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Mar 132019
 

Author Randolph G. Russell told Capital Rotary members March 13 that ignorance about our nation’s history is “profound and widespread” throughout the American public.  Russell (at left in photo with Rotarian Matthew Pollard) was guest speaker at the club’s weekly breakfast meeting.  His book “American History in No Time” takes a quick look at the “essential fundamentals” of our heritage and could help repair what Russell called a “fading connection” with the past.  He believes knowing US history is important for these reasons: (1) it’s part of our national identification as Americans; (2) it’s a way to counter those who try to “fill the void of ignorance” with misinformation; (3) it affects the quality of government by enabling us to make better choices at election time; and (4) it’s a fascinating story that can enrich everyone’s life.  Unlike weighty school texts, Russell said his book is an overview of key events, people, places and principles divided into chapters that can be read in a matter of minutes.  He described it as the quickest way to get up to speed with history’s essentials – what everyone should learn and not forget.  Russell holds degrees from the University of Miami and the University of Florida.  He’s worked in financial management for companies in Florida and Georgia.  Also an accomplished musician, Russell concluded his presentation with a saxophone rendition of “America the Beautiful.”

Copies of BookGuest speaker Randoloph Russell

 

Feb 132019
 

Foregoing their regular breakfast meeting, Capital Rotary Club members spent an hour of community service volunteer time Feb. 13 at Harvest Hope Food Bank’s Shop Road headquarters in Columbia.  They bagged and stocked five bins with approximately 3,000 pounds of edibles destined for the Emergency Food Pantry.  Harvest Hope, begun in 1981, works to meet the needs of hungry people in 20 counties in the Midlands, Pee Dee and Greater Greenville regions of South Carolina.  Capital Rotarians traditionally volunteer at the facility at least once a year as a group.

Harvest Hope SignPacking Boxes BPacking Boxes CPacking Boxes D

Jan 162019
 

Human trafficking is a growing multi-billion-dollar crime worldwide.  Victims include children, the homeless or people from difficult family situations, undocumented immigrants and the disabled.  Capital Rotarians heard details from Jan. 16 guest speakers Sherri Lydon (left in photo) and Elliott Daniels (right in photo).  Lydon is US Attorney for the District of South Carolina, while Daniels is an Assistant US Attorney.  Human trafficking is modern-day slavery – using force, fraud or coercion to exploit victims.  They can be manipulated physically or psychologically and pressed into domestic service, commercial sex trafficking or forced labor.   Victims may be exploited by employers, family members, caregivers or intimate partners, friends or acquaintances.  In 2018 South Carolina had 127 human trafficking hotline reports, mostly for commercial sex or forced labor.  Incidents were most numerous in Richland, Horry, Greenville and Charleston counties.  Daniels said more citizen awareness combats human trafficking.  He urged support for non-profit organizations that help and shelter victims, plus offering them job opportunities.  To keep children safe from being lured into trafficking via the internet, he said parents need to “know who your kids are talking to online” and set social media boundaries.  Lydon is a Clemson and University of South Carolina Law School graduate who was appointed the state’s US Attorney in May 2018.  Daniels has undergraduate and law degrees from George Washington University and studied international law at Oxford University.

Lydon & Daniels 1

Dec 052018
 

District 7770 Assistant Gov. Eric Davis (right in photo) has honored Columbia’s Capital Rotary for 2017-2018 donations to The Rotary Foundation, the international service club’s charitable arm for programs promoting peace and world understanding.  The honors include (from left in photo) current president Philip Flynn holding a certificate for contributions to End Polio Now, the global partnership that has contributed more than $1.6 billion toward polio eradication since  1988; immediate past president Blake DuBose holding a 100% Foundation Giving banner for clubs that average 100% participation with an average of $100 in per capita giving; and past president Tommy Gibbons holding an Every Rotarian, Every Year banner for clubs that achieve a minimum Annual Fund contribution of $100 per capita during the Rotary year.  Rotary District 7770 includes 80 clubs and about 5,000 Rotarians in 25 eastern counties of South Carolina.

Club Awards edited

Oct 182018
 

South Carolina United FC is the Palmetto State’s largest youth soccer club and aims to make a positive impact on the lives of the 4,400 children and young adults active in its programs.  That’s what Capital Rotary members heard when Ron Tryon (shown with Rotarian Felicia Maloney) was their Oct. 17 guest speaker.  Tryon – a former attorney – has been CEO of the soccer non-profit since January 2014.  His goal is to offer quality youth recreational soccer in all neighborhoods and to any child regardless of race, religion or socio-economic background.  South Carolina United FC attracts players from 250 schools in 17 counties and last year had 43 of its “alumni” players bound for competition at the college level.  Three of the club’s former players are now in the professional ranks.  South Carolina United FC’s cultural exchange program with a “sister state” in Germany has involved over 600 student-athletes and coaches since 2003.  Its two annual tournaments attract some 200,000 players, coaches and parents, resulting in a $7.6 million economic impact in the Columbia area.  Tryon also detailed progress on the club’s new 24-acre, five-field soccer training complex located near the intersection of I-20 and Monticello Road.

Guest speaker Ron Tryon

Sep 192018
 

When Columbia hosts the 2019 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament Regionals next March, that could bring 20,000-25,000 visitors to town and generate a potential $9 million economic impact.  Scott Powers, executive director of Experience Columbia SC Sports, is working alongside the University of South Carolina to make that experience welcoming, user-friendly and enjoyable for players, coaches, media and fans.  Powers (shown at left with Rotarian Alex Serkes) was Capital Rotary’s Sept. 19 guest speaker.  He said the event – to be held March 22-24, 2019 at Colonial Life Arena – is the first time Columbia has been an NCAA Regionals host since 1970.  The eight college teams slated to compete in first and second round games won’t be announced until March 17.  How well the tournament draws will be influenced by which teams will be playing, where they’ll be traveling from, each team’s fan base and their fans’ willingness to travel.  Powers is encouraging the Midlands to get involved by offering community events, fun things to do while in town and food/drink specials.  “All eyes will be on Columbia to determine whether we will be selected to host again,” he said.  Powers has been Experience Columbia SC Sports director since 2004.  He’s a USC graduate, a Leadership Columbia gradate and a founding member of the South Carolina Sports Alliance.

Guest speaker Scott Powers

Aug 222018
 

South Carolina’s 20 electric cooperatives have a big stake in financial fallout from the V.C. Summer nuclear power plant abandoned a year ago by Santee Cooper and SC Electric & Gas.  That’s according to Lou Green, communications executive vice president for the Electric Cooperatives of SC.  Green (left in photo with Rotarian Tony Thompson) was Capital Rotary’s Aug. 22 guest speaker.  He said co-ops are focused on financial impacts that resolution of the $9 billion failure might have on their 1.5 million customers.  They are especially concerned about Santee Cooper’s fate since co-ops are the state-owned utility’s biggest customer base.  Twenty-three lawsuits plus various legislative actions complicate the issue, but Green noted that a special committee is meeting now to study the idea of selling Santee Cooper to pay off its nuclear debt.  “The state needs to come up with a process and bring options to the legislature,” Green said.  “They’re the only ones who can make a decision about Santee Cooper.”  Green joined the state co-ops organization in 1992 after working in radio and television.   He is a University of Georgia graduate with a master’s degree from the University of South Carolina.

Guest speaker Lou Green

Jul 112018
 

Rotary clubs in South Carolina’s Midlands will hold a gala fund-raiser in Columbia Friday evening, Aug. 17 to benefit the CART (Coins for Alzheimer’s Research Trust) Fund.  Tickets are now available, along with sponsorship opportunities and item donations for life and silent auctions.

The black tie optional event will be held at the historic event venue at 1208 Washington St. from 7 to 11 p.m. Advance tickets are $100 per person or $175 per couple.  Tickets at the door will be $125 per person or $200 per couple.  Admission includes live music, heavy hors d’oeurves, open bar and free valet parking.

Sponsorships range from $250 to $5,000 and include a pre-event champagne reception, event tickets, advertising listings and additional promotional considerations.  More information about tickets and sponsor information is available at www.cartgala.org.

Gala organizers hope to raise $40,000 for the CART Fund.  One hundred percent (100%) of CART donated funds go to grants for cutting edge, high-impact research aimed at preventing or finding a cure for Alzheimer’s disease.  The CART initiative began in South Carolina over 20 years ago and has since been adopted by Rotary clubs throughout the United States.  Alzheimer’s is the sixth-leading cause of death in the U.S. and South Carolina ranks number 1 in deaths from the disease.

CART logo

Jun 202018
 

At a year-end assembly to review some of Capital Rotary’s 2017-2018 accomplishments, outgoing president Blake DuBose thanked members for achievement that included:

  • Adding six new members.
  • Donating 936 free dictionaries to third-graders in 14 Richland County District One schools.
  • Awarding two college scholarships to deserving high school students.
  • Reaching 110% of the club’s Rotary Foundation donations goal (total contributions $12,933).
  • Adding 20 new Rotary Foundation Benefactors ($1,000 donation via will) in the past month; 95% of members are now Benefactors.
  • Donating $8,000 to aid natural disaster victims in Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico and Mexico.
  • More than doubling the goal for PolioPlus contributions (total of $3,480).
  • Several club members are organizing a Columbia-area CART (Coins for Alzheimer’s Research Trust) gala to raise money for medical research.
  • Sponsoring Christmas gifts for two families through the Families Helping Families organization.
  • Holding five social events promoting member fellowship.
  • Interaction with student leaders of the University of South Carolina’s Rotaract Club.
  • Continuing community service projects – Meals on Wheels delivery and volunteering at Harvest Hope Food Bank.
  • Excellent presentations at weekly club meetings, thanks to speakers committee efforts.
  • Collecting 65 units of blood at the annual Red Cross Blood Drive.  In the past seven years, the club has collected over 516 units of blood, impacting more than 1,548 lives.
  • Rotary District 7770 “Four-Way Test Award” nomination for past president David Boucher.
  • A District “Service Above Self Award” for public relations committee chair Pete Pillow.
  • A District “Public Image Award” and a leadership citation for the club.
  • Reporting on club activities with70 website and social media posts; reaching 8,460 people through social media; 2,251 website visitors; 65 postings on District 7770’s website and newsletters; 91 press releases posted by local media; and 11 monthly club activity recaps e-mailed to members.

2018-2019 Leadership

New 2018-2019 officers and directors for Capital Rotary were sworn into office on June 20.  Pictured are (from left) Jack Williamson, at-large director and sergeant at arms; Ben Carlton, secretary; Andy Markl, at-large director; Abby Naas, president-elect; Neda Beal, at-large director and service chair; Gloria Saeed, membership chair; Paul Gillam and Ione Cockrell, at-large directors; Philip Flynn, president; Blake DuBose, past president and Rotary Foundation chair; and Bryan Goodyear, treasurer.

2018-2019 board

May 232018
 

Capital Rotarians were briefed on life in China when former club member Qing Wang was May 23rd’s weekly guest speaker.  Wang – now a member of Five Points Rotary – is a Chinese citizen living and working in the US.  She prefaced her remarks by noting that although she still has friends and family living in China, it’s been four years since her last visit.  In that time, she said, there has been rapid economic development along with changes in what she called the key elements of daily living – food, housing, transportation/commuting, shopping and education.  She also noted that China’s population of 1.4 billion is not evenly distributed throughout the country, but heavily concentrated on its east coast and in approximately 15 megacities cities, each with a population in excess of 10 million.  Wang is a bridge engineer with the SC Department of Transportation.  She has a structural engineering doctorate from Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago and earned undergraduate degrees from China’s Beijing City University and Yanshan University.

china flag

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