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