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Welcome to Our Club!


Fellowship and Service the Bluffton Way

We meet Wednesdays at 7:30 AM
Rotary Community Center/Oscar Frazier Park
P.O. Box 142
Bluffton, SC  29910
United States
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The first quarter of FY 2015-2016 for the Rotary Club of Bluffton and District 7770 has come, and gone, and it only seems like yesterday I was given the gavel from Past President Steve Miller. It has been an enjoyable, and energetic ride, so far and I am sure the remaining three quarters will be even more so. We should always be able to take a step back and reflect as to the job we are doing, as individual Rotarian’s, being “a gift to the world”, in our own special way. This first quarter has seen our Board of Directors and Officers come together, get to know one another a little better and begin working on issues for the rest of the year for the Club. To say this year is going to be exciting, is putting it mildly. I am fortunate to have two of our member’s, Mary O’Neil and Dan Wood, come and step forward, to chair the Social and Fun! Committee. It is important that we as Rotarians spend some time with each other in a less structured environment, learning about each other, our families and what we are all about. Isn’t is exciting to learn where we all come from? What we did as teens forming ourselves for the future? Learning about each other’s spouses and significant others. This kind of activity gives each of us a new or different perspective on what each of us feel is our “role” as Rotarians.
Speaking of that committee, even though mother nature tried to derail their plans, the committee put together a successful River Party on the Sandbar in September after a couple of rained out dates. Thank you to Mary and Dan! 
Recently, Theresa and I, along with Treasurer Robbie Eidson and his lovely wife, had the opportunity to attend the Open House for PEP on Hilton Head Island, as they showcased the new vocational facilities they have. This is such a wonderful group of people doing special things in this community. They are already close to capacity and are looking for more room. If you have never had the chance or opportunity to see what PEP does for its members, stop by there sometime while on the Island and tell them you are a member of the Bluffton Rotary.  The Bluffton Rotary Club is proud to have a relationship with such wonderful people.
Also, recently I had the opportunity to take a few members of the Board of Directors to a Seminar put on by District 7770 at the S.M.I.T. in Florence, SC. President Elect Michael Putich, Treasurer Robbie Eidson, Membership Chair Quinn Baldree and Member Christopher Epps joined me for the trek up I-95 early that morning. We all were able to take part in concurrent seminars of a variety of subjects, while signing off on a MOU for next years’ Happy Feet grant monies. I am pleased to report back to the Club that the District has “upped” the amount of the matching grant back to $3,000 for FY 2016-2017, from the $2,600 for FY 2015-2016. At any time, any of the membership that would like to take the opportunity to come to any of the seminars, put on by the District 7770 leaders, please know you are more than welcome to join in the fun. It quite possibly, could give you some good perspective about Rotary from a District level as well as provide you with the chance to meet and talk with fellow Rotarians from across the District.
We have some exciting events coming up.  Sign up to volunteer for;  Bluffton Arts & Seafood Festival, Happy Feet, Bell Ringing for the Salvation Army. Don't forget about the Oyster Festival coming up in January. 
Fellow Rotarians, each of us are blessed in so many ways. The common blessing we all have, is  believing in "Service Above Self", and that the 4 way Test, is not just a catchy phrase, it’s a fact of life. An action where we live by a creed that we know, giving to others before thinking of ourselves is what we live by, and in the end, in a selfish manner, we will all be better for that.  In some networking circles, someone coined the phrase, “Givers Gain”, that is true in so many forms. If we believe that by serving others and providing for others before thinking of ourselves, I feel we will become better people!
Thank you for being a Rotarian!
Mike Covert

    Lt. Gonzales with the Bluffton Township Police Department's Emergency Management and Training Division speaks to Rotary in July about Hurricane Preparedness for the Greater Bluffton community.

The theme for this year is “Be a gift unto the World” and resonates so many opportunities for all of us as Rotarians. I recently asked the Bluffton Rotary membership, to define what this theme actually means to each member. How far does your world stretch and reach? To some, that may be your community. To others, it may mean SC or the USA; and to others, the world as known in a literal sense. The point is, we all, as Rotarians, can make a difference. Each of us continues to make a difference every time we get together be it at the Arts & Seafood Festival; our Happy Feet Project; our Christmas Angels Project; the Oyster Festival; the ringing of the bells for the Salvation Army or even our flagship event, the Bluffton Village Festival. Any and all of these events, and so many others, gives us the ability to provide in so many ways for others, that need our help, wherever the world takes us. This year, we will see the initiative of our first International Project come together. This will take us deep into the jungles of Peru to a village that hasnever had clean, parasite free water to drink. This project, through Water Missions International, might just save the life of a young child being bedridden with parasitical diseases. Could that simple thing of fresh and clean water be the one gesture that brought peace to tribal villages or even lead the next generation of indigenous people to that area of the South America into the 21st century.
The Bluffton Rotary Club is one of the most activeand exciting Rotary Clubs throughout this area as well as this Region. As we all know, we like to have a good time, be friendly to our neighbors, and bring like-minded folks into Rotary, who firmly believe in “Service before Self”. I challenge each member to reach out into your world…introduce Rotary to someone and give them the chance to give back to their community and to the world. I am proud to be the President for the 2015- 2016 term and give you my assurance that I will do the best job I can for you and the community. I have a fantastic Board of Directors working with me, together, for the betterment of the Club but most of all, we have the most outstanding membership of any Club. Each of you bring a special “something” to the Club, so I ask you to share it. Make your gift, a “gift to the world”.
In Rotary—
Michael E Covert
President 2015-2016


As I reflect on the Oyster Roast, I can’t help but think how blessed we are to live in such a beautiful place.
The weather turned out to be great, a Chamber of Commerce night as some would say. The Oyster Roast went off without a hitch thanks to the great work that Tray and Gary did as co-chairs, the tremendous support of the Club members, prospective members, family members and friends pitching in to help. Thanks to all and especially thank you to Tray and Gary. I would also like to give a big shout-out to Larry and Tina Toomer for helping us make this possible.
While I was helping at the beverage ticket sales table I had an opportunity to discuss our Club with some people that were interested in learning more about Rotary and what we are about. These were people in their early thirties. I have been told by more than a few people over the last few weeks that we are unique from most Rotary Clubs because of the diversity in age groups. I think this speaks well for the future of the Club and makes for a very vibrant Club. I encourage each of you to think of each new person you meet as a possible Rotarian and invite them to a meeting. Who knows, that person may be our next events chair or a future President of the Club.
As we move into February, the District is promoting a feed the children project centered around Valentine's Day. The Board decided we would again collect non-perishable food items for the Bluffton High School Food Closet. Please bring your donations to the meeting over the next few weeks and we will deliver what we collect by February 14th.
Dot Jeger and David Hussey are heading up the Bluffton Village Festival this year. The Committee has been put together but if you are interested in being part of the Committee there is always room for more. Please see Dot or David and let them know of your interest.

Yours in Rotary,


Bluffton Rotary President Steve Miller inducts two new members in January. Welcome Robbie Eidson (2nd from left) sponsored by Steve Miller and Jessica Gower (3rd from left), sponsored by Dot Jeger!

Celia Beauchamp, a certified diabetes educator with Coastal Carolina shared her presentation: Healthy Living is a Journey.  Her top points included 1) Get out the measuring utensils 2) It’s not what you eat, it’s HOW MUCH you eat.  3) Dine at a table to avoid mindless eating.  4) When to Eat:  Get yourself fueled in the morning. 5) Get a good night’s sleep.  6) Get at least 150 minutes of exercise per week. 7) Write your goals down and put them on your mirror!

Our January 7th meeting featured guest speaker Dr. Helen Ryan who went to Ghana  with 23 other Rotarians to see first hand the end result of a Rotary project. 

She witnessed the efforts provided through a global grant  that is funded via district designated funds and matched by World Fund.   Her message - Rotarians are making a difference in the world and there is SUSTAINABILITY….there is a system  to follow the results  and needs of projects and dollars spent after completion.

We can't WAIT!! Get your tickets NOW!
The Bluffton Rotary Club's famous annual Oyster Roast is just around the corner!  Tickets are just $25 each, if bought in advance, for a special lowcountry tradition…fresh local roasted oysters, brats, home cut fries…great food, plus music by Low Country Boil…and the special fun of hanging out by the bonfire!

They are HERE!! Tickets are available NOW from any Bluffton Rotarian and at the following business locations.

Kevin Sevier, State Farm - 103 Buckwalter Place
Edward Jones, Sarah Reed - 38 Calhoun St, Unit 1

Litchfield Cabinetry - 53 Persimmon St, Suite 104
Hilton Head Wine & Spirit Shop - 50 Shelter Cove Plaza, Suite K, HHI

Don’t miss this wonderful, community event!! Join in the fun, bring friends and sell tickets!

Happy New Year!
It’s hard to believe that the first six month of the Rotary year is over. It was a busy six months and I hope everyone comes away from it with a sense of accomplishment.

• In August, we roasted in the summer heat for the Boiled Peanut Festival and successfully raised funds to meet our Polio Plus goal of $2,125. 
• In October, we worked hard to support the Historic Arts and Seafood Festival and raised funds to support the Club’s charitable endeavors.
• We ran the most successful Happy Feet project yet providing shoes to 250 children, spending $7,239; the Club spent $4,239 of our funds and also a $3,000 grant from the Foundation – our money returned to the district.
• We supported the Bluffton Jasper Volunteers in Medicine with a $5,000 donation.
• We matched funds raised from Club members to provide Christmas for some deserving local families.
• We donated, along with each member’s quarterly donation, funds to the Rotary Foundation. As a result, we are over halfway to meeting our Foundation Goal.
• November and December saw Rotarians in front of Kroger’s ringing the bell for the Salvation Army.
• We replanted planters in downtown Bluffton and have received a great deal of publicity for our efforts. 
• Your former Presidents and yours truly had the pleasure of literally bringing up the rear of the Christmas parade.
• Finally, we ended the frantic six months with the fresh young voices of the M. C. Riley Singing Eagles entertaining us in December with Christmas and holiday songs.

A special thank-you to all those who took leadership roles in all of these projects and to each Rotarian who put Service Above Self.
I have been told that it’s all down hill from this point for my year as your President. It may be, but I look at is as the second half of some exciting opportunities for us to grow and get better. We have the Oyster Roast on January 24. This is a great fund raiser for the club and is probably the project that the local community looks forward to the most. We need all Club members to participate in selling tickets and in volunteering to help the day of the event.
We are also gearing up for Bluffton Village Festival. The BVF committee will start having meetings soon and we need as much help as possible.
I look forward to another exciting six months.
Yours in Rotary,

RBC Heritage Tournament Director and COO, Steve Wilmot gave us an overview of  The 2015 golf tournament (47th annual event)  planned for April 13-19th    He stated that “losing their sponsor” several years ago helped them step up their game.  RBC and Boeing are bringing new momentum to this destination event.  He emphasized that volunteers have been and continue to be INSTRUMENTAL to what we do!

M.C. Riley Singing Eagles entertain us at breakfast just before Christmas.  Always a treat with many Rotarians bringing their families for the occasion.

Nov 25, 2015
No Meeting
Dec 02, 2015
John Warley
A Southern Girl (a novel about adoption in the South)
Dec 09, 2015
MC Riley Singing Eagles
Christmas song program
Dec 16, 2015
Nancy Reidel & Businsess Mtg
Rotary CART program
Dec 23, 2015
No Meeting
Christmas Break
Dec 30, 2015
No Meeting
Christmas Break
Jan 06, 2016
Jan 13, 2016
Marc Orlando
Town of Bluffton
Jan 20, 2016
Feb 10, 2016
Maria Walls
Beaufort County Treasurer
Mar 16, 2016
Ron Wilson
Royce Learning Center