Assistant District Governor Eric Davis explained how Rotary International’s 2019-2020 theme – “Rotary Connects the World” – will be put into action when he spoke to Capital Rotarians on July 17. Davis (in photo with club president Abby Naas) said adapting to a new generation of potential members might include more flexible meeting schedules, more family-friendly activities, more networking opportunities and continued emphasis on service projects. A local “Discovery Rotary Day” aims to increase community awareness and raise the organization’s profile, while an August summit offers training in membership growth. Community service projects include a “Together We Read” literacy program for elementary students, plus fund-raising to benefit “Key Changes Therapy” for childhood behavior problems. Local clubs are sponsoring an Interact Club at St. Peter’s Catholic School, developing leadership skills and service activities for young people. Davis said District 7770 will continue to raise money for the CART (Coins for Alzheimer’s Research Trust) Fund supporting medical research grants and for World Polio Day – an international campaign to eradicate the crippling disease. District Rotarians also plan to pack 1 million meals for Rise Against Hunger, an international relief organization coordinating the packaging and distribution of food and other life-changing aid to people in developing nations.
At Capital Rotary’s June 26 club assembly, outgoing president Philip Flynn reviewed the record of accomplishments for the 2018-2019 Rotary year, including:
- A fund-raising gala that resulted in nearly $20,000 for the CART (Coins for Alzheimer’s Research Trust) fund.
- An annual Red Cross Blood Drive that collected 58 units of blood.
- A literacy project that donated 741 dictionaries to third-graders in 16 Richland District One elementary schools.
- Serving two families in need – one in the Christmas season and another this spring (displaced by public housing gas leaks).
- A morning of volunteer community service at Harvest Hope Food Bank and weekly delivery for Meals On Wheels.
- A Rotary Global Grant Project to build a new elementary school in Ghana.
- An increase in college scholarship awards from four to six.
- Becoming host club for the student Rotaract Club at the University of South Carolina.
- Spontaneous fundraisers for Pawmetto Lifeline and for the local Ronald McDonald House.
- District 7770 recognitions for ranking fourth among clubs in CART fundraising and in the top five in Rotary Foundation giving; receiving a Club Leadership Citation; and being named a Club of the Year award winner.
- Publicizing club activities with 78 website and social media posts; reaching almost 5,300 people through social media; 4,432 website visitors; 75 news items on District 7770’s website and in newsletters; 107 press releases posted in local media; and six monthly club activity recaps e-mailed to members.
Sponsor Neda Beal fixes a Rotary pin on Sean Powers’ lapel, symbolizing the recent University of South Carolina Honors College graduate’s induction into Capital Rotary club. Powers earned his BA in Business Administration in May, majoring in operations and supply chain, marketing. He’s CEO and president of Pinkish Flamingo Incorporated, a start-up apparel company, and president of The Local Company, LLC, which will be opening a coffee shop called Local Coffee and Tap. Powers was founder, CEO and president of EClubSC, a 40-person educational programs and events management team. He also had supply chain analyst internships with Boeing and BMW. He’s been a member of the Growth Summit, the Columbia Worlds Affairs Council, the Dean’s Council at USC, and was service chair and scholarship chair for Alpha Kappa Psi professional fraternity.
Capital Rotary saluted its outgoing president and swore-in 2019-2020 officers and directors at a club assembly June 26. In Photo A, incoming president Abby Naas recognizes Philip Flynn’s 2018-2019 service with a past president’s gavel and plaque. In Photo B, the incoming club leaders are (seated, from left) director and community service chair Catherine Mabry; president Abby Naas; director Ione Cockrell; director and Rotaract liaison Neda Beal; (standing, from left) treasurer Bryan Goodyear; director and sergeant-at-arms Andy Markl; secretary Austin McVay; president-elect Ben Carlton; past president and Rotary Foundation/International chair Philip Flynn; (not pictured) membership chair Lee Ann Rice and director Paul Gillam.
Blake DuBose (right in photo), immediate past president of Capital Rotary, receives a plaque from current president Philip Flynn after being named the club’s Rotarian of the Year for 2018-2019. The citation recognizes DuBose’s leadership for a Global Grant Project to construct an elementary school in Africa. Capital Rotary is partnering with the Rotary Club of Sunyani East in Ghana on the building that’s being funded by a combination of local donations, a Rotary District 7770 contribution and a matching grant from The Rotary Foundation. DuBose, a graduate of Newberry College, is president of DuBose Web Group, a website design and development firm he began in 2007.
Capital Rotary president Philip Flynn recognizes at-large director and service chair Neda Beal for continuing Rotary Foundation donations that support world understanding and peace programs. Beal is now a Paul Harris Fellow Plus-Five giver (signifying an initial $1,000 donation with five additional gifts at the same amount). In 2016 Beal was named the club’s Rotarian of the Year for her guidance of local community service, literacy and volunteer projects.
Cannabidiol (CBD) oil – the non-intoxicating marijuana extract that’s become a hot new “medicinal product” – may have a role to play in maintaining good health and treating disease. But University of South Carolina research vice president Dr. Prakash Nagarkatti also had some words of caution when he addressed Capital Rotary Club members June 19. Dr. Nagarkatti (at left in photo with Rotarian Bud Foy) said CBD is useful for easing chronic inflammation that underlies “major clinical disorders” like cardiovascular and autoimmune diseases, PTSD, cancer, obesity and some aspects of aging. His patent on the use of CBD to treat autoimmune hepatitis has been approved by the FDA. But Dr. Nagrkatti warned that (1) CBD does not cure everything, (2) it can have adverse interactions with other medicines, (3) a doctor’s consultation is important before using CBD and (4) take care that CBD comes from a reliable source with a certificate of analysis. He noted that CBD being marketed as a “health or nutrition supplement” is not subject to FDA regulation. Dr. Nagrkatti has undergraduate and graduate degrees in botany, chemistry and microbiology and a doctorate in immunology. He was named USC’s Vice President for Research in October 2011.
Claire Davis, currently majoring in computer engineering at North Carolina State University in Raleigh, NC, was an honored guest at Capital Rotary’s June 19 breakfast meeting. Davis (in photo with Rotarian Darren Foy) is a Ben Lippen graduate who received a $10,000 scholarship from the club in 2018. She plans to enter a three-semester work/study apprenticeship program with a business in Boston, MA. Capital Rotary helps support higher-education opportunities for local high school students through scholarships based on a combination of academic performance, extracurricular activities and economic need. Foy is scholarship committee chairman.
Columbia’s Capital Rotary received high honors from District 7770 on June 19 for charitable giving and overall achievement of goals. In Photo A, assistant district governor Eric Davis (right) presents a citation to Tony Thompson, chairman of the club’s CART (Coins for Alzheimer’s Trust) Fund campaign. Capital Rotary ranked 4th out of 79 clubs for per capita CART giving. The CART initiative began in South Carolina over 20 years ago. Monies contributed support cutting edge, high-impact research aimed at preventing or finding a cure for Alzheimer’s disease. In Photo B, club president Philip Flynn (left) receives a Club Leadership Citation patch from Davis, emblematic of Capital Rotary’s successful participation in local and district community service projects and for contributions to Rotary International’s worldwide humanitarian outreach programs during the 2018-2019 program year. This past April, Capital Rotary was named “Club of the Year” among those similar in size in District 7770.
Dr. Harris Pastides – retiring soon as the University of South Carolina’s 28th president – told Capital Rotary on June 12 that he has enjoyed “a career well-lived” in higher education. Dr. Pastides (at left in photo with Rotarian Tommy Phelps) reviewed USC’s record of high achievement and unprecedented growth including (1) its Honor College ranked No. 1 among similar institutions in the nation; (2) continual top national academic rankings for 56 current programs in undergraduate and graduate international business, public health, engineering, nursing and others; (3) record levels of research funding; and (4) surpassing a $1 billion capital campaign goal. Dr. Pastides noted his signing of 117,662 USC diplomas over the past 10 years and forming personal relationships with so many students – “just by being yourself” – are among his most satisfying accomplishments. His retirement goals include travel, more time for friends and family, continued community service and engaging with young people to encourage them to vote. A native of Astoria, NY, Dr. Pastides has led USC’s flagship system of eight institutions in 20 geographic locations since 2008 and served on numerous committees for academic and nonprofit organizations.