End Polio Now – the global polio eradication initiative supported by Rotary International – continues to make steady progress against the dreaded disease. That message was delivered by Dr. Jimmie Williamson (at right in photo with Rotarian Melissa Lindler), guest speaker for Capital Rotary’s Dec. 19 meeting. Dr. Williamson, a longtime Rotarian and former District 7770 Governor for clubs in eastern South Carolina, was part of a polio immunization team operating out of northern India earlier in 2018. He said last year there were wild polio cases in only three countries: Pakistan, Afghanistan and Nigeria. Since 1988 there’s been a worldwide reduction in polio cases of 99.9%. But Williamson said immunization efforts are hampered now by cultural fears in Pakistan and Afghanistan. Rotary International helps provide funding, advocacy and mobilization for End Polio Now’s partnership that also includes the World Health Organization, the Centers for Disease Control, UNICEF and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Epworth Ice Cream Co. – a business launched just four months ago – is already proving to be a sweet success for Epworth Children’s Home, a Methodist-based institution housing about 70 youth at its Columbia campus. Company president David Mackey (shown at left with Rotarian Jim Potter) was Capital Rotary Club’s Nov. 7 guest speaker. Mackey said his star product – peanut butter ice cream – is based on a recipe created by Epworth Home in the 1930s. Today’s premium-brand Epworth Ice Cream comes in three other flavors as well. It’s made by an artisanal firm in Georgia and sold in pre-packaged cups, pint containers and in bulk to local restaurants. All profits go to the children’s home, and Mackey envisions a future where expanded local, statewide and regional sales might not only generate a healthy income, but also raise awareness of Epworth’s history and mission. A Richmond, VA native, Mackey graduated from Randolph-Macon with a BA in economics and from Wake Forest with an MBA in business/marketing. He created a business plan and raised funds critical to Epworth Ice Cream’s start-up over the past year.
Capital Rotary member Gene Oliver (center in photo) was recognized Oct. 3 for his latest donation to The Rotary Foundation in support of international programs promoting peace and world understanding. Oliver is a Paul Harris Fellow plus-three giver (signifying an initial $1,000 donation with three additional gifts in the same amount). Oliver – a retired college administrator – joined the Capital club nine years ago and has been a Rotarian for more than 50 years. Immediate past president Blake DuBose (left) is the club’s chair for Foundation contributions, while current president Philip Flynn is at right.
Two more Capital Rotarians have been recognized for donations to The Rotary Foundation in support of international programs promoting peace and world understanding. Shown in the photo from left are Blake DuBose, immediate past president and Foundation giving chair; E.J. Newby and Stephen West, both Paul Harris Fellow plus-one givers (signifying an initial $1,000 donation with an additional gift in the same amount); and Philip Flynn, club president. Newby joined Capital Rotary in 2017, while West has been a member since 2005.
Capital Rotarian Darren Foy welcomes recent Ben Lippen School graduate Claire Davis as a guest at the club’s Aug. 15 meeting. Davis, who will attend North Carolina State University to major in mechanical engineering, is one of two scholarship winners named by the club after applicant interviews in April of this year. In high school she was a National Honor Society member, earned a National Merit Commendation and was a U.S. Presidential Scholars candidate. Capital Rotary has been supporting higher-education opportunities for local high school students for more than 20 years. The club’s scholarships are based on a combination of academic performance, extracurricular activities and economic need.
Isaac Burt, a member of the sales team at Columbia’s Godwin Motors, has joined Capital Rotary. Burt (center in photo with club president Philip Flynn at right and sponsor Matthew Pollard) is a native of Portsmouth, NH. He was a high school swimming, football and track and field athlete and a college swimmer and wrestler. Burt majored in political science with a religion minor at Greensboro College in Greensboro, NC, where he also served as junior class president, student body president the following year and as a resident advisor for two years. He was a Founders Scholarship recipient at the college.
In July, District Governor David Tirard visited the Capital Rotary club to lead way into an exciting new Rotary year. During his comments, DG Tirard relayed Rotary International’s 2018-19 motto, “Be the Inspiration”, but emphasized that you don’t have to be a leader to be an inspiration and that everyone can leave their footprints in the sands of time to make a lasting change.
Tirard is originally from Plymouth, England where he had a 34 year banking career. He moved to the United States in 2002. Past District Governor Sandee Brooks invited Tirard to a Rotary meeting in 2003 and he has been a Rotarian since. He now lives in Hilton Head, SC where he enjoys chasing a little white ball around golf courses and has accomplished a single handicap.
Working to overcome effects of significant childhood trauma leads to better lives for youngsters and their families but requires “a lot of human capital,” according to Achieve Columbia executive director Robert Lominack, Capital Rotary’s July 11 guest speaker. Lominack (shown with Rotarian Ione Cockrell) co-founded the non-profit program in 2012 after working as a defense lawyer and high school teacher. Currently embedded at Hand Middle School, Achieve Columbia builds long-lasting and deep relationships with at-risk students and families beginning in 7th grade and continuing through high school graduation. Lominack said mitigating trauma’s negative impact “gives our students a wider window into the world and helps them find their place in it.” With a combination of group and individualized mentoring, tutoring, resource coordination and counseling, Achieve Columbia successfully deals with issues including student behavior and academics, homelessness, transportation and life beyond high school. Lominack is a Greenville, SC native and was educated at the University of the South in Tennessee and at Northeastern Law School in Boston.
Columbia’s Capital Rotary has recognized 13 new Paul Harris Benefactors for making substantial contributions to the Rotary Foundation’s international humanitarian and educational programs. Benefactors pledge to make a $1,000 Foundation donation through their wills or estate plans. Those honored at the club’s June 20 assembly include (from left in Photo 1) Mike Montgomery, Felicia Maloney, Lee Ann Rice, Ben Carlton, Andy Markl, EJ Newby, Austin McVay, Allyson Way Hank, Perry Lancaster, Betsy Best, Abby Naas, Paul Gillam; (not pictured) Carol Caulk and Daniel Winders. The club also recognized those named Paul Harris Fellows, signifying a $1,000 contribution to the Rotary Foundation. They receive a special pin, a certificate and a medal to honor their donation. The group included (from left in Photo 2) Walker Williams; Neda Beal – Paul Harris Fellow+4 (initial $1,000 gift plus four others of $1,000 each); EJ Newby – Paul Harris Fellow+1 (initial $1,000 gift plus another of $1,000); Austin McVay and Felicia Maloney; Frank Rutkowski – Paul Harris Fellow+1; Betsy Best; Stephen West – Paul Harris Fellow+1; and Alex Serkes (not pictured).
Capital Rotary held a club social event June 6 at the new Hunter-Gatherer brew pub located in Columbia’s historic Curtiss-Wright Hangar at Jim Hamilton-L.B. Owens Airport. The steel and glass hangar was built in 1929 by the Curtiss-Wright Co., one of 30 or so located across the country. It was dedicated as Columbia Municipal Airport in 1930. In its brew pub configuration, the 13,000-square-foot hangar houses a 527-gallon brew house, a bottling and kegging line, a 1,200-square-foot tap room and a 1,000-square-foot event space, plus a pizza kitchen. An outdoor rooftop Observation Deck seats 40-plus, with views of the airport and, through windows, down into the brewery. Rotarians and guests enjoying an evening of fellowship included: (Photo 1 from left) Bill Beers, Daniel Winders and John Guignard; (Photo 2 from left) Philip Flynn, Ann Elliott and Jay von Kolnitz; (Photo 3 from left) Darren Foy, Sue Phelps, Tommy Phelps and Matthew Pollard; (Photo 4 from left) Chris Ray and Tommy Gibbons. Artwork depicting the hanger in its heyday is shown in Photo 5, while Photo 6 is an outside view of the building today. A highway marker detailing the hangar’s history (Photo 7) is located on the adjacent road.