Brittany Mathis – The Charleston Friends of the Library

July 12, 2016 – In the first meeting of our new Rotary administration and the first meeting at our new meeting location, Brittany Mathis brought us a message about the Charleston Friends of the Library and the programs they support to enhance reading and much more in our community.  Mathis graduated from Hampton University and taught English in a high school in China right out of college.  A native of Seattle, she has been executive director of the Friends of the Library for a little over a year.

The Friends of the Library was started in 1982 and in that year earned about $200 in support of the library.  Today the Friends of the Library raise over $100,000.00 annually to support over 6,000 programs the library provides in our community.  Mathis asked us how we most recently used the library and the answers she received included historical research, children’s programs and just getting books and other media for pleasure.  She relayed how these are just a few of the benefits the library brings to us.  The programs supported by her organization help children learn to read, give residents a vehicle to find jobs and provide tax clinics to assist us in filing those returns we all find so, well, taxing.  One of the most popular programs the Friends support is the Summer Reading program for children, but the activities of the Friends spans the whole year.  Read more

Presidential/Board Transition Meeting

June 28th, 2016 was an historic occasion. The club held its last meeting at the Citadel, a location of 15 years.  This meeting was also the time for a change of club presidents.  John Channell gave an excellent summary of the work of the Education Committee during the past year including projects to give backpacks, dictionaries and tennis lessons to needy students.

President Paul Stoney spoke to the members about his year of service. He praised the members one and all for their work on behalf of our community. He expressed thanks to the membership for giving him the honor of service as president, noting that he looked forward to each weekly meeting. It is a monumental experience just to BE a Rotarian, and he further praised the past presidents who always were ready to assist him. He noted that Rotary is one of the most significant forces operating for good in the whole world, a world which is in great turmoil. Changes are taking place and Rotary must be ready to deal with them. He recalled that the speaker at his first meeting was a 94 year old veteran who had been injured by agent orange and he thanked Rotarian General Livingston who was present that day and again today.  He charged each member to continue to be the best Rotarian [and person] that you can be.  While he thanked all members, he particularly thanked Carroll Schweers, Dan Ravenel and Paterson Smith for their strong support.  Read more

Dr. Richard Porcher: Lowcountry Rice Culture

June 21, 2016 -Retired botanist, professor, and author Dr. Richard Porcher spoke to our Club about the history of the low country rice cultivation and innovations African-American slaves brought to our country.  He stated there was a trilogy of African workers, white plantation owners, and the English market that redefined the landscape of South Carolina.  During the time of slavery and rice plantations over 150,000 acres of swamp were transformed into rice fields.  Charleston would not be what it is today without rice.   Read more

Larry Dandridge: “Blades of Thunder”

June 14, 2016 -LTC (Ret) Larry Dandridge joined us to speak about Volunteering at the Ralph A Johnson VA hospital, the Fisher House, the helicopter war in Vietnam and his new book “Blades of Thunder”. Larry is the CEO and editor of Tigers, Vikings & Vipers Publishing LLC.

The Ralph A Johnson Medical Center is in the top 10 of VA medical centers and LTC Dandridge asked for more support for the medical center either in volunteering or in donations. Often patients come in for routine exams but get admitted unexpectedly without clothing or toiletries. The government, while providing many things for veterans, does not provide everything they need.   Read more

Jim Geffert: How to Remember Names

June 7, 2016:  Our speaker was our Rotary colleague, Jim Geffert.  Jim has been associated with the Dale Carnegie program for 42 years. In 1997, he purchased the franchise for the states of South Carolina and Georgia.  He has been listed as one of the top 35 Dale Carnegie instructors in the USA.

His presentation, which involved many members of our club, was “How to Remember Names”. He asked:  “Why do we forget names?” Responses included “don’t care enough to remember”, “there are so many people to remember”, “I could not hear the name due to other background noise in the room”.  To start, one should focus on the individual, then imprint a first impression by associating the person with a picture because we all think in terms of pictures.  Try to find something which rhymes with their name, focus on their appearance [but not clothing because it changes each time you see them], and then associate the person’s name with a similar name with which you are familiar.  Read more