. It’s not surprising that nearly everyone is the room is impacted in some way by Alzheimer’s since it is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States and five million of our citizens are suffering from this horrible disease. In fact, as we learned from Ms. Alewine, one in nine people 65 or older suffers from Alzheimer’s or some form of dementia and one in three seniors dies from them.

And the really frightening part is that the prevalence of the disease is growing quickly. The Alzheimer’s Association projects that by 2050, the number of people age 65 and older in the US with Alzheimer’s disease may nearly triple, from 5.2 million to a projected 13.8 million. In SC, there are now 84,000 Alzheimer’s patients and that number is projected to grow to 120,000 by 2025.

Ms. Alewine also pointed out that we are seeing Alzheimer’s in younger and younger populations, some individuals falling victim in their forties and fifties. Today, 200,000 individuals under the age of 65 have early onset Alzheimer’s.

Of the leading top 10 causes of death in the United States, Alzheimer’s is the only disease in America that cannot be prevented, cured or even slowed. The cost of Alzheimer’s to patients, families and communities is astronomical. Here are the economic facts according to our speaker:

In 2016, total payments for health care, long-term care and hospice are estimated to be $236 billion for people with Alzheimer’s and other dementias, with just under half of the costs borne by Medicare. Medicare and Medicaid are expected to cover $160 billion, or 68 percent, of the total health care and long-term care payments for people with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias.

Nearly one in every five Medicare dollars is spent on people with Alzheimer’s and other dementias. In 2050, it will be one in every three dollars. Unless a cure or therapy is discovered, in 2050, Alzheimer’s is projected to cost more than $1 trillion (in 2016 dollars). Costs to Medicare will increase 360 percent. This dramatic rise includes a nearly five-fold increase in government spending under Medicare and Medicaid and a nearly five-fold increase in out-of pocket spending.

In addition to the soaring costs of Alzheimer’s, the emotional burden for families and care-givers is debilitating as bank accounts and savings plans are emptied, second and third jobs required, retirements postponed and extensive sacrifices made to care for Alzheimer’s patients. But perhaps the greatest expense is to those watching their loved ones gradually slipping away, losing their abilities, talents, and their very personalities.

We need a cure and we need it fast. Ms. Alewine told us that it is estimated that we need $2 Billion in National Institutes of Health (NIH) and other government and private funding to support the research desperately searching for understanding of the disease and for diagnostics, therapies and, a cure. There are many ways that money is raised towards this end, including the well-known Walk to End Alzheimer’s walks.

These events have raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for research and support but clearly more is needed. There are walks scheduled in Charleston on September 9th and in Bluffon on October 29th.

While there is no cure yet, research is underway and there is hope for a major break-
through within five years, according to Ms. Alewine. In the meantime, it is important to know that 80% of Alzheimer’s patients also have cardiovascular disease which suggests that regular physical exercise, a diet full of fruit, vegetables, low sodium and low sugar along with limited red meat consumption helps reduce risks. Additionally, studies suggest that maintaining strong social connections and intellectual activity provide weapons to fight off Alzheimer’s.

Thank you, Cindy Alewine, for an important, if sobering, presentation of Alzheimer’s disease and the work of the Alzheimer’s Association of SC. The Association provides education, financial and emotional support to South Carolinians, and is a primary fund-raising vehicle to which we can all contribute to help eliminate this scourge in our state and country. Their website is Contact them to volunteer your time and resources. Let’s get rid of this disease!

Submitted by Cheryl Kinard, Keyway Committee

UPDATE:  CART Fund Buckets

CART Fund buckets were placed on the tables during Ms. Alewine’s presentation and members were asked to make a donation in support of Alzheimer’s/Dementia. Thanks to all of the generous contributions, our club collected $259.50 for the CART Fund.

Rotary Club of Charleston Welcomes New President and Board

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Jul 072016

June 28th, 2016 was an historic occasion. The club held its last meeting at the Citadel, a location of 15 years. This meeting was also the time for a change of club presidents.

John Channell gave an excellent summary of the work of the Education Committee during the past year including projects to give backpacks, dictionaries and tennis lessons to needy students.

President Paul Stoney spoke to the member s about his year of service. He praised the members one and all for their work on behalf of our community. He expressed thanks to the membership for giving him the honor of service as president, noting that he looked forward to each weekly meeting. It is a monumental experience just to BE a Rotarian, and he further praised the past presidents who always were ready to assist him. He noted that Rotary is one of the most significant forces operating for good in the whole world, a world which is in great turmoil. Changes are taking place and Rotary must be ready to deal with them. He recalled that the speaker at his first meeting was a 94 year old veteran who had been injured by agent orange and he thanked Rotarian General Livingston who was present that day and again today. He charged each member to continue to be the best Rotarian [and person] that you can be. While he thanked all members, he particularly thanked Carroll Schweers, Dan Ravenel and Paterson Smith for their strong support. In closing he noted that Alissa would be a wonderful new president and asked all members to follow the international motto of the year “Be a gift to the world”.



New president, Alissa Lietzow, having been inducted to office by Assistant DG Andy Brack, gave a brief report on her experience at the International Convention in Korea. She noted that an estimated 40,000 members were in attendance! Her personal goal at the convention was to meet and speak with as many Rotarians as possible. This resulted in being given the opportunity to speak at a breakout session on the use of best practices of utilizing social media.

In closing, she gave honor to the new board and told of the various duties that each member has agreed to accept. Beyond the board she announced that Past President Digit Matheny would chair the Rotary Foundation and Past President Jermaine Husser would serve as program chairman.

President Alissa gave recognition to Rotarian and Past President Jimmy Stuckey, who returned for the first time following over a year of rehabilitation.


Submitted by Fred Sales, Keyway Committee


Mar 302016
The Rotary Club of Daniel Island recognized and thanked member Uula Torttila who is returning soon to his home country of Finland. Uula has been in the United States on work assignment for the past two years and has been an active member of the Daniel Island Club. The Club, also known as the Duck Race Club, presented Uula with a yellow duck signed, with good wishes, by all club members. Uula will rejoin his home Rotary Club in Finland. #Rotary #Rotary7770 #DanielIsland
Mar 082016
For the third year, we will be holding a District Conference Literacy Project by collecting new books suitable for grades Pre K – 6th grade.
This year’s book donations will benefit two schools in the Richland One district whose students, families and faculty were impacted greatly by the Fall flood. 98% of the kids at Gadsden Elementary School in Gadsden, SC and 79% of the students at Horrell Hill Elementary in Hopkins, SC qualify for free or reduced lunch. Both schools are located in lower Richland County, an area that has a much higher level of poverty than the state average. Many students were already in great need and then the flood came and took the little they had. Your donations will go to kids and schools that have been through so much.
All Rotarians who attend conference are asked to bring a book with them to donate. Not attending conference? Your club may be holding a club-wide book collection drive so you can still participate. No book drive in your club? Just purchase a book and give it to one of your club members who is attending conference.
Thank you so much for helping to spread the gift of literacy in District 7770. #Rotary #Rotary7770

Dr. Ben Carson Addresses Historic Rotary Club of Charleston

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Jan 262016

The City of Charleston was the site of national politics last week hosting debates by both major political parties, sponsoring fund-raisers large and small, and providing venues for “meet and greet” opportunities with candidates vying for a Presidential nomination.  The Historic Rotary Club of Charleston had its own political event when Dr. Ben Carson, one of the Republican candidates for the nomination, spoke at our lunch meeting. Rotarian Charlie Palmer introduced Dr. Carson and briefly reviewed his extensive, remarkable resume. Highlights of an internationally acclaimed life and career include winning the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2008 (the highest civilian award given in the US), being recognized by the Library of Congress in 2001 as one of 89 “Living Legends,” and being awarded 67 honorary doctoral degrees. As the first neurosurgeon to successfully separate conjoined twins, Dr. Carson is one of the most well-known physicians in the country and around the world. He has written 6 books, one of which, Gifted Hands became a bestselling book and was made into a movie.


Addressing our membership, Dr. Carson began his remarks down-playing his illustrious life by noting that his resume also included early work as a bus driver, lab technician, and other unglamorous jobs to help pay for his education. His upbringing was managed by a single mom who struggled to take care of her two sons and insisted that he and his brother prioritize their homework and read 2 books a week. His mother’s discipline and focus on education provided the learning experiences that led to Dr. Carson’s love of science and medicine. He was an outstanding student in the medical studies he pursued at Yale University, the University of Michigan School of Medicine and Johns Hopkins University. Years after completing his internship at Johns Hopkins, a 33-year old Dr. Carson returned as Director of Pediatric Neurosurgery, the youngest U.S. physician to ever hold such a position.


With all of his success and celebrity, Dr. Carson said that he is often asked why he would “get involved in the slimy work of politics.” The answer lies in his dedication to the lives, health and opportunities of children, a love that has successfully affected thousands of children globally. The other driver leading to Dr. Carson’s entrance in the political arena is his consternation over “what’s happening to our country.” Noting that Martin Luther King Day was celebrated on Monday, Dr. Carson reminded his audience that Dr. King was not content to “do nothing” when he also saw conditions that were harmful and unfair to people. But it is not easy to “be the someone” who tries to change those conditions and those who try are often hated and ridiculed. By entering the social and political fray of racism, the effort to make an impact “cost Dr. King his life.” Also contributing to Dr. Carson’s decision to leave an academic life and pursue politics is his deep spirituality and commitment to Christianity. Dr. Carson pointed out that another courageous change agent, Jesus Christ, also worked to make a positive impact in an environment he felt was damaging to all, especially children. He, too, paid with his life. Rather than focusing on their deaths, however, Dr. Carson spoke of how the lives and work of these two extraordinarily kind and peace-loving people did, indeed, have a profound impact on the world. These two examples inspired Dr. Carson to “do something” to change the course of America.


Dr. Carson said he worries that America has become a place where “Americans don’t take care of Americans.” He posed the question “Are we really people who hate each other? Why is there so much racial, religious, gender and intergenerational hatred? We didn’t used to be that way.” Invoking another great man, Dr. Carson reminded us that a house divided against itself cannot stand and “we cannot continue to allow the purveyors of hate to guide our country.” He believes that as a “pinnacle nation we must lead, and lead in a way that inspires confidence” against existential threats like ISIS.


In response to Rotarian questions, Dr. Carson stressed that “unity is our strength and we must emphasize what we have in common” not what divides us. No matter his world-renowned profession or degree of success, Dr. Carson’s believes that he “won the lottery” simply because he was “born in the United States and knows the Lord.”


The Historic Rotary Club of Charleston was honored to have Dr. Carson share his time and thoughts with us. Clearly, Dr. Ben Carson has a message to relay to the people of the United States and he hopes to do it as the Republican nominee for the Presidency.


Contributed by Cheryl Kinard, Keyway Committee

Historic Rotary Club of Charleston Gives the Gift of Warmth!

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Jan 022016

The Historic Rotary Club of Charleston participated in its annual Operation Warm project which is funded by the RCCF. It provides children at their partner school, James Simons Elementary, with winter coats. The RCCF was also able to fund hats, gloves and socks last year, but due to the increase in the number of students needing coats we were unable to fund those items this year. However, a big thank you to Operation Warm Chair, Cheryl Kaynard, who was able to secure a donation from the Ackerman Foundation to purchase the additional items needed!

Over 200 coats were distributed to children just in time for the holidays and cold weather!

Special thanks to the Rotarians and their friends and family members for assisting in the distribution!



Historic Rotary Club of Charleston Hosts Holiday Party for Residens of Ansonborough House

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Dec 292015

Once again the Historic Rotary Club of Charleston celebrated the holiday season with the residents of the Ansonborough House. This is a Rotary tradition.

We raised $1,400 from our members to buy gifts for 81 residents. This event allows for three different chances for service: (1) Saturday morning shopping; (2) Afternoon of wrapping gifts; and (3) Holiday Lunch and gift giving.

As Rotarian Mark Smith said about shopping: “Thank you fellow Rotary Club of Charleston members for walking out our motto “Service above self” through our Senior Holiday Gift & Luncheon Project.  Every single resident of the Ansonborough House downtown Charleston will receive a gift and a catered holiday luncheon at the Charleston Area Senior Center through our clubs generosity. This will be the only gift and celebration some of these residents will receive this year. It’s an honor to serve with such caring and generous people!”




Wrapping the gifts:


6 5 4


Mayor-elect John Tecklenburg thrilled the partygoers with his dazzling piano playing as he led them in the signing of Christmas Carols. Sticky Fingers supplied a wonderful spread and a great time was had by all.






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