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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
Danielle Breidung is inducted into The Rotary Club of Bluffton. She is currently at the University of South Carolina Beaufort for AmeriCorps VISTA and as a Civic Engagement Coordinator. Congratulations, Danielle! In the photo left to right: President, Steve Miller with Danielle and Rotarian, Tom Faber.
At the November Board meeting the Board voted to contribute $5,000 to Bluffton-Jasper Volunteers in Medicine to help pay for needed test for their female patients. The Board also approved a $500 contribution to the Van Landingham Club to help with their international water project.
November also starts the Salvation Army Bell Ringing. This is always a great time to get to know a fellow Rotarian while serving the Community. The parking lot derby at Kroger is always a lot of fun to watch.
We are in the process of taking up donations for the Christmas Angels project.
Don’t forget to bring nonperishable food items so we can get our donations to those less fortunate than us.
A big thank-you to all who helped get the closet at the RCC cleaned out and organized.
Another big thank-you for all that participated in the planting project in downtown Bluffton. Small projects such as these not only take care of a need in our community but also allow us to get to know each other better.
Looking ahead to December we have the Singing Eagles attending a meeting to sing Holiday songs for us.
And last but not least your former Club Presidents and current President will be following the horses on December 6 at the Christmas parade. I encourage each of you to be nice to us so you don’t get “coal” for Christmas.
I hope everyone had a Happy Thanksgiving!
Principals, teachers and Rotarians volunteered at the event on the morning of Nov. 8 at Payless ShoeSource in Bluffton to assist the children. Each child was able to pick out one new pair of shoes or boots as well as a pair of socks. Deborah Burt, with The Rotary Club of Bluffton, coordinated with the school’s social workers to select the students most in need of assistance.
“The Rotary Club of Bluffton is thrilled with the turnout for our Happy Feet project,” says Steve Miller, Rotary Club of Bluffton president. “With funds we raised locally and a grant we received from the Rotary Foundation, we were able to provide more children shoes and socks this year than ever before.”
On Saturday, Nov. 15, the club replaced more than 100 plants and flowers in the large flower pots along the streets of Old Town Bluffton. Owner of The Garden Gate Margie Fox coordinated with Shawn Leininger, Director of Growth Management at the Town of Bluffton, to organize this project. A dozen Rotarians spent a chilly Saturday morning freshening up the plants that are generally changed out twice a year by a local nursery.
Tony Falgiani was our first speaker. His wife had polio as a child. She was in isolation and it was a horrible experience. Polio is just a person away in this small world. The work that Foundation does through Polio Plus in its effort to eradicate polio is important to him and was one of the main reasons why he joined our club.
Deborah Burt was our second speaker. Deborah had a year of work where she had to travel a lot. After that year she reflected on what she wanted to do to help make the world a better place. She looked at a lot of charitable organizations that she believed do good for all of humankind. As she was reviewing each of these organizations the one thing she found in common was that each of them was connected to Foundation. Deborah was already a member of our club and was pleased to see how important Foundation is to each of these organizations. The result of her research was that she decided to become a Paul Harris Fellow.
Dee Dee Graham was our third speaker. Dee Dee spoke about various Foundation projects our Club has previously participated in. In particular he spoke about partnering with another local club and raising money to provide medical equipment to a third world county. Our Club was able to send a shipping container full of medical equipment to a county that was in desperate need for these supplies. In particular, the local hospital’s x-ray machine had been broken for years and they were using a portable x-ray machine. If that broke, they had no back up. We were able to provide them with another portable x-ray machine. Additionally, Dee Dee saw one patient whose leg was in traction and that traction was simply a milk jug and rope. We were able to provide that patent with proper traction supplies.
Lastly, individual members of our club spoke up about the wonderful things that Foundation does including providing clean and sustainable water and its efforts to promote literacy.
November is Foundation Month in the Rotary year. We start on November 8th with Happy Feet. We received a $3,000 grant from the District and we will match that grant with an additional $3,000 to provide shoes for the less fortunate children in our community. The $3,000 grant comes from donations made to the Foundation by you and others and returned to the District for projects such as Happy Feet.
The Foundation also awards international grants. Deborah Burt and I have been exploring the process of receiving an international grant in hopes that the Club will choose to do an international project. We are leaning toward a Water and Sanitation project. Once we gather a little more information we will be coming to the Club to gauge your interest in such a project so we can decide if we should move forward. If we get started now we should be able to complete this in the 2015-2016 Rotary year.
One concept that Bergmann discussed at length was “slow money,” which encourages consumers and investors to keep money circulating in their local communities. She encouraged the audience to spend their money in a more deliberate fashion and to consider intentional consumers’ potential impact as a result of choosing to spend a quantity as small as twenty dollars per month at local businesses.
Local Money Talks is currently in the process of developing a business development program called “The Shrimp Net” through which aspiring entrepreneurs could receive mentorship and assistance prior to launching their businesses.
The coalition also recently partnered with the Beaufort County Human Services Alliance, the Lowcountry Affordable Housing Coalition, and the Lowcountry Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program to host a community engagement luncheon for local bankers. This event was designed to inform financial institutions in the Lowcountry of potential community reinvestment opportunities, and was attended by representatives of more than five banks.
In the future, Local Money Talks hopes to serve as a resource for individuals with entrepreneurial aspirations, small business owners in need of investment capital, as well as local residents seeking to invest in their neighbors.
The Lowcountry Coalition Against Human Trafficking is charged with raising public awareness of this crime and is now also working toward a goal of developing rehabilitation and housing for victims of human trafficking.
According to an earlier article from WIS.TV.com on “Sex slavery, human trafficking 'alive and well' in SC“, statistics show there are an estimated 150,000 sex trafficking victims in the United States. They are usually between 12 and 14 years old and live for just 7 years. These victims are, on average, sold between 10 and 15 times a day for at least 6 days a week. Only one to two percent of these victims are rescued. Human trafficking can take place in the form of prostitution, forced work labor and is another form of slavery.
"If you look at the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, there's probably 5,200 to 5,500 kids at a time that are missing that are expected to be in to prostitution," said FBI special agent David Thomas. "People seem to think slavery has gone away, but unfortunately it didn't," said Thomas. "It's still alive and well."
Thomas says it's alive and well in South Carolina because, according to him, the state is a "target-rich environment. We have a huge agricultural industry, and that industry kind of lends itself to that kind of activity," said Thomas. "We have tourism, a very large tourism industry; you look at Myrtle Beach, Hilton Head, and Charleston."
In 2012, the South Carolina legislature passed comprehensive new legislation to combat human trafficking in South Carolina. The law became effective on December 15, 2012.
According to law enforcement, human trafficking is becoming one of the most lucrative criminal businesses in this country, second only to drug trafficking here in the US. What can we do? Educate ourselves, learn more, be observant, report suspicious behavior and educate your children and grandchildren.
In recognition of Breast Cancer Awareness month, all students received and donned bright pink Interact Symposium t-shirts, becoming a sea of pink, as they shared successes and challenges of their clubs, played together with some ice-breaker activities, listened to guest speaker and past District Governor Ed Duryea. Participants also heard presentations from several students that attended Rotary Youth Leadership Awards held in Columbia this past summer, worked on two different service projects and finished out the day with team building activities.
The Interact students also had the chance to talk to Rotarian leaders throughout the district on various topics during breakout sessions after lunch. Topics ranged from scholarships (very popular), to the Rotary Youth Exchange program and Polio Eradication. There was a former Rotary Exchange student on hand to meet students and answer questions.
“This was an awesome event, bringing Interactors from different schools together to share ideas and get to know each other better. These are our future Rotarians!” said event organizer and past president of the Okatie Rotary Club, Annemarie Neubecker. “The feedback from our kids was great and we’re ready to start working on next year’s symposium!”
There are over 4,000 species worldwide of no-see ums – 50 of those species are found in South Carolina. No see ums are small with clear wings and little spots. Only the females bite. Sugar is fuel for flight and survival. Some biting midges feed on blood from other insects. Adults only live 1 to 2 weeks. Our area has over 420,000 acres of salt marshes – that’s why they’re here. They thrive in the soil. How far do they travel? Gnats travel approximately one mile from their salt marsh habitat sometimes further if carried by sea breezes. What attracts hungry no see-ums to their host? CO2 particularly on your breath and heat movement are the attraction. Are some people more reactive than others? It is difficult to identify variables (they have not been able to colonize them in labs for study), but drinking alcohol is confirmed as part of the problem. The impact of no see-ums is the biting annoyance, health and economics.
Rodney went with 11 members from the All Saints Episcopal Church to provide a vacation bible school program in two different villages.
The church has gone for six years in a row. Rodney wanted it to be both a Vacation Bible School and a Rotary connection to this country. He proudly wore his Bluffton Rotary Club t-shirt throughout the trip.