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Jul 112018
 

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.

July 11 2018 GUEST SPEAKER

 

 

 

 

 

Jul 112018
 

Columbia’s Capital Rotary Club is gearing up for the annual summer blood drive to be held Wednesday, July 25, 2018, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.  Scheduled donations and walk-ins are welcome at the donation site – first floor conference room, CB Richard Ellis Building, 1333 Main St. in downtown Columbia.  The goal is 75 pints of blood, according to Red Cross staff member Libby Wright (at center in photo with president Philip Flynn and drive chairman Paul Gillam at left).  Wright said the club over the past nine years has collected 516 units of blood, helping to save the lives of more than 1,500 patients.  Because of high demand and lagging blood donations in summertime, Wright said the Red Cross is making an “emergency appeal” now for participation by prospective donors.

UPCOMING BLOOD DRIVE

Jun 272018
 

Crawling through Viet Cong tunnels during his Vietnam War service was always an exercise in potential danger, according to C.W. Bowman, Capital Rotary guest speaker for June 27 (at left in photo with club member Chris Myers).  Bowman – a draftee shipped overseas in January 1967 – was a point man, demolition-man and tunnel rat who cleared and destroyed underground complexes that could conceal hospitals, training areas, storage facilities, headquarters and barracks.  Bowman said the dirty duty’s hazards included not only booby traps and enemy troops, but also snakes, spiders, scorpions and ants.  Typically, he faced these dangers armed only with a flashlight and a .45 caliber pistol, plus a healthy dose of caution.  Bowman served two tours in Vietnam and earned a Combat Infantry Badge, Purple Heart and Army Commendation Medal, among other awards.  He later was a drill sergeant at Ft. Jackson.  A native of Bordentown, NJ, Bowman has lived in South Carolina since 1973.

tunnel rat

Jun 202018
 

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).

Benefactors 1 Paul Harris Fellows 1

Jun 202018
 

Outgoing Capital Rotary Club president Blake DuBose presents the 2018 Rotarian of the Year plaque to public relations chair Pete Pillow (left) in recognition of his dedicated service and loyal devotion to the ideals of Rotary.  Pillow, a retired journalist and public information officer, joined Capital Rotary in 2006.  He’s been a Rotarian since 1980 and is a past president of clubs in Beaufort and East Spartanburg.  He’s also a past president of the SC Chapter of the National School Public Relations Association and a College of Charleston graduate.

Rotarian of Year 2018

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

Jun 132018
 

The Richland County Sheriff’s Department’s Project Lifesaver team aims to “bring loved ones home” safely when electronic tracking is needed to find at-risk wanderers – clients with Alzheimer’s, autism, Downs Syndrome or traumatic brain injury.  Deputy Amanda Jordan (shown at left in photo with Rotarian Daniel Moses) briefed Capital Rotary on June 13, noting that 44 local clients and their families are enrolled in the program founded in Virginia nearly 20 years ago.  Project Lifesaver began in Richland County in 2006 with only eight deputies and three clients.  Today 80 deputies are trained, certified specialists in locating missing persons via electronic searching – a process that usually takes less than 30 minutes as compared to a normal physical search lasting up to nine hours and sometimes involving hundreds of officers and volunteers.  Jordan said Project Lifesaver is cost effective for law enforcement and provides better protection for lost individuals.  Richland County does not charge its residents or their at-risk loved ones for receiving a transmitter and joining the program.  Jordan, a University of South Carolina graduate, has served with the Sheriff’s Department for 14 years.  She coordinates Project Lifesaver for the State of South Carolina, where 18 counties have signed on.  There are 1,300 participating agencies across the US, Canada and Australia.  To date more than 3,400 client rescues have been reported.

RCSD Lifesaver

Jun 132018
 

Paul Gillam (left in photo), a member of Capital Rotary’s scholarship selection committee, welcomes College of Charleston graduate Victoria Bailey to the June 13 weekly meeting.  Bailey, recipient of a four-year scholarship from the club, graduated from Dreher High in 2015 and majored in biology/molecular biology.  She plans to attend medical school and is eyeing a career as a surgeon, anesthesiologist or obstetrics/gynecology practitioner.  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.

Victoria Bailey

Jun 062018
 

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.

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May 302018
 

Blockchain – the technology behind Bitcoin – has potential uses far beyond digital currencies.  That’s what Capital Rotarians heard from May 30 guest speaker Dr. Dirk Brown, shown with club member Walker Williams (left in photo).  Brown is faculty director of the University of South Carolina’s McNair Institute for Entrepreneurism and Free Enterprise.  He has extensive experience in digital media and electronic technologies, operations and marketing.  Brown said that currently, most people use a trusted middleman such as a bank to make a transaction.  But blockchain allows consumers and suppliers to connect directly, removing the need for third party validation.  Using cryptography to keep exchanges secure, blockchain provides a giant spreadsheet or “digital ledger” of transactions that everyone on the network can see.  This network is essentially a chain of computers that must all approve an exchange before it can be verified and recorded.  Brown said blockchain technology can work for almost every type of transaction involving value, including money, goods and property.  Its potential uses are almost limitless, and blockchain could also help reduce fraud because every transaction would be recorded and distributed on a public ledger.  It’s also virtually impossible to hack.  “We now have a secure way to make value exchanges with strangers without a central authority,” Brown explained.  “The future is here for blockchain and cryptocurrency, but most of us are just now realizing it.”  Brown has a bachelor of science from Queens University in Canada, with post-graduate degrees from San Jose State and Cornell University, where he earned a doctorate in materials science.

Rotary 5-30 guest speaker

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