Capital Rotary president Philip Flynn (center in photo) congratulates Jimmy Gibbs (left) and Bud Foy for earning Paul Harris Fellow Plus-Four honors recognizing their continued contributions to The Rotary Foundation, the international service club’s charitable arm that supports programs for world understanding and peace. Gibbs and Foy have each made an initial $1,000 donation to the fund, followed by four additional gifts of $1,000. Gibbs, an insurance broker, is a past president and past assistant district governor who joined Capital Rotary in September 1995. Foy, a retired dentist, joined the club in March 2015 and was a member of the Rotary Club of Monterey, CA for 24 years before relocating to South Carolina.
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.
Columbia’s Capital Rotary Club held its annual summer blood drive on Wednesday, July 25. Scheduled donations and walk-ins were welcome, and the drive resulted in 66 pints of blood collected. Red Cross staff member Libby Wright (at center in photo with president Philip Flynn and drive chairman Paul Gillam at left) said the club over the past 10 years has collected 582 units of blood, helping to save the lives of more than 1,700 people. Because of high demand and lagging blood donations in summertime, Wright said the Capital club’s effort helps to answer the “emergency appeal” for prospective donors.
Capital Rotarian Abby Naas was in costume and armed with a light saber for “Star Wars Night” at the Columbia Fireflies baseball game on Friday, May 4. She was among a host of District 7770 club members enjoying a Rotary Night celebration, too, at Spirit Communications Park. The evening of baseball, hot dogs and good sportsmanship combines fellowship and fund-raising, with additional proceeds going to the Rotary Foundation. The hosting Fireflies are a minor league affiliate of the New York Mets. Naas joined the Fireflies staff in January 2015 as marketing and public relations vice president.
In the middle of an emergency appeal facing critical blood shortages, Capital Rotary’s summer blood drive collected 65 units to benefit up to 195 people. Rotarians (from left) John Guignard, Chris Ray, Blake DuBose and Bryan Goodyear await their turn to participate in the service project that’s supported the American Red Cross with 516 blood donations – potentially saving 1,548 patients’ lives – over the past seven years. “Thanks to our volunteers and donors, we lived up to Rotary International’s 2017-18 motto of ‘Making a Difference’,” said DuBose, president of the Columbia-area club.
At the annual club assembly to review Capital Rotary’s accomplishments for 2016-2017, president Tommy Gibbons thanked members for achieving highlights that included:
- Earning a Leadership Citation badge for participation in local/district community service projects plus contributions for international humanitarian outreach.
- Donating dictionaries to third-grade students in 12 Richland County District One schools. Over the past 12 years, the club has distributed personal dictionaries to12,150 youngsters.
- Collecting 61 pints at the annual Red Cross Blood Drive, each donation helping to save the lives of up to three people.
- Raising $2,100 at a Lake Murray charity fishing tournament and over $18,000 in holiday wreath sales to benefit college scholarships; club stipends currently go to four students.
- Contributing almost $40,000 in charitable funds to The Rotary Foundation, to Polio Plus efforts to eliminate the crippling disease worldwide, and for the CART (Coins for Alzheimer’s Research Trust) Fund to prevent or cure Alzheimer’s disease.
- Supporting The Rotary Foundation with 54 Paul Harris Fellows ($1,000 donation), 46 Benefactors ($1,000 donation via will), four Bequest Society members ($10,000 donation upon death), four Major Donors (donation greater than $10,000) and eight Paul Harris Society members ($1,000 donation yearly) in our ranks.
- Providing $1,000 for flood assistance in Louisiana as well as $585 from individual members.
- Helping a local family with Christmas gifts and working with the Saint Bernard Project to repair the family’s house after flooding.
- Adding six new members and getting them involved and engaged early in club activities.
- Continuing community service projects with Meals on Wheels and Harvest Hope Food Bank
- Publicizing club activities with 60 website and social media posts; reaching 8,609 people through social media; 3,002 website visitors; 30 press releases to local media; and mention of our club in 14 district e-newsletters.
Blake DuBose, Capital Rotary’s incoming president, presents a distinguished service plaque to Dr. Tommy Gibbons (right), who led the club for 2016-2017. Gibbons, a native of Clarendon County, is president and chief medical officer of UCI Medical Affiliates, Inc. and Doctors Care, PA in Columbia. He’s also served as chair of the SAFEKIDS South Carolina Board of Directors and as a member of The Children’s Trust SAFEKIDS South Carolina Advisory Committee. DuBose, a graduate of Newbery College, is president of DuBose Web Group, a website design and development firm based in Columbia.
Capital Rotary Club of Columbia has installed new board members for 2017-2018. Pictured are (from left) David Boucher, membership director; Blake DuBose, president; Neda Beal, at-large director and service chair; Ben Carlton and Gloria Saeed, at-large directors; Craig Lemrow, treasurer; Abby Naas, secretary; Ione Cockrell, at-large director; Bill Beers, at-large director and sergeant at arms; Tommy Gibbons, past president and Rotary Foundation chair. The club’s new president-elect is Philip Flynn (not pictured).
Capital Rotary president Tommy Gibbons awards the 2017 Rotarian of the Year plaque to treasurer Craig Lemrow (left) in recognition of his dedication and loyal devotion to the ideals of “Service Above Self.” A former Rotarian in Lexington, Lemrow joined the Capital club in 2014. He’s previously been recognized for multiple contributions to The Rotary Foundation, an international charitable fund that supports programs for world understanding and peace.
Dr. Michel van Tooren (wearing white shirt, blue coat in photo background) explains industrial oven use in new materials manufacturing to Capital Rotary members on a tour of the Ronald E. McNair Center for Aerospace Innovation and Research. Van Tooren is deputy director of the center founded at the University of South Carolina in 2011 and named after the late Challenger astronaut. It supports the state’s second largest industry through aerospace education, research, outreach and economic engagement. Capital Rotary’s tour was part of the club’s Fifth Wednesday program featuring local field trips in place of a regular weekly meeting.