Map to Rotary

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
District Site
Venue Map
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Rotary Charter Night
Celebrating Another Great Year as a Bluffton Rotarian!
Saturday, June 25th from 6:30pm-9:00pm
Crescent Pointe Golf Club
* Attire - nice casual
* Following Tradition we will have our Ugly Hawaiian shirt contest!
Live music with Ken Kolbe featuring the American Songwriter
Dinner Buffet and libations
You may contact Shellie West at or leave a message on 843-368-5538.  
Deadline to reserve is June 17th

This has been an awesome year to be a Rotarian! We have done so many things here in Bluffton, and even around the world. I am so proud to have been your President for the past year.  I’d like to thank all of the members of the Board, as well as the Officers of the Club for a terrific FY 15-16 and for the support they embraced to this President. I also want to especially Thank the membership of the Bluffton Rotary for constantly being involved, staying involved. We had many, many good times throughout this year and we also had some somber times. Let us always remember our Rotarian brother, Sean Doran, who passed away on 20 MAY 2016, and remember his wife Katy and family. Sean will never be forgotten and he will forever remain a part of our Rotary family.
I am so impressed by the turnout of our Annual Happy Feet project.  We combined the shoes with a coat supply as well which was a phenomenal success. We raised more money this past holiday season for the Salvation Army and our bell-ringing than ever before! When this was first started, we had to have an “effort” to get the list of ringers full….now, the list is full within a matter of a couple of weeks. This is great stewardship! Our Oyster Roast was a complete hit and, as always, the weather was great. The Oyster Park looks great and the Rotary crews worked form sun up ‘til sundown putting on one heckuva show. Our annual Arts & Seafood weekend last fall continues to be a success, building on it each and every year as part of the “rites of fall” in downtown Bluffton. Our landmark event, the Bluffton Village Festival, was quite successful and continues to garner notice from around the US as more and more people want to experience what the “May Fest” is all about. This year we even got some TV time before the event, broadcast to tens of thousands of people around SC and GA inviting them, personally from yours truly, to join us for a day full of arts, crafts, food, beverage and fun right here in Bluffton. One very special part of this year were the newly created “Fun Nights”…..where we could come together and just fellowship, have some fun, and enjoy one another without a scripted meeting. Our evening at The Roasting Room was sensational, and I for one will be asking for this to be back on the calendar for FY 16-17. A very special occasion, happened on Christmas Eve, where a brand new Rotarian had organized, on his own, a food drive at the Rotary center to feed those less fortunate, or even to those that just need someone to talk to during the Holidays. That—that is a true testament to the meaning of being a Rotarian. To look past our own needs and wants, to better serve the community and man-kind, in many unselfish ways, is a blessing to all and for all. Now underway is our Peru Water Missions project. We cannot wait to see the finished product, and, taste some good, clean Peruvian water! One event that was much needed, was the formal writing of what I refer to as a “white paper”, on membership process in our Club. The Board took action to try and eliminate a wide spread feeling of “what do I do now” of prospective members and new members, giving them a step-by-step process. Future Boards and Officers can, and should, refer to this often, as it will benefit us all as we strengthen the membership fold.
Looking forward, I am happy with what we have done this year. Happy, not satisfied, as I find that once satisfied, we can become stagnant and I NEVER want that for this Club or for this Community. This year, I created and formed a new committee to work alongside our Service and Charities Committee (which receives requests for assistance) that goes out into the community, to see what else is out there in need of our help, who else could benefit from Rotary involvement, and how we can be even BETTER stewards of the monies we raise during our year. I hope this committee continues moving forward and only enhances the benefit we provide locally as well as worldwide.  We also can look forward to an even increased presence in water quality projects as we have completed the grant process to do another water missions project in 16-17, in Belize. A few of our members came together and have created a special fundraiser for our worldwide events, tagged, “Water Walk” and will be done, most likely but not confirmed, twice per year, where we can get the Bluffton community together to see and feel how much of a necessity this, clean water, is and again, quite honestly, how we can it for granted so easily. It is amazing to see, and I am so fortunate to have witnessed this with my own eyes, people from a village that have NEVER seen clean, clear water--- EVER, see that and experience that. 
I hope that we as Club, a vibrant and healthy Club, continue to look forward to bring people to Rotary and experience the Rotary way of life. I would especially like to see us continue to work on our diversity programs throughout each year, adding to and nourishing our membership, strengthening our vibrancy and our meaningfulness to the Community. With all that we do, let us not forget not only the 4- Way Test, but also the core values of Rotary and apply them to our work and benefit efforts. Again, I thank each and every one of you for your support, your membership, and your fellowship during my tenure. I hope that I have fulfilled your expectations as President, as well as providing the guidance and leadership as needed. I am happy and confident that my successor, Michael Putich, will perform up to the standards of President as he is about to embark on his role for 16-17. He is quite capable and has been an excellent “student” in learning the role while serving as my President Elect.
In Rotary—
Michael E Covert


International Water Project Approved


Exciting news! The Bluffton Rotary has approval for its 2016 International Water Project and work is underway. 


With approval of this Global Grant from Rotary International and our Rotary District 7770, in conjunction with Rotary District 4465 in Peru, we will be bringing clean, safe water to the community of Miramar in the Piura Region of Peru this summer. 


The community of Miramar consists of 700 families with a total population of 2,800.  The families there are, for the most part, subsistence farmers who live on approximately 150 UDS/month.  The contaminated water in the village is a major source of illness, cholera and malaria which is prevalent in the community.  We are partnering with Water Missions to install a clean water treatment system that will filter out the physical contaminates and disinfect any microbiological contaminants. 


We are especially excited about this project because the Rotary Club Paita Centro in Peru is committed to working with us and Water Missions on this project.   We are funding the project with a combination of financial support for the local Rotary Club in Peru, the Districts both here and in Peru, world match funds through TRF, and fundraising efforts locally. The Bluffton Rotary Club is planning a Walk for Water fundraiser in the fall to pay for their financial commitment of this project.


In support of a sustainable water system, this project includes health and hygiene education and training, a local Safe Water Committee to insure the system is maintained and that training will continue, plus a plan to collect affordable safe water fees for usage. The water treatment in Miramar will be powered by solar panels.


Attached is a picture of the canal in Miramar that was taken in February.  The water serves as a source for drinking, bathing, cleaning, watering the animals, washing clothes and dishes and other functions.   It is easy to see the need for clean water.


Never let it be said that “ole man winter” ever stopped or even dampened the progress of the Bluffton Rotary Club! This time of year, you all have been busy getting prepared for our Annual Oyster Roast. I will have to say, that when I drove down to the Wharf St dock and Oyster Park. The weather was perfect and a superb time was had by all. 
“Service Above Self”… the “4 way test”, that’s what Rotarians do. I see it personified by the members of our Club each and every week, with some, every day. They say that you have to consciously do something over and over and then it becomes a habit. Well, I have to disagree with “them”, as the Rotarians of Bluffton seem to have been born with that desire to improve the quality of life for others before thinking of themselves. I am so proud to be the President of this fine group, and every chance I get, usually at Area 4 or District events, I boast our members and their deeds to everyone that will listen.
I urge each and every one of you to invite people in your daily life, that have a strong inner desire to put others before themselves, to come and see what Rotary is all about. The first breakfast is on the Club and we welcome anyone and everyone who wants to learn more. It is by always thinking of new members where we as a Club can give even more to the community. There is power in numbers—now that phrase I can live with! It is so true….just think of the lives we can touch in even bigger, more profound ways. 
Coming up soon is our District Conference in Columbia, SC this year and I urge everyone to attend.  There are awards to be given out as well and I would like nothing more than to have the Club join me in celebrating whatever awards we may have earned. We are going to have a table in the House of Friendship, showing exactly what the Bluffton Rotary is all about. A Thank You to Deb Karambelas for stepping up and offering to head that endeavor up, I am sure it will be a work of art. Just think of all of the possibilities….oysters, beer, art, beer, music, beer, etc!! To sign up for District Conference go to and look for the calendar tab. 
Coming very soon, and I strongly put BOLD print on very, is our flagship event, the Bluffton Village Festival on May 8th in the heart of Old Town Bluffton.  Thank you to David Hussey for chairing this year. He has assembled a fine team to surround him and make-this-happen. Sign-up sheets will start appearing slowly…sooner rather than later!  PLEASE volunteer for this event so we can all enjoy it. I’m certainly excited about. Aren’t you?!!?
Until next time…..
In Rotary-- 
Michael E Covert 

The Bluffton Rotary Club's Annual Oyster Roast is just around the corner!
Join us on Saturday, January 30, 2016 from 5pm-8pm at the Bluffton Oyster Park.  There will be plenty of oysters so bring your best oyster knife.  Plenty of tasty food for those "landlubbers" and plenty of beverages to boot!
Come listen to the sounds of one of Bluffton's finest bands Lowcountry Boil!  Best to get your tickets ahead of time.  Advance tickets are $30 per person and $35 at the door the day of the event.
Tickets available now for purchase at State Farm in Buckwalter Place, Fat Patties downtown, Bluffton Oyster Company on Wharf St., and Creggar Electric on Plantation Park Drive. 
See you on the 30th for great food, great people, great music and a beautiful view of the May!

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

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.

Aug 03, 2016
Dr. Al Panu
USCB Chancellor
Dec 07, 2016
MC Reilly Singing Eagles
Merry Christmas!