December 14, 2017 - Sing We Merrily
Hilton Head Island High School ChoirRotarians Mary Briggs and Helen Ryan introduced Joshua Wall and the Hilton Head Island High School Seahawk Singers. Mary and Helen lamented that music and the arts are not supported in schools and it is truly the dedication of teachers to make these programs possible.
Mr. Wall is in his third year of teaching at HHIHS. In 2016, the Seahawk Singers were named Division 3A State Choral Champions and for the first time in school history the ensemble received a Superior Rating. Nearly 50 youth ranging in grades 9th-12th serenaded us beginning with “Seasons” composed by Norwegian, Ola Gjeilo. Following were “Hope” by Victor Johnson, “Hey Ho, Nobody Home” made famous by Peter, Paul, and Mary and finally a musical medley with classic favorites like “Silver Bells”, “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas”, and “Most Wonderful Time of Year”.
When finished, they received boisterous applause and a standing ovation. Next spring, this talented group will be traveling to Walt Disney World in Florida to compete in “2018 Festival Disney”. They are diligently raising funds for the trip and would happily accept any donations.
December 7, 2017 - Growing Our Own Oysters
Andrew CarminesLast week Andrew Carmines, President of Hudson’s Restaurant, gave a presentation on Oyster farming at the iconic restaurant. The original oyster factory was built in 1912 as a seafood processing plant. Hudson’s has been a family-owned business since the 1920’s, owned and named by the venerable J.B. Hudson, Sr. At that time thousands of oysters were brought in by oar-powered boats and shucked at Hudson’s, then sent to the Northeast.
As he built up the operation it now seats 345 and serves over 1,000 people on a normal summer night. Over 450,000 oysters are shucked and 70,000 pounds of shrimp are consumed annually. In keeping with the Hudson’s tradition of only the freshest seafood, Andrew created the Shell Ring Oyster Company in 2013. Shell Ring is a sustainable oyster farm in Port Royal Sound. These oysters are often harvested, shucked, and eaten in the same day – absolutely the freshest Oysters in the world. Hudson’s remains a landmark on the island and a must visit when on the island.
November 30, 2017 - Why We Give
Bernie RiedelBernie Riedel gave us all a great presentation on The Rotary Foundation and Why We Give. He outlined the presentation with a brief history, where our club stands, and where we are going in Rotary’s effort to end Polio.
First he spoke about putting things in perspective as it relates to our zone & club 2016-17 Foundation Results. There are 79 Rotary Clubs in District 7770, which covers the eastern half of SC. Our District is one of 15 Districts in Zone 33, that includes Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, Part of Tennessee, North Carolina, and South Carolina. There are 530 Districts in the World. In District 7770, Zone 33 we were #1 in Paul Harris Society Members , #1 in Annual Fund giving with $830,718, #1 in Endowment of $191,571, #2 in Polio Giving at $217,061, and as a zone in total giving of $1,154,449, we are #1 again.
November 16, 2017 - What's happening in Columbia?
Jeff BradleyRepresentative Jeff Bradley, a member of the South Carolina House of Representatives, shared an update on the committees of which he is a part in the SC legislature. Voters elected Representative Bradley in 2014 and re-elected him in 2016. He serves on the Education committee, Joint Pension Reform committee and House Regulations committee. He is married with three grown children, his background is in financial management.
Jeff address local concerns including the state pension plan, the South Carolina school system, and the success of the GED Camp here in Hilton Head.
November 2, 2017 - Our Very Best Teachers
David Bennett & Jon HopmanLast week the “Teachers of the Year” of Hilton Head Island, as nominated by their school administrators were recognized for their exemplary service.
For each teacher the presenter, Rotarian and Headmaster of Hilton Head Prep, Jon Hopman, spoke of their time and devotion to education of the students of Hilton Head Island. He spoke of their efforts that go above and beyond to deliver the best education for the students of Hilton Head Island.
The Mayor of Hilton Head Island, David Bennett issued a proclamation to honor the teachers that received the awards. The Mayor shared a story about his fifth-grade teacher who was known to the students as the unfavorable choice among two teachers for that year. He said the teacher lived up to the expectations, but also left a memory that remains today as one of his guiding lights: Work every day to perform beyond average and to be the best that you can be.
October 26, 2017 - Rotary & Polio Eradication
Bob Laughlin & Brian JuliusRotarians Dr. Bob Laughlin and Brian Julius gave us a great presentation on Rotary & Polio from the beginning through what’s going on now. There has been a long time line that has outlined the disease from the 18 documented deaths in 1894, 2000 killed in 1916 in New York City and over 6,000 across the United States at that time.
The question arises…has it been worth it? Yes, Rotarians attacking a worldwide problem from 1,000 new cases a day in 1979 to continuing the fight against polio worldwide. It’s estimated that we need 1.5 billion dollar goal to eliminate polio worldwide. As Polio Eradication is Rotary’s #1 Priority, it’s up to us to keep up the fight against this disease. District 7770’s goal is $1,500 per club. Support the fight…donate now.
October 19, 2017 - Rotary Changing & Exchanging Lives
Lindsay Bunting, Kaitlyn Campbell, & Lily GallagherLast week, Rotarian Lindsay Bunting introduced two of our Outbound Rotary Exchange students to speak about their experiences abroad last year. First up was Kaitlyn Campbell who lived in Sardinia, Italy. She adamantly proclaimed that her year in Italy was “…the best year of my whole life”. Her host family truly took her in as family and raised her in the Italian culture. She had the opportunity to travel to Rome, Florence, Naples and multiple other locations with fellow exchange students.
Next up was Lilly Gallagher who lived in Madrid, Spain for a year. She is now a Senior at HHIHS and was inspired by former exchange students that went to her school years ago. Much like Kaitlyn, Lilly was able to travel extensively including Paris, Majorca, Segovia, along with so many more places.
October 5, 2017 - News from the District Governor
Blake WhiteLast week we were visited by the District 7770 District Governor Gary Bradham. After graduating from the Citadel, Gary served in the United States Airforce for 25 years, retiring as a full Colonel. In addition to his B.A. in Business Administration from the Citadel, Gary holds a MBA from La Tech University, and a National Security and Logistics degree from the Industrial College of the Armed Forces.
He also presented a special 4 Way Test award to Vic Neeley. Vic’s companies were honored as stellar examples of businesses which built their missions and practices on the tenets of the 4-Way Test.
September 28, 2017 - The Unique Lean Ensemble
Blake WhiteBlake White- Founding Artistic and Executive Director of the Lean Ensemble Theater spoke to our Rotary Club last week. Blake has born in Pineville, Louisiana and was a theater major at Hanover College. He has been on Hilton Head Island since 2007. Two and one-half years ago Blake saw the need and desire for theater (Can you guess which one is Blake>) in the Low Country. The Lean Ensemble was formed and has grown from an ensemble of 12 to 20 artists over a short period of time.
September 21, 2017 - Major Gifts - The Rotary Foundation
Carl DavisCarl Davis, Major Gifts Officer at The Rotary Foundation spoke to our club on September 7th. Carl was previously an officer at the Salvation Army before joining Rotary in 2000. Our club has 12 distinctive members that were recognized as Major Donors by Carl and previous District Governor, Sandy. Mr. Davis shared several stories about other donors that elucidated the various ways that you can become a Major Donor.
A special event that culminated this meeting was the presentation of the Major Donor crystal and pin to President Karen Cully. She has reached the designation of Major Donor Level One for donating $10,000 in personal cash donations to the Rotary Foundation.
August 17, 2017 - The Tremendous Impact of C.A.R.T.
Nancy RiedelRotarian, Bernie Riedel introduced his spouse, Rotarian and Assistant District Governor Nancy Riedel who shared information with us about the C.A.R.T. Project and its impact on Alzheimer’s Research.
What is CART? Coins for Alzheimer’s Research Trust and 100% of all funds collected go directly to research. Nancy first lamented that Alzheimer’s Disease effects more than just the patient, but rather, the entire family. Alzheimer’s is the 6th leading cause of death in the United States. In 1995, Rotarian Roger Ackerman witnessed his mother-in-law succumb to the devastation of Alzheimer’s and asked himself “what can I do?”. His Rotary club in Sumter, SC decided to collect coins for the remaining 8 months of their year and raised over $4000. Since then, 28 districts now contribute to the CART Fund and have given $6.5 million in grants for Alzheimer’s research.
August 10, 2017 - Promoting the Rotary Way
The PR TeamWho’s job is it to promote Rotary? YOURS & MINE!! During last week’s meeting, we shared and talked about different ways that each member can promote the great work of Rotary. Led by the PR committee, chaired by Jean Vahey, her team walked through several activities already in progress.
The membership was asked to discuss at their tables about ways they promote Rotary currently. Each table shared and documented their ideas and then were given a chance to talk about what they discussed.
August 3, 2017 - The Saga of the Loggerhead
Dawn BrutLast week Dawn Brut of the Coastal Discovery Museum gave an enlightening presentation about the Loggerhead Sea Turtles on Hilton Head Island.
The loggerhead turtles nest on the beaches of Hilton Head Island and other southeast beaches between May and August every year. An adult female will come to shore and nest 4-6 times per season. She will usually come to shore at night and dig a hole about 2 ½ feet deep. There she will deposit about 120 eggs each time. The eggs are about the size of a ping pong ball. This year on Hilton Head Island they counted 309 nests.
July 27, 2017 - 40 Year History of the Island Rec Center
Alan PerryFellow Rotarian and Executive Director of the Island Recreation Center Frank Soule and Alan Perry gave the club an update on the Island Recreation Association’s Expansion Project. Our club has been involved in its growth for over 40 years to help provide recreational options for Hilton Head Island Residents and visitors to the area. The association is a nonprofit organization and produces, provides, and coordinates public recreation programs for the town of Hilton Head Island. The mission is to build a healthy community and improve the quality of life for people of all ages.
July 20, 2017 - Off to a Great New Year
Karen CullyLoads of training, hours of preparation and sleepless nights of anticipation….then the day arrives. Installation of officers, beginning with our new President, Karen Cully. Past District Governor, Rod Funderburk had the privilege of presiding over the installation. Her Rotary sponsor and friend, Beverly Maloney presented the President’s pin to Karen. Karen then asked Assistant Governor, Nancy Riedel to install the remaining officers and Directors for 2017-18.
PDG Rob Funderburk returned to the podium, asking all Rotarians to be sure they celebrate everything. He complimented our club on our succession planning and encouraged everyone to “Make A Difference” this year. PDG Rod challenged our club to be the service club of choice in our community. He continued the challenge by inspiring everyone to commit to go forward to promote a positive and interactive face of Rotary, continue to donate time and treasure, and be an advertisement for our club and our good works.
July 13, 2017 - An Amazing Rotary Year
Don BrashearsPresident Don took advantage of his last meeting as a celebration of the GREAT work our club accomplished this year. Don began by reading a heartfelt and thankful letter from new Honorary Member Charles Perry. Charles, a Past President and 40+ year member, had to resign for health reasons. The board refused his resignation and, instead, made him an Honorary Member.
There were many other special projects and fundraisers – our club is a dynamic group of special people. President Don then recognized many with Certificate of AMAZING plaques. Awards were presented to those who assumed leadership roles.
June 22, 2017 - The Island Chaplain & Friends
Glenn NeffUnbeknownst to many of us, there is a very important group of people serving our island and surrounding areas during what is often the most stressful and sometimes loneliest times. Glenn Neff, husband of Linda, introduced us to The Island Chaplain & Friends which blends medical and spiritual care.
The personal experiences that Glenn shared proved what an important role this group plays for our community. With over 2.76 million vacationers on Hilton Head, many often find themselves in need of emergency medical care which means they may not immediately have the support they would have at home. Both Glenn and Rev. Morrison have aided many patients or witnesses to traumatic situations and been able to provide them with the support and sometimes guidance that was able to lead them to a better side of the situation.
Indeed, this organization is important to our community and lends their expertise and love to not just our citizens, but for any of those visiting that find themselves in a traumatic situation.
June 15, 2017 - Cycling Safety
Frank BabelFrank Babel has been an advocate for biking on the Island for many years. He is a member of the Kicking Asphalt Bike Club, which organizes safe group bicycle rides and holds social activities for our cyclists.
Thanks to the vision of Charles Fraser, Hilton Head is today a gold level bike friendly community sanctioned by the League of American Bicyclist and recognized by Travel and Leisure and Conde Nast. Millennials, the largest segment of our population are driving less and using alternative transportation. Bike sharing has become popular in large urban areas.
June 8, 2017 - Graceful Aging
Rob LeeIt goes without saying, many of our best speakers come from within and last week was no exception. Rob Lee shared information about a topic we all face…aging. The first “elder care institution” in the US was formed by a Quaker community in Philadelphia, Social Security was enacted in 1935 and in 2011 the first of 79 million baby boomers began to retire.
Rob reported that a projected 10,000 baby boomers retire every day, tipping the scales of those paying into social security and those receiving benefits from the same fund. The 2015 census showed 15.1% of Beaufort county persons were age 70 or older, compared to 9.5% of the US as a whole. From 1900 through 2013 the percentage of Americans 65+ has increased from 3.1 million to 44.7 million. In 2013 the 65-74 age group (25.2 million) was more than 10 times larger than in 1900; the 75-84 group (13.4 million) increased by 70 percent, and the 85+ group (6 million) was 49 times larger.
May 25, 2017 - The Best of USC
Dr Al PanuDr. Al Panu, chancellor of USCB, completed his undergraduate studies at Tuskegee Institute and his PHD at the University of Georgia. He asked us to move our chairs to the left then the right. He wanted to ensure that we had all been moved by his presentation!
Dr. Panu began is presentation by citing a recent study about education levels and job requirements world wide. At one point in time, the U.S. ranked #1 in the world with the percentage of the population having a post-secondary education. Today the U.S. ranks only 11-13th. This statistic is very problematic since two thirds of all future jobs will require some postsecondary education.
March 17, 2017 - Music to our Ears
JiWon YangMary Briggs introduced Clare Mackie, who, with her husband Jim (a regular Visiting Rotarian) are hosting14 year old JiWon Yang and her Mother, Kim for the Hilton Head International Piano Competition. She stated that they enjoyed having such a masterful pianist tickle the ivories of the piano in their home. It had never sounded so good!
This year’s competition is for artists ages 14-17. JiWon Yang is one of only 3 competitors that are the youngest at age14. JiWon is from Seoul, South Korea and had her first solo recital in Seoul at age 9. She plays both the piano and flute and has won many competitions. Her father and brother who are home in Korea have been able to watch her performances since our event is streamed live.
She performed pieces she had played in the first two rounds of the competition: Mozart’s Piano Sonata No. 18 in D major, and Franz Liszt’s Hungarian Rhapsody No. 11 in A minor.
March 9, 2017
Frannie GerthofferMan and Woman's Best Friend We were visited by some two AND four-legged friends today. Frannie Gerthoffer, Executive Director of the Hilton Head Humane Association, shared few updates from the HHHA for 2017. Over the past year, 3,000 abandoned, injured, abused animals and feral cats have been cared for by the Hilton Head Humane Association. They spay/neuter and release feral cats and provide food, shelter, medical, and loving care for the domesticated cats and dogs until adoptive homes are found.
Frannie shared her passion for a “no kill environment” at the facility. Her outreach to the Beaufort County Animal Shelter has created a public/private partnership that has significantly decreased the necessity for euthanizing animals due to space constraints. A new campus off Rt. 170 will expand their ability to serve the area through this partnership.
March 2, 2017
B.J. PayneA True Motivator for the Team Now in his fifth year of tenure, Coach BJ was born in Fayetteville, North Carolina, from a family of military tradition, including the Normandy landings, but grew up in Massillon, Ohio.
Coach BJ, referred to as a `professional entertainer` when recruited by HHIHS because of some links with WWE, wonders if he is the only person from Ohio who has moved to Hilton Head Island without ever having vacationed here!
He remembers some of Amanda`s first words when he came to interview regarding the diverse profile of the High School kids-40% White, 30% Black, and 20% Hispanic-and the need for the coach to embrace the challenge that represents and to thrive in that environment.
Coach BJ spoke of the difficult backgrounds of many of his players-food assistance, single parents, trailer living and sees his role as not just a sports coach but as a mentor `developing young men`, and teaching them to do what is right. He also prides himself in fostering athletically gifted players who achieve their grade potential. Coach BJ truly believes in `mens sana in corpore sano`, including mandatory class attendance and sitting in the front two rows!
Contrary to negative forecasts by some, the results during his 5 years at HHIHS are convincing: team GPA up to 3.6 from 2.1, 22 players going on to college football, all Americans, Dean`s lists, Honor Students, and an engagement in the community including fundraising for breast cancer research, involvement in the CODA program, post-Matthew clean up. Go coach!