Charitable Giving Process

Have you applied for the Rotary Grant?
Rotary Club of Bluffton awards a grant twice a year (Spring and Fall), through the Charitable Giving Process. Non-Profit Organizations are eligible to receive funding from the Rotary Club of Bluffton once every 12 months. The maximum amount the Club will provide to any organization during a 12-month period is $5,000.
The deadline to apply for this grant cycle is April 29, 2024. For more information and to access the application and guidelines, please click the link below:
Charitable Giving Process Dan Ciuffreda 2024-02-27 05:00:00Z 0
Oyster Roast - 2024 Dan Ciuffreda 2024-01-10 05:00:00Z 0

April Business Meeting

The Monthly Business Meeting is always a well attended meeting as we get to recognize outstanding leaders in our community and induct new members!
Congratulations to our Students of the Month: Jacob Broene (Red Cedar Elementary) and Fabio Galeana (M.C. Riley Elementary).
Welcome to the Rotary Club of Bluffton, Tom Middleton.
April Business Meeting Dan Ciuffreda 2023-04-26 04:00:00Z 0

Club History Day 

Do you know the history of the Rotary Club of Bluffton?
Thank you, Mary O’Neill for sharing the history of how we became a chartered club:
• The first Rotary Club was founded by Paul Harris and the first meeting was held in 1905 in Chicago.
• Rotary came to SC in 1915
• After several other clubs within the state were sponsored, the Hilton Head Island Club sponsored the Bluffton Club in 1988.
• On April 25, 1988, 29 men gathered to celebrate the first Charter Night of the Bluffton Rotary Club and since then, our Club has grown and expanded into a vibrant group who has and continues to make large impacts in our local community.
Club History Day Dan Ciuffreda 2023-04-19 04:00:00Z 0

Dr. Bill Epps - 05.12.23

Thank you, Bill Epps, for filling in this morning for Dr. John Perry. We enjoyed an informational presentation on cardiovascular and thoracic procedures.
Dr. Bill Epps - 05.12.23 Dan Ciuffreda 2023-04-12 04:00:00Z 0

Culinary Institute of the South

This week’s meeting was a special treat! Thank you to fellow Rotarian and Club Admin, Cara Vercellone, for organizing our field trip to the Technical College of the Lowcountry - TCL - Culinary Institute of the South.
Rotarians and guests enjoyed touring the state of the art facility that is centrally located right in Bluffton.
Culinary Institute of the South Dan Ciuffreda 2023-04-05 04:00:00Z 0

Oyster Reef Build - 05.01.23

We love making a difference in our community. Interested in learning more about the Rotary Club of Bluffton? Reach out, we would love to invite you to join us.
Oyster Reef Build - 05.01.23 Dan Ciuffreda 2023-04-01 04:00:00Z 0

Club of the Year

It was a great weekend at District Conference 7770. Our club won club of the year! We have great members and hard working volunteers. We would like to thank our community for their continued support, the Town of Bluffton, Bluffton Police Department and the Beaufort County Sheriff's Office without your support and partnership we would not be able to give back and assist as much as we do. It was a great honor to receive this award with all the outstanding clubs in our area.
Club of the Year Dan Ciuffreda 2023-04-01 04:00:00Z 0

5th Wednesday Gathering - 04.29.23

The 5th Wednesday gathering is always a special time together. We love spending this time fellowshipping with fellow Rotarians and those interested in learning more about the large impact that the Rotary Club of Bluffton makes.
5th Wednesday Gathering - 04.29.23 Dan Ciuffreda 2023-03-29 04:00:00Z 0

Wil Saleeby - 03.15.23

Two of the most important factors in business and in service are establishing goals and tracking the progress because it directly impacts its success.
Over the last several months, Fellow Rotarian Wil Saleeby has facilitated our Club’s Strategic Plan and this morning we enjoyed hearing the changes being made to improve the direction of our club.
Interested in learning more? Reach out to us! We’d love to invite you to join us for a meeting.
Wil Saleeby - 03.15.23 Dan Ciuffreda 2023-03-18 04:00:00Z 0
HHCA All Shook Up - 03.08.23 Dan Ciuffreda 2023-03-18 04:00:00Z 0

Fireside Chat - 02.23.23

It was a great night for a fireside chat. It's always great to connect with new and prospective member
Fireside Chat - 02.23.23 Dan Ciuffreda 2023-03-18 04:00:00Z 0

Dana Ridenour - 03.01.23

Thank you, Dana Ridenour, a retired FBI agent and the author of three FBI undercover novels: Behind The Mask, Beyond The Cabin, and Below The Radar, for joining us this morning!
Over the years, Dana has been employed in a wide variety of jobs including first mate on a tour boat (her favorite job), lawyer, and Special Agent with the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Dana entered on duty with the FBI in November of 1995 and retired in April of 2016 after over twenty years of service. She was assigned to four different FBI Field Divisions and had the opportunity to work a wide variety of cases to include multi faceted narcotics investigations, domestic sex trafficking of minors, and violent crime. Over the years, Dana was a proud member of the FBI's Evidence Response Team where she and her team traveled to New York City in response to the 9/11 World Trade Center attack. The highlight of her career came in 2003 when she attended and passed the FBI's prestigious undercover school, thus allowing her to work as an undercover FBI agent. This undercover certification opened the door for her to work a series of long term, deep cover cases focusing on domestic terrorism. Dana had the rare experience of working a long term undercover investigation with her husband who was also an FBI agent.
Dana Ridenour - 03.01.23 Dan Ciuffreda 2023-03-18 04:00:00Z 0

John O'Toole - 02.15.23

Beaufort County Economic Development has some exciting things going on! We enjoyed welcoming John O’Toole, Executive Director, this morning to learn about some of their projects and impacts that they are making in our local communities.
John O'Toole - 02.15.23 Dan Ciuffreda 2023-03-17 04:00:00Z 0

February Business Meeting 2023

Congratulations, Madalyn Ricciardi (Red Cedar) and Jessie Hernandez-Hernandez (M.C. Riley) on being recognized as the Students of the Month!
Welcome, Doug Crawford, to the Rotary Club of Bluffton. Always happy to have new members!
February Business Meeting 2023 Dan Ciuffreda 2023-03-17 04:00:00Z 0

Dean Turner - 02.08.23

A special Thank you to Foundation Director Dean Turner for all his efforts, knowledge, passion, and presentations on the Rotary International Foundation.
Dean has educated our club on the importance of the RI Foundation and value it has to our local and International communities.
Dean Turner - 02.08.23 Dan Ciuffreda 2023-03-17 04:00:00Z 0

Glen Umberger - 02.01.23

Thank you Glen Umberger, Historic Preservationist for the Town of Bluffton Government, for joining us this morning to share what you do in your role.
We all thoroughly enjoyed seeing the projects that have been preserved and hearing about the projects that are on the horizon!
Glen Umberger - 02.01.23 Dan Ciuffreda 2023-03-17 04:00:00Z 0

January Students of the Month

We enjoyed filling the room this morning for our Business Meeting and Students of the Month Celebration!
Congratulations, Erick Garcia (M.C. Riley Elementary) and Ryan Fox (Red Cedar Elementary) on being recognized as your schools Student of the Month.
January Students of the Month Dan Ciuffreda 2023-01-26 05:00:00Z 0
Welcome Ted & Marty Dan Ciuffreda 2023-01-26 05:00:00Z 0

Lt. Mike Danyov - PHF

Congratulations to Mike Danyov on becoming a Paul Harris Fellow, an honor received by those who make substantial contributions.
Lt. Mike Danyov - PHF Dan Ciuffreda 2023-01-26 05:00:00Z 0

HBD Bill Cornelius

All enjoyed celebrating Bill Cornelius’ birthday and long-standing service to Rotary with singing and cake! Who said cake wasn’t for breakfast?
HBD Bill Cornelius Dan Ciuffreda 2023-01-26 05:00:00Z 0

RCB Meeting 01.18.23

We enjoyed welcoming Dale Douthat, Executive Director of United Way of the Lowcountry, this morning to share how workforce development begins in kindergarten.
RCB Meeting 01.18.23 Dan Ciuffreda 2023-01-26 05:00:00Z 0

Business Meeting 12.21.22

It was a great morning to recognize individuals at our last meeting of the year for going above and beyond to receive their Paul Harris Fellow. This recognition is given to those who have supported and contributed to the Rotary Foundation.
Congratulations! Thank you for being the epitome of Rotary’s mission, #ServiceAboveSelf
- Dot Jeger (PHF +6)
- Tom Bulcock
- Bill Epps
- Lyndee Simoneaux
- D. Scott Chandler
- Derrick Coaxum
Business Meeting 12.21.22 Dan Ciuffreda 2022-12-23 05:00:00Z 0

Wreaths Across America 12.17.22

“Each December on National Wreaths Across America Day, our mission to Remember, Honor and Teach is carried out by coordinating wreath-laying ceremonies at Arlington National Cemetery, as well as at more than 3,400 additional locations in all 50 U.S. states, at sea and abroad.”
Every person should have this humbling experience at least once in their lifetime.
We would also like to take this opportunity thank May River High School's Interact Club for their help yesterday during Wreaths Across America. They came out in full force, it's always a pleasure to partner with such a great group.
Wreaths Across America 12.17.22 Dan Ciuffreda 2022-12-18 05:00:00Z 0

12.14.22 Meeting Recap

The annual visit from M.C. Riley’s Singing Eagles is always something that our club looks forward to. Thank you for bringing the Christmas Spirit to this morning’s meeting! Please see their full video on our Youtube page:
Congratulations to the two local students, Kenneth Castro (Red Cedar Elementary) and Kenia Salgado (M.C. Riley Elementary), who were recognized as Students of the Month for their school.
12.14.22 Meeting Recap Dan Ciuffreda 2022-12-17 05:00:00Z 0
Oyster Roast Ticket Sales Dan Ciuffreda 2022-12-05 05:00:00Z 0
Oyster Roast 2023 Dan Ciuffreda 2022-12-05 05:00:00Z 0

October Students of the Month

Our monthly Business Meetings are a special time - we love recognizing two local students as the Student of the Month from their respective schools, inducting new members, and hearing of the impact our club made over the last month.
October Students of the Month Dan Ciuffreda 2022-10-27 04:00:00Z 0

Ronald McDonald House Dinner 10.26.22

Another great opportunity for us to serve dinner at the Ronald McDonald House in Savannah. We hope everyone enjoyed their Taco dinner and we wish good health to all!
A special Thank you to Butcher's Market and Deli who helped supply the meat and all the extras. We cannot do these great projects without the support from our community.
Ronald McDonald House Dinner 10.26.22 Dan Ciuffreda 2022-10-27 04:00:00Z 0


Another great opportunity for us to serve dinner at the Ronald McDonald House in Savannah. We hope everyone enjoyed their Taco dinner and we wish good health to all!
A special Thank you to Butcher's Market and Deli who helped supply the meat and all the extras. We cannot do these great projects without the support from our community.
Thank you to the Bluffton Police and the Town of Bluffton for the invite to participate in Spooktacular last Friday.
Thank you Sarah Reed and Edward Jones for allowing us to partner with you for such a great cause. We were glad to have May River High School Interact attend their first event under our sponsorship.
Thank you to Bluffton High School for inviting us to Trunk or Treat. Excellent job to Ashley Parlagreco and BLHS Interact Club's Haunted House, which was a huge success.
ROTARIANS IN ACTION! 2022-10-17 04:00:00Z 0

DG Bob Gross

We had the honor of welcoming our Rotary District Governor Bob Gross as our speaker. Attendees were reminded of the impacts that we make, both locally and internationally, what it means to be a Rotarian, what our area focuses are, and so much more. It’s an exciting time to be a Rotarian!
If interested in joining us or learning more, send us a message and we would love to connect.
DG Bob Gross Dan Ciuffreda 2022-09-15 04:00:00Z 0

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Rotary Club of Bluffton Accepting Grant Applications



CONTACT: Joanie Iaco
PHONE: 843.540.7957           
August 24, 2022
Bluffton, SC – The Rotary Club of Bluffton is accepting applications from local 501(c)(3) organizations for grants awarded through their charitable giving program.
The Club offers grants up to $5,000 to qualified nonprofits. To qualify, organizations must serve individuals or families that live or work in or near Bluffton. Grants are awarded for projects that align with one of Rotary’s six focus areas: promote peace; fight disease; provide clean water, sanitation and hygiene; save mothers and children; support education; or grow local economies. This is the first of two grant cycles the Club conducts each year.
The deadline for submitting applications is October 4, 2022.
A full list of grant guidelines, along with the application form and step-by-step application process, can be found on the Bluffton Rotary Club website (, under the Charitable Giving Process tab. To be considered for a grant, organizations must complete the entire grant application form.
Chartered in 1988, the Rotary Club of Bluffton is one of more than 35,000 Rotary Clubs across the globe. With a network of more than 1.2 million individuals, Rotarians take action on sustainable projects that better our world. The mission of Rotary is to provide service to others, promote integrity, advance world understanding, goodwill and peace through fellowship of business, professional and community leaders. The organization’s motto is service above self. Learn more at
# # #
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Rotary Club of Bluffton Accepting Grant Applications 2022-08-24 04:00:00Z 0

Membership Summit 2022

Another Membership Summit in the books. Thank you District 7770 for putting this together and the invite. A great time with plenty of takeaways.
Membership Summit 2022 Dan Ciuffreda 2022-08-22 04:00:00Z 0

Dr. Frank Rodriguez

It was a thrilling morning hearing from Beaufort County School District Superintendent, Dr. Frank Rodriguez, about the Public Schools in our county.
May be an image of 1 person and standing
Dr. Frank Rodriguez Dan Ciuffreda 2022-08-22 04:00:00Z 0

Erin Levesque 8.10.2022

We thoroughly enjoyed hearing from Erin Levesque, Waddell Maricultural Center, this morning on South Carolina Aquaculture.
Waddell Mariculture Center is a field experiment station of SCDNR and is one of the largest and most sophisticated facilities for mariculture research. They develop propagation and farming techniques for marine and brackish water species and place thousands of fish back into the waters along our coast.
Interested in touring their facilities? That will be part of the Historic Bluffton Arts and Seafood Festival so be sure to check out the website to purchase your tickets.
Erin Levesque 8.10.2022 Dan Ciuffreda 2022-08-10 04:00:00Z 0

Emergency Preparedness 8.3.22

Thank you, Lt. Michael Danyov, Bluffton Police Department, and Ginger Marshall, Public Information Officer of the Beaufort County EMS, for joining us this morning to share hurricane preparedness tips and what we should do to prepare for a hurricane.
Emergency Preparedness 8.3.22 Dan Ciuffreda 2022-08-04 04:00:00Z 0

Sports Balls Donation

We are always happy to support the Bluffton Police Department! We dropped off over 30 sports balls for their patrol officers. A special thank you to Walmart in Bluffton for donating $150.00 towards our initiative.
Sports Balls Donation Dan Ciuffreda 2022-07-26 04:00:00Z 0
7.20.22 BCSO - Staff Sergeant Daniel Allen Dan Ciuffreda 2022-07-20 04:00:00Z 0
July 13, 2022 - Maureen Korzik Dan Ciuffreda 2022-07-13 04:00:00Z 0

Shelter Box

What a motivating and heartfelt presentation from ShelterBox Ambassador Mr. Mark McCain!
ShelterBox is an international disaster relief charity established in 2000 that provides emergency shelter and other aid items to families around the world who have lost their homes to disaster or conflict. Rotary is a proud partner in their mission to serve those in need when called upon!! Thank you for joining us this morning Mark!
Shelter Box Dan Ciuffreda 2022-02-16 05:00:00Z 0

Kimberly Hall

Kimberly Hall from Bluffton Self Help spoke to our club about the Literacy Center and the path to success through education. Kim's presentation was excellent and extremely informative. To learn more about Bluffton Self Help's Literacy Program please watch her full presentation:
Kimberly Hall Dan Ciuffreda 2022-02-02 05:00:00Z 0

Meeting Recap: 26 Jan 2022

It was an exciting morning at the Bluffton Rotary Club! Congratulations to the Students of the Month:
Larissa Funes-Milla & James Watson from Red Cedar Elementary as well Cora Emerson from M.C. Riley.
2 members transferred in: Jeff Long and Lina Gustafson
1 new member: Elizabeth Acuff
Last but certainly not least congratulations to our Paul Harris Fellows: Rebecca Hale, Mike Tripka, Jim Evans and Catherine Trawinski
Congratulations to all!
Meeting Recap: 26 Jan 2022 Dan Ciuffreda 2022-01-26 05:00:00Z 0

Sheriff P.J. Tanner

Today Sheriff P.J. Tanner spoke to our club about our growing area, challenges ahead, and the obstacles we have overcome. Sheriff Tanner was kind enough to hold a a brief Q&A at the end of our meeting as well. To view Sheriff Tanner's full presentation please click on the video below:
Sheriff P.J. Tanner Dan Ciuffreda 2022-01-19 05:00:00Z 0

Little Free Library

We were happy to donate a Little Free Library to M.C. Riley Elementary School today. We would like to thank Mulberry Street Trattoria for donating the materials to our club. Thank you to Jim Evans for coordinating this and a special thank you to Dean Turner the club craftsman - Excellent Job!!
Little Free Library 2022-01-14 05:00:00Z 0

9/11 - A Personal Reflection

Wednesday January 12, 2022 we had the honor to hear Major General Craig Whelden speak about "9/11: A Personal Reflection". Major General Whelden's presentation gave us a personal insight during the 9/11 attacks. The Rotary Club of Bluffton thanks him for all his years of service. To listen to his full presentation please click on the link below.
9/11 - A Personal Reflection 2022-01-14 05:00:00Z 0

Recap: January 5, 2022

Michael Beaumont spoke to our club last week regarding the development of the "Live Oak Performing Arts Center" that is being planned to be built here in Bluffton. It was a great presentation, quite informative, and gave us a vision for their future as Bluffton looks to expand its already prominent Fine Art and Music scene that brings the community together. Learn more at and you can watch his full presentation on Youtube:
Recap: January 5, 2022 2022-01-11 05:00:00Z 0

Charitable Giving Day

No better way to start the day then a room full of Rotarians singing Happy Birthday to our own Natalie Jones!
Today we handed out several checks thru our Charitable Giving Process. It was an honor to listen and learn of all the good things Bluffton Self Help, AME Church, Meals on Wheels, The John Kolbush Foundation, Lowcountry Legal Volunteers and SC Nurse Retention Scholarship is doing for our local area. A HUGE thank you to our community who has supported, volunteered, and donated to us throughout the year.
Charitable Giving Day Dan Ciuffreda 2021-12-08 05:00:00Z 0

Oyster Roast Details

The holidays have come and gone...if you are looking for the next FUN event in Bluffton, look no further than the "famous" Bluffton Rotary Club Oyster Roast! What could be better than fresh steamed May River oysters, grilled brats, homemade chili, and hand-cut fries... plus sharing the blazing fire pit with your friends...all while listening to great music and enjoying your favorite beverage?
Save the date - Saturday, January 29, 2022. Gates open at 4:30 pm and Oysters from 5:00 - 8:00 pm at the Bluffton Oyster Factory!
All you can eat. Advance purchase, $45.00; at the door, $50.00. Additional charge for soda, beer, and wine.
Tickets can be purchased online or at the following locations in Bluffton:
- Bluffton Oyster Factory
- Butchers Market and Deli
- Bee Town Mead and Cider
Thanks for your support of the Bluffton Rotary Club and the good things we do for the community!
Oyster Roast Details Dan Ciuffreda 2021-12-07 05:00:00Z 0
Oyster Roast Tickets Dan Ciuffreda 2021-12-07 05:00:00Z 0
MEETING RECAP: March 2, 2022 2021-12-06 05:00:00Z 0
2021 THE SALVATION ARMY BELL RINGING 2021-11-29 05:00:00Z 0


November is Foundation month and we finished it with a great presentation given by our own Foundation Chair, Mr. Dean Turner. Dean gave our members a lesson he called "Foundation 101". 
RECAP: NOVEMBER 17TH MEETING 2021-11-22 05:00:00Z 0

RCB 2021-2022 HERO CLUB!!

The Rotary Club of Bluffton is one of three clubs in District 7770 to be recognized as a 2021-2022 HERO Club by ShelterBox USA this Rotary Year! The HERO program was designed and remains a way for ShelterBox to stay prepared for upcoming disasters in several ways. Natural and other disasters are inevitable and frequent, and the need is continuous. It takes time for items to be purchased or manufactured before being packed and, by pre-packing aid, it is ready to go when needed.  ShelterBox HERO Clubs provide the resources and time to be ready when disaster strikes. Thank you all who donated to a Disaster Relief this year, well done Bluffton!!
RCB 2021-2022 HERO CLUB!! 2021-11-22 05:00:00Z 0


With the help of John Miller, our club was able to raise over $900 for the A.M.E Churches Thanksgiving Meal. We provided ten turkeys, ten hams, and twenty-two bags of sweet potatoes! Thank you to everyone who donated. 

Surviving Polio

Mrs. Dianne Falgiani reminded and educated us all today that the Poliovirus is still very active and the fight to eradicate this terrible virus is ongoing. Thank you for sharing your inspirational story of survival and we are grateful that you are part of our community! We look forward to seeing you again
Surviving Polio Dan Ciuffreda 2021-11-09 05:00:00Z 0


November 10th marks the 246th Birthday of the United States Marine Corps.  To those Marine Corps Veterans in the Club:
November 11th is Veterans Day! Thank you to all of our Veterans that choose to continue to serve their community as Rotarians. Appreciate your and your family's great personal sacrifice to our Nation.
USMC BIRTHDAY AND VETERANS DAY! 2021-11-08 05:00:00Z 0


Here are some pictures from our Bluffton Self Help Service Projects over the last week. From Holiday Food Drive pick-ups to making room for Christmas gifts!  Pictured: Rob Darling, Jim Evans, Dan Cuiffreda, Rod Brooks, David Hussey, Bill and Nancy Epps, and Friends. 

10/27 Business Meeting

It was an exciting morning for the Rotary Club of Bluffton this past Wednesday.
Congratulations to Kevin Santana, Student of the Month for Michael C. Elementary and Breanna Hamilton from Red Cedar Elementary. It was great to have both schools back!
A warm welcome to new member Sam Keeler and congratulations to Wil Saleeby (PHF+2), Dana Marsh, Brooklyn West and Dean Turner (PHFs).
Last, but certainly not least, we were presented with our District Grant which we will utilize during our Happy Feet event.
10/27 Business Meeting Dan Ciuffreda 2021-10-28 04:00:00Z 0

Chris Forster - The Town of Bluffton

Chris Forster, Assistant Town Manager for the Town of Bluffton and fellow Rotarian gave us an informative update on the Town of Bluffton. He discussed Bluffton's history and vision moving forward. Both the town and the Rotary Club of Bluffton are honored to have Chris!
For his full presentation please visit our YouTube channel:
Chris Forster - The Town of Bluffton 2021-10-14 04:00:00Z 0


Last Saturday was a great day for our community youth that took home some new shoes donated by Kohls! Special thanks to all the volunteers, Jim Evans and Social Worker, Ms. Vanhouten, for hosting the event at M.C. Riley Elementary School. Evans and Social Worker, Ms. Vanhouten, for hosting the event at M.C. Riley Elementary School. 
HAPPY FEET SERVICE PROJECT 2021-10-04 04:00:00Z 0


This past week Mr. Jim Evans, our Service Committee Director, dropped off 30 headphones with Mr. Brian Ryman, Principal of River Ridge Academy. A special thank you to Mrs. Pam Baker for arranging the meeting that allowed the club an opportunity to meet with Brian and Social Worker, Ms. Brandi Siatkowski. Pictured from left to right, Brian Ryman and Jim Evans.

New Members: Catherine Trawinski and Vicky Beyerle

What an exciting morning for the Rotary Club of Bluffton, two new members and Paul Harris Fellow (PHF) awards!
Bill Epps from the Membership Committee welcomed our newest members: Catherine Trawinski and Vicky Beyerle
A special congratulations to our members who received their Paul Harris Fellow:
Shawn Marlowe, Brooklyn West, Dana Marsh, Morgan Crutchley , Dean Turner, Brendan McCahill and Kate McClain
New Members: Catherine Trawinski and Vicky Beyerle Dan Ciuffreda 2021-09-23 04:00:00Z 0

PHF: Morgan Crutchley 

Not Pictured: Shawn Marlowe, Brooklyn West, Dana Marsh, Dean Turner, Brendan McCahill, and Kate McClain
PHF: Morgan Crutchley 2021-09-23 04:00:00Z 0

District Governor Paul Walter's Visit

Mr. Paul Walter is a member of Rotary Club of Hilton Head Island and a native South Carolinian. He resides on Hilton Head Island where he has lived since graduating from Wofford College in 1992. He is a Senior Vice President/Area Manager for the Hilton Head market of Pinnacle Financial Partners. Paul has been in his current position since 2002 and in banking since 1992. He has served in various roles in his Rotary club since 2003 to present. He was Club President in 2013-14 during which time he led the club to Large Club of the Year recognition at the District Conference in March 2014. He has received the District Club Builder Award in 2014-15. He is an RLI graduate, Paul Allen Ten Star Rotarian, a Major Donor, member of the Paul Harris Society, Bequest Society and a Benefactor. At the District level, he has served as Early Act Chair since 2013, District Treasurer from 2016 to 2019, Governor Nominee, Governor Elect and currently serves as District Governor. He received the District Service Above Self Award in 2016-17
Watch DG Paul's full visit below:
District Governor Paul Walter's Visit 2021-09-15 04:00:00Z 0

Amber Kuehn's Presentation on Turtles

As manager of Sea Turtle Patrol Hilton Head and owner of Spartina Marine Education Charters, Amber Kuehn has experienced the beauty of the Lowcountry from the perspective of a marine biologist, a scuba instructor and dive boat captain. She shared some interesting statistics about turtle nesting on Hilton Head Island, along with fascinating stories about Myrtle and Stumpy, two of the logger head turtles that return year-after-year to lay their eggs. Additionally, she explained the purpose behind some of the new ordinances passed that protect sea turtles, including how lights, holes and trash on the beach create obstacles for turtles to nest and for hatchlings to make it to the sea
For Amber's full presentation please watch on our YouTube Channel below:
Amber Kuehn's Presentation on Turtles 2021-09-02 04:00:00Z 0
Captain "Woody" Collins Dan Ciuffreda 2021-08-12 04:00:00Z 0

Captain "Woody" Collins

Please join us at the next club meeting this Wednesday, August 11th, at 7:30am at the Bluffton Rotary Building.  We are honored and very excited to welcome our Guest Speaker "Captain Woody" Collins! He will be presenting his new book “Where Have All the Shrimp Boats Gone?”.
Bio: Captain Woody Collins was born in 1942 and lived in Port Royal in his youth. Woody was introduced to commercial fishing through association with the son of one of Port Royals early immigrant shrimpers, Captain Tony Vukas. In his 40 plus years of commercial shrimping, Captain Woody owned 5 different trawlers. He was also involved in wholesale / retail seafood business ownership as well as owning a seafood restaurant, which after 41 years is still going strong and still bares his name “Captain Woody’s”. After retiring from the water about 12 years ago, Woody and his wife moved to Sheldon. Captain Woody is a past founding member of Beaufort County’s Clean Water Task Force, where he Served two, two year terms as an advisor to South Carolina Sea Grant Consortium. Captain Woody is the founder of The Friends of Gardens Corner. Captain Woody was a docent at the Historic Port Royal Foundation, speaking on various aspects of Port Royals history until Covid 19 halted the program. For the past six years, Captain Woody Collins has put together a history of the shrimping industry with a strong focus on Beaufort County. This collection of history is now better known as the brand
new book, “Where Have All the Shrimp Boats Gone?”
Captain "Woody" Collins Dan Ciuffreda 2021-08-10 04:00:00Z 0
RECAP: SEPTEMBER 15TH MEETING 2021-07-26 04:00:00Z 0


We would like to thank the Bluffton-Jasper County Volunteers in Medicine for allowing BRC to participate in their Christmas in July event. A BIG congratulations to all the winners of some amazing prizes and Dan for being a good sport by wearing a Santa hat in July!!
CHRISTMAS IN JULY 2021-07-26 04:00:00Z 0

Meeting Recap 06/23/21

At our last meeting, we formally welcomed our new 2021-22 club President, Mr. Dan Ciuffreda and Board of Directors.  Preceding President, Mrs. Joanie Iaco and the Board faced many unforeseen challenges this past year, but their hard work, dedication, and creativity kept our club moving forward with community and international projects. THANK YOU!!
Meeting Recap 06/23/21 2021-07-01 04:00:00Z 0


At our May 30th meeting, Deborah Burt gave a wrap-up presentation on the International Project in Peru. The community of Ocoto Alto is located in Peru’s northwestern region of Tambogrande, near Piura. Like many communities in Peru, Ocoto Alto lacks access to safe water and adequate sanitation facilities. The majority of the families in this small community earn an average monthly income of $22 as agricultural laborers.This project focused on helping to bring adeqaute sanitation facilities to the citizens of Ocoto Alto specifically by constructing latrines thoughout the community. The original proposal for this project gives more details and facts and is attached here:documents/en-ca/bb6db810-1989-4674-8218-4e7e3a8c3e12/1 Thank you to Deb Burt for all her time and hardwork on this project!
RECAP: 5-30 MEETING & THE INTERNATIONAL PROJECT IN PERU Kate McClain 2021-06-06 04:00:00Z 0


Steve Miller, our Foundation Director announced and presented Dot Jeger with the Paul Harris Fellow +4 award at our last club meeting.  Please congratulate Dot the next time you see her! 
ROTARY MEMBER SPOTLIGHT Kate McClain 2021-06-06 04:00:00Z 0


We were so honored to welcome Captain "Woody" Collins, last week. Captain Woody shared excerpts from his book "Where Have All the Shrimp Boats Gone" and provided our club with his knowledge of the Lowcountry and some entertainment! We look forward to hearing from this local treasure soon! If you missed his presentation check it out on our YouTube channel:
RECAP: AUGUST 11TH MEETING 2021-05-16 04:00:00Z 0


At our last meeting, Mayor Sulka spoke to the club about the town's upcoming and on-going projects and the development in the area. The Mayor took the time to answer many questions that morning. Much of the focus was on the growth in the area. The big takeway from the Mayor's visit is that town officials are keeping a watchful eye on the growth and any impact it may have on our water and sewer system and ultimately our waterways. Much of the land that is being developed now was purchased by developers over the years, and while we can't prevent them from building on the land, we can make sure they follow the rules when it comes to protecting our most valuable resource: the May River and its tributaries. We also inducted three new members to our cub--welcome Ethan Cox, Rod Brooks, and Chris Forster (pictured in order below). Congrats to the new members!
RECAP: 5/19 MEETING 2021-05-16 04:00:00Z 0


At our last meeting, we had several members become Paul Harris Fellows. Congrats to Jim Evans, Dan Ciuffreda, Jack McKenzie and Steve Miller!
RECAP: 5-12 MEETING 2021-05-16 04:00:00Z 0


At our last meeting, Tamela Fleetwood Maxim spoke about writing and illustrating her book entitled: Nellie Jelly and the Jelly Well and the process to get her book published. She also read the book to the club.
Check out Bluffton Rotary's Facebook Page to watch a recorded video of the meeting and her reading. 
Thank you to Tamela for reminding us what it means to be a child and how the simple yet valuable philosophy of playing nice and getting along with others is one we can all embrace. 
RECAP: 4-28 MEETING 2021-05-03 04:00:00Z 0

The C.A.R.T Fund

Do you worry about Alzheimer’s?  We do not have a cure for Alzheimer’s disease, but we must find one.  Finding a cure starts with you.  Every year the CART (Coins for Alzheimer’s Research Trust) Fund gives research grants focused on finding a cure for Alzheimer’s disease. 
Have you given to the CART Fund this year?  The CART Fund is dedicated to raising funds to provide “seed” money for cutting edge, high impact research in hopes of finding a cure/prevention for Alzheimer’s disease.  The goal of the CART Fund is to encourage exploratory and developmental Alzheimer’s disease research projects within the United States. This is accomplished by providing financial support for the early and conceptual plans of those projects that may not yet be supported by extensive preliminary data but have the potential to substantially advance biomedical research. These projects should be distinct from those designed to increase knowledge in a well-established area unless they intend to extend previous discoveries toward new directions or applications.
If you would you like to donate to the C.A.R.T. fund please scan the code below:
The C.A.R.T Fund Dan Ciuffreda 2021-02-26 05:00:00Z 0

Meeting Recap!

At our last club meeting, we welcomed several potential new members to our meeting on Zoom. We are so thankful for our long-time club members
and all the new folks who are interested in Rotary and supporting our community. A Zoom meeting screen shot is below. 
Also, during the meeting we discussed the plan for future club meetings. Starting in April, we will go back to four meetings a month--a meeting every Wednesday morning--and the meetings will be in-person and virtual on Zoom.
Steve Miller gave us an update about the Rotary Club Foundation and reported that our club has met it's foundation goal for the year and our club is the 5th club in the district in annual foundation fund giving this year!
We heard from Jim Evans--he is working with Bluffton schools to find a safe way to have our Happy Feet event.
We will update the club when we have more information; however, the hope is that we can schedule it for mid-March. 
A call went out to all club members for any fundraising ideas you may have--please share them with the Board or let Joanie know if you have an idea for a fundraising activity. We are looking for some new and creative ideas!
We also need donations of books for the Free Little Libraries.
We can use children and adult books to replenish the little libraries.
Deborah Burt let us know that the International Water Project is complete. The next step is the commissioning ceremony, but it was postponed due to a Covid-19 spike near the village. Once the ceremony is rescheduled--she will send the club an email with the Zoom link so we can participate remotely. 
Meeting Recap! 2021-02-18 05:00:00Z 0

Recap of Delightful Arts & Seafood Dinner 

The Arts & Seafood Dinner Soiree was this past Saturday evening on the grounds of the Heyward House Museum. A delicious catered boxed-dinner from Southern Spice Catering was served and there was music, dancing and history. Tables were limited and spaced more than six feet apart. Folks were having fun but still taking care to be socially distanced. Seventy-four tickets were sold and $100 of each ticket was split between two beneficiaries--the Bluffton Historic Preservation Society and the Bluffton Rotary Club. Special thanks to Mary O'Neill for all her hard work and making this event happen during COVID-19 and raising $3700 for the Bluffton Rotary club to give back to the community!
Recap of Delightful Arts & Seafood Dinner Kate McClain 2020-09-27 04:00:00Z 0

Arts & Seafood Dinner Recap

The Arts & Seafood Dinner Soiree was this past Saturday evening on the grounds of the Heyward House Museum. A delicious catered boxed-dinner from Southern Spice Catering was served and there was music, dancing and history. Tables were limited and spaced more than six feet apart. Folks were having fun but still taking care to be socially distanced. Seventy-four tickets were sold and $100 of each ticket was split between two beneficiaries--the Bluffton Historic Preservation Society and the Bluffton Rotary Club. Special thanks to Mary O'Neill for all her hard work and making this event happen during COVID-19 and raising $3700 for the club!
Arts & Seafood Dinner Recap Kate McClain 2020-09-27 04:00:00Z 0


Rotarians came out strong to support the Re-Imagined Arts & Seafood Festival this past weekend. The festival had pop-up art displays on porches, lawns and on corner lots from the many galleries to highlight the artistic and cultural side of Bluffton.  Refreshments were available at one of the many pop-up eateries showcasing true Southern Hospitality. Galleries and shops in old town were open and welcomed festival attendees. Our club members manned the beer and wine sales and helped with cleaning and sterilizing surfaces during the festival. Below are some of our folks in action!
RECAP: ARTS & SEAFOOD FESTIVAL 2020-09-20 04:00:00Z 0

President's Pen

Wow! I can’t believe 7 months have passed since I became president! Time flies when you are having fun and what a great year we have had thus far. We started off our Rotary year with a hurricane evacuation, the last of a trend we hope, but this led us to donate to a wonderful organization called Shelter Box. Good things can come out of tough situations! As always, the annual Arts & Seafood Festival was a tremendous success and we had super volunteer participation. This year we initiated a very worthwhile international project in Ocoto Alto, Peru providing sanitation relief to a community desperately in need. We are also spearheading a local meal packaging event that will distribute 1,000,000 meals internationally from District 7770, which our area clubs will be donating 85,000 of these meals, which is amazing. 
Our activities this past Christmas season would have made Jacob Marley’s ghost jump for joy! Our projects exemplify the commitment and sacrifices joyfully performed by members who genuinely believe in the motto, “Service above Self.” Our club is an example of how “many hands make light work” and there is no “I in team.” The Bluffton Rotary Oyster Roast at the Bluffton Oyster Factory Park this last weekend was a huge success and a fun time for Rotarians and the community alike. Happy Feet is being re- invented this year with some exciting changes and a new location, the Bluffton Rotary Center! More projects to look forward to include: bagging oyster shells, building oyster reefs, the Special Olympics and of course Mayfest. We will have accomplished a lot this year as a club and we should be very proud. As your president, I would like to thank you for helping to make our community, our country and our world a better place.

David Hussey
President's Pen Dan Ciuffreda 2020-01-28 05:00:00Z 0
Donate to the C.A.R.T Fund Dan Ciuffreda 2020-01-11 05:00:00Z 0

2020 Oyster Roast

Welcome to the 2020 Bluftton Rotary Club Oyster Roast
Buy Tickets at the door!
2020 Oyster Roast Dan Ciuffreda 2020-01-11 05:00:00Z 0


(Interview by one of our newest Rotarians, Kate McClain)
David Hussey came to Bluffton from Chicago and many of you have heard some of his stories about working for different clubs and hotels there. He has some entertaining stories about his days in Chicago! When I asked him whether he was a Cubs fan—he replied, “Isn’t everybody a Cubs fan?” 
He relocated to Bluffton with his wife, Allison, to be closer to family. After working several years as the director of food and beverage at an island resort, he transitioned into real estate and hasn’t looked back. He works as part of a real estate team with his wife called The Cobb Group. He has four children—Cassie, 34, Annabelle, 29, George, 13 and his youngest, Charlotte, who is 11-years-old. 

One of David’s goals as President is to find ways to help families and children growing up in complicated circumstances. This focus on kids comes from his experience in the foster care system when he was a child. He eventually got his own apartment (on the South side of Chicago) and supported himself by working in a factory while he was still in high school. Speaking with David about his childhood and growing into a young man was truly inspiring. He had some very difficult times, but his attitude and approach to life is unwaveringly positive. As he said: “Just keeping looking forward…every day is a new day. And I always try to see the light at the end of the tunnel.”

2019 Bluffton Rotary Oyster Roast

Posted by Aaron Nelson on Jan 24, 2019
story thumbnail
The holidays have come and gone...if you are looking for the next FUN event in Bluffton, look no further than the "famous" Bluffton Rotary Club Oyster Roast! What could be better than fresh steamed May River oysters, grilled brats, homemade chili and hand cut fries... plus sharing the blazing fire pit with your friends...all while listening to great music and enjoying your favorite beverage?
Save the date - Saturday, February 2, 5:00 - 8:00pm at the Bluffton Oyster Factory!
All you can eat. Advance purchase, $35; at the door, $40. Additional charge for soda, beer and wine.
Thanks for your support of the Bluffton Rotary Club and the good things we do for the community!
2019 Bluffton Rotary Oyster Roast Aaron Nelson 2019-01-24 05:00:00Z 0
$67,000 for the Bluffton Community Center Foundation!!! 2018-08-21 04:00:00Z 0
Bluffton Rotary in the News! 2018-08-07 04:00:00Z 0

School Supply Drive: Donations Wanted!

story thumbnail
  • Sharpies
  • Index cards
  • Washable markers
  • Glue sticks
  • 24-county crayons
  • Highlighters
  • Tissues
  • Marbled composition notebooks
  • Plain folders with prongs (red, blue, yellow, green)
  • Gallon Ziploc bags
  • Quart Ziploc bags
School Supply Drive: Donations Wanted! Dani Breidung 2018-07-17 04:00:00Z 0
Thank You From Our Mayor 2018-07-17 04:00:00Z 0

Student of the Month

Posted on May 23, 2018
John Kirkland, Bluffton Rotary Club President, presents a certificate and gift card to MC Riley Student of the Month, Malachi Bynum.
Student of the Month 2018-05-23 04:00:00Z 0

Partner for Surgery

Posted on May 16, 2018
Beaufort Memorial Hospital occupational therapist Jesse Ausec spoke to the Bluffton Rotary Club about his involvement with Partner for Surgery. Partner for Surgery is a non-profit on the front lines of medical and surgical care in rural Guatemala, helping impoverished Guatemalans living in remote locations and working to educate and empower rural Guatemalans to initiate and advocate for vital health care services on their own behalf. Ausec’s particular focus is on pediatrics and the Targeted Infant Nutrition Program (TINP), working with infants and children born with cleft lips and cleft palates. To learn more about how to help change lives through medical care, go to
Partner for Surgery 2018-05-16 04:00:00Z 0

Beaufort County Economic Development

Posted on Apr 04, 2018
John O'Toole, Executive Director for Beaufort County Economic Development
Corporation, gave the Rotary Club of Bluffton an overview of efforts to
bring new businesses into the county. O'Toole also spent some time
explaining how they plan and work with organizations such as USCB and TCL to
prepare a workforce for new businesses. Their goal for next year is to bring
in $50 million in revenues and 200+ new jobs by June 2019. Beaufort County's
work force "hidden weapon" is our military presence; every year 800 - 1200
Marines either retire or transition out of the Marines into our county.
O'Toole's key to development? Look for 3 things: Simple, Swift and Certain.
For more information on the Beaufort County Economic Development
Beaufort County Economic Development 2018-04-04 04:00:00Z 0

Bluffton Self Help Receives Donation

Posted on Mar 28, 2018
John Kirkland, president of the Bluffton Rotary Club, presents a $3,500 check to Kimberly Hall, Executive Director of Bluffton Self Help. Bluffton Self Help was established in 1988, just like the Bluffton Rotary Club. Working together as partners, Bluffton Self Help and the Rotary Club of Bluffton have been making a difference in our community for 30 years. Congratulations. For more information on Bluffton Self Help:
Bluffton Self Help Receives Donation 2018-03-28 04:00:00Z 0

New Members Inducted

Posted on Mar 21, 2018
District Governor Gary Bradham inducted Bluffton Rotary's four newest members at the weekly breakfast meeting on March 21st. Shown from left are DG Gary, Bruce Trimbur, Alan Johnson, Jan Sinclair and Jim Evans. Welcome to the Rotary Club of Bluffton!
New Members Inducted 2018-03-21 04:00:00Z 0

Rotary Member Recognitions

Posted on Mar 21, 2018
The Rotary Club of Bluffton had several visitors on Wednesday, March 21 to recognize outstanding service from some members. District Governor Gary Bradham presented the recognitions, with help from Sandee Brooks, Immediate Past District Governor and Deborah Burt, Bluffton Rotary Club Foundation Director. Also on hand for the awards were David Tirard, District Governor Elect, and Assistant District Governor Nancy Riedel. Burt noted ”the Foundation is our charity and as Rotarians supporting the Foundation, it is our opportunity to personally support the work that we do in our communities and around the world. What better way to live a life of ‘Service Above Self’?”
Dan Wood, Steve Tilton, Dee Dee Graham, receiving recognition from DG Gary Bradham for their contributions as Benefactor or Bequest Society members.
President John Kirkland, Dani Breidung and Becki Hale are Bluffton Rotary Club’s newest Paul Harris Society members.
DG Gary Bradham recognized Rotary Club of Bluffton members for multiple Paul Harris achievements: Steve Miller (PHF + 5), Barry Connor (PHF + 8) and Deborah Burt (PHF + 6). Deborah, Steve and Barry are also PHF Sustaining members.
Rotary Member Recognitions 2018-03-21 04:00:00Z 0

Town of Bluffton Update

Posted on Mar 14, 2018
Town Councilman, Bluffton Rotary Club member and past president, Dan Wood
spoke to the club with an update on Bluffton. Some items of interest
included: adding new parking along Dr. Mellichamp Drive; a new pocket park
donated to the Town by Eugene Marks in front of Stock Farm development;
sewer improvements along Buck Island and Simmonsville Roads, where ~ 700
residents now have sewer; Town Hall renovations; sidewalks along Goethe,
Buck Island and Shultz Roads; the acquisition of 184 Bluffton Rd. (old Cross
Fit location) for additional parking; the acquisition of 68 Boundary Street
for additional parking; the May River Streetscape that is nearly complete;
the Wright property on Calhoun (across from The Church of the Cross) which
has been cleared and the fence removed; and more street lighting planned for
Lawrence Street. With our rapid growth in Bluffton, the Town is looking
ahead to the historic aspects of our community, keeping safety in mind and
leaving Bluffton as a "walking town". Thank you Councilman Wood, for all you
Town of Bluffton Update 2018-03-14 04:00:00Z 0

Ace Basin

Posted on Mar 07, 2018

Al Segars, well-known local veterinarian, recently retired from DNR in
November 2018, provided a great slideshow and talk about the Ace Basin, a
national treasure in our backyard. The Ace Basin covers 1.5 million acres of
mostly wetlands and is located along US 17 or Interstate 95 between Hilton
Head Island and Charleston. There are driving trails, hiking trails and boat
rides to see some of this land and the wild life and animals within. This
time of the year alligators are in mating season and out "bellowing"; Rosy
Spoonbills, white pelicans, snakes & bald eagles are just a few species you
might find. The park is free and makes for a nice morning, afternoon or
whole day. For more information:
Ace Basin 2018-03-07 05:00:00Z 0

Coins for Alzheimers Research Trust (CART)

Posted on Feb 21, 2018
Barbara Ivey, Vice President of Operations for Coins for Alzheimers Research Trust (CART) and our speaker this morning, shared her personal experiences with Alzheimers and how it affected her family. In sharing, she gave the group good pointers on mistakes to avoid and how best to spend time with loved ones during the time they have left. Alzheimers is one of the top 10 diseases in America causing death - #6 - and we still do not have a real sense of cause, a reversal for the disease and not even a real treatment for this disease. Research only started 20 years ago and was
initially confined to pharmaceutical companies; now research has moved to institutional organizations and information is being freely shared, helping make strides.

The CART fund, started in 1996 by the Sumter Rotary Club and with 21 US District now participating, helps fund research for Alzheimers, just by collecting change in our CART fund buckets each week.  For more information on where your coins go click HERE. Ivey's website on Alzheimer's can be found HERE.

Ivey had a career working for Microsoft, before devoting her time to Alzheimer's awareness and research.
Coins for Alzheimers Research Trust (CART) 2018-02-21 05:00:00Z 0

Beaufort County Update

Posted on Feb 07, 2018
Guest speakers, Ben Shelton, Town Prosecutor, lawyer, President of the Van Landingham Rotary Club and and Tabor Vaux, County Council for Beaufort County and member of the Bluffton Rotary Club, spoke to our club on Feb. 7 about events and issues going on in Beaufort County today. Councilman Vaux covered top issues that County Council is working on including:
1. Increasing penalties for littering and the ban of one-time use plastic bags; 2. Revisiting the future land-use map for planning and control of growth in our county; 3. Looking at elimination of business taxes and making Beaufort County more business friendly; 4. Expansion of sewer services in the county; and 5. A potential sales tax referendum, for replacing the bridge to Hilton
Head. Shelton spoke on the lawsuit filed on Feb. 6 on behalf of Beaufort County against drug companies, some unnamed clinics and doctors within our county for the local opioid crisis. Deaths attributed to opioids have risen steadily in our area and our country, and have cost billions of dollars to the government...and taxpayers. The State of SC filed a lawsuit against Oxycotin maker Purdue Pharma in 2017, who is also named in Beaufort County's suit. For more information click HERE.
Beaufort County Update 2018-02-07 05:00:00Z 0

2018 Bluffton Rotary Oyster Roast

Posted by Quinn Baldree
story thumbnail
The holidays have come and gone...if you are looking for the next FUN event in Bluffton, look no further than the "famous" Bluffton Rotary Club Oyster Roast! What could be better than fresh steamed May River oysters, grilled brats, homemade chili and hand cut fries... plus sharing the blazing fire pit with your friends...all while listening to great music and enjoying your favorite beverage?
Save the date - Saturday, January 20, 5:00 - 8:00pm at the Bluffton Oyster Factory!
All you can eat. Advance purchase, $30; at the door, $35. Additional charge for soda, beer and wine.
Thanks for your support of the Bluffton Rotary Club and the good things we do for the community!
2018 Bluffton Rotary Oyster Roast Quinn Baldree 2018-01-10 05:00:00Z 0

District Governor Elect Speaks to Rotary

Posted on Nov 08, 2017
District Governor Elect David Tirard spoke to the Bluffton Rotary Club for Foundation Month, emphasizing the 6 Areas of Focus: Peace and conflict prevention/resolution, Disease prevention and treatment, Water and sanitation, Maternal and child health, Basic education and literacy and Economic and community development. Click HERE to find out more.
District Governor Elect Speaks to Rotary 2017-11-08 05:00:00Z 0

American Legion Golf Tournament

Posted on Aug 23, 2017
Members of the Dennis J. Becker Post 205 of the American Legion spoke to Bluffton Rotary about their upcoming 12th annual golf tournament fundraiser. The tournament is scheduled for September 29, 2016 at the Rose Hill Golf Club. There will be a cookout after the golf tournament with a raffle, silent auction and door prizes. Donations of auction items are appreciated. Golf hole sponsorships are available. Click HERE for more information.
American Legion Golf Tournament 2017-08-23 04:00:00Z 0

Water Quality is Important

Posted on Aug 16, 2017
Ellen Comeau from the Beaufort County Clemson Extension Service talked to the Bluffton Rotary Club about Stormwater and Local Water Quality. Working in partnership with Carolina Clear, they strive to have healthy, fishable, swimmable waterways for all of us in Beaufort County. Half of Beaufort County’s 576 square miles is made up of water and ½ of South Carolina’s salt marshes are in Beaufort County; we have very little freshwater in our area. According to Comeau, wetlands are the most threatened ecosystems on the planet. How can we help? Some suggestions include using or establishing rain barrels, rain gardens, shorescaping, watering our yards wisely, testing the soil before fertilizing and doing your “doody”! More information can be found HERE.
Water Quality is Important 2017-08-16 04:00:00Z 0

New Member Inducted

Posted on Aug 09, 2017
Ian Duncan, sponsored by Mike Tripka, is inducted with help from AG Nancy Riedel and President John Kirkland.
New Member Inducted 2017-08-09 04:00:00Z 0

Lowcountry Stories

Posted on Aug 09, 2017
David Lauderdale, senior editor and columnist at The Island Packet and The Beaufort Gazette, spoke to the Bluffton Rotary Club on August 9. His main message was to “slow down”…slow down the growth and pace in Bluffton and keep what we all love about Bluffton intact. Lauderdale shared many stories about Bluffton and Hilton Head, from his 40 years spent in the LowCountry, and some scandals too. We have quite a history here and we should all help keep Bluffton alive and special beyond the “next 40 years”.
Lowcountry Stories 2017-08-09 04:00:00Z 0

USCB International Exchange

Posted on Aug 02, 2017
Dr. Lynn McGee, Vice Chancellor for Advancement and External Relations at the University of South Carolina Beaufort, spoke to the Bluffton Rotary Club on August 2, regarding her recent experience in the German Fulbright Commission Higher Education, after receiving a Fulbright Award. Dr. McGee is working to help others experience the same opportunities as a Fulbright Scholar and in her presentation she made a strong connection between the Fulbright organization and Rotary International, with similar missions and goals. Her goal is to elevate USCB to a more international level and help partner USCB with an International school in France for student exchange opportunities. During her trip to Germany, McGee was introduced to Germany’s higher education system where she was able to visit multiple universities and do a “deep dive” into the differences, plus learn more about the German culture and life.
USCB International Exchange 2017-08-02 04:00:00Z 0

Latino Resource Since 1999

Posted on Jul 19, 2017
Eric Esquivel, President and Publisher of La Isla Magazine, spent some time talking to the Bluffton Rotary Club about his work as an intermediary between the Latino culture and the Lowcountry.  Originally born and educated on Hilton Head, Eric returned to the LowCountry in 1999 to partner with his brother and sister on La Isla. Esquivel discussed the growth factors of the Latino population in Beaufort County, South Carolina and the US, including projected growth through 2025 when Latinos are expected to represent about 55% of our population. He explained some nuances in culture, the importance of family, referrals and marketing in business and briefly touched on the immigration issues facing us all today.
Latino Resource Since 1999 2017-07-19 04:00:00Z 0
8/1/18 Meeting Recap 2017-07-12 04:00:00Z 0

Judge McElynn Speaks to Bluffton Rotary

Posted on Jul 12, 2017

The Honorable Lawrence McElynn, chief judge of the Summary Court in South Carolina in Beaufort County, gave the Bluffton Rotary Club a lesson in structure of workings of the Magistrate Court system in Beaufort County. Magistrates are appointed by the Governor of SC for a 4 year term, after being nominated by Senator Tom Davis. There is no requirement to be part of the legal system before becoming a judge, but one has to pass extensive training and testing before an appointment can be approved. The Beaufort County Magistrate’s Court handles about 30,000 cases a year, both civil and criminal.

There are approximately 319 magistrates in South Carolina, each serving the county for which he or she is appointed. They are appointed by the Governor upon the advice and consent of the Senate for four year terms and until their successors are appointed and qualified (Art. V, § 26, S.C. Const., and S.C. Code Ann. § 22-1-10). Anyone seeking an initial appointment as magistrate must pass an eligibility examination before they can be recommended to the Governor by the senatorial delegation. S.C. Code Ann. § 22-2.5. Magistrates must also attend an orientation program, pass a certification examination within one year of their appointment, and attend a specified number of trials prior to conducting a trial.

Magistrates have criminal trial jurisdiction over all offenses which are subject to the penalty of a fine not exceeding $500.00 or imprisonment exceeding 30 days, or both (S.C. Code Ann. § 22-3-550). In addition, S.C. Code Ann. § 22-3-545 provides that magistrates may hear cases transferred from general sessions, the penalty for which does not exceed one year imprisonment or a fine of $5,000, or both, upon petition by the solicitor and agreement by the defendant. Magistrates have civil jurisdiction when the amount of controversy does not exceed $7,500. (S.C. Code Ann. § 22-3-10) In addition, magistrates are responsible for setting bail, conducting preliminary hearings, and issuing arrest and search warrants. Unlike circuit courts and probate courts, magistrate courts are not courts of record. Proceedings in magistrate courts are summary (S.C. Code Ann. § 22-3-730).

Before his appointment as judge, McElynn served for 30 years as a Special Agent with the US DEA and has received numerous awards for his community service work in the Low Country, including recognition as “Community Hero” by the Governor of SC, the prestigious Palmetto Serves Award from the SC Department of Education and The order of the Silver Crescent , South Carolina’s highest civilian award for significant contributions to and leadership within a community.

Judge McElynn Speaks to Bluffton Rotary 2017-07-12 04:00:00Z 0

Growing Up On Hilton Head Island

Posted on Jun 07, 2017
Collins Doughtie, a long-time resident of Hilton Head Island shared some “growing up” stories with the Bluffton Rotary Club. When his family moved to the area in 1961, his home was the 8th in Sea Pines. As kids, they had fun riding the Marsh Tacky ponies on the beach…scooping up crabs from tidal pools…fishing…and occasionally getting into trouble. It was a different life back then … a wide open new world made just for adventuresome kids. The years growing up are probably why Collins is still all about adventure today, though a lot of it is adventure in the local waters fishing. Find more information HERE about Collins’ latest interest in saving the “old” way of life. For fishing help, contact Collins at
Growing Up On Hilton Head Island 2017-06-07 04:00:00Z 0

Donation and Awards

Posted on May 10, 2017
The Rotary Club of Bluffton recently donated $5000 to the Greater Bluffton Jasper Volunteers in Medicine. Pictured above: Executive Director of BJVIM, Pat Tomey and Rotarian President, Michael Putich.
Rotary Club of Bluffton presented pretigous Paul Harris Fellow Awards to several members of the club.  Pictured above:  President-Michael Putich, Pike Jones, Chierie Smith , David Hussey, John Anderson and Assistant District Govenor Nancy Reidel.
Donation and Awards 2017-05-10 04:00:00Z 0

Action For Autism

Posted on May 03, 2017
Action for Autism (AFA) is building a new AFA Academy of the Low Country, where children on the Autism Spectrum and with other neurodevelopmental
delays, ages 1 - 21, can learn, grow and  reach their fullest potential, all while feeling confident, safe and secure in a positive learning environment.
Dan Messmer, Assistant Executive Director for AFA, spoke to the Bluffton Rotary Club about his two children that are on the autism spectrum. With his
personal experience, Dan has made it his mission to provide help for families and special needs children in our area by providing an avenue to
make it better. They hope to open AFA Academy in late August. Messmer also covered some general facts of autism - how the rate of autism has increased
over the past 20 years, stats that boys are more likely than girls to be affected by autism, and autism affects 1 in every 68 children now. For more
information or to get involved, click HERE.
Action For Autism 2017-05-03 04:00:00Z 0

Waddell Mariculture Center

Posted on Apr 19, 2017

Dr. Al Stokes, Director of the Waddell Maricultural Center in Bluffton, recently spoke to the Bluffton Rotary Club about the Aqua Culture Research Center at Waddell and its main focus of seafood reproduction, working all over the world. The research facility has 25 ponds and is currently going through some renovations where they will add their own hatching system; they currently use a hatching system in Charleston. With help from summer interns, the group works with our cobia, blue crabs, shrimp and horseshoe crab populations. Click HERE for more information and or tours.
Waddell Mariculture Center 2017-04-19 04:00:00Z 0

Palmetto Bluff Conservancy

Posted on Apr 12, 2017
Jay Walea, Executive Director of the Palmetto Bluff Conservancy, has been with Palmetto Bluff for 27 years...even before it was Palmetto Bluff, but
known as Union Camp's Land Resources Division. During a recent Bluffton Rotary Club meeting, Jay shared some of the goals and programs of the
conservancy group, including history of the Palmetto Bluff area, which can be traced back to Paleo times, with written history going to
pre-revolutionary war times. The staff does a lot of public outreach education as well as preservation and conservation of this beautiful area.
Routine jobs may include controlled burning (in winter months only), counting the blue bird, rattle snake and wild turkey populations,
maintaining and stocking retention ponds. "The Palmetto Bluff Conservancy was created to insure the conservation vision of this amazing piece of land
in the heart of the Lowcountry", according to Walea. Click HERE for more information.
Palmetto Bluff Conservancy 2017-04-12 04:00:00Z 0

Beaufort Memorial Hospital

Posted on Apr 05, 2017
Russell Baxley joined Beaufort Memorial Hospital as President and Chief Executive Officer in September, 2016, right before Hurricane Matthew hit our area, and he has been a whirlwind of activity himself since then. Baxley joined the Bluffton Rotary Club to update members on Beaufort Memorial Hospital, which began operations in 1944 as a not for profit and a state operated organization. Growth over the past few years has been phenomenal, as with our area, and they are now the largest hospital between Charleston and Savannah, with 197 available beds and 1800 employees. Designated as a Pathway to Excellence hospital, Beaufort Memorial, under Baxley’s leadership, has developed and expanded critical services including oncology, constructed a new facility for urgent care services, developed telemedicine options, and introduced “Violet” a germ-zapping robot that “cleans” every room after a patient is discharged to zap any germs or bugs. Baxley also reviewed some projects heading our way in the next 5 years, such as a new birthing center and a new 50,000 square foot facility for Bluffton, projected to open in 2019. Click HERE for more information about Beaufort Memorial Hospital.
Beaufort Memorial Hospital 2017-04-05 04:00:00Z 0

The Buried War

Posted on Mar 15, 2017
Bill Beltz, member of the Okatie Rotary Club and a Rotarian since 1980, spoke to the Bluffton Rotary Club on March 15 about his life as a Franciscan Monk, growing up with his PTSD and abusive father and his published memoir, The Buried War. Congratulations, Bill, for publishing your memoir and having the courage to speak out about difficult phases in your life. You can find more at Balboa Press HERE or on Amazon HERE.
The Buried War 2017-03-15 04:00:00Z 0

New Member Inducted

Posted on Mar 15, 2017
Chris Shoemaker (center) was recently inducted as a new member of the Rotary Club of Bluffton. Shown here with his sponsor, Dan Wood and President Michael Putich.
Congratulations Chris!
New Member Inducted 2017-03-15 04:00:00Z 0

NHC HealthCare

Posted on Mar 08, 2017
Steven Yokley, Administrator at NHC HealthCare, Bluffton for the past nine months, along with Stacy Floyd, Executive Director for The Palmettos
Assisted Living and Memory Care Community spoke to the Bluffton Rotary Club about NHC and the new Palmettoes Assisted Living and Memory Care facility on Wednesday, March 8. The new Memory Care units will open in the next few weeks; currently all 36 beds are reserved, just waiting to open. NHC, with its expansion to serve the needs of our community, has grown to 210
employees and a facility that provides rehab, home care, assisted living and now memory care services. For more information go to 
NHC HealthCare 2017-03-08 05:00:00Z 0

2017 Rotary District Conference

Posted on Mar 01, 2017
Mike Jukofsky of the Hilton Head Island Club spoke to the Bluffton Rotary Club and showed a video of the upcoming Grease Beach Scene '17 Rotary District Conference, scheduled March 24 - 26 at the Marriott Oceanfront Resort on Hilton Head Island. There will be lots of fun events, plus many interesting and informative sessions...all members are encouraged to attend. The Friday lunch will be partly subsidized by our Rotary Club; if you don't have time for the entire conference, please try to make the lunch and then stay for classes, time permitting. We will have a sign-up sheet during Rotary next week, for the lunch. Click HERE for more information.
2017 Rotary District Conference 2017-03-01 05:00:00Z 0

Salt Water Ecosystems

Posted on Mar 01, 2017
Stephen Borgianini, Associate Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
in the Department of Natural Sciences at USCB talked about the importance of
the ecosystems and the uniqueness of the salt marshes of the May River. Salt
marshes make up 1/2 of the land in Beaufort County, making our marshlands
among the most productive ecosystems in the world. Different factors  that
affect the ecosystem include latitude, tidal cycles and the degree of
riverine input. The tides serve to clean the marsh and our marshes today are
affected by Sea Level Rise (SLR). While the environment can be harsh for the
many organisms and creatures that live in the marshes, the balance is very
important to maintaining a good balance...even a fast boat leaving a wake
can have a detrimental effect on the marsh.
Salt Water Ecosystems 2017-03-01 05:00:00Z 0

February Student of the Month

Posted on Feb 22, 2017
Congratulations to Emily Santos, the Bluffton Rotary February Student of the Month. Shown with Adrian Sutton the principal of M.C. Riley Elementary School.
February Student of the Month 2017-02-22 05:00:00Z 0

Oyster Roast Big Success

Posted on Feb 18, 2017
The Rotary Club of Bluffton held its classic Oyster Roast event from 5 to 8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 18 at the Bluffton Oyster Factory Park in Old Town Bluffton. The community enjoyed a unique evening on the banks of the May River with succulent local oysters, entertainment, good company and a bonfire. Local favorite Harden & Crenshaw entertained the crowd with its bluegrass sound. The ticket price covered all-you-can-eat, freshly harvested May River oysters. After filling up with oysters, guests enjoyed chili, hot dogs, brats and the Rotary’s famous, homemade hand-cut fries. Soda, beer and wine were also available. All proceeds help support the Bluffton Rotary’s efforts in the community and around the world. This is an annual event so join us again in 2018.
Oyster Roast Big Success 2017-02-18 05:00:00Z 0

Palmetto Electric Green Initiatives

Posted on Feb 15, 2017
Parrish Neville (pictured left), Marketing Manager for Palmetto Electric Cooperative, spoke to the Bluffton Rotary Club about green initiatives and the history of Rural Electric Cooperatives (REA). Palmetto Electric offers several water heater savings programs to save resources and money for both the cooperative and its customers. More recently, Palmetto Electric has gotten into solar offerings, opening a solar farm in Ridgeland and selling shares to its' members. The Ridgeland offering sold out very quickly as did the New River solar farm, still under construction.
Palmetto Electric Green Initiatives 2017-02-15 05:00:00Z 0

Guatemala Water Project

Posted on Feb 08, 2017
Bruce Clemens, an active Rotarian in Guatemala who now lives in Bluffton, spoke to the Bluffton Rotary Club about his current project in San Lucas, Guatemala, through his company Agua del Pueblo, which was formed in 1972. The peoples of San Lucas on the edge of Lake Atitlan have no sewer system and are using polluted waters of the lake as their drinking water source. The project is working to pull water from the deepest area, where the water is not affected by pollution to provide the town with a clean source. Working with Rotary Clubs and Rotary International grants to finance this project and provide education to the people of Guatemala is a major focus for Bruce and his company. Bruce regularly travels to Guatemala with students researching Global Sustainability. For more information contact Bruce at or check this link:
Guatemala Water Project 2017-02-08 05:00:00Z 0

FBI Agent Talks Fraud

Posted on Feb 01, 2017
Special Agent George E. Graves, Jr., a 21 year veteran with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, currently assigned to the Columbia Field Office, Hilton Head Resident Agency, spoke to the Bluffton Rotary Club about fraud and some recent scam operations investigated by the FBI in our area. Some general take-aways from his talk: if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is; the FBI and the Federal Government will never call you for money – they will just show up at your door; do not put business checks in your outgoing mail box – take them directly to the post office; be very careful clicking on emails from someone you do not know ... in fact, just don’t; change your passwords frequently and never let someone take control of your computer. For more information, check
FBI Agent Talks Fraud 2017-02-01 05:00:00Z 0

New Members Inducted

Posted on Jan 25, 2017
Dan Ciuffreda (left) and Stephen Meyer (right) were recently inducted as new members of the Rotary Club of Bluffton. Congratulations.
New Members Inducted 2017-01-25 05:00:00Z 0

Members Become Paul Harris Fellows

Posted on Jan 25, 2017
Six Bluffton Rotarians recently received Paul Harris Fellow awards. The awards were presented by President Michael Putich (far left) and Assistant District Governor Nancy Riedel (far right). The Paul Harris Fellows, from left to right are Barry Connor, Deborah Burt, Allen Freeman, Jim Hudson, Dani Breidung and Daniella Squicquero. Paul Harris Fellows are recognized for contributing $1000 to the Rotary Foundation. Some of these Rotarians are multiple recipients. Congratulations all.
Members Become Paul Harris Fellows 2017-01-25 05:00:00Z 0

Royal Live Oaks Academy Receives Donation

Posted on Jan 25, 2017
The Bluffton Rotary Club presented Royal Live Oaks Academy Charter School with a $500 check on January 25, 2017.  The check was contributed to purchase "age appropriate" dictionaries for the 2nd grade students.  Pictured from left to right are Jesse Floyd (Academy Literacy Coach), Dani Breidung (Rotary Club Secretary), Michael Putich (Rotary Club President), Earl Herman (Academy 2nd Grade Teacher), Jay Parks (Rotary Club Service Projects Director) and Maria Urbin (Academy Reading Intervenionist).
Royal Live Oaks Academy Receives Donation 2017-01-25 05:00:00Z 0

January Student of the Month

Posted on Jan 25, 2017
Congratulations to Avery Wallace, the Bluffton Rotary January Student of the Month. Shown with Adrian Sutton the principal of M.C. Riley Elementary School.
January Student of the Month 2017-01-25 05:00:00Z 0

Hurricane Matthew

Posted on Jan 18, 2017
Members of Bluffton town government and first responders made a presentation covering the events in the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew which hit the Lowcountry in October of last year.
Hurricane Matthew 2017-01-18 05:00:00Z 0

Bluffton Rotary Hosts Annual Oyster Roast

Posted on Jan 16, 2017
BLUFFTON, S.C. - The Rotary Club of Bluffton will hold its classic Oyster Roast event from 5 to 8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 18 at the Bluffton Oyster Factory Park in Old Town Bluffton. The community is invited for a unique evening on the banks of the May River to enjoy succulent local oysters, entertainment, good company and a bonfire.
Local favorite Harden & Crenshaw returns to entertain the crowd with its bluegrass sound. This year’s chair of the event is Bluffton Rotarian, Quinn Baldree. “It’s a great way to kick off the New Year enjoying good food with friends and neighbors” says Baldree. “In Bluffton, we know how to enjoy a party – and this one promises to be a good time for a great cause.”
The ticket price covers all-you-can-eat, freshly harvested May River oysters. After filling up with oysters, guests can enjoy chili, hot dogs, brats and the Rotary’s famous, homemade hand-cut fries. Soda, beer and wine will be available for an additional cost.
Come experience a Bluffton tradition; dig into tasty May River Oysters and help support the Bluffton Rotary’s efforts in the community and around the world.
Get your tickets soon, because this event often sells out. Advance tickets are $30 per person, $35 day of the event. For tickets call 843-815-2277 or ask any Bluffton Rotarian for tickets. Tickets are also available at Bluffton Oyster Factory, 63 Wharf Street &  Heuser Ace Hardware at Buckwalter Place.
For the latest event updates, like the Bluffton Rotary Annual Oyster Roast on Facebook. 
Bluffton Rotary Hosts Annual Oyster Roast 2017-01-17 00:00:00Z 0

Aunt Laurie's Baskets

Posted on Jan 10, 2017
Laurie Brown, founder and owner of Aunt Laurie's, spoke to the Bluffton
Rotary Club about the special custom gift baskets built, assembled and
shipped with a hand-written note...all from the hands of disabled people.
Laurie's love of animals and helping people in need led her to create Aunt
Laurie's in March, 2015. The baskets are filled with a variety of products
created and assembled by people overcoming disability and learning new
skills. Working with her "clients"  (workers), Laurie helps them gain
confidence and skills to ultimately gain a job in the community. For more
information, check
Aunt Laurie's Baskets 2017-01-11 00:00:00Z 0

Experience Green Visits Bluffton Rotary

Posted on Jan 03, 2017
Ray Wenig presented on the Baseline Sustainability Assessment funded and produced by Experience Green. Experience Green is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization focused on the what, how, why, and when of sustainability, with the long term goal to improve society through increased stewardship of the environment, care of the people, and growth of economic prosperity. It was founded in 2010 with a scope of service encompassing Hilton Head Island and greater Beaufort County, SC.  Experience Green aims to create a community in which institutions, businesses, stakeholders and individual citizens collaborate to promote and implement sustainable practices for the greater good of the community.  The Baseline Sustainability Assessment revealed opportunities for improvement in the areas of transportation, water use, solid waste reduction and recycling.  Experience Green has already achieved success in a partnership with the collective Golf Courses of Hilton Head Island who received the very first International Sustainable Golf Destination of the Year designation in 2016.  For more information, visit 
Experience Green Visits Bluffton Rotary 2017-01-04 00:00:00Z 0

December Students of the Month

Posted on Dec 06, 2016
M.C. Riley students of the month Nicolle Lopez and Reagan Kelly are recognized for their leadership and accomplishments at the Bluffton Rotary breakfast meeting.
December Students of the Month 2016-12-07 00:00:00Z 0

Singing Eagles Bring Holiday Cheer

Posted on Dec 06, 2016
The M.C. Riley Elementary School Singing Eagles kicked off the Christmas season for the Bluffton Rotary. Melanie Henderson is shown conducting the group of magnificent singers. 
Singing Eagles Bring Holiday Cheer 2016-12-07 00:00:00Z 0

Bluffton Self Help Receives Funds

Posted on Dec 04, 2016
Bluffton Rotary president Michael Putich presented a donation of $5000 to Bluffton Self Help on November 30, 2016. The funds will help the organization in its continuing efforts to support families impacted by hurricane Matthew.
Bluffton Self Help Receives Funds 2016-12-05 00:00:00Z 0

Field of Dreams

Posted on Nov 29, 2016
Land planners Wallace Milling and Dan Keefer of Witmer Jones Keefer presented a conceptual master plan of the "Rotary Field Of Dreams" at the November 30, 2016 breakfast meeting. The field is adjacent to the Rotary Community Center. The Rotary Club of Bluffton is partnering with the Town of Bluffton to fund improvements to the park, including a paved walking trail, playground, restrooms and a bandstand.
Field of Dreams 2016-11-30 00:00:00Z 0

Bluffton Rotary Welcomes Newest Member

Posted on Nov 08, 2016
story thumbnail
Our newest member, Jean Heyduck was inducted at our breakfast meeting on November 9, 2016. She is pictured with club president, Michael Putich and her sponsor, Chris Protz. Welcome to the club Jean.
Bluffton Rotary Welcomes Newest Member 2016-11-09 00:00:00Z 0

Andra Watkins Speaks to Bluffton Rotary

Posted on Nov 08, 2016
story thumbnail
Andra Watkins, New York Times Bestselling Author, gave the Bluffton Rotary Club a little South Carolina history lesson Wednesday morning, November 9 – the day after the current election – comparing it to the election of 1800 and making sure we all stayed awake. In her just released novel Hard to Die, Watkins explores the life of ‘Dear Theodosia’, the daughter of US Vice President Aaron Burr and wife of Joseph Alston, Governor of SC during the War of 1812. There are ties between Theodosia and the current wildly popular Broadway musical Hamilton…and we’ll just have to read Watkins’ speculative fiction novel to find out what really may have happened in this tidbit of SC history. Andra Watkins also wrote the memoir Not Without My Father: One Woman’s 444-Mile Walk of the Natchez Trace, the novel To Live Forever: An Afterlife Journey of Meriwether Lewis, and the photography collection Natchez Trace: Tracks in Time.
To launch her debut novel, Andra is one of the only living persons to walk the 444-mile Natchez Trace as the pioneers did. Natchez, MS to Nashville, TN. Fifteen miles a day. Six days a week. She finished her trek in 34 days. While she walked the Trace to launch her novel, she ended up having a life-changing adventure with her 80-year-old father. Not Without My Father chronicles that experience.
Andra is a Past President of the East Cooper Breakfast Rotary Club in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina. She is past District Communications Chair for District 7770, founder of the District 7770 Friendship Exchange program, a two-time Rotarian of the Year, a multiple Paul Harris Fellow, and recipient of her District’s Distinguished Service Award. For more information about Andra, you can visit her website at
Andra Watkins Speaks to Bluffton Rotary 2016-11-09 00:00:00Z 0

Happy Feet a Huge Success!


Happy Feet 2016

The Bluffton Rotary held it’s annual “Happy Feet” event on Saturday, November 5th at Payless Shoes.  Happy Feet donates a new pair of shoes to students from three Bluffton elementary schools.  This year 298 children received new shoes to wear to school.

The Bluffton Rotary wants to thank the social workers from Michael C. Riley Elementary, Red Cedar Elementary and Bluffton Elementary for their work with the parents and students leading up to the event.  Children from families struggling with financial difficulties were invited to attend. There were many smiles and thank you’s from the children and parents as they walked out of the store with the new shoes.

Rotary also wants to thank Maya Smith, Payless Shoes Manager, and her staff, who worked tirelessly to have the necessary children’s shoes readily available for the event.

This year 16 Bluffton Rotarians, 2 prospective members and 2 Rotarian guests volunteered to work Happy Feet.  It was a heart warming experience to see 298 happy children with their new shoes! 

Happy Feet a Huge Success! 2016-11-07 00:00:00Z 0

President's Pen

Posted on Nov 03, 2016
story thumbnail
Just recently there have been many opportunities for each of us to show our Rotary spirit by adhering to the Rotary organization’s motto “Service above Self” and this year’s Rotary theme ”Rotary Serving Humanity”. Hurricane Matthew, the Arts & Seafood festival and our international water project each have provided us with opportunities to serve.  Whether we are serving as a group of Rotarians or on our own with our families and friends, sharing our time availability, our talents and our interests with those in need strengthens our relationships and helps us to develop attributes that will make our Club and community stronger. Just recently, our Club donated $5,000 to Bluffton Self Help with the intent of helping a local non-profit organization provide financial assistance to those who are struggling with Hurricane Matthew’s aftermath.  Those funds, earned by hardworking Rotarians, are available because of each Rotarian’s service to the Club.  In addition to our Club’s cash contribution, we are currently collecting food, household and hygiene items that we will also donate to Bluffton Self Help. I want to thank each of you for what you do and how you do it.  You each play an important role in allowing our Club to give back to our community.  Great Job!
President's Pen 2016-11-04 00:00:00Z 0

Rotary Foundation Update

Posted on Nov 01, 2016
story thumbnail
Alice Howard spoke to the Bluffton Rotary Club on November 2nd as part of our celebration of Rotary Foundation Month. Alice is a past president of the Rotary Club of the LowCountry in Beaufort, a past Assistant Governor and currently serves as District Annual Fund Chairman for our District 7770.
Rotary Foundation Update 2016-11-02 00:00:00Z 0

Historic Bluffton Arts & Seafood Festival

Posted on Oct 25, 2016
story thumbnail
The Twelfth Annual Historic Bluffton Arts & Seafood Festival held October 15th - 23rd was again a huge success due to the efforts of many and in spite of Hurricane Matthew.  It is an amazing community event that not only brings the community and visitors together to celebrate the very essence of Bluffton, but it also takes the community to put it on.  A big thank you to my fellow Rotarians for their support and service.  We did an outstanding job highlighting the "gems of Bluffton":  the natural beauty of our river community; its rich history; the pristine quality of the May River; the bounty of our local waterways; and the cultural and artistic aspect of our community itself.  It is touted as and truly is the celebration "where fine art and the bounty of the sea come together!"  Thank you all again and looking forward to the final numbers from the bar sales so we again can return the profits to those in need in our community.  Until next year.

Mary O'Neill, President
Historic Bluffton Arts & Seafood Festival
Historic Bluffton Arts & Seafood Festival 2016-10-26 00:00:00Z 0

International Water Project Completed

Posted on Oct 25, 2016
story thumbnail
Bluffton Rotarians Deborah Burt, Dot Jeger and Dee Dee Graham recently traveled to Miramar in the Piura Region of Peru to help dedicate a clean water project. The project was a collaboration involving Rotary International, Rotary District 7770, Rotary District 4465 in Peru, Rotary Club Paita Centro in Peru and the Rotary Club of Bluffton. The clean water project is now serving 700 families and a total of 2800 people in Miramar.
International Water Project Completed 2016-10-26 00:00:00Z 0

Newest Club Member

Posted on Oct 25, 2016
story thumbnail
Bluffton Rotary welcomes its newest member, Jim Baker. Jim is a transfer from Beaufort, SC. He is employed by Beaufort-Jasper Water and Sewer Authority. Welcome Jim!
Newest Club Member 2016-10-26 00:00:00Z 0

October Student of the Month

Posted on Oct 25, 2016
story thumbnail
Bluffton Rotary honored Barrett Lanese as the October M.C. Riley Student of the Month. Barrett is pictured with Adrienne Sutton, principal at M.C. Riley.
October Student of the Month 2016-10-26 00:00:00Z 0

New Member Induction

Posted on Sep 13, 2016
story thumbnail
Assistant District Governor Nancy Reidel attended the September 14th meeting to induct our newest Rotary member, RoniLynn Greenhalge. She was sponsored by Deb Karambeles. Congratulations RoniLynn.
New Member Induction 2016-09-14 00:00:00Z 0

Scholarship Recipients

Posted on Sep 13, 2016
story thumbnail
Congratulations to scholarship recipients Mahogany Hickman and Mariah Rogers. Both recipients are University of South Carolina - Beaufort (USCB) students. They each received credit at the university book store for text book purchases and gas cards to help with transportation costs. Both are involved in the USCB Rotaract Club.
Scholarship Recipients 2016-09-14 00:00:00Z 0

Town Endorses Walk For Water

Posted on Sep 13, 2016
The Town of Bluffton endorsed Bluffton Rotary's fundraiser, Walk for Water at its council meeting on September 13, 2016. The resolution recognizes the club's effort to fund construction of a clean water project in Miramar, Peru. The fundraiser will be held September 24, 2016. read the Town resolution here.
Town Endorses Walk For Water 2016-09-14 00:00:00Z 0

All About Bluffton

Posted on Sep 06, 2016
story thumbnail
Bluffton Rotarians were joined by long-time Bluffton resident Joannie Heyward at our breakfast meeting on September 7, 2016. Joannie is the wife of the late Tommy Heyward, a long time, faithful Bluffton rotarian.
Joannie has been a supporter of the Bluffton Historical Preservation Society for many years and her presentation was “All About Bluffton”.
All About Bluffton 2016-09-07 00:00:00Z 0

2016 Bluffton Boiled Peanut Festival

Bluffton Boiled Peanut Festival
Go Nuts !
Because ... Why Not
When: September 10, 2016, 12:00 noon - 5 pm
Where: Bluffton Village (Hwy 46 between the library and post office)
More details here.
2016 Bluffton Boiled Peanut Festival 2016-09-07 00:00:00Z 0

Rotary Reader

Posted on Sep 06, 2016
Club member Becki Hale announced the Rotary reader program is starting up for the new school year. A training session will be held at M.C. Riley Elementary School at 9:00 am on Wednesday, September 14, 2016, if you are interested in participating.
The Rotary Reader program only takes about one hour per month in weekly, 15-minute reading sessions with your assigned young scholar. We need more Rotarians in this program. Please volunteer.
Rotary Reader 2016-09-07 00:00:00Z 0

Walk For Water

Posted on Sep 05, 2016
Club President Michael Putich and the club's Rotary Foundation Director Deborah Burt recently taped a "Talk of the Town" interview. They are promoting participation in Bluffton Rotary's "Walk for Water" fundraising campaign. Funds from this event will help complete the club's International Water Project. The project will bring clean, safe water to 2800 residents living in the community of Miramar in the Piura Region of Peru. View the televised interview here.
If you would like to participate in this worthwhile project, please contact Mary O'Neill at or fax your application to 843-815-2473. Click on the Upcoming Events link in the right-hand column of the home page to download and print the application.
Thanks for supporting Bluffton Rotary!
Walk For Water 2016-09-06 00:00:00Z 0
Business Meeting August 24, 2016 2016-08-24 00:00:00Z 0

2015-2016 Charter Night

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
2015-2016 Charter Night 2016-06-24 00:00:00Z 0

President's Pen May 31, 2016 8:19 PM

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
President's Pen May 31, 2016 8:19 PM 2016-05-31 00:00:00Z 0

International Water Project Approved

Posted on Mar 31, 2016
story thumbnail

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.

International Water Project Approved Dot Jeger 2016-04-01 00:00:00Z 0

President's Pen -First Quarter 2015

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
President's Pen -First Quarter 2015 2015-10-16 00:00:00Z 0

Hurricane Preparedness

    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.
Hurricane Preparedness 2015-07-28 00:00:00Z 0

Bluffton Rotary Inducts New Members

Posted by Lisa Carroll on Feb 10, 2015

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!
Bluffton Rotary Inducts New Members Lisa Carroll 2015-02-11 00:00:00Z 0

President's Pen - February 2015

Posted by Steve Miller on Feb 10, 2015

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,
President's Pen - February 2015 Steve Miller 2015-02-11 00:00:00Z 0

Healthy Living is Within our Grasp

Posted by Lisa Carroll on Feb 10, 2015
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!
Healthy Living is Within our Grasp Lisa Carroll 2015-02-11 00:00:00Z 0

Rotarians in Ghana

Posted by Lisa Carroll on Feb 10, 2015
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.
Rotarians in Ghana Lisa Carroll 2015-02-11 00:00:00Z 0

President's Pen - January 2015

Posted by Steve Miller on Jan 05, 2015
story thumbnail
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,
President's Pen - January 2015 Steve Miller 2015-01-06 00:00:00Z 0

Singing Eagles Entertain

Posted by Lisa Carroll on Jan 05, 2015
story thumbnail
M.C. Riley Singing Eagles entertain us at breakfast just before Christmas.  Always a treat with many Rotarians bringing their families for the occasion.
Singing Eagles Entertain Lisa Carroll 2015-01-06 00:00:00Z 0

Steve Wilmot & the 2015 RBC Heritage Golf Tournament

story thumbnail
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!
Steve Wilmot & the 2015 RBC Heritage Golf Tournament 2015-01-06 00:00:00Z 0

Oyster Roast Tickets For Sale!

Posted by Dot Jeger on Jan 04, 2015
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!
Oyster Roast Tickets For Sale! Dot Jeger 2015-01-05 00:00:00Z 0

David Green and Ken Anderson Entertain Rotarians

Posted by Lisa Carroll on Dec 18, 2014
story thumbnail
David Green and Ken Anderson entertained the Bluffton Rotary Club talking about Osprey Village, a residential community for developmentally disabled adults soon to be built in Bluffton. Ken Anderson also shared his interest and participation in the Osprey Village, some personal stories about family the delight of football fanatics...hjighlights of his football career with the Cincinnati Bengals.  (pictured l to r: Rotary Club President, Steve Miller, Ken Anderson and David Green, President of Osprey Village)
David Green and Ken Anderson Entertain Rotarians Lisa Carroll 2014-12-19 00:00:00Z 0

Congratulations USCB Rotaract Club!

Posted by Lisa Carroll on Dec 18, 2014
story thumbnail
Steve Miller, President of Bluffton Rotary Club and David Tirard, Assistant Governor for Area 4, present an official club banner to USC Rotaract Club officers, Mahogany Hickman (left), Secretary and (right) Samantha (Sam) Smith, President. The USCB Rotaract Club was officially recognized by RI in March of  2014 and is co-sponsored by both Bluffton and Hilton Island Rotary clubs. The banner presented Dec. 3 at the Bluffton meeting and the bell and gavel presented on Dec. 4 at the HHI noon meeting along with Rotaract club T-shirts, previously given and designed by the USCB Rotaract club are all part of the "sponsorship package" traditional to our District 7770 just as they are for new rotary clubs. Both of our rotary clubs shared  the costs.
Congratulations USCB Rotaract Club! Lisa Carroll 2014-12-19 00:00:00Z 0

Bluffton Rotary Inducts New member

Posted by Lisa Carroll on Dec 18, 2014
story thumbnail

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.

Bluffton Rotary Inducts New member Lisa Carroll 2014-12-19 00:00:00Z 0

Bluffton Rotary Donates to BJ-VIM

Posted by Lisa Carroll
story thumbnail
The Rotary Club of Bluffton provided a check to the Bluffton Jasper Volunteers In Medicine for $5,000. To go towards  support for women for pap smears, HPV testing and mammograms. Funds were raised through some of the proceeds of this year’s Bluffton Village Festival.
Photo features left to right:  Bluffton Rotary President, Steve Miller with Executive Director of Bluffton-Jasper Volunteers in Medicine, Pam Toney and Service Projects Coordinator/Rotarian – Deborah Burt
Bluffton Rotary Donates to BJ-VIM Lisa Carroll 2014-12-19 00:00:00Z 0

Sandee Brooks Speaks During Foundation Month

Posted by Dan Wood on Nov 30, 2014
story thumbnail
Sandee Brooks, (District 7770 President Elect- 2016) spoke to the club about the history and the purpose of the Foundation. The mission of The Rotary Foundation is to enable Rotarians to advance world understanding, goodwill, and peace through the improvement of health, the support of education and the alleviation of poverty. The outreach of international  programs such as improving  Water and Sanitation, Neo-Natal care and Polio Plus are but a few of the programs improving lives every day. It is hard to imagine that a program which began in 1917 with a $26.50 endowment from Arch Clump now exceeds “$1 Billion Dollars”. Bluffton Rotary’s fifteen year contribution to  the foundation totals $175,710.78. Take pride in knowing that District 7770 is number 1 in giving in our zone and ranked number 3 in giving in the world. The original goal of the Foundation to “just do good in the world”, has been rousing success.
Sandee Brooks Speaks During Foundation Month Dan Wood 2014-12-01 00:00:00Z 0

Ringing the Bell for Salvation Army

Posted by Lisa Carroll on Nov 30, 2014
story thumbnail
Bluffton Rotary starts ringing the bell at Kroger in Bluffton for our annual support of The Salvation Army. On the job with a smile:  Brooks Williams and Lisa Hayes
Ringing the Bell for Salvation Army Lisa Carroll 2014-12-01 00:00:00Z 0

Bluffton Rotary - Making Bluffton a Better Place

Posted on Nov 30, 2014
story thumbnail
“Service above Self” is the Rotary Club motto, and this month the Bluffton Rotary Club has done its part to embody this idea. In November, the group was able to provide shoes and socks for less fortunate children in the Bluffton community in addition to sprucing up downtown Bluffton.
The Rotary Club of Bluffton raised $3,000 and then received a matching grant from the Rotary District 7770  to allow the club to complete its seventh annual Happy Feet event. More than 250 students from Bluffton Elementary, M.C. Riley Elementary and Red Cedar Elementary received a free pair of shoes or boots and a pair of socks. The $3,000 grant comes from donations made to the Foundation.

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.
Bluffton Rotary - Making Bluffton a Better Place Emily Campbell 2014-12-01 00:00:00Z 0

Helping Keep Bluffton Beautiful!

Posted by Dot Jeger on Nov 30, 2014
story thumbnail
Bluffton Rotarians Justin Rice, Chris Epps, Megan Mack and Sarah Reed help with the joint "beautification" project with the Town of Bluffton on Saturday, November 15, replacing plants in large pots in and around Old Town Bluffton.
Helping Keep Bluffton Beautiful! Dot Jeger 2014-12-01 00:00:00Z 0

Untangling the Rotary Community Center Closet

Posted by Dot Jeger on Nov 30, 2014
story thumbnail
Cleaning the Rotary Community Center Closet...not your idea of fun? These Rotarians made it look fun,while untangling the accumulated mess of years of storage! Becki Hale, Mike Covert and President, Steve Miller work together on clean-up day, Saturday, November 6.
Untangling the Rotary Community Center Closet Dot Jeger 2014-12-01 00:00:00Z 0

Oh Happy Day - Happy Feet

Posted by Dot Jeger on Nov 30, 2014
story thumbnail
Bluffton Rotary Club Member Tony Falgiani helps a student as she picks out a pair of new shoes for Happy Feet.
Oh Happy Day - Happy Feet Dot Jeger 2014-12-01 00:00:00Z 0

November is Rotary Foundation Month

Posted by Deb Boshaw on Nov 30, 2014
story thumbnail
As part of Foundation Month, individual members of our Club spoke as to the importance of Foundation:
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 Rotary Foundation Month Deb Boshaw 2014-12-01 00:00:00Z 0

President's Pen - November 2014

Posted by Steve Miller on Nov 25, 2014
story thumbnail
November always puts me in the Christmas spirit. We started out the month with a very successful Happy Feet Project. Bluffton Rotary provided shoes and socks to 250 deserving children. As most of you know we received a grant from the District of $3000 and the Club matched that $3,000 plus an additional $1,239 for a total of $7,239. The funds the Club contributed comes from the hard work we put in at the Bluffton Village Festival and The Historical Arts and Seafood Festival.

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!
President's Pen - November 2014 Steve Miller 2014-11-26 00:00:00Z 0

President's Pen - October 2014

Posted by Steve Miller on Oct 28, 2014
story thumbnail
October has been a busy month and after a very successful but tiring Arts and Seafood Festival I have finally mustered the energy to write the October President's Pen.
Let me first congratulate Mary O’Neill and the rest of the Arts and Seafood Festival Board and Committees (many of whom are your fellow Bluffton Rotarians) on a very well run and successful Festival. Secondly, I would like to thank all Bluffton Rotarians, their families and friends for all the hard work they contributed to make the Festival and our fund raising efforts a success. I would like to thank Mike Tripka and Bob Prust for stepping up to run the beverage carts. Without everyone pitching in, we would not have been able to raise the funds for our charitable account. Now the fun part begins, determining which organizations we should help.

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.

November also marks the beginning of the bell ringing for the Salvation Army at the Kroger in Bluffton. We will have signup sheets soon.
One last point, membership is the lifeblood of any Rotary Club. Please keep that in mind as you go about your day and meet with business associates and friends. Also keep in mind that every person you meet is a potential Rotarian. Please invite them to a meeting, to ring the bell with you or attend another function that we are involved in. 
President's Pen - October 2014 Steve Miller 2014-10-29 00:00:00Z 0

Human Trafficking in the Lowcountry

Posted by Dot Jeger on Oct 26, 2014
story thumbnail
Human trafficking is a grim subject, but one that should be brought to light. Janice Dyer and Carol Stephens, with the Lowcountry Coalition Against Human Trafficking explained the very real definition of human trafficking and that it does happen right here in the lowcountry. In fact, resort areas are often a target to those who deal in human trafficking.  They love resorts and they love borders, two things we have in plenty.

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 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.

Human Trafficking in the Lowcountry Dot Jeger 2014-10-27 00:00:00Z 0

Local Money Talks

Posted by Danielle Breidung on Oct 14, 2014
story thumbnail
Elizabeth Bergmann spoke with the Bluffton Rotary Club on Wednesday, October 15.  She is the co-founder of Local Money Talks (LMT), a coalition of concerned Beaufort County citizens, and a resident of Port Royal, SC.  LMT’s purpose is to “strengthen the resilience of the local economy of Beaufort, SC by empowering existing businesses and fostering entrepreneurship.”  The group was formed almost a year and a half ago, and includes a diverse group of individuals from both the public and private sectors. 

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. 
Local Money Talks Danielle Breidung 2014-10-15 00:00:00Z 0

Beaufort Area Rotary Clubs Host Interact Symposium

Posted by Dot Jeger on Oct 07, 2014
story thumbnail
Students from Interact Clubs all over Beaufort County participated in the second annual Beaufort County Interact Symposium on Saturday, October 4. The newly chartered USCB Rotaract Club helped host the event, held at the USCB Hilton Head Gateway campus. Representing Hilton Head High, Bluffton High, Hilton Head Prep, Beaufort Academy, Beaufort High School and Battery Creek, 81 Interact students attended the one day event. Local Rotary Clubs sponsored the event.

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!”
Beaufort Area Rotary Clubs Host Interact Symposium Dot Jeger 2014-10-08 00:00:00Z 0

A Key Update from Bluffton-Jasper Volunteers In Medicine

Posted by Lisa Carroll on Oct 07, 2014
story thumbnail
Executive Director, Pam Toney recognized the support of our Rotary Club for this vital community organization. She shared an overview of where they are today. Bluffton Jasper VIM is a free clinic for uninsured residents of Bluffton and Jasper Counties. The clinic has 5 exam rooms and though they are a free clinic, they give all the medical services you would normally find in a doctor’s office. There are 9 physicians, 13 nurses and over 100 volunteers.  There is a committee for grant pursuits and an administrative staff. The average patient profile would be female ages 40-63 in the Greater Bluffton area – single or divorced.  All patients donate something when they come in. This year to date, they have served 1810 patients. The clinic does not handle pregnancies, but on Wednesdays they have a mobile van that comes to assist and provide care. They also have quarterly dental services.
Goals include the need to improve their IT system and development/introduction of their first diabetes education program. Challenges faced by BJVIM include cash flow (because both donations and grants fluctuate), volunteers, translators and transportation.
Their mission statement includes a focus on preventive medicine and health education.
A Key Update from Bluffton-Jasper Volunteers In Medicine Lisa Carroll 2014-10-08 00:00:00Z 0

The Lowcountry’s Most Irritating Residents

Posted by Lisa Carroll on Sep 30, 2014
story thumbnail
Dr. John D. Edman, retired entomologist shared a fascinating look at the “no see-um”. Edman’s background reflects an impressive career providing leadership and research throughout the world.  He retired in 2004 after a 40 year career of teaching, research and administration at the University of California at Davis, the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and the Florida Medical Entomology Laboratory. Originally from Minnesota, Dr. Edman has been a member of the Entomological Society of America for over 50 years. He was Vice President and President of the American Mosquito Control Association and the recipient of their Medal of Honor. Edman has presented numerous invitational lectures internationally and is widely respected in many circles from medical and health organizations and the department of defense.

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.
Dr. Edman ended his presentation sharing ideas for personal protection.  1. Avoid outdoor activities during peak biting periods. 2. Wear light colored protective clothing and netting. 3. Use #16 mesh screening. 4. Lemon Eucalyptus Oil, Skin So Soft Lotion and Citronella help. 5. Large high speed fans work. 6. Yellow light bulbs help and turn off porch lights.  Save your money on zappers, trap out traps and devices.  They don’t work.  Don’t use a blend of sunscreen and repellant..  Repellant should be used less often than sunscreen.  Choose repellants with a minimum of 30% DEET for adults – 10% for kids.
A final question from the audience received a round of laughter:  Does the no see-um serve any purpose?   Answer: It prevents development in some areas, thus the economics of it all.
The Lowcountry’s Most Irritating Residents Lisa Carroll 2014-10-01 00:00:00Z 0

Welcome Allen Butts, New Member

Posted by Lisa Carroll on Aug 11, 2014
story thumbnail
President Steve Miller inducts new Bluffton Rotary Club member Allen Butts. Mike Covert is Allen's sponsor. Welcome Allen!
Welcome Allen Butts, New Member Lisa Carroll 2014-08-12 00:00:00Z 0

From Skyscrapers to the Slums

Posted by Lisa Carroll on Jul 31, 2014
story thumbnail
Rodney Vaughn, beloved Rotarian in our club for many years shared his experience on a mission trip in June to the Dominican Republic.

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.

The journey started with a two day tour of  the capital city, Santo Domingo.  After a day of skyscrapers, the real purpose began as they visited two poverty stricken areas to share the message of Christ.   Rodney and team worked closely with two churches serving a multitude of families over a 5 day period.   The team provided over 200 pairs of shoes to children. This gift was a huge hit with all that were able to receive a pair.   Rodney noted that there were Rotary welcome signs in many villages confirming that projects were under way or completed in the areas traveled. 
From Skyscrapers to the Slums Lisa Carroll 2014-08-01 00:00:00Z 0

President's Pen - April

Posted by Dot Jeger on Apr 13, 2014
story thumbnail
Spring has finally sprung in Bluffton! I feel very fortunate to live in such a beautiful and thriving community and to be a part of our Bluffton Rotary Club, where we routinely put Service Above Self and help support our growing town. This is a good time to thank you all, for all you do!
Our Assistant Governor, David Tirard, visited our club last week to present our District and Presidential Citation awards. Thanks to Patrick, who led our club to achieve these two prestigious awards. We also inducted Paige Castle last week, as a new member. We are fortunate to have Paige as a member and appreciate all her help in chartering the new University of South Carolina Beaufort Rotaract Club, jointly sponsored with the Hilton Head Rotary Club. The new club will have their Induction Ceremony later this month.

Also, later this month on Wednesday, April 30, we are having another Business Expo event. Instead of our normal Wednesday morning breakfast meeting, we will meet at the Rotary Community Center at 5:30 – 7:00 pm. Tom Faber has organized this event to help with business networking. There will be Happy Hour, Speed Networking, food and prizes. Plan to attend and bring a guest…but don’t come for breakfast, because you won’t find any!

Then right around the corner, on May 10th, is our Bluffton Village Festival, our largest fund raiser! We’ll have about 200 vendors up and down Calhoun Street, selling arts & crafts and some great food, plus several non-profits organizations. Richard Coffield and May River Realty are once again sponsoring the Ugly Dog contest and we’ll have the pie eating contest again this year too. There’ll be plenty of entertainment, plus adult (and other) beverages flowing from two beer trucks this year. The festival has been extended one hour, at the request of vendors and will run from 10:00 am – 5:00 pm this year.

We’re looking for all members to volunteer, so please sign up to help either Friday night with set-up and vendor arrivals, Saturday morning with vendor set-up, parking, greeters, clean-up during the day, working the beverage or merchandise tents, clean up at the end of the day…plenty to do for everyone, including children and spouses. This is a fun event and a great chance to see everybody in Bluffton!

We’ll have posters again this week, to put in your businesses, and volunteer sign-up sheets over the next few weeks. Thanks for supporting this event – a “gift” we give to Bluffton – visitors and residents alike, the day before Mother’s Day each year!
Happy Easter to you and your families and safe travels for anyone on the road this week.
Yours in Rotary,
President's Pen - April Dot Jeger 2014-04-14 00:00:00Z 0

Alternative Spring Break

Posted by Dot Jeger on Apr 06, 2014
story thumbnail
The newly chartered Rotaract Club of University of South Carolina at Beaufort students and sponsors took an alternative spring break last month, to work in New Orleans. They helped build Habitat for Humanity houses, plus various other projects needed. Paige Frankovich, a freshman, Paige Castle, USCB sponsor, Bethany Brown, Co-VP and a freshman, and Daniel Northcutt, club treasurer and a junior, share their experiences with the Bluffton Rotary Club. The Bluffton Rotary Club helped fund the new club's alternative spring break. The Rotaract Club of University of South Carolina at Beaufort is co-sponsored by the Bluffton and the Hilton Head Island Rotary Clubs.
Alternative Spring Break Dot Jeger 2014-04-07 00:00:00Z 0

Bring a Book for Literacy Month

Posted by Dot Jeger
story thumbnail
Don't forget:
Please bring a new children's book to Rotary on Wednesday. Our District is requesting NEW books to help set-up a school in Charleston that does not have a library. Any new children’s book will be a great addition, ages 0 – 14. If you wish to donate a book, please bring it this week. Either Steve Tilton or Brooks Williams will take them to the District Conference in Charleston this weekend. Help celebrate Literacy Month by contributing a book to a new library. Books are a great gift for children!
Bring a Book for Literacy Month Dot Jeger 2014-03-24 00:00:00Z 0

President's Pen - March 2014

Posted by Dot Jeger on Mar 17, 2014
story thumbnail
We are well into March and actually getting a “breather” right now, after a very active January and February. Enjoy it while we can!

First, we want to once again wish Patrick well in his move to Nashville and new job. He arrived just in time for an ice storm, but like the rest of us, spring has to be just around the corner now. And more on Patrick…a little birdie told me he and Laura are getting married soon, so Congratulations to both! If he was still with us, we’d make him donate to our CART fund.

We are very excited to induct two new members this month. Please join me in welcoming Lisa Hayes, sponsored by Sidney Jones, and Tony Falgiani, a transfer sponsored by Steve Miller, into our club tomorrow! We are always looking for new members, new ideas and new workers.

For Literacy Month (March), our District is requesting NEW books to help set-up a school in Charleston that does not have a library. Any new children’s book will be a great addition, ages 0 – 14. If you wish to donate a book, please bring it this week or next Wednesday (March 26); either Steve Tilton or Brooks Williams will take them to the District Conference in Charleston.

Rotary Leadership Institute (RLI) is offering Part 1 of their 3 part leadership series on Saturday, May 3rd at our Rotary Community Center. Part 1 covers what being a Rotarian means. This is a great opportunity for any new or established Rotarian to participate and learn more. Please let me know if you are interested.
Right around the corner, coming soon, is the Bluffton Village Festival. Mike Covert is chairing the event this year and has been busying getting his committee organized and working hard on details. The festival this year is on Saturday, May 10…always, the weekend of Mother’s Day. Please mark your calendars for a fun day, hard work and a major fund-raiser for our club!

Thanks again to you all for your support as interim president, filling in for Patrick! After running into past District Governor Ed Duryea last weekend, I found out I am a “recycled” President! Well, we do strive to be GREEN now.

Top of the day to you….stay green for March.

Yours in Rotary,

Dot Jeger

President's Pen - March 2014 Dot Jeger 2014-03-18 00:00:00Z 0

Access Health Lowcountry

Posted by Jim Foster on Mar 17, 2014
With so many high visible and highly priced residential neighborhoods, it can be easy to overlook the fact that Beaufort County is home to thousands of people who live in poverty.
Those residents often have little or no access to health care, and filling that gap is the mission of AccessHealth Lowcountry, a new program that works to link uninsured 19- to 64-year-olds with providers who offer free or reduced-price services.
“Everybody knows somebody who is uninsured or underinsured, and we are there to help,” Program Director Debbie Slazyk told Bluffton Rotarians.  “Many people, even though they have jobs and work every day, aren’t insured.  And the main barriers to care are either financial or geographical.”
For many people with little or no insurance, their primary care provider is a hospital emergency room – which Slazyk called a very expensive but avoidable proposition.  AccessHealth Lowcountry’s services include helping people apply for insurance, linking them with local providers who provide low-cost or donated services, and even providing gas vouchers or transportation to a network of free clinics.
One local provider of health services for the poor, Volunteers in Medicine, had 33,000 visits last year.
Planning for AccessHealth Lowcountry began in 2009, and the primary funding boost can in 2009 with a half-million-dollar two-year grant from the Duke Endowment.  Slazyk said her organization hopes to get refunded by the Duke Endowment in May.
Developing a network of free dental care providers is an area of emphasis for HealthAccess Lowcountry.  Slazyk told Bluffton Rotarians that dental problems are one of the primary reasons that uninsured people visit emergency rooms, where their pain is often treated with antibiotics that don’t address the underlying problem.  Almost inevitably, additional emergency room visits follow.
Headquartered at Beaufort Memorial Hospital,  AccessHealth Lowcountry is one of 10 South Carolina hospital association networks created to help uninsured patients get care and manage medical needs. The program is a broader model for a healthy outcomes initiative that focuses on patients who frequently use hospitals' emergency services, Slazyk said.
Access Health Lowcountry Jim Foster 2014-03-18 00:00:00Z 0

Sandbar Party...Saturday, September 7th!

Posted by Patrick Wright on Aug 25, 2013
story thumbnail

The Bluffton Rotary Club’s Annual Sandbar Party is Saturday, September 7th from 2:00pm until the tide says to come in. We’re looking forward to a great end-of-summer Sandbar Party!

For those who need to be picked up, Michael Reeves has once again graciously offered his dock, and we will have club members with boats to ferry you across to the sandbar.  Michael’s house and dock  is located  at 944 May River Road.  A signup sheet will continue to be circulated at our meetings, but if you have any questions or want to confirm your attendance, please feel free to contact Gwynn Baker or Patrick.

Tray Hunter’s now famous BBQ, delicious Chicken Piccata, fixins, beer, wine, sodas and water will be served, so please make plans to come out for a few hours and enjoy the beautiful May River and the fellowship of our club on Saturday, September 7th!

Sandbar Party...Saturday, September 7th! Patrick Wright 2013-08-26 00:00:00Z 0

President's Pen

Posted by Dot Jeger on Jun 23, 2013
The end of this Rotary year is upon us and we can look back at our accomplishments and look forward to a new year…and feel good about where we are as a club. This has been a good year for us. We are pleased to have added 10 members this year. We’ve had successful fund-raisers and service projects, ending the year with a very successful Bluffton Village Festival! We conducted a member satisfaction survey and made changes based on what you told us. We conducted a community needs assessment survey and identified some new and ongoing needs in the community, plus more opportunities for hands-on projects; this effort will be on-going. We’ve helped organizations and individuals and made a difference in the lives of many. We hosted Maud as our inbound student this year. We also had fun with social projects and celebrations: the sandbar party, bowling, holiday party, 25th anniversary celebration….and last, the upcoming Charter Night, our celebration of the year ending! Charter Night is for all members and we hope you will come out for the fun…an old-fashioned pig pickin’ at the Bluffton Chamber Headquarters on July 20, from 7:00 – 10:00pm....not to be missed!

Thanks to all of you for making our Bluffton Rotary Club so special and we look forward to another great year with Patrick and his board leading us next year!

Yours in Rotary,
President's Pen Dot Jeger 2013-06-24 00:00:00Z 0

The Wild Side

Posted by Jim Foster on Jun 19, 2013
story thumbnail

Veterinarian Ben Parker says that 90 percent of his Bluffton practice involves working with dogs and cats.  It’s the other 10 percent that allows him to explore his wild side.

Parker’s Coastal Veterinary Clinic sees about 10 injured or sick wild animals a week, including squirrels, raccoons, deer, alligators, herons, hawks, owls, ospreys and bald eagles.  But unlike the dogs and cats who are brought in by their owners, the wild animals don’t have owners who can pay for their treatment.  He’s not paid for helping them.

“I really enjoy working with wildlife,” he says.  “I sort of consider it my way of performing community service.”

A native of Kentucky, Parker has been practicing in the Lowcountry since 1989, when he graduated from Auburn University’s veterinary school.

Since coming to Bluffton, he was worked with a three-legged deer, a coffee-drinking squirrel that preferred French vanilla to hazelnut, and a pelican that nearly put out Parker’s right eye with a well-aimed beak strike while he was closing a wound with several dozen stitches.

Five years after releasing that injured pelican into the wild, the story took an amusing turn.  Parker was at Hudson’s restaurant on Hilton Head Island when a young boy noticed an odd-looking bird on the restaurant’s waterfront.  The boy turned to his father and said, “Dad, that pelican has stitches!”

Parker says that Bluffton-area wild animals continue to be displaced by construction of new homes and businesses in the fast-growing area.

He cautions people to avoid handling sick or injured wild animals.  “That’s a good way to get yourself hurt,” he says.  “If you find yourself in that situation – particularly with larger animals – you need to find somebody who knows what they’re doing.”

The Wild Side Jim Foster 2013-06-20 00:00:00Z 0

Spreading the Word

Posted by Dot Jeger on Jun 16, 2013
ImageAccording to Ziggy Marley and the Bluffton Rotary Club, Rotary International is "this close" to ending Polio! Check out this great message at the Adams Outdoor Advertising electronic billboard on Highway 170, near River Walk! Thanks to Jared Jester for making this happen, with help from John and Pamela Beiler! We are all working together to End Polio Now! 
Spreading the Word Dot Jeger 2013-06-17 00:00:00Z 0

"Imagination 2013" and More...

Posted by Jim Foster on Jun 06, 2013

The fledgling Hilton Head Island Institute is promising a line-up of world-class speakers to headline its inaugural “Imagination 2013” event this fall.

John Shkor, who moved to Hilton Head in 2003 after a 35-year career in the U.S. Coast Guard and now serves as the Institute’s secretary, told Bluffton Rotarians that the first Imagination 2013 speakers would be announced when marketing for the October 23-26 event begins later in June.  A smaller-scale “Community Series” event will be held October 6-7.

“We’re known for our beaches, tennis and golf, but we can be known for so much more,” Shkor said.  “

The Hilton Head Institute was an outgrowth of the Mayor’s Vision Task Force, a panel of 13 community leaders brought together by then-Hilton Head Mayor Tom Peeples to help plan the island’s future.  Among the task force’s recommendations was the formation of an organization designed “for the study of community health, wellness, lifestyle, ecology, planning and design where experience, theories and knowledge are shared and leveraged for the benefit of this and other communities. An institute, dedicated to enhancing communities, would, by association, elevate Hilton Head Island’s reputation as an extraordinary and desirable place to live and visit. But, more importantly, it would institutionalize the island’s leadership in community planning and keep ‘Quality of Life’ in the forefront of island thinking.”

Among the Institute’s first goals, Shkor said, was to create a high-profile signature event designed to lure some of the nation’s most creative thinkers.  Imagination 2013 will bring speakers and thinkers with diverse areas of expertise, he said.

The Institute was initially boosted by a $65,000 grant from the Community Foundation of the Lowcountry and is also supported by the Greater Island Council, the Hilton Head Island-Bluffton Chamber of Commerce, the University of South Carolina-Beaufort, Hilton Head Symphony Orchestra, Island School Council for the Arts and the Hilton Head Choral Society.

The Institute will resemble the Aspen Institute in Colorado and the Chautauqua Institution in New York, Shkor said.

Shkor’s Coast Guard duties saw him play roles in marine safety, environmental protection, the drug war at sea and Cuban and Haitian mass migration operations.  He served on the staff of then-Vice President George Bush and later participated in the establishment of the Office of National Drug Control Policy. He oversaw counterdrug operations in the Caribbean and Eastern Pacific as director of the U.S. Department of Defense Joint Interagency task force in Key West, Florida.  After leaving the Coast Guard, he served as chief operating officer in the nascent Transportation Security Administration. He is a graduate of the U.S. Coast Guard Academy and Georgetown University Law School, and he also earned a master’s degree in management from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

"Imagination 2013" and More... Jim Foster 2013-06-07 00:00:00Z 0

President's Pen

Posted by Dot Jeger on Jun 02, 2013
June…summertime just around the corner, children out of school and vacations in the planning or taking place…such excitement in the air! And Rotary continues on.

In May, we had our Bluffton Village Festival, a resounding success and enjoyed by many! We added some new events like the pie eating contest and the stage area for entertainment. We were also very thankful for the new misting tent, compliments of Covert Aire and the sponsorship by Modern Classic Motors that paid for the stage and DJ. Special thanks to Patrick for chairing this event and so many others that worked hard to make this another successful Bluffton Rotary event: Lisa, Sean, John, Deb, Jared, Frank, Mary, Richard, Steve, Chuck, Sandy…and really EVERYONE in the club for helping out either on Friday or Saturday!

In May, the Bluffton Rotary Club:
• Awarded a $1000 scholarship to Sarina Etheridge of Bluffton High School Interact Club, during senior awards banquet last week.
• Voted to match the individual donations for the Bulldog Basketball Camp and round up, so our total donation from BRC and individuals was $1,000. Thanks to all who donated for this very worthy cause.
• Presented a $5,000 check to the Town of Bluffton as part of the Town’s Beautification Project.

This year has flown by quickly, but there have been so many of you who have worked hard during the year, on service projects, fund-raisers and putting service above self in so many different ways. Now is our chance to recognize the Bluffton Rotary Club member that we feel is most representative of Exemplary Service & Outstanding Dedication to The Ideals of Rotary. Vote for your choice for Rotarian of the Year on Wednesday, June 12. This is a very special award, determined solely by the members. You decide who deserves this honor for this 2012 – 13 year. If you will not be at the meeting on Wednesday, you may email your vote to

Thanks for your continued dedication and support!

Yours in Rotary,
President Dot
President's Pen Dot Jeger 2013-06-03 00:00:00Z 0

Bluffton Rotary Club Contributes to Beautification of Bluffton

Posted by Jim Foster on Jun 02, 2013

The Bluffton Rotary Club has donated $5,000 to the Town of Bluffton’s beautification efforts, with a particular focus on improved signs and landscaping in the town’s historic district.

Club President Dot Jeger said the donation was a logical outgrowth of Rotary’s continuing efforts to enhance the overall quality of life in Bluffton.

“Our club’s members realize every day what a wonderful community we live in, and this is one way for us to make it an even better place to live,” Jeger said.

Danny Wilson, Bluffton’s growth management director, said the improved signage will be aimed at enticing tourists to spend more time in the town and at helping its economic development efforts.  Bluffton Town Council recently allocated $48,000 to beautify town entrance signs and other areas, and also to start a tree-planting program.

Another recent beautification effort involved the Arbor Day planting of new trees at seven schools in the Bluffton area.

Beaufort County Administrator Gary Kubic, Bluffton Rotary’s keynote speaker at last week’s meeting, said that beautification efforts are a key part of the county’s overall economic development efforts and factor into increased housing values and more enjoyment for residents.

Bluffton Rotary Club Contributes to Beautification of Bluffton Jim Foster 2013-06-03 00:00:00Z 0

Bluffton Rotary Club Celebrates 25 Years of Service Above Self

Posted by Dot Jeger on May 23, 2013
story thumbnail
The Bluffton Rotary Club celebrated the anniversary of its charter from 1988 on April 28. Included in the celebration were special guests District Governor Ed Duryea and his wife, Cindy; Assistant Governor Sandee Brooks and her husband Mike Rambo; and our incoming Assistant Governor: David Tirard and his wife, Susan.

The celebration of our anniversary included a Parade of Presidents, reading of the roster of charter members and special recognition by District Governor Ed Duyrea for John Kinzer and Michael Reeves, who both received awards in recognition for being charter members and still part of the Bluffton Rotary Club today.

A little history of the Bluffton Rotary Club and how we came to be chartered:

• The first Rotary Club was founded by Paul Harris & the first meeting was held in Chicago in 1905
• Rotary came to SC in 1915 when the Greenville and Spartanburg Clubs were formed
• The Columbia Club was chartered in 1916
• In 1920, the Columbia Club sponsored the Charleston Club
• In 1934, the Rotary Club of Charleston sponsored the Beaufort Club
• In 1967, the Rotary Club of Beaufort sponsored the Hilton Head Island Club
• In 1988. The Hilton Head Island Club sponsored and assisted in the formation of the Bluffton Club

And so on April 25, 1988, 29 men – all distinguished citizens of Bluffton – celebrated the first Charter Night of the Bluffton Rotary Club. Their first project was a community Thanksgiving Dinner and an oyster roast. The oyster roast has become one of the major fund raisers and a signature event of each Rotary year.

Bluffton Rotary Club Celebrates 25 Years of Service Above Self Dot Jeger 2013-05-24 00:00:00Z 0

Multi-Club Work Day at Bluffton Boys & Girls Club

Posted by Dot Jeger on May 23, 2013
story thumbnail

On Saturday, May 18, members from the Bluffton, Okatie and Hilton Head Island Rotary Clubs came together for a work day at the Bluffton Boys & Girls Club. Approximately 15 members or friends of the three Rotary clubs worked on some needed projects, including dismantling about 30 old bicycles, crushing oyster shells and making an oyster shell path to the new garden, painting bathrooms, organizing the library and painting outside safety posts. This is a true example of Service Above Self and working together to accomplish a shared goal.

Multi-Club Work Day at Bluffton Boys & Girls Club Dot Jeger 2013-05-24 00:00:00Z 0

Lowcountry Alliance for Healthy Youth

Posted by Jim Foster on May 01, 2013

Underage drinking can lead to behaviors that are dangerous to teens, but less well-known are the physical damages that also can result.

One in three South Carolina teens has had a drink within the past month, Dr. Loretta Novince told Bluffton Rotarians.  And one in five has engaged in “binge drinking” by having more than five drinks in a row.

Novince works with the Lowcountry Alliance for Healthy Youth, a community prevention coalition encompassing Bluffton and Hilton Head.  The organization was created in 2012 in response to alcohol-related tragedies involving local teens.  The initial meeting was organized by former Beaufort County School Board member Julie Bell, Hilton Head High Principal Amanda O’Nan and Hilton Head High parent Roberta Foss.  The goal was to organize a coalition representing the entire community: schools, parents, law enforcement, government, faith-based and civic groups, youth groups, social service agencies, media, health care professionals, senior citizens and businesses.

According to a national research study, the 2011 cost to South Carolina, in terms of youth violence, car accidents, crime, injury, poisoning, teenage pregnancy, fetal alcohol syndrome and teen alcoholism treatment, topped $1 billion.

Lowcountry Alliance for Healthy Youth Jim Foster 2013-05-02 00:00:00Z 0

Speaking Books

Posted by Jim Foster on May 01, 2013

Brian Julius, a native South African entrepreneur who now calls Hilton Head Island home, is on a mission to bring health education to low-literacy communities around the world.

“Speaking Books,” which feature colorful illustrations accompanied by simple spoken text in 27 different languages, are designed to get critical health information into communities where few people can read and where mass media and technology aren’t readily available.

“We can create all of these wonderful medicines, but that’s only half the job,” Julius told Bluffton Rotarians.  “For example, all sorts of health complications result when people can’t read label instructions.”

People with low health literacy are 12 to 18 times more likely not to understand, ignore or confuse medical treatment and preventative measures, Julius said, and so they’re at much higher risk.  Life expectancy is lowest among illiterate people, he added.

Each Speaking Book consists of 16 pages of colorful illustrations supported by straightforward and easy to understand text frequently read by a well-known local celebrity. For each page there is a corresponding push button that triggers a soundtrack of the text, so no matter the level of reading comprehension, the information can be understood.

The battery-powered Speaking Books are self-contained and user driven, Julius said, so the messages can be listened to in any order and as often as necessary.  They provide cost-effective means to present complex health care issues by adapting to cultures and needs of individual communities.

Speaking Books Jim Foster 2013-05-02 00:00:00Z 0


Posted by Lisa Carroll on May 01, 2013
story thumbnail

Bluffton knows how to throw a party. And the 35th annual Bluffton Village Festival won’t disappoint.

The festival, coordinated by The Rotary Club of Bluffton, will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mother’s Day weekend Saturday, May 11 in Old Town Bluffton. The street fair is truly “a celebration of Bluffton life,” filled with all things quirky, eclectic and family friendly.

This is a day for locals and visitors to enjoy art, music, food, kids’ activities and celebrate all the beauty and charm Bluffton has to offer!  Admission is FREE. 

The Bluffton Village Festival, commonly known as Mayfest, was created to give Bluffton residents and visitors a chance to have some hometown fun and be exposed to the amazing craftsmen, artists and musicians in our region.  

“To me, the festival captures the essence of what makes Bluffton so special,” says Patrick Wright, the Rotary Club of Bluffton’s president-elect and this year’s BVF chairman.

The Rotary Club of Bluffton assumed responsibility of this hometown favorite five years ago. The club’s goal is to maintain the unique spirit of the festival, while continuing to offer more ways for locals and visitors to get
involved. The club, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, provides the necessary manpower to run and manage the Old Town Bluffton street party.

The event is managed by dedicated business people and community leaders who live out the Rotary motto, “Service Above Self.”  As Wright says, this is the club’s gift to the community it serves so lovingly.

On the big day, Calhoun Street is full of electric energy and Southern hospitality. Close to 200 vendors from across the South will be selling jewelry, flowers, antiques, print and original artwork, quilts, glass art, pottery and more. The 10,000 or more guests in attendance will have their choice of savory Lowcountry favorites such as the festival’s famous shrimp salad sandwiches from The Church of the Cross along with barbecue, funnel cakes, seafood, smoothies and lemonade. This event is the “epitome of quintessential Bluffton culture.”

As Wright says, “If someone had one day to spend in Bluffton, I would recommend they come to the Bluffton Village Festival. It’s the single best time to experience what Bluffton is all about.”

New this year, in honor of the Festival’s 35th anniversary, will be the Pie Eating Contest. Contestants will race to see who can devour a tasty strawberry pie the fastest. The mouth-watering pies will be prepared by local bakery, The Sugaree.

Scott Keith, program director and on-air personality for 103.1 The Drive and AM 1130 and FM 93.5 The Island, will act as emcee for the event. What’s more all-American than watching friends, neighbors and total strangers stuff their faces and make a huge mess? “It certainly should be a Pie-a-Palooza, so better keep some antacids on hand for that post-pie recovery,” Keith says. Prizes will be awarded for first, second and third place.

And be sure not to miss the 25th annual Ugly Dog contest at 1 p.m. on the Main Stage.  This zany and unpredictable event is sponsored by Richard Coeffield of May River Realty. All ugly dogs are welcome to enter! And the “top” three dogs receive a coveted trophy by local potter, Jacob Preston. “We appreciate all the support and people who enjoy the silliness with us,” Coeffield says.


President's Pen

Posted by Dot Jeger on Apr 30, 2013

Happy May Day! May Day is celebrated on May 1 and traditionally included a dance around the May Pole. I tried to garner some enthusiasm for a May Day Dance at Rotary this morning…but was unable to get much support! Ah well, I guess the breakfast was more enticing!

One of the really nice parts of being President this year has been to get to know all of the club members a little better and to meet more Rotarians outside our Club. Working with different Rotarians from other clubs this year had allowed me to see that while we are all Rotarians, we do things differently. Some clubs are larger than ours, some more formal, some older…we are all different. The common thread though, when identified as part of the Bluffton Rotary Club, the response is always: “Oh, you’re part of the fun club”.

District Governor Ed Duryea attended and spoke during our 25th Anniversary Celebration on Sunday, April 28th. He acknowledged our many accomplishments, past, present and on-going, and spoke very highly about our club. In the end though, Ed said we are hard-working and do a tremendous amount for our community and abroad, all while having fun. Not such a bad brand to have for our Bluffton Rotary Club, I think…to be respected for all the good we do and have fun at the same time. I hope you are all having fun this year. I am.

Many thanks again to Barry Connor, Mary O’Neill, Cindy Owens and Deb Karambelas for organizing such a nice, befitting event for our 25th Anniversary Celebration and to Mary Connor for lovely flowers.  It was a wonderful and special evening.

Many thanks to Laphanie Banks, Mary O’Neill, Sandy Graves and Rodney Vaughn for organizing and creating our first ever Bluffton Rotary Business Connection & Networking Event on Wednesday of last week. Once again, it was a fun, festive and productive event! Everyone had a chance for networking and discovering what different members of the club do, in addition to some wonderful refreshments! This will surely be an annual or semi-annual event going forward!

The 35th Annual Bluffton Village Festival is right around the corner, Saturday May 11, from 10:00am – 4:00pm. This has grown to be a major fund-raiser for us. Once again a fun event and raising enough money to do some real good in our community! We hope everyone will come on out and enjoy the day and help with the Bluffton Village Festival too!

So, in closing: we have accomplished so much in 25 years. The demographics of the Bluffton Rotary Club and our community have changed. Through it all, we continue to put “Service Above Self”. Bring on the next 25 years!

Thanks for your continued support of our club!

Yours in Rotary,


President's Pen Dot Jeger 2013-05-01 00:00:00Z 0

BVF Adds Pie-Eating Contest

Posted by Lisa Carroll on Apr 22, 2013
story thumbnail

The Bluffton Village Festival is celebrating 35 years. In honor of this anniversary, the Rotary Club of Bluffton festival committee is planning its first pie-eating contest and looking for contestants. Contestants will race to see who can devour a tasty homemade strawberry pie the fastest. The mouth-watering pies will be prepared by local bakery, The Sugaree. This is a free event, to begin at 11:30 a.m. on the main stage area. All registered, participating contestants will receive the new 2013 Bluffton Village Festival T-shirt.

will be three pie-eating heats, held in groups of five each. The winner of each heat will perform again in the championship “pie-off.” The goal of each heat is to eat the pie the fastest, which means the first contestant to finish his/her entire pie down to the tin and stand up will be declared the winner. The judges will decide if the pie is actually finished before ending the contest.

, including gift certificates to The Sugaree, will be awarded for first, second and third place.

For more information, call 843-815-2277. Visit and click on the “forms” tab to find the rules and registration form. Final deadline for registration is May 1, 2013.

Bluffton Village Festival has a Facebook page...we ask all members active on Facebook to LIKE our Bluffton Village Festival page and invite your friends to LIKE us too!

BVF Adds Pie-Eating Contest Lisa Carroll 2013-04-23 00:00:00Z 0

Congratulations to Bluffton High School & Principal Dievendorf

Posted by Jim Foster on Apr 09, 2013

The recent high-profile success of Bluffton High School’s football team has attracted considerable acclaim, but Principal Mark Dievendorf says that the school’s rapid and dramatic academic improvements should be getting attention, too.

Dievendorf, who is completing his third year at the high school, told Bluffton Rotarians that student achievement has increased across the board over the past two years. And although he believes a data-driven improvement plan he implemented in 2010 has spurred many positive changes, he is quick to credit others for those changes.

“I didn’t teach one lesson,” Dievendorf said. “I didn’t take one test. Our staff and our students have done this.”

Bluffton High has:

· Improved its rating on state-mandated Report Cards from Average to Excellent in just two years.

· Significantly increased students’ state high school exit exam and end-of-course test scores.

· Significantly increased students’ scores on Advanced Placement exams that award students college credits for advanced high school coursework.

· Earned a state 2012-13 Palmetto Gold Award for Academic Performance.

· Earned a South Carolina Department of Education Magna Cum Laude Award for Excellent Performance and Rapid Improvement on the ACT college entrance exam.

· Earned a South Carolina Department of Education Magna Cum Laude Award for Excellent Performance and Rapid Improvement on the SAT college entrance exam.

· Received national recognition by the Washington Post’s High School Challenge Program as one of “America’s Best High Schools,” placing Bluffton High in the top 3 percent of high schools nationally.

· Doubled participation in student activities in the past two and a half years.

Bluffton High’s plan, which Dievendorf said is currently in the third of five phases, relies heavily on the use of data to drive decision-making.

“When I started out in education a long time ago, I wasn’t a data geek,” Dievendorf said. “But I certainly have become one. Any plan you put forth needs to be measured so you can eliminate the strategies that aren’t working and emphasize the ones that are working. The ultimate goal is preparing our kids for life after high school.”

A key component of the plan is an intense focus on writing, Dievendorf said. “And not just in English classes but in all classes. Our students learn how to take a position and support it with solid writing skills.”

Dievendorf said that while Bluffton High’s academic improvements in the last two years are encouraging, there’s no sense of complacency on his team.

“Are we done? No. Do we still have some hills to climb and students who still need to be served? Absolutely. But our focus is on long-term and sustainable improvement.”

In addition to his work in education, Dievendorf is an accomplished trombone player who has recorded and performed with the likes of Aretha Franklin, Gladys Knight, Patti LaBelle, Stevie Wonder and the Temptations.

Before coming to Bluffton, “Mr. D” taught band, orchestra and choir in the Grand Rapids, Michigan area and was principal for 18 years at nationally recognized Jenison High School in Jenison, Michigan. He has been married to his wife Mary for 33 years and has three daughters: Kelly, Lindsay, & Katie.

Congratulations to Bluffton High School & Principal Dievendorf Jim Foster 2013-04-10 00:00:00Z 0

Beaufort High students’ anti-bullying show goes "on the road" to Peace Symposium

Posted by Jim Foster on Apr 03, 2013

BEAUFORT – A troupe of drama students from Beaufort High School is attracting growing numbers of fans who support the group’s anti-bullying show, and local Rotarians think so much of the students’ work that they are bankrolling their trip this weekend to a regional Rotary conference in North Carolina.

“If You See Something, Say Something," is a collection of dramatic sketches aimed at getting students to intervene or contact responsible adults when they witness their fellow students being bullied.

“It’s a very positive message delivered in a very powerful way,” said Bill Evans, chairman of the Beaufort County School Board and a member of the Rotary Club of the Lowcountry.  “And it’s exciting to see the production’s creativity and energy gaining a wider audience.”

This weekend’s Zone 33 Rotary Peace Symposium in Chapel Hill, N.C., will attract Rotarians from South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, Tennessee, Delaware, Maryland and the District of Columbia.  The Beaufort High group performed last month at an Eastern South Carolina Rotary conference in Myrtle Beach, where the students also participated in a question-and-answer session and discussed ways in which the show might serve as a model for statewide Rotary programs.

Seven Rotary clubs in Beaufort County – Hilton Head, Van Landingham, Sunset, Bluffton, Beaufort, Sea Island and Lowcountry – contributed to defraying the drama students’ traveling expenses to Chapel Hill, and the school district is covering their transportation costs.

Beaufort High Drama Director LaRaine Fess and her students performed their show to sixth-graders across Beaufort County earlier this year.  Rotary Club of the Lowcountry members distributed anti-bullying activity books and bookmarkers to students as they left the assemblies, and both contained the school district's toll-free anti-bullying hotline numbers (843-322-2435 or 866-611-1102) and e-mail address (

“Rotary’s partnership with this performance – and the club’s broader partnership with the school district to help prevent bullying – is what schools and communities should be all about,” said Chief Student Services Officer Gregory McCord.  “We continue to receive messages from middle-schoolers throughout the district who talk about how the show has helped to change their attitudes and perceptions, either as an active participant in bullying or as an observer.

“At the end of the day, we have students and the community fully engaged in support of a unified message.”

Beaufort High students’ anti-bullying show goes "on the road" to Peace Symposium Jim Foster 2013-04-04 00:00:00Z 0

President's Pen

Posted by Dot Jeger on Mar 31, 2013

Happy April Fool’s Day! If I was better at jokes, this could be a fun President’s Pen this month…but alas, I am not!

March was an excellent month for the club. We participated in hosting a member of the GSE team from Peru and enjoyed getting to know the whole team. We had 5 Rotarians participate in the District Conference in Myrtle Beach and get some great new ideas and fellowship opportunities.

At District Conference, Tom Faber was awarded a Vocational Service Leadership Award – much deserved – for his outstanding leadership in working with youth in Interact and helping start the Rotaract Club at TCL. The Bluffton Rotary Club also received an award for Outstanding Sustained Membership Development – a testament and recognition of our success in retaining and bringing in great new members. Last, but not least, we also received recognition for achieving Presidential and Leadership Citation awards. It is nice to get recognition for the hard work of many!

We were also pleased to induct new members Quinn Baldree and Eric Eckert into the club in March. We will welcome Brad Talbert into our club as a transfer this week. We are so fortunate to get such outstanding new members in the club; thanks to all who are on the lookout for potential new members, as you go through your day to day work and play in the LowCountry!

And for the first time ever, we have planned a Business Expo and Networking Event – a chance for our members to highlight or showcase their own businesses. This is our opportunity to show other members what you do and for us all to be enlightened…plus enjoy a little fellowship, wine and snacks! Come on out on Wednesday, April 24 from 5:00 – 7:00pm and bring a friend!

April is not slowing down though. Our 25th Anniversary is coming up…we’ll celebrate on Sunday, April 28th. The actual charter was signed on April 18, 1988 by 29 charter members. We hope to gather many of those charter members for our celebration, as well as our past presidents. Please mark your calendars and plan to attend this important milestone for the Bluffton Rotary Club.

There are lots of good things happening in our club and I hope you all feel the excitement! Many clubs are losing members and momentum and we continue to grow and make a difference in our community and abroad! Let’s all take a moment to feel proud of our 25th Year of the Bluffton Rotary Club!

President's Pen Dot Jeger 2013-04-01 00:00:00Z 0

New Member Inducted

Posted by Jim Foster on Mar 26, 2013
story thumbnail

Quinn Baldree, sponsored by James Brown was inducted into the Rotary Club of Bluffton.

Welcome to the Rotary family Quinn.

New Member Inducted Jim Foster 2013-03-27 00:00:00Z 0

New Member Inducted

Posted by Jim Foster on Mar 26, 2013
story thumbnail

Eric Eckert, sponsored by Shellie Hodges was inducted into the Rotary Club of Bluffton.

Welcome to the Rotary family Eric.

New Member Inducted Jim Foster 2013-03-27 00:00:00Z 0

Bluffton Rotary and Bluffton Rotarian Recognized

Posted by Jim Foster on Mar 26, 2013
story thumbnail

The Bluffton Rotary Club – and a dedicated individual club member – received prestigious awards last weekend at the March 22-24 District Conference in Myrtle Beach.

Tom Faber won the Vocational Service Leadership Award for his support of Bluffton High School’s Interact Club and his work in developing a new Rotaract chapter at the Technical College of the Lowcountry.

   The club itself won three honors:

· A Special Award for Outstanding Sustained Membership Development.

· A Presidential Citation for its contributions to meeting the goals of Rotary International.

· A Leadership Citation for its contributions to meeting the goals of Rotary District 7770.

Bluffton Rotary and Bluffton Rotarian Recognized Jim Foster 2013-03-27 00:00:00Z 0

Al Segars explains the Importance of the ACE Basin.

Posted by Jim Foster on Mar 19, 2013

Lowcountry residents en route from Beaufort to Charleston on U.S. 17 drive right through its beating heart. And although passing motorists may look quickly left or right to admire the sweeping views, most don’t fully appreciate what they’re seeing.

The million-acre ACE Basin – named for its three river systems, the Ashepoo, Combahee and South Edisto – represents one of the largest undeveloped estuaries on the East Coast. It consists of 350,000 acres of diverse habitats ranging from upland hardwoods and forested wetlands to tidal marshes, barrier islands and beaches. Its unique estuarine system hosts such endangered species as bald eagles, wood storks, ospreys, loggerhead sea turtles and shortnose sturgeon.

Al Segars, a veterinarian for the Marine Resources Division at the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, told Bluffton Rotarians that the ACE Basin’s beauty, wildlife and natural resources significantly enhance the overall quality of life for Lowcountry residents. But he emphasizes the danger of taking its gifts for granted.

“We live in a great place, and people are going to want to come here,” Segars said. “The question is how do you handle that growth and development? How do you manage it? It’s not going to be easy, and it’s not going to be cheap, but it has to be done right.”

The ACE Basin is today designated as a world-class ecosystem under the Nature Conservancy’s “Last Great Places” program.

But Segars said that tidal swamps along the basin’s three rivers were clear-cut and diked in the 1700s to develop rice farming that made coastal South Carolina one of the wealthiest places on earth. When the rice culture declined more than a hundred years later, many of the area’s plantations were purchased and turned into hunting retreats, and the new owners were able to manage the former rice fields in ways that encouraged wildlife to thrive.

The ACE Basin Task Force formed in 1988 as a local reaction to developers’ plans to build a thousand-home residential resort and marina on the Edisto River. Private landowners in the area joined forces with The Nature Conservancy, the Coastal Conservation League, Ducks Unlimited and the federal and state governments to defeat the proposed development.

Public and private interests have continued to work together since that time to preserve the area’s extraordinary resources. A key goal is to ensure that traditional uses – farming, forestry, recreational and commercial fishing and hunting – will continue.

Segars said that the ACE Basin offers opportunities for fishing and hunting, boating, hiking, bicycling, bird watching and other nature study.

A key goal for ACE Basin supporters is to make certain that future generations appreciate everything that the vast ecosystem has to offer. To reach that goal, Segars said, it’s vital to focus on young people who increasingly are growing up without being exposed to their natural surroundings.

“If you don’t even come look at it, you won’t help to protect it,” he said.

Segars said that a number of Beaufort County schoolchildren have learned about the ACE Basin from trips on the state agency’s 45-foot catamaran Discovery, as well as through land-based programs. SCDNR staff leads hands-on science activities based on the Lowcountry’s marine ecosystem and resources, and students collect data and interact with marine organisms.

In additional to Segars’ work with SCDNR, he previously owned a private veterinary practice in Hartsville. Segars also works with the state agency focusing on the health of aquatic animals like shrimp and loggerhead turtles, and also on marine mammal standings’. He is also involved in the mariculture industry to help set protocols for shrimp catches and health criteria for imported seafood. Segar assists DHEC with the West Nile virus cases as well. Go to for more information on the SCDNR marine turtle conservation program.

Al Segars explains the Importance of the ACE Basin. Jim Foster 2013-03-20 00:00:00Z 0

Peruvian Delegation Visit

Posted by Jim Foster on Mar 12, 2013
story thumbnail

A five-person delegation of Rotarians from Peru is visiting the Lowcountry this week, staying in the homes of local Rotarians between Bluffton and Hilton Head.

The Group Study Exchange team members, who made a presentation to Bluffton Rotarians on Wednesday, are studying how their individual professions are performed here in the U.S. While in Bluffton and Hilton Head, they will spend one day with professionals in their respective fields.

The five are: Patricia Alvarez (a restaurant owner from Iquitos), Ana Rimachi (a pharmacist from Iquitos), Agueda Vasquez (a LAN Airlines employee from Iquitos), Dr. Juan Pinto (an endocrinologist from Chimbote), and Percy Castro (a journalist at Tribuna Abiei in from Piura).

The visiting GSE team is from Rotary District 4460 in Peru, which comprises more than 1,000 Rotarians in 44 clubs. While in South Carolina, the group will spend one week each in Charleston, Bluffton-Hilton Head, Georgetown and Columbia.

The GSD team members said Rotary’s service priorities in Peru are clean water, better education and improved public health.

Peruvian Delegation Visit Jim Foster 2013-03-13 00:00:00Z 0

GSE Team in Town

Posted by Dot Jeger on Mar 10, 2013
story thumbnail
We are delighted to have the Group Study Exchange (GSE) team join us this week, March 27, during our regular meeting. Five business professionals from Peru are in town, staying in Rotary members' homes between Hilton Head and Bluffton. The team is here to study how their vocational jobs are performed here in the States and they each will spend one day with a like professional as part of their week in our area. There will be plenty of time for socializing and touring too. Please help them feel welcome on Wednesday and enjoy their presentation too!
GSE Team in Town Dot Jeger 2013-03-11 00:00:00Z 0

President's Pen

Posted by Dot Jeger on Feb 28, 2013

Last week during Rotary, we witnessed a special event as Becki Hale was honored for her Benefactor gift to Rotary International. Beck is the wife of Jim Hale, whom we lost last year. Jim was a long-term Rotarian, past president and a Paul Harris Fellow. Deborah Burt was also recognized for her decision to become a Paul Harris Society Member. We have had Paul Harris Society members in the past, but Deborah is our only one at this time. Past District Governor and currently in charge of Fund Raising for our District, Bernie Riedel did a wonderful job in recognizing both Becki and Deborah.

Sandee Brooks, our Assistant District Governor, was also on hand to present banners for achieving 100% Sustaining Members and Every Rotarian Every Year (EREY) for 2012. These flags were given to Jim Hudson, our past president, and Mary O’Neill, Foundation Chair last year and this year.

Even though we have four months to go, the end of year activities and planning for next year are in full swing. District and Presidential Citations were completed and submitted last week. These represent a series of goals that we accomplished this Rotary year, or will accomplish by the end of the year, and takes commitment and planning from the whole board. This weekend, March 1 – 2, Patrick is in Charleston receiving President Elect Training (PETS), so he’ll be prepared to take over in July.

In other news for February, we joined the Bluffton Chamber of Commerce. The board approved a $1,000 donation toward the new children’s playground for the Hilton Head Bluffton Chamber of Commerce’s Leadership Project. The Leadership class is building a shrimp boat in DuBois Park, which will be a lasting legacy for our children and grandchildren. We can all be proud of this contribution to the Town and park!

Coming up in March, we have District Conference in Myrtle Beach, March 22 – 24; Laphanie, Megan, Mary, Patrick and I will attend. The Group Study Exchange (GSE) team from Peru will be visiting March 10 – 16 and we will help house two members of the team. They will attend our meeting on March 13, so we’ll all have a chance to meet them.

We’ve made it through the rainy season of the last couple of weeks…looking forward to sunny and windy days of March…and the time change in just another week! Remember Service Above Self every day!

Yours in Rotary,


President's Pen Dot Jeger 2013-03-01 00:00:00Z 0

NEW Business Connection Event

Posted by Laphanie Banks on Feb 25, 2013
The Bluffton Rotary Club will be hosting a Business Connection Event highlighting the talent and businesses of its members on Wednesday, April 24, 2013 from 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.  Join the fun and networking while enjoying wine, cheese and light hors d'oeuvres.  Tables are available to Bluffton Rotary members only, at no charge.  Rotary members are free to bring guests.  Please contact Laphanie Banks at for more details and to RSVP.
NEW Business Connection Event Laphanie Banks 2013-02-26 00:00:00Z 0

Bingo Rules

Posted by Dot Jeger on Feb 20, 2013

Bingo is an intrinsic part of our Wednesday mornings at Rotary. We go for weeks and months and years without a hitch and then…BAM! Because of the “hitch” in December, we asked our Sergeant At Arms, Rodney Vaughn, to record the Bingo rules as we are in play today. These written rules have been reviewed and approved by your Board of Directors and are hereby declared to be the “official” Bingo Rules for the Bluffton Rotary Club. Please take a few minutes to review Bingo Rules. Thank you!

Bingo Rules Dot Jeger 2013-02-21 00:00:00Z 0

Off to Blowing Rock

Posted by Deborah Karambelas on Feb 06, 2013
story thumbnail
The Superbowl weekend was very special for us because we spent it with Maud, Bluffton Rotary’s French Foreign Exchange Student.  On Saturday it was off to Blowing Rock NC. We arrived about 4pm...snow began falling at 5pm and it continued until we were ready to leave on Monday morning!  The powdery slopes were a treat of winter wonderland for all of us.  Maud is quite the accomplished skier, going down all the black diamond slopes and making snow angels on the sides of the slopes while Nick and I tried to regain our energy to do one more hill.  Good Times!
Off to Blowing Rock Deborah Karambelas 2013-02-07 00:00:00Z 0

Cardiologist Dr. Sharp speaks from the heart.

Posted by Jim Foster on Feb 05, 2013
story thumbnail

People over 50 have probably heard it a thousand times: Exercise is a vital part of staying healthy and preventing heart disease. But what they may not know is that regular exercise can also serve as an early warning system when heart problems develop.

“Think of it as a self-stress test,” cardiologist Dr. John C. Sharp Jr. told Bluffton Rotarians. “If exercise is part of your routine and if your heart is accustomed to handling the increased workload from exercise, then your regular workout can help you identify problems early from symptoms like chest pain, fatigue and shortness of breath.”

Dr. Sharp, who has practiced in the Lowcountry for 13 years, cited heart disease is the No. 1 killer of American men and women and also the nation’s No. 1 health care expense.

Dr. Sharp said that aging inevitably brings on an increased risk of blocked coronary arteries – and heart attacks.

“The heart is a pretty miraculous machine,” he said. “But 50 percent of Americans over the age of 50 have some sort of heart condition, and it’s not something that can be ‘cured.’ ”

Dr. Sharp said that the key to healthier aging is preventive maintenance, and for people with risk factors for heart disease – he cited examples like poor diet, smoking and a family history of heart problems – the priorities should be on cholesterol management and aspirin therapy.

Statins – drugs such as Lipitor and Zocor – can lower cholesterol levels and help to keep arteries from becoming clogged. And Dr. Sharp said that 40-45 minutes of exercise, four to seven days a week, can reduce cholesterol levels by as much as 15 percent.

For patients with risk factors, taking 81 mg “baby aspirin” every day can inhibit clotting from blood platelets. “Aspirin is possibly the most important weapon we have in guarding against a heart attack or stroke,” he said.

In a heart-related crisis, Dr. Sharp said, the critical factor is time.

“Time is muscle,” he said. “We can open up coronary blood vessels within 60 minutes through catheterization, and by doing that we can save heart muscle that a blockage will permanently destroy without a fast response. If you notice the symptoms, don’t mess around

Cardiologist Dr. Sharp speaks from the heart. Jim Foster 2013-02-06 00:00:00Z 0

President's Pen

Posted by Dot Jeger on Feb 03, 2013
story thumbnail

Our famous Bluffton Rotary Oyster Roast was a huge success, enjoyed by many locals and visitors to the area. Weather was absolutely perfect, as was the music, brats, hotdogs, chili, oysters and beer! Many thanks to Scott, Tray, Michele, Lisa, Bob, Mike and all the many volunteers required to make this a great event that the community looks forward to each year! And a reminder from our diligent Treasurer: if you sold tickets and have not turned your money in, please bring money to the meeting on Wednesday. We need all ticket revenues in before we can declare the final net proceeds from our event.

We started out January on a high note with our Denim and Diamonds themed Holiday Party on January 12 at the Rotary Community Center. This was loads of fun for all…and great entertainment from our DJ, as well as many talented Rotarians trying out for karaoke! Thanks to Dan, Rodney, Deb, Cindy and Mary for great planning & execution!

With February, we start looking ahead to some Rotary District level events. The annual District 7770 Conference is being held in Myrtle Beach this year, March 22 – 24. This conference is open to any Rotarian (and guest). For more information, check out:

Laphanie is starting to work on our first ever Business Expo, tentatively set for April 24. More details to follow, but start thinking about what you’d like to do.

We are also starting to look forward to the Bluffton Village Festival, to be held Saturday, May 11. This will be the 35th Anniversary of this great, down-home event. Jared and his team have put together a new logo and great-looking website! Check it out at If this is a project you are interested in, talk to Patrick…there is plenty of need for creative ideas and hard work to go around and he is already gathering committee members.

And speaking of anniversaries…our 25th Bluffton Rotary Club Anniversary is in April…so watch for more exciting news of celebrations in the weeks to come!

As we roll into the spring months and longer days, we have much to look forward to and many things to be proud of already this year. Thanks for your continued support and dedication to Rotary! And don’t forget the BOGO for RI donations this month.

Yours in Rotary,


President's Pen Dot Jeger 2013-02-04 00:00:00Z 0

Rotary Peace Symposium

Posted by Dot Jeger on Jan 31, 2013
story thumbnail
Rotary Zone 33 is hosting a Peace Symposium in Chapel Hill, NC, on April 5, 2013. Our RI Director, Anne Matthews, is extending an invitation to all District 7770 members to attend this event. A registration link is available on the district calendar at Please let us know if you are interested in attending this symposium.

Rotary Peace Symposium Dot Jeger 2013-02-01 00:00:00Z 0

District Conference Registration Open

Posted by Dot Jeger on Jan 31, 2013
story thumbnail
The annual District Conference is coming up next month, March 22 - 24 to be held at The Marriott Resort & Spa in Myrtle Beach. There are lots of informative sessions planned, plus time for fun and networking. Early registration is through February 15, so check out the link today at for more information.
District Conference Registration Open Dot Jeger 2013-02-01 00:00:00Z 0

Junior Achievement Of Coastal South Carolina, Inc.

Posted by Jim Foster on Jan 22, 2013
story thumbnail

Photo by: Ron Roth

Fewer Americans these days understand the basics of business, and Junior Achievement wants to change that from the ground up – starting in elementary school.

“Our mission is to empower students to own their economic success and make wise decisions about their financial futures,” said Chad Vail, a member of the Daniel Island Rotary Club and President of Junior Achievement of Coastal South Carolina, Inc.  “We want to introduce young people to the world of business.”

Junior Achievement describes itself as the world's largest organization dedicated to giving young people the knowledge and skills they need to make smart academic and economic choices.  JA programs, which are delivered in schools by corporate and community volunteers, provide hands-on experiences that give students from kindergarten through high school knowledge and skills in financial literacy, work readiness and entrepreneurship.

Vail told Bluffton Rotarians that Junior Achievement provides age-appropriate, “turn-key” classroom lessons to volunteers who use those lessons to help make classroom learning more relevant to students.

Vail’s passion for Junior Achievement originated when, as a young entrepreneur running his own business in the Charleston area, he found that young job applicants had little knowledge of business operations and a poor grasp of personal financial literacy.

“Our classroom lessons provide students with real-world experiences that they can build on as they make decisions and move forward with their lives,” he said.  “And isn’t that a wise investment of time for us as Rotarians?”

Nationwide, Junior Achievement reaches 4.2 million students per year in more than 120 markets across the country, with an additional 6.5 million students served by operations in 117 other countries worldwide.

Vail said that Junior Achievement’s ability to help students is limited only by the availability of community volunteers to deliver the organization’s pre-packaged classroom lessons.  Persons interested in volunteering can contact Vail at or by calling him 843-745-7050.

Vail is a native of Summerville and a graduate of Summerville High School and the College of Charleston with a degree in Corporate Communication, with International Business and German minors.  He is also a graduate of the South Carolina Economic Development School.


Junior Achievement Of Coastal South Carolina, Inc. Jim Foster 2013-01-23 00:00:00Z 0

Ambassadorial Global Grant Scholarships Available

Posted by Dot Jeger on Jan 21, 2013
story thumbnail

Our District 7770 is looking for Rotary Clubs to sponsor an Ambassadorial Global Grant Scholar. The District and Rotary International fund one year scholarships for graduate study abroad, with sustainable, high-impact outcomes in one of Rotary’s six areas of focus: peace and conflict prevention/resolution, disease prevention and treatment, water and sanitation, maternal and child health, basic education and literacy, economic and community development.  

Ambassadorial Global Grant Scholarships are for study during one academic year abroad and provide funding by a cash grant from which the applicant must provide for round-trip transportation, tuition and fees, room, board and language training (if necessary) and living expenses.

Ambassadorial Global Grant Scholarships Available Dot Jeger 2013-01-22 00:00:00Z 0

District Foundation BOGO Event

Posted by Dot Jeger on Jan 20, 2013
story thumbnail

Back by popular demand is our District Foundation BOGO Event!!! Yes, we are again offering the Buy One, Get One Free deal where for every dollar you contribute to Our Foundation, the District will match it (Minimum $100.00 contribution). 50,000 Points are available!

So, if you need $800 for your first/next Paul Harris Fellow… You put in $400 and we match it with 400 points and you have made it. Need $200? Put in $100 and we match it… Done! It is that simple. A Win… Win!

District Foundation BOGO Event Dot Jeger 2013-01-21 00:00:00Z 0

What is P.E.P ???

Posted by Jim Foster on Jan 08, 2013
story thumbnail

A Southern Beaufort County organization that serves intellectually and developmentally disabled adults worries that it may be fighting a losing battle over the long term because the area produces more clients that it can serve – and its funding is shrinking.

Hal Wieland, business manager of Programs for Exceptional People, told Bluffton Rotarians that the organization currently works with 45-50 disabled adults between the ages of 18 and 84.  And each year, local high school special education programs add about 30 “new” disabled adults to the populations of Hilton Head Island and Bluffton.

“The schools do a terrific job with their special education programs,” Wieland said.  “But after disabled people leave high school, where do they go?  If it wasn’t for PEP, these folks would be propped up at home watching TV.

“We’re the only adult day program for our clients in southern Beaufort County.  We not only give them constructive and interesting things to do, we also help family members who often are the primary care-givers.  Without PEP, they might have to quit their jobs to provide care.”

What is P.E.P ??? Jim Foster 2013-01-09 00:00:00Z 0

Bluffton Rotary Serves Up Local Oysters...THIS SATURDAY!

Posted by Lisa Carroll on Jan 06, 2013
story thumbnail

The Rotary Club of Bluffton will hold its famous 23rd annual winter Oyster Roast from 5 to 8 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 26 at the Bluffton Oyster Factory Park in Old Town Bluffton RAIN or SHINE. This is a highly popular event that brings out area residents and visitors to enjoy the oysters, entertainment, bonfire and the beautiful May River scenery at sunset.

This year’s event chairman, Scott Mutterer, says the annual oyster roast is one of those laid-back Lowcountry traditions. “It’s a way to reconnect with friends after the hustle of the holidays. What could be better than great food, great music and all your friends cozied up by the fire?” Mutterer says. 

Guests can shuck and dip all the salty, steamed, freshly picked May River oysters they can handle. For the non-oyster lovers, the event will offer chili to warm the soul; tasty steamed hot dogs and brats; and the famous, homemade Rotary hand-cut fries. Soda, beer and wine will be available for an additional cost. Local favorite Low Country Boil returns to entertain the crowd with their bluegrass sound.  

Several Rotarians will also volunteer their time to serve food and drinks to the masses; 600 tickets are available and usually sell out. Bluffton Rotary President Dot Jeger says, “It’s just a good time… a time when the community comes together to enjoy each other and the local favorites Bluffton has to offer.”

Come experience a Bluffton tradition, dig into tasty May River Oysters and help support the Bluffton Rotary’s efforts in the community and around the world. Advance tickets are $25 per person, $30 day of the event. This event often sells out so call for tickets at 843-815-2277, go online at or ask any Bluffton Rotarian for tickets. For the latest event updates, like the Bluffton Rotary Annual Oyster Roast on Facebook.

Bluffton Rotary Serves Up Local Oysters...THIS SATURDAY! Lisa Carroll 2013-01-07 00:00:00Z 0

Rotary After Hours

Posted by Dot Jeger on Jan 06, 2013
The next Rotary After Hours is Thursday, January 10th, hosted by the HIlton Head Rotary Club member and Principal at Hilton Head Island High School, Amanda O'Nan. It will run from 5:30 to 7PM at the school. Those who attended the last RAH at this venue found it to be a very lovely treat. The strings will perform for 20 minutes in the lobby of their auditorium, the jazz band will perform, and Out of the Blue will perform for 20 minutes. The art gallery will be open with student work and we will have finger foods prepared by their culinary classes, and non alcoholic drinks. Please RSVP to Linda at 686-4100 or e-mail Come and visit our award winning High School and see their students in action.
Rotary After Hours Dot Jeger 2013-01-07 00:00:00Z 0

Happy New Year!

Posted by Dot Jeger on Dec 30, 2012
story thumbnail
There is no meeting on January 2...we will see you again on January 9th! Happy New Year!
Happy New Year! Dot Jeger 2012-12-31 00:00:00Z 0

President's Pen

Posted by Dot Jeger on Dec 30, 2012
story thumbnail

Coming up: in January we have our Denim and Diamonds themed Holiday Party on January 12 from 6:00 – 10:00 at the Rotary Community Center! This is sure to be fun…and a relaxing evening with friends, after the holidays...hope to see you all there!

Also in January is our famous Bluffton Rotary Oyster Roast, on Saturday January 26th. We hope you’re all planning to come out, join in the fun…and help with this very special event. This is our only “operations” fund-raiser, to raise money for our club expenses versus contributions accounts, where the money goes to some charitable group or event. Don't forget to invite all your friends and give money (cash or checks) to Michelle Cleland as you sell your tickets. Thanks for your help and support!

December seemed to fly by…a very busy month with several service projects underway! We started the month with the Bluffton Christmas parade, where our past (and present) Rotary Presidents scooped poop behind the horses. After helping with this activity, I have added it to the service project list!

We adopted families through our Christmas Angels project again this year; in all, we helped feed 38 people and provided Christmas gifts for 19 children! Special thanks to Sarah, Megan and the entire Bluffton Rotary Club for making this happen!

We rang the bell for Salvation Army in front of Kroger’s grocery store on Saturdays in November - December, raising money for the many local projects and good things Salvation Army does for our community.

In honor of family month and the support of our family members for Rotary and our many projects, we hosted a family breakfast in December with special entertainment by the Singing Eagles from MC Riley Elementary School. The music was perfect for getting us “in the spirit of Christmas and such talent!

We had a little spill in the Rotary storage facility over the holidays…many thanks to Wil Saleeby, James Brown, Scott Mutterer and Jared Jester for helping clean up, take inventory and restack everything! Getting a good inventory will help us in better managing expenses for the oyster Roast…and insure we have less waste going forward. And while we are thanking folks, let’s not forget Barry Connor who lets us use his storage facility year after year, without charge…a great big THANK YOU to Barry for your generosity!

We hope everyone had a special holiday and wish you all a happy and healthy New Year!

Happy 2013!

President's Pen Dot Jeger 2012-12-31 00:00:00Z 0

Congratulations 2013-2014 Rotary Board Members !!

Posted by Michele Cleland on Dec 18, 2012


Congratulations 2013-2014 Roatary Board Members !!
Photo by: Ron Roth

Thank you all for your dedication to the Rotary Club of Bluffton and Service above Self!!

President: Patrick Wright, President Elect: Steve Miller, Vice President: Jim Hudson, Secretary: Sandy Graves, Sgt. at-Arms: Megan Mack, Membership: James Brown, Club Administration: Tom Faber, Youth Services: Mike Sands.
Not shown in the picture: Treasurer: John George, Public Relations: Jared Jester, Rotary Foundation: Mary O'Neill, Service Projects: Sarah Reed, Past President: Dot Jeger.

Congratulations 2013-2014 Rotary Board Members !! Michele Cleland 2012-12-19 00:00:00Z 0

Ringing the Bell for the Salvation Army

Posted by Michele Cleland on Dec 18, 2012
story thumbnail

Rotary Club of Bluffton Rotarians, Sean Doran and Steve Miller, and many other Rotarians “rang the bell” outside of Kroger to raise money for the Salvation Army.  It has been a long standing tradition for the Rotary Club of Bluffton Rotarians to volunteer their time from November thru December to “Ring the Bell” for the Salvation Army. This is just one of the many fund raisers the Rotary Club of Bluffton is involved in to support our community. 

Ringing the Bell for the Salvation Army Michele Cleland 2012-12-19 00:00:00Z 0

Peace Corps Volunteer Whitney Goldman, Shares Her Experiences With Rotarians

Posted by Jim Foster on Dec 18, 2012
story thumbnail

Photo By: Ron Roth

Eighteen years after ethnic genocide resulted in the murders of as many as a million Rwandans, the landlocked central African nation is making slow but steady progress toward improving the lives of its people.

Peace Corps volunteers from the United States are doing their part to help, said Whitney Goldman, who spoke to Bluffton Rotarians this week. Goldman, whose parents live on Hilton Head Island, was home on a break from her work in Rwanda, where she lives with her husband and fellow Peace Corps volunteer.

Considerable international aid came to Rwanda after years of spasmodic violence between the country’s majority Hutu and minority Tutsi boiled over in 1994. After 100 days of horrific violence, the number of dead was estimated to be between 800,000 and 1 million.

A period of national reconciliation began when the violence ebbed, and for the past decade Rwanda's economy and tourist numbers have grown slowly but steadily. The country has low levels of corruption, and Transparency International ranked Rwanda as the eighth cleanest out of 47 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa. But Goldman said that despite the improvements, much work remains to be done.

“There’s virtually no private-sector industry in Rwanda,” Goldman said. “The people survive mostly with subsistence farming. They can’t exchange agricultural products because there’s no infrastructure.”

Peace Corps Volunteer Whitney Goldman, Shares Her Experiences With Rotarians Jim Foster 2012-12-19 00:00:00Z 0

Christmas Angels Visit Bluffton!

Posted by Dot Jeger on Dec 16, 2012
story thumbnail

The Bluffton Rotary Club, with the generosity and support of its members, is making many local children and families feel the “merry” in Christmas this holiday season!

In just three weeks, Bluffton Rotary Club members donated $653.15 toward the Christmas Angels fund, which the club then matched for a total of $1306.30. Add to that total the Bingo donation of $2717 and Sarah Litchfield and Megan Mack, chairs for the event, had over $4,000 to work with!

With funds in hand, we were able to adopt ten children from Bluffton Self Help, so they will have presents under the tree this year. We also adopted five children for presents from Beaufort Memorial Hospital HealthLink.; these children are currently undergoing therapy for physical disabilities. Michele Cleland helped identify a family in need, which gave us two more children to adopt for presents.

In addition, we adopted eight families (38 people) through Family Promise of Beaufort County; these families will receive food for a Christmas Dinner.  One of these families was also adopted for gifts along with food.

Altogether, we are helping feed 38 people and providing Christmas gifts for 19 children! Special thanks to Sarah, Megan and the entire Bluffton Rotary Club for making this happen!

Christmas Angels Visit Bluffton! Dot Jeger 2012-12-17 00:00:00Z 0

10 Million Charity Miles Give Away

Posted by Dot Jeger on Dec 16, 2012

Here's a wonderful way to support Rotary!  You can help Rotary win up to 10 million United Airlines travel miles.  It won't cost you a penny - and the miles will be used to help numerous Rotary projects.   

Rotary won 2.5 million miles last year in this event. In the past Charity Miles have provided transportation for Rotary International's Gift of Life surgical teams. Last year these teams traveled to Haiti and El Salvador, where volunteer doctors and nurses from the United States performed life-saving heart surgery on many children and provided important training for local doctors. Charity Miles have also helped Rotary International transport Iraqi children with birth defects to U.S. hospitals for treatments they cannot receive at home.  

Charity Miles are also used to send volunteers to help immunize children during National Immunization Days. And, Charity Miles provide airfare for financially disadvantaged Rotary youth exchange students so they may live and study overseas for one school year, enabling 8,000 secondary school students to study abroad in 80 countries around the world.

All you have to do is go to  Charity Miles and vote for Rotary International.  You can vote once a day until December 25th.  Rotary is neck and neck with the Shriners - your vote may just make the difference!

And don't just vote yourself!  Share this message with your network of friends. If you are a Facebooker, a Twitterer or a Texter - get cracking and spread this message.  Remember, by winning these Charity Miles, we can bring smiles to the faces of thousands of underprivileged children! 

10 Million Charity Miles Give Away Dot Jeger 2012-12-17 00:00:00Z 0

Boy Scouts of America; Speaker Matt Miller

Posted by Michele Cleland on Dec 04, 2012
The Boy Scouts of America may have been around for more than a century, but that doesn’t mean the service organization is resting on its laurels.

“We’ve been around for so long that it’s tempting to assume that everybody knows about us,” Matt Miller of the Coastal Carolina Council told Bluffton Rotarians. “But there are a lot of groups out there competing for attention, and it’s important to let parents know what we have to offer.”

“We’re placing a greater emphasis and focus these days on explaining our goals and our values,” Miller said.

More than a thousand boys in Beaufort and Jasper counties are active in 30 Boy Scout units. The two-county area is part of the Coastal Carolina Council, which comprises coastal counties from Georgetown to Beaufort and inland to include Allendale and Hampton counties.

Miller said Rotary clubs are among the most frequent civic organization sponsors of Boy Scout troops across the country.

Boy Scouts of America; Speaker Matt Miller Michele Cleland 2012-12-05 00:00:00Z 0

The "Crew"

Posted by Dot Jeger on Dec 02, 2012
story thumbnail
The Bluffton Rotary Club Presidents, past & present, have a long-standing tradition of “Scooping the Poop” for the Bluffton Christmas Parade. An oft forgotten service project, the crew follows along behind the horses in the parade and scoops up any “droppings” left behind. Putting “Service Above Self” on Saturday were Dan Wood, Jim Hudson, Barry Connor, Dee Dee Graham and Dot Jeger.
The "Crew" Dot Jeger 2012-12-03 00:00:00Z 0

President’s Pen

Posted by Dot Jeger on Nov 29, 2012
story thumbnail

November has come and gone. If you’re like me, you ate enough for Thanksgiving to be able to skip Christmas altogether…but what fun would that be?

This is a wonderful time of year, a time full of hope and generosity as evidenced by the Bluffton Rotary Club members deciding to give the Bingo pot to the Christmas Angels fund. Because of your generosity, 40 children will have a Christmas this year!

Also in the spirit of giving, we continue working on Saturdays to “Ring the Bell” for the Salvation Army and all the good works they do. And in November, we had a tremendous turnout of almost 150 children from Red Cedar, MC Riley and Bluffton Elementary Schools. Happy Feet is a special project allowing children in need to pick out a new pair of shoes. Many of these children have never had that privilege before and it is fun to see their excitement and pride.

In November, we welcomed two new members: John Anderson and John Beiler! We bowled with other Area 4 clubs for some fun at Station 300. We gave to the American Red Cross and sent money to Rotary Clubs in the northeast to help with support for victims of Superstorm Sandy. And with November being “Foundation Month”, we heard from our Foundation Committee each week and we made the first half of our payment for our Annual Programs Funds (APF). The Annual Programs Fund helps fund Happy Feet each year.

Looking forward, December is “Family Month”. In honor of the support and hours of help from our family members, we invite them to partake of our delicious breakfast on December 12 as a guest of the club and enjoy the special Christmas melodies of the Singing Eagles from MC Riley.

In closing, let’s all stay in the wonderful spirit of the holidays that we experienced last week and enjoy the festivities of the season. Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas to all!

President’s Pen Dot Jeger 2012-11-30 00:00:00Z 0

An Amazing Thing Happened at Rotary

Posted by Dot Jeger on Nov 29, 2012
story thumbnail

The Bluffton Rotary Club has been playing Bingo with the same deck of cards since October 2011. The pot started at zero and steadily grew as the cards slowly dwindled. Week after week, a member drew a card…every card but the joker. The pot grew to $1,000 and interest increased, as did attendance. And still no winner. Then there were 10 cards left…then 5…and finally only two cards left, with still no winner. Suspense increased, as did attendance. We could all feel the excitement in the air.

On November 14, with only the Joker left, the drawn ticket produced a winner. But alas, the ticket had been purchased for someone not present and the rule “must be present to play” made the ticket invalid. The board met and decided on two proposals for moving forward. The two proposals were emailed to membership. Options were presented to the members for a vote at the Bluffton Rotary Club meeting on November 28. A third option was added from the floor, then a fourth option added from the floor. The fourth option was to give the bingo pot to the holder of the winning ticket, even though he was not present to play.

At the last minute, our ticket holder, Pike Jones, made a motion that he wanted his name removed from option 4, as he was not there and should not win. Instead, Pike reminded us all that there are many people in our community in need, as evidenced by the almost 150 children we just bought shoes for at Happy Feet and the number of families and children we are adopting for our Christmas Angels projects. Pike then asked for option 4 to give all the money to our Christmas Angels fund.

In the vote, the club resoundingly voted to give the bingo pot (an amazing $2,717) to the Christmas fund! The Christmas spirit and Rotary 4-way test were truly with us on Wednesday morning! I am proud of each and every member in our club and proud to be a member of the Bluffton Rotary Club. Thanks for all you do, your generosity and caring spirit! And thanks to our real heroes, John George who bought Pike’s ticket for him, turned it back in and upheld the 4-way test on November 14 and Pike for his generosity and understanding! With this generous gift from the Bluffton Rotary Club, 40 local children will have a Merry Christmas!

An Amazing Thing Happened at Rotary Dot Jeger 2012-11-30 00:00:00Z 0

Rotary District 7770 Silent Auction Open!

Posted by Dot Jeger on Nov 12, 2012
story thumbnail

The Rotary District 7770 Online interactive auction, to benefit polio and local Rotary causes is open for bidding, November 14 - 18! There are lots of great "local" auction items, including gift certificates for local restaurants, spas and gift stores. We have "Shop & Dine in Old Town Bluffton", paddle board tour & lesson, Hula Hoop lesson, haircuts, hydra-facials, golf packages, timeshare condos, Wyndham Crowne Resort package and even some property to auction! And that's just in our lowcountry area.

Other donations include some pretty exciting options such as: an Argentina Dove Hunt, Charleston Harbor Sailing, tickets for shows at the Carolina Opry, Oak Ridge Boys Christmas show tickets and numerous getaways (Charleston, Edisto Island, mountains)...something for everyone!

Think Christmas shopping or something special for yourself...or just help Rotary with our goal to eradicate Polio! Go online and sign in today to bid on your favorite items...but don't forget to check back again to keep up with the bidding! GOOD LUCK!

To see these and many other auction items, check the website below.

District 7770 Online Auction

Rotary District 7770 Silent Auction Open! Dot Jeger 2012-11-13 00:00:00Z 0

There Is No Place Like Bluffton

Posted by Dot Jeger on Nov 12, 2012
story thumbnail

Our own Rotary member John Kinzer is coming home. John has been in Scotland these past few weeks, recuperating from an illness. However, he has been given the okay to come home and will be arriving late Wednesday, November 14th. He will go to NHC's Rehab Center, to help with his recovery. John will be happy to receive cards or visitors after a couple of days to recover from jetlag, so call and stop on by NHC.

Welcome back, John!

There Is No Place Like Bluffton Dot Jeger 2012-11-13 00:00:00Z 0

Bowling, Bowling, Bowling

Posted by Dot Jeger on Nov 12, 2012
story thumbnail

Thanks to all that participated in our first bowling event on Sunday! Bowling was fun…camaraderie, fellowship and competition…what more could you ask for? We hope this is the first of many outings!

For the friendly competition (scores based on first two games only): High scorer was John (Jack) Mosca, from the Okatie club…170 and 167. Way to go, Jack! Low scorer was Maud, our exchange student from France…23. But she kept on trying! High team average, Okatie Rotary: Jack & Joy at an average of 125.75 for the two games. 2nd place: Van Landingham team of "Stud, Big Mann and Yeager" with a team average of 110.16. Low Scoring team, from our Bluffton club: average 85.75. Our Bluffton high scorer was Karen Lavery with a high score of 148!

We’ll try to organize again in the new year, on a Thursday after work…let us know if you are interested!

Bowling, Bowling, Bowling Dot Jeger 2012-11-13 00:00:00Z 0

Rotary After Hours at Tabby Chic

Posted by Dot Jeger on Oct 31, 2012
story thumbnail
Our next Rotary After Hours event will be held Thursday, November 15, from 5:30 - 7:00pm and will be hosted by our own Sgt. at Arms, Rodney Vaughn."Tabby Chic" is a very unique boutique, at their new location at 22 Mellinchamp Drive, in Bluffton (between Downtown Deli and Mi Tierra's). Holidays are coming, so start shopping early, while sipping and noshing. Refreshments & special discounts for Rotary members & guests. Hope to see you there and bring a friend!
Rotary After Hours at Tabby Chic Dot Jeger 2012-11-01 00:00:00Z 0

Update on John Kinzer "The Scotsman"

Posted by Dot Jeger on Oct 30, 2012
story thumbnail

Update from John's daughter, Mary Herbkersman: John is improving a "WEE" bit.  He is determined and working hard daily. At the end of this stay, be prepared...he may have a Scottish accent!

Thanks to all Rotary members for your support. John really enjoyed the (first) card from the Rotary members.  It meant so much to him.



Update on John Kinzer "The Scotsman" Dot Jeger 2012-10-31 00:00:00Z 0

Cyber Attack at SC Department of Revenue: What To Do?

Posted by Dot Jeger on Oct 30, 2012

The S.C. Department of Revenue announced on October 26, 2012 that approximately 3.6 million Social Security numbers and 387,000 credit and debit card numbers have been exposed in a cyber attack . Anyone who has filed a South Carolina tax return since 1998 is urged to:

Visit and use the activation code SCDOR123

Under a deal negotiated with a credit monitoring agent, South Carolina citizens whose tax returns were hacked will be eligible for fraud resolution for life.

Experian’s ProtectMyID™ Alert is designed to detect, protect and resolve potential identity theft, and includes daily monitoring of all three credit bureaus. The alerts and daily monitoring services are provided for one year, and consumers will continue to have access to fraud resolution agents and services beyond the first year.

Please go to the State of South Carolina's website and protect yourself from possible identity theft.

For complete information read the October 26, 2012 Press Release

Cyber Attack at SC Department of Revenue: What To Do? Dot Jeger 2012-10-31 00:00:00Z 0

President's Pen

Posted by Dot Jeger on Oct 28, 2012

October has been a beautiful month…making us all remember why we choose to live in the SC LowCountry!

After 12 months of hard work from the Historic Bluffton Arts & Seafood Festival committee members and lots of extra volunteer hours from the Bluffton Rotary Club members, the Arts and Seafood Festival is another successful memory! The Arts & Seafood Festival started as a Rotary event, the brainchild of past president Dan Wood. When the festival continued to grow, it was spun off into its own entity with its own set of volunteers, committee members and executive board officers. The Arts & Seafood Festival is not designed to make money, but to “raise awareness that fosters protection of the May River and the rich culture and history of our area for the enjoyment of generations to come”. Because we supply the bulk of volunteers before, during and after the festival, the Bluffton Rotary Club has been given the “beverage” sales. We are still waiting for the final tally, but we know we made money on the beverage sales, plus had some fun enjoying and working the festival. Thanks for your continued support of this important festival – for our Club and the community of Bluffton!

November is around the corner now. November is Foundation Month, so expect to hear from the Foundation Committee on exciting things going on.

Looking forward, we have a fellowship outing with a friendly bowling tournament at Station 300 on November 11, Happy Feet on November 17th and the District Online Auction benefitting Polio Eradication and local charities with bidding opening Nov. 14 – 18th. Ringing the bell for Salvation Army begins in November as does planning for our Christmas Angels service project, providing a little Santa help for families in need.

The excitement continues with our Bingo each week…soon, very soon, we will have a winner! I’m sure we will all cheer for the winner too.

Let’s remember our Rotary families and the many blessings we have in being able to put Service Above Self as we approach the Thanksgiving Holiday. Also please continue to keep John Kinzer and his family in your thoughts, as we pray he will be home soon.

Peace Through Service,


President's Pen Dot Jeger 2012-10-29 00:00:00Z 0

The District 7770 Auction Deadline is Fast Approaching!

Posted by Dot Jeger on Oct 24, 2012
story thumbnail

We hope your solicitation efforts are well underway for our new, exciting District Fund Raiser to support Polio and YOUR local Rotary Causes.  Our deadline is NOVEMBER 1, so be sure to get your items submitted (details and submission instructions are listed below).

Here is a sample of what has already been submitted:

  • Charleston Harbor Sailing
  • Sublime Prime
  • Artist Uncorked Art Class for 2
  • Gift Certificate to Tabby Chic
  • Cut & Color, Larry's Hair 4 U
  • Hair style, cut and color, Style It Salon
  • Two Clubhouse Badges - RBC Heritage Golf Tournament
  • Fender Acoustic Guitar
  • Carolina Opry - 2 Season Passes
  • Golf for Four at Sea Pines Country Club
  • Spa Pamper Sampler
  • $25 Gift Certificate - British Open Pub
  • Gift Certificate $100 at Pretty Papers & Gifts
  • Golf for 2, Diamond Back
  • Golf for 4, Eagle's Nest  
  • Myrtle Beach, 2 night stay  
  • Charleston Townhouse, 3 nights   
  • Daniel Island Audio Video  
  • Tax Return Preparation  

Get started now – take just 15 minutes to call a few contacts who can take advantage of this unique avenue of exposure.  Ask your favorite restaurant, golf course, dry cleaner, hair salon, etc. Consider creating a vacation package or party package.  Request tickets to sporting events or local festivals. The possibilities are endless!

This is a great opportunity to showcase businesses and products throughout the State of South Carolina.  Donors receive a detailed listing with photographs and a link to their website so interested bidders can find out more information.

Forms can be submitted to Click Event Production by Fax, Scan/Email or mailed: 
843-785-2163 (f) 

The District 7770 Auction Deadline is Fast Approaching! Dot Jeger 2012-10-25 00:00:00Z 0

Beaufort Rotarian Nick Hunt’s Group Study Exchange trip to Peru was the topic of his presentation to Bluffton Rotary Club.

Posted by Jared Jester on Oct 08, 2012

Rotary District 7770 has a long-term partnership with District 4460 in northern Peru, and the  four-week GSE service mission last May, funded by the Rotary Foundation, was a joint service mission of the two districts.  Accompanying team leader Hunt were engineers Tricia Kilgore and Seth Womble, University of South Carolina College of Education student Whitney Waites, Charleston City Planner Stephen Risse and Erin McClam, a farmer from South Carolina’s Midlands.

“The Rotary Foundation is working on building long-term relationships,” Hunt said, “and our partnership with Peru is a terrific example of that.”

The GSE team’s first visit was to Iquitos, the largest port on the Amazon River, which could be accessed only by boat or plane.  More than 200,000 people had been displaced by widespread flooding, and the GSE team worked with local Rotarians to deliver food, clothing and supplies to victims of the high water. 

After leaving the low-lying, jungle-like environment of Iquitos, the GSE team visited several towns in arid, desert-like conditions: Piura, Sullana and Chiclayo.  Sullana had a very active Rotary Club, Hunt said.

Key issues at all stops were education concerns and pollution issues revolving around clean water and sanitation and septic systems.


Beaufort Rotarian Nick Hunt’s Group Study Exchange trip to Peru was the topic of his presentation to Bluffton Rotary Club. Jared Jester 2012-10-09 00:00:00Z 0

A Musical Tribute to Johnny Mercer

Posted by Dot Jeger on Sep 27, 2012
story thumbnail

November 1, 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM
The Westin Hiton Head Island Resort & Spa
2 Grasslawn Avenue, Hilton Head Island

"A Tribute to Johnny Mercer"

Presented by Rotary Club of Hilton Head Island, the evening will begin with cocktails and heavy hors d'oeuvres from 6:00 to 7:00 PM, a presentation of first Hilton Head Island Hall of Fame designees from 7:00 to 7:30 PM, and a Johnny Mercer tribute concert, performed by the Savannah Jazz Orchestra, with a performance from the Barbershoppers beginning at 7:30 PM. The menu will include a Salad bar, Bruschetta display, Self-serve pasta station; Steamship round of beef with sauce and rolls, Tea and water. Cocktails will be served throughout the night; cash bar.

Tickets are $50 per person, and can be purchased by clicking here. Tickets holders will receive an additional 10% Motoring Festival daily tickets.

A Musical Tribute to Johnny Mercer Dot Jeger 2012-09-28 00:00:00Z 0

Fun Time…Let’s Go Bowling!

Posted by Dot Jeger on Sep 27, 2012
story thumbnail
Bluffton Rotary Club has organized a Sunday afternoon of Bowling at Station 300 in Bluffton for Bluffton Rotarians and Area 4 Rotary Clubs. Come on out and experience Bluffton’s State-of-the-art Bowling center with 24 bowling lanes, the latest generation AMF pinspotters and electronic scoring on an HD video monitor for each lane. If bowling is not your game, then check out the arcade with 40 of the most popular games including classic favorites such as Skeeball and Hoops. Wil Saleeby will be organizing teams for the Bluffton Rotary Club; everyone is welcome, whether bowling or not. Just plan to join in the fun and watch a little friendly competition! Sunday, November 11, 3:00 – 5:00. $10 per bowler includes shoe rental; club will pay difference in price. For more information or direction to Station 300:
Fun Time…Let’s Go Bowling! Dot Jeger 2012-09-28 00:00:00Z 0

President's Pen

Posted by Dot Jeger on Sep 27, 2012

We are three months into the new Rotary year and it is so gratifying to see the excitement and enthusiasm from our members each week, along with record attendance! Oh wait…that’s not because of the New Year or anything to do with me…but because of the Bingo pot?? Oh well, $1900+ is a lot to get excited about and we are glad to see so many smiling faces each week, regardless of the reason! Thanks for “rising & shining” so early on Wednesday mornings…and thanks to Jane and her team for continuing to give us such delicious reasons for getting here too!

This has been an exciting month in Rotary. Patrick Wright, Mary O’Neill, Deb Boshaw, James Brown and I attended the Future Vision Conference in Sumter SC and got some great ideas and insight into what Rotary is moving toward in the next year! We are now certified as a Future Vision Club.

Our new District Governor, Ed Duryea joined us with a wonderful and personal talk on September 19th, followed by a quick meeting with the Bluffton Rotary Club Board of Directors. We should all be looking ahead to the District Conference next year and hearing more from Ed and his vision in Myrtle Beach, March 22 – 24, 2013.

Special congratulations to Wil Saleeby for receiving the 4-Way Test Award from DG Ed Duryea! Wil’s nomination came from our members and was well deserved. Wil serves as a great example of what living the 4-way test is all about!

At the Future Vision Conference, we received a challenge for all Rotarians to participate in the new District 7770 Online Interactive Auction. This new fund-raising event includes all Rotary clubs in the district and each Rotarian is being challenged to donate goods or services of at least $100 in value. Let’s put our thinking caps on and find some great donations for Bluffton businesses or your own business or service! More details and forms are available at

Congratulations to Laphanie Banks for leading the charge with World Changers team to help raise funds for NAMI. With Laphanie’s efforts, they raised $355 on her website, members donated $168.46 through CART fund donations and the club matched $500, for a grand total of $1,023.46! Way to go Laphanie and kudos for you all in helping make us a World Changing team!

Don’t forget Bowling at Station 300 on November 11, from 3:00 – 5:00. Wil is working on rounding up some teams, but plan to come out even if you don’t bowl. All Area 4 Rotary Clubs have been invited, so we are expecting good fun and fellowship for the whole family!

Enjoy this fall weather and continue to be mindful of our 4-Way Test. Of the things we think, say or do:
            1. Is it the truth?
            2. Is it fair to all concerned?
            3. Will it build goodwill and better friendships?
            4. Will it be beneficial to all concerned?

Thanks for your support and keep the suggestions coming! Peace Through Service,

President's Pen Dot Jeger 2012-09-28 00:00:00Z 0

The Rotary Club of Bluffton was awarded "The Rotary Foundation 100% Paul Harris Fellow Club"

Posted by Jared Jester on Sep 24, 2012
100 Percent Paul Harris

District President Ed Duryea presented the banner to Past President Jim Hudson, President Dot Jeger and Mary O'Neill. 

Achieving this honor entails all dues paying members to be a Paul Harris Fellow. Becoming a Paul Harris Fellow requires a donation of US$1,000.00 or more to Annual Program Funds, PolioPlus or the Humanitarian Grants Program, or people who have had that amount contributed in their name. Congratulations to all of the Rotary Club Of Bluffton Rotarians for all of their hard work and dedication.  


The Rotary Club of Bluffton was awarded "The Rotary Foundation 100% Paul Harris Fellow Club" Jared Jester 2012-09-25 00:00:00Z 0

Wil Saleeby Earns Four-Way Test Award

Posted by Jared Jester on Sep 24, 2012
Wil Saleeby

District President Ed Duryea presented the Four-Way Test award to Wil Saleeby. The Four-Way Test was created by Rotarian Herbert J. Taylor in 1932, it is a code of ethics that 11 years later the Rotary adopted. 

Wil Saleeby Earns Four-Way Test Award Jared Jester 2012-09-25 00:00:00Z 0

Rotary District Governor, Ed Duryea

Posted by Jared Jester on Sep 24, 2012

Rotary District Governor, Ed Duryea, shared with the Rotary Club of Bluffton some events that helped shape his life. At age 10, Ed would visit his bed ridden grandmother at a nursing home. After spending time with the aging who knew their time was limited, he soon noticed so many of them were sad for what they had not accomplished in their life. It was then Ed decided “I’m not going to reach the end of my life living with regrets”.


In 1975 Ed was asked by 3 Star General George Forsythe to join the Beaufort Rotary Club. Ed felt this was his “opportunity to half way make something out of his life and make his life count”. Ed served as club President 1978-79 and in 1980 was a founding member of the Sea Island Rotary Club. He is a major donor, Ten Star Rotarian, a member of the Paul Harris Society and the Bequest Society. Ed is also an RLI graduate and was a polio NID volunteer to Nigeria. He also obtained his RN degree to utilize during his short mission trips.

Rotary District Governor, Ed Duryea Jared Jester 2012-09-25 00:00:00Z 0
Rotary Club of Bluffton Group Photgraph Jared Jester 2012-09-25 00:00:00Z 0

New District Fundraiser to Benefit Polio & Local Rotary Clubs

Posted by Dot Jeger on Sep 24, 2012
story thumbnail
Rotary District 7770 is hosting an Online Interactive Auction to benefit Polio & Local Rotary Causes. This fundraising event is modeled after the annual online auction from the Hilton Head VanLandingham Club, which has helped raise more than $1,000,000 for Rotary benefactors.

Individual Rotarians are challenged to provide an item in value of at least $100 for the online auction. Certificates such as health, beauty, auto services, sporting events, restaurants, home goods, accommodations, golf, personal & professional services all sell very well.

We can have fun with this…think of fun local events or activities that we enjoy, a service you can provide or pick a vendor that you frequent and ask for a donation, such as a favorite restaurant or spa. The Bluffton Rotary Club will donate 4 Oyster Roast tickets for the auction.

We are hoping for 100% Club participation. 75% of the money raised from Bluffton Rotarians will be dedicated to Polio and 25% will return to the club, for local donations. We will collect and ship any items from the Bluffton Rotary Club.

Items will be collected until early November. The online auction preview opens November 9 and bidding will occur November 14 – 18. Data for all offers will be input into the auction online system, along with a complete description, photo, logo and a link to the donor’s website, so viewers can click for more information. Sponsorships will also be available. It is expected that the auction will exceed 4,000 unique visitors, providing a high level of visibility & branding to businesses across South Carolina.

This is a great way to do something good for Polio and our club, while also providing marketing for your business or a local business. Let’s get our thinking hats on and submit some great donations! Thanks for your support!

Complete details about the event, resources and tools for Rotarians and a link to the auction site are found at:
New District Fundraiser to Benefit Polio & Local Rotary Clubs Dot Jeger 2012-09-25 00:00:00Z 0


Posted by Jared Jester on Sep 03, 2012

Mark your calendars for the next Rotary After Hours on September 20th, to be held at the BNC Bank in the Wexford shopping area.  From 5:30 to 7:00, you’ll enjoy free libations and nibbles, the camaraderie of fellow Rotarians, and networking opportunities where Rotarians help Rotarians.  Our host Paul Walter and his staff look forward to having you drop in.  Please RSVP to Linda at 686-4100 or at  so we can plan appropriately for refreshments.

ROTARY AFTER HOURS Jared Jester 2012-09-04 00:00:00Z 0

President's Pen

Posted by Dot Jeger on Sep 03, 2012
story thumbnail

Happy September -- fall is coming!

In August, we welcomed our new exchange student Maud Charlet from France and we heard from our 2011-2012 outbound student, Kathryn Grieg, who has returned from a year living in Oldenbourg Germany! 

We celebrated summer with our annual Sandbar Party, on a perfect Saturday in August and the highest sandbar I’ve ever seen! Thanks to Erik Olson for organizing the event, Shellie Hodges for getting food, Mike Tripka for bringing kegs of cold beer, Megan Mack for supplying the entertainment with paddleboards and MIchael Reeves for letting us use his dock for launching the party! And fun was had by all. We are now planning an Area 4 Rotary Club bowling event at Station 300…more details coming soon.

President's Pen Dot Jeger 2012-09-04 00:00:00Z 0

Habitat for Humanity hopes to Build 40 Affordable Homes on HHI

Posted by Jared Jester on Aug 14, 2012


Habitat for Humanity
Hilton Head Regional Habitat for Humanity hopes to build 40 affordable homes on the island for low- and moderate-income residents – the first and only project of its kind on Hilton Head, said Rick Caporale, Habitat’s local community relations director.

Caporale told the Bluffton Rotary Club on Wednesday that new homes in the project, known as The Glen, would be will be built in two phases on a donated 14-acre site off Marshland Road.  Engineering studies are already under way, and the project’s estimated price tag of $1.85 million would include about $600,000 for road, water and sewer connections.

Please click here to Learn more about the 15th Annual Hilton Head Regional Habitat for Humanity Golf Tournament and Auction.

Habitat for Humanity hopes to Build 40 Affordable Homes on HHI Jared Jester 2012-08-15 00:00:00Z 0

Bluffton could win $100,000 grant and earn points for living a more sustainable lifestyle

Posted by Jared Jester on Aug 07, 2012

Waste Management Logo
Russ Hightower, Public Affairs Manager for Waste Management, spoke to members of The Rotary Club of Bluffton on Wednesday. He explained Bluffton’s participation in the National SC Johnson Green Choices Recycling Challenge. Waste Management is partnering with SC Johnson in sponsoring the Recycling Challenge, which will award a $100,000 grant to the community with the highest reported recycling participation.

SC Johnson is one of the world's leading manufacturers of household cleaning products and products for home storage, air care, pest control and shoe care. It markets such well-known brands as Glade, Pledge, Windex and Ziploc. Hightower explained the $100,000 grant award could be used toward a local sustainability project, and he added that more than 50 American communities are participating in the challenge.

“Some people are always going to recycle, even if they have to go out of their way to do it,” Hightower told the Bluffton Rotarians. “There’s a second group of people who are going to recycle only if it’s convenient. But there’s a third group who might choose to recycle if there were some incentives involved, and those are the people we’re targeting with this promotion.”

The focal point for the recycling challenge is a third company, Recyclebank, which has launched in Bluffton in collaboration with Waste Management. Hightower said Recyclebank is similar to a frequent flyer program, but instead of earning credits for miles flown, residents earn points for recycling household waste and for living a more sustainable lifestyle. Members can then use those points to “shop” at for rewards that include deals on household grocery items and discounts at participating national retailers like Bed Bath & Beyond and Olive Garden.

Bluffton could win $100,000 grant and earn points for living a more sustainable lifestyle Jared Jester 2012-08-08 00:00:00Z 0

New Club Member - Walt Dollman Inducted August 8, 2012

Posted by Jared Jester on Aug 07, 2012
The Rotary Club of Bluffton is proud to announce the addition of Walt Dollman. Walt was inducted August 8, 2012 and will be a welcomed member of our growing organization. Fellow Rotarians, please take the time to intorduce yourself to Walt personally when you have the opportunity. Welcome to the Club Walt!

Walt Dollman
New Club Member - Walt Dollman Inducted August 8, 2012 Jared Jester 2012-08-08 00:00:00Z 0

Guest Speaker Bill Roper

Posted by Jared Jester on Aug 05, 2012

The key to life, Bill Roper believes, is not giving up when things appear to be at their worst.   Worry, doubt and fear never accomplish anything, he says, except limiting our connection to everything we want or need.

Roper, a Hilton Head-based motivational speaker and budding author, spoke to Bluffton Rotarians on August 1.  He served in the U.S. Army and suffered a serious brain injury when he was thrown from a jeep during the Vietnam War’s 1968 Tet Offensive.  After being quickly evacuated, he received emergency treatment from a neurosurgeon and was placed in an induced coma to allow his brain time to heal.  When he regained consciousness in Washington’s Walter Reed Army hospital, the entire left side of his body didn't function and doctors said he would probably never walk again.

Guest Speaker Bill Roper Jared Jester 2012-08-06 00:00:00Z 0

President's Pen

Posted by Dot Jeger on Aug 05, 2012
story thumbnail

As we look forward to a new Rotary year and the celebration of our 25th year as the Bluffton Rotary Club, we also want to thank Jim Hudson for his outstanding leadership as President last year. And special congratulations to Tom Faber for receiving the honor of Rotarian of the Year, a much-deserved peer award.

Looking forward, many thanks go to fellow Rotarians who have committed to serve on the new board, as event chairs or on committees this year. We are a very active club and it takes participation from the whole club to accomplish all that we do. Our focus this year will be on our members and to have more fun! With the fun aspect in mind, make sure to mark your calendars for the annual Sandbar Party on August 18th. This is always a fun afternoon and favorite for many members. We will also welcome our in-coming exchange student in August; she will be with host family Mary and Mike O’Neill as she settles into her first semester of school.

President's Pen Dot Jeger 2012-08-06 00:00:00Z 0

New Club Member - Jim Foster Inducted July 25, 2012

Posted by Jared Jester on Aug 05, 2012
story thumbnail
Jim Foster is Director of School and Community Services for the Beaufort County School District. He moved to Bluffton last August from Columbia, where he was Director of Communications at the South Carolina Department of Education for 20 years. Prior to joining the Education Department, he was a newspaper editor for 14 years at The State in Columbia and at The Greenville News, and also an adjunct professor of journalism at the University of South Carolina. Jim is a graduate of Leadership South Carolina and will join the new class of Leadership Beaufort in August. He grew up in Spartanburg and graduated from Spartanburg High School before attending Wofford College for his undergraduate work and Columbia University for his graduate work. He is married and has four children, the youngest of whom is a rising senior at Bluffton High.
New Club Member - Jim Foster Inducted July 25, 2012 Jared Jester 2012-08-06 00:00:00Z 0


Posted by Sandy Graves on Mar 04, 2012
story thumbnail
March 31, 2012
12:00 Noon - 5:00 p.m.
Buckwalter Place, Bluffton
Saturday Tasting $40
Designated Driver $10
This is a charity event raising proceeds to benefit the Waddell Mariculture Center of the Low Country
Music Provided by "White Liquor"
Tickets available at, Growlers on Hilton Head, UPS Store at Belfair and CoastalStates Bank at Sun City
FIRKINSTOCK BEER FESTIVAL Sandy Graves 2012-03-05 00:00:00Z 0
Rotary Donates $15,000 To Bluffton Jasper Volunteers in Medicine Sandy Graves 2011-08-31 00:00:00Z 0

Chris Clayton - Lowcountry Civil War Round Table

Posted by Sandy Graves on Aug 23, 2011
story thumbnail
On Wednesday, August 24, 2011 Historian Chris Clayton Vice President and President-Elect of the Lowcountry Civl War Round Table, spoke on the upcoming Lowcountry Civil War Sesquicentennial Commemoration December 1-4, 2011.  The organization is working with the Coastal Discovery Museum with a core team of 5 people to do 3 events.  This is the first event which will be centered around Port Royal Plantation, the second event Beaufort with the Preservation Heritage Library focusing on slavery and third Bluffton with the burning of Bluffton and “Secession Oak”.
If you are interested in knowing more about the organization and upcoming events contact David McColloch at 843-705-3060 or CLICK HERE.  to visit their website. 
Chris Clayton - Lowcountry Civil War Round Table Sandy Graves 2011-08-24 00:00:00Z 0

The Boys and Girls Club of the Low Country is more than just a safe meeting environment for the children of our community.

Posted by Michele Cleland on Jul 19, 2011

Photo by: Ron Roth  


Molly Smith Director of the Boys and Girls Club of the Low Country explained the main focuses of the club are character, leadership, education, career, health, life skills, the arts, sports, fitness, & recreation.  Each focus will give the children a tremendous opportunity to become productive citizens within the community.



The Boys and Girls Club of the Low Country is more than just a safe meeting environment for the children of our community. Michele Cleland 2011-07-20 00:00:00Z 0

The Rotary Club of Bluffton Donates Again!

Posted by Michele Cleland on Jul 12, 2011

Photo by: Ron Roth

President Jim Hudson of The Rotary Club of Bluffton presented a $10,000.00 check to Board President Peter Bromley, Vice President John Orth, and Executive Director Lili Coleman of Bluffton Self Help. The funds where raised during the Bluffton Village Festival, which is just one of the many events The Bluffton Rotary Club orchestrates to raise money for the community.  

The Rotary Club of Bluffton Donates Again! Michele Cleland 2011-07-13 00:00:00Z 0

Ogie Shaw,B.A.,B.A., M.S.M

Posted by Michele Cleland on Jul 05, 2011
story thumbnail

Photo by: Ron Roth 



Hero, Scholar, Musician, Athlete, Humanitarian, Fitness Professional, Executive and much more.


 Ogie Shaw is not your ordinary man by any means. Some may say he is an overachiever, I say, more people should strive to be like him.


Ogie Shaw,B.A.,B.A., M.S.M Michele Cleland 2011-07-06 00:00:00Z 0

Proud Grandfather Introduces Grandson as Speaker

Posted by Michele Cleland on Jun 28, 2011
story thumbnail

Photo By: Michele Cleland

The old saying “the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree” truly applies to the
Cornelius family. Bill Cornelius has many honorable achievements to add to
his history. However, none as special as a family member who follows in his
generous footsteps.

Bill's grandson and speaker Andrew Cornelius graduated from Appalachian
State in 2006. He then joined the Peace Corps and spent two and a half years in
Peru. Obviously, slowing down is not an option for Andrew, because he just
received his masters Degree of Arts in International Administration, with a
concentration in Corporate Finance, at the University of Denver. His current
title is “MA Candidate International Administration”.

Andrew explained that the individual mission statements of the Peace Corps
and the Rotary are similar, and there is a natural connection between the two
organizations. The Peace Corps can contribute to Rotary International
projects through their extensive knowledge of the people, land and
overall needs. If you have any questions for Andrew you can email
him at

Proud Grandfather Introduces Grandson as Speaker Michele Cleland 2011-06-29 00:00:00Z 0

Mike Raymond Adds Author to His Portfolio

Posted by Michele Cleland on Jun 21, 2011
story thumbnail

Photo by: Michele Cleland 


As a Bluffton Town Councilman, Bluffton Township Fire District Commissioner and a member of the Bluffton Rotary, Mike Raymond stays very busy. Yet, he recently added author, editor, self- publisher, cover artist, and promoter to his many titles.



Mike Raymond Adds Author to His Portfolio Michele Cleland 2011-06-22 00:00:00Z 0
Lieutenant, Toby McSwain, Beaufort County Sherrif's Department Cindy Brown 2011-05-18 00:00:00Z 0
MC Riley - Volunteer of the Year Award Cindy Brown 2011-05-18 00:00:00Z 0
HEALTH MAINTENANCE - DR. BINAMIRA Cindy Brown 2011-05-12 18:55:17Z 0
Bluffton Rotary Foreign Exchange Student Michele Cleland 2011-05-12 18:53:57Z 0
Weston Newton Cindy Brown 2011-05-09 00:00:00Z 0
PRESIDENT'S PEN Cindy Brown 2011-04-28 00:00:00Z 0
APRIL DISTRICT NEWSLETTER Cindy Brown 2011-04-26 00:00:00Z 0
THE BLOOD ALLIANCE Cindy Brown 2011-04-26 00:00:00Z 0


Posted by Brooks Williams on Aug 25, 2009
John Howe announces new leadership. All...I am pleased to announce that Karen Lavery has accepted the position of District Secretary for the 2010-11 Rotary Year.
DISTRICT NEWS AND ANNOUNCEMENTS Brooks Williams 2009-08-26 00:00:00Z 0

Bluffton Village Festival A Big Success

Posted on May 08, 2009
Hordes of area residents flocked to the Bluffton Village Festival Saturday, May 9th to enjoy arts and crafts, musical entertainment by local musicians and fun and games for the kids.
Bluffton Village Festival A Big Success 2009-05-09 00:00:00Z 0

November is Foundation Month

Posted by Jared Jester
November has been designated by Rotary International as Foundation Month, and Mary O’Neill briefed Bluffton Rotary Club members on foundation-related activities that are having a positive impact on the world and here at home.
O’Neill shared the words of Rotary International President Glenn Estess, who said, “ ‘Doing Good in the World’ is more than a motto.  It is our goal, our mission and our reminder.  It expresses in the clearest terms why we have a Foundation, and it challenges us to reach as far as we can to do the most good possible with everything we have.”
“Because of our foundation,” O’Neill said, “we can, quite simply, do more work.”
Internationally, a key initiative is Rotary’s “Polio Plus” project aimed at eradicating polio in India.  India has passed the halfway mark in its effort to be polio-free by 2014, and Rotary has supported the project for the past three years through grants and contributions, some of which have been matched by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
O’Neill said that 75 percent of the revenues from the upcoming online District 7770 Auction will go to “Polio Plus,” and 25 percent of the revenues will come back to the Bluffton Rotary Club to support local causes.  She urged club members to solicit auction items such as restaurant, hotel and golf gift certificates in time to meet the Nov. 9 deadline, when auction items will be available for public viewing.  Bidding will be Nov. 14-18.
Bluffton Rotarians can see Foundation dollars at work later this month, when the club will match a $1,200 District Simplified Grant for a total of $2,400 to fund the “Happy Feet Project.”  On Saturday, Nov. 17, selected children from three local elementary schools – Red Cedar, Bluffton and M.C. Riley – will each be able to select a new pair of shoes at Payless.
Also highlighted were literacy efforts at M.C. Riley Elementary School, where local Rotarians volunteer to read with, and sometimes mentor, students who struggle with their reading skills.  Low literacy rates are problematic in the region, said Rotarian Jay Parks, noting that 11 percent of Beaufort County residents and 27 percent of Jasper County residents lack basic literacy skills.
November is Foundation Month Jared Jester 0

Bluffton Rotary Donates $1000 to BJVIM

Posted by Jared Jester


The Rotary Club of Bluffton has donated $1,000 to the Bluffton Jasper County Volunteers in Medicine, a nonprofit organization that provides health care to the “working poor” in Bluffton and Jasper County – residents who are uninsured or underinsured and who don’t qualify for Medicaid or Medicare.

Rotary also donated $15,000 to the organization last year.

Only two out of every three residents in South Carolina has health insurance, according to BJVIM, which works to bridge that gap.

BJVIM is a member of the national Volunteers in Medicine Alliance, one of 90 independent VIM clinics across the country.

Family income must be at or below 250% of the Federal poverty index. We are a small local solution to a national problem. Although the Affordable Care Act has survived its latest challenge, we believe our services will be necessary for many years to come. There are so few primary care physicians available that even with mandated insurance many of our clients will still have no access to care.

Official estimates are that there are 2,300 people for every primary care physician in Jasper County and 1,000 for every primary care physician in Beaufort County (the national average is 600 to one.)  VIM’s retired volunteer physicians help to fill that gap and offer people with both immediate problems and chronic conditions – diabetes and hypertension are frequent problems – the opportunity to stay functioning members of the community.

According to VIM, most small employers do not offer health insurance and often the salaries are not high enough for the employees to purchase private health insurance.  Many people work part-time jobs that offer no benefits.  By providing primary care, VIM hopes to keep the employed healthy enough to stay working and the unemployed healthy enough to keep seeking work, thereby helping to prevent these people from requiring government assistance.

For more information, call 843-706-7090 or go to

Bluffton Rotary Donates $1000 to BJVIM Jared Jester 0

Steve Fulmer Addresses Computer Crime

Posted by Jared Jester
Some of today’s most dangerous criminals are likely to attack not with a gun or a knife, but with a telephone or a computer, one of South Carolina’s top investigators of financial and securities fraud told Bluffton Rotarians this week.
“Every time you turn on your computer, every time you open your mail, every time you answer your phone, you’re vulnerable,” said Steve Fulmer of the South Carolina Attorney General’s Securities Division.  “There are some pretty bizarre things going on out there.”
Fulmer investigates Ponzi schemes, worthless stock cases, bogus foreign currency exchange trading programs and other investment matters.  HE said that three Ponzi schemes have been discovered in the Easley area in the past 18 months alone that cost investors millions of dollars.
Steve Fulmer Addresses Computer Crime Jared Jester 0

Rotary District 7770 Online Auction Fund Raiser

Posted by Jared Jester

Dear Rotarians,

We greatly appreciate the support this new fund raising activity has been gaining throughout District 7770 in support of Polio and local causes within individual club’s communities! Complete details about the event are listed below with a link to the website with Rotarian Resources.

The time to act is NOW!
Start asking for contributions today to maximize this unique opportunity to share funds through the Online Interactive Auction. Be sure to leave time to follow up if necessary and to submit your certificates for processing.

This is a great opportunity to showcase business and products throughout the State of South Carolina. Donors receive a detailed listing with photographs and a link to their website so interested bidders can find out more information.

All item certificates must be submitted for processing no later than November 1, 2012.

Download Online Auction Form Here. Please fill out and submit to the following location: 
843-785-2163 (f) 

Rotary District 7770 Online Auction Fund Raiser Jared Jester 0

Bluffton Village Festival

Posted by Jim Hudson
story thumbnail
The 34th Annual Bluffton Village Festival will take place on Satuday before Mothers Day.  This year's date is Satuday May 12th.  The Festival runs from 10:00 AM until 4:00 PM on Calhoun Street in downtown Bluffton.  For more information please visit the festival website at
Bluffton Village Festival Jim Hudson 0

Debbie Retzer

Posted by Cindy Brown
story thumbnail
Bluffton Middle School Girls Basketball Coach, Debbie Retzer visit on June 8
Photo by Michele Cleland
Debbie Retzer Cindy Brown 0