Honoring Rotary Scholars
Saluting our future’s best and brightest from all around Charleston

May 10, 2005 — Rotarians were introduced to the 2005 Rotary Scholars, which included 20 bright Charleston County high school seniors who are bound for higher education. Accompanied by their parents and principals, each scholar received a certificate from our Club, as well as a $200 scholarship check to be used for their future education. One scholar per high school
was selected, who was the most deserving based on their accomplishments during their high school career.

Many belonged to the National Honor Society, Math Clubs, Latin Clubs, Junior Varsity and Varsity sport teams, even theater, and received academic and extracurricular awards and recognition. Many also were involved in their respective communities, and volunteered for such places as the American Red Cross and the local hospitals.

The list of these impressive scholars is as follows:

Kathryn Anne Baldwin…………………….Ashley Hall
Emily Page Canup………………………….. West Ashley High School
Jordan Marie Casey…………………………James Island Charter High School
Keshia Nekole Colleton……………………Burke High School
Yekaterina Demchenko…………………. North Charleston High School
Elizabeth Wade Folsom…………………..James Island Christian School
Robert Jefferson Griffith……………. Trident Academy
Reem Aida Hannun…………………….. Porter-Gaud School
Sarah Frances Hart…………………….. First Baptist Church School
Arthur Wesley Holtzclaw……………. Bishop England High School
Stephanie Cierra Jenkins……………. Lincoln High School
Keturah Ann Ladson………………….. Garrett Academy
Felicity Madeleine Beverly Lenes…. Wando High School
Kenneth Mungin………………………… St. John’s High
Veronica Denise Ransom……………. Baptist Hill High School
Ronnie Roland……………………………. R.B. Stall High School
Paul Christian Saylor…………………. Charleston County School of the Arts
Dominique Nicole Smalls……………. Septima P. Clark Corporate Academy
Sydney Walmsley…………………….. Charleston Collegiate
Ching Zhu…………………………………. Academic Magnet High School

Congratulations to these fine students! You make Charleston County very proud! Good luck in your future endeavors—we would love to hear where your academic travels have taken you!

In other business. . .

Jennet Alterman gave the invocation and led us in the Pledge of Allegiance, and Greg Robinson welcomed visiting Rotarians and guests. John Milkereit offered Health & Happiness, and Cooper Coker announced the Adopt-A-Highway this Saturday. Gordon Jones announced his trip to Dublin, Ireland and flag ex- change, and Bill Eaton thanked volunteers who participated in the Alzheimer’s volunteer opportunity. Cindy Williams announced the 4-Way Test special series, and Myron Harrington announced the Rotary Scholars.

Charleston’s Civic Design Center
Speaker Michael Maher discusses plans for neighborhoods after the bridges come down

MAY 3, 2005 — Rotarians learned about the City’s plans for the area underneath the existing Cooper River Bridges, as well as other initiatives undertaken by the City’s Civic Design Center. Michael Maher, Director of the Charleston Civic Design Center (CCDC), explained what the Design Center is all about, and elaborated on some of the vision that is going into the City’s East Side neighborhood, which was bifurcated by the approaches to the Cooper River Bridges.

The Civic Design Center is part of the City’s Department of Design, Develop- ment and Preservation, and focuses on the mission of promoting the future vision of the City. As the spouse of a Rotarian, Maher likened the Center’s 3- pronged mission to the Rotary 4-Way Test. The Center promotes education, collaboration, and innovation as a means for enhancing
the quality of life in Charleston through good design.

Education includes activities for citizens that educate us in urban design and how it affects the City. The activities include workshops, exhibits, and lecture series, among many other opportunities for the public to be involved in urban design issues. Collaboration refers to bringing people interested in development with those who practice in this field. The Center was designed to be a collaborative design resource, so that urban design issues can be discussed by those who are affected by them, and not just City staff.

Finally, innovation refers to such initiatives as the Urban Design Studio where the Center serves as an advocate for the public realm. This promotes creative responses to rising urban design challenges and fosters a dialogue
on today’s urban design issues.

Current initiatives undertaken by the CCDC include sidewalk dining, MUSC zoning regulations, promoting a green axis through the spine of the City, City/ FEMA height regulations, the Charleston Neck Redevelopment Plan, and the areas under the Cooper River Bridge approaches in the East Side neighborhood. This effort is one of the most ambitious being undertaken by
CCDC because it not only involves removing the existing bridge structure, but also involves “reknitting” the East Side neighborhood back together to help mend physical and psychological barriers that were imposed on this neighborhood when the Silas Pear- man Bridge was built in the 1960s.

Besides removing the old structures, the Plan includes reconnecting certain north/south streets, such as Nassau and America Streets, as well as creating an east/west connection between East Bay/Morrison and Meeting Street. Improvements are also planned for existing pub- lic space (and creating new space), drainage, street frontages, and pe- destrian access,
including bike lanes. A new connection to Meeting Street is also important to make a “grand entrance” into the City.

CCDC has held a series of public workshops to identify issues from the perspective of the citizens who live there, which has developed into a guiding set of principles. These principles are important to make sure the needs of this neighborhood are being met. The types of uses are still being determined with the help of the citizens, including housing mix, retail and neighborhood services.

Working with the CCDC, Charleston citizens now have a venue to ex- press concerns or ideas about the future of our City, so that the City can truly plan with the public in mind. For more information on the Civic Design Center, please visit www.ci.charleston.sc.us/dept/?nid=336 .

In other business. . .

Conrad Zimmerman gave the invocation and led us in the Pledge of Allegiance, and Lisa Thomas welcomed visiting Rotarians and guests. Doug Donehue of- fered Health & Happiness, and Cooper Coker announced the next Adopt-A- Highway. Jim Geffert announced the Alzheimer’s volunteer opportunity. Joan Ustin introduced our speaker Michael Maher.

CharlestonCounty’s Finest Teachers
Teacher of the Year and Honor Roll teachers honored

April 26, 2005 — Rotarians were introduced to a group of CharlestonCounty‘s Honor Roll Teachers, which included CharlestonCountySchool District’s Teacher of the Year Bridgette Marques. Ms. Marques is a National Board Certified Teacher at PinckneyElementary School and prides herself on being a mentor to her kids. Along with Ms. Marques, Honor Roll teachers honored were Dianne O’Neill, Anne Halter, Jane Windham, and Melissa Cario Parrish.

Ms. Marques grew up in Fort Mill, South Carolina, in a family that she says wasn’t “privileged.” She credits the family’s economic status to making her who she is, which she now believes is a good thing. Her brother was very smart, but that wasn’t very “cool” in her school at that time. In fact, he went out of his way not to make his grades, so a family friend stepped in as a mentor. The friend later witnessed her brother’s graduation from West Point. Marques firmly believes her brother would not have been so successful without a mentor, even given his natural talents. To this day, Marques is a firm believer in the value of mentoring, and encourages everyone to help our schools by mentoring or volunteering at a school.

Ms. Marques believes in three tenets of learning which have made her a successful teacher:

1) students must feel respected,

2) learning must build on prior experience, and

3) students must be active participants in their learning.

Marques believes that teachers are special in the eyes of their students, and teachers are responsible for creating and shaping young minds, but she knows

In other business. . .

Robin Freer gave the invocation and led us in the Pledge of Allegiance, and Chris Kerrigan welcomed visiting Rotarians and guests. Dan Ravenel offered Health & Happiness, and Andy Brack announced our new Club history book. Cooper Coker inducted new member Erin England, and Carol Collins an- nounced a volunteer opportunity for Alzheimer’s. Honor Roll Teachers Diane O’Neill, Anne Halter, Jane Windham, Melissa Cario Parrish, and Bridgette Marques were honored. Maria Goodloe-Johnson introduced our speaker Bridgette Marques.

— Amy Riley

10th Anniversary of the Oklahoma City Bombing
How the Chamber of Commerce helped recovery efforts

April 19, 2005 — Today, on the 10th anniversary of the bombing of the AlfredP.MurrahFederalBuilding in Oklahoma City, Rotarians learned that one of our own, Charles Van Rysselberge, was there to witness firsthand the devastation as well as the cooperation and dedication of thousands of volunteers who assisted with the recovery efforts.

Today, Van Rysselberge is President of the Charleston Metro Chamber, and was the President and CEO of the Greater OKC Chamber in 1995 when the bombing took place. “Tears of sorrow/tears of pride” was an expression used to describe what hap- pened on April 19, 1995 when Timothy McVeigh packed a rented Ryder truck with explosives and blew it up in front of the Murrah Federal Building, killing 168 people, including children. Van Rysselberge was not far away at the OKC Chamber building, and immediately set about to do what he could to assist. With the help of consultants and Chamber staff, Van Rysselberge established two major efforts: a Business Emergency Assistance Center in the Chamber building, as well as a News Media Center in the lobby of a nearby hotel. These efforts proved critical in the recovery efforts, assisted with delivering informa- tion from OKC, and helped the City’s businesses who had no other champions. Thanks to these efforts, most businesses got the help they needed to rebuild or stay afloat. Over 3,500 calls were made to businesses, which resulted in $400,000 of in-kind services from companies willing to help. The Media Cen- ter handled over 50 national and international news media, disbursed over 500 media kits, and coordinated over 200 interviews. The Chamber also assisted with a hotel room locater service, evaluation assistance for planned conventions, a business relief fund, and government relief for businesses.

Van Rysselberge pulled from his experience with the Atlanta Metro Chamber, but took away a lot more from OKC as a result of the tragedy. Lesson learned included putting a disaster plan into place, as well as stress debriefing for Chamber employees. The Chamber also helped pass a $25 million bond referendum to establish a state-of- the-art communication center, which did not exist prior to the bombing. The Chamber also identified the need to help businesses review the fine print on insurance policies to determine exact coverage.

The statistics are amazing of what happened (and what has since taken place) in OKC and the spirit of community fostered through recovery efforts. Although it was one of the greatest tragedies of our times, the Chamber helped make a difference that can still be felt today.

In other business. . .

Dan Butts gave the invocation and led us in the Pledge of Allegiance, and Henry Blackford welcomed visiting Rotarians and guests. Jennet Alterman offered Health & Happiness, and President Mark thanked Ellen Jackson for hosting last week’s Open House. He also reminded Rotarians to update roster information. Les Manigault introduced members of the GSE Team from India. Bill Eaton asked for support for the Alzheimer’s Educational Support program. Anita Zucker introduced our speaker Charles Van Rysselberge.

— Amy Riley

How The Charleston Miracle League Came to Be

April 12, 2005 — Channing Proctor, a newly inducted Rotarian gave a heartfelt and moving talk about the events which led him to start the Charleston Miracle League, an organization devoted to giving mentally and physically challenged children the chance to play baseball.

Channing graduated from the Citadel in 1991 where he played baseball. Upon graduating he admitted to having the same goals as most just entering the workforce: “to make as much money as possible in as short a period of time as possible.” Channing moved to Atlanta and proceeded to do just that. Within 10 years he was running a medical sales operation covering the entire Southeast, and he and his wife were living in a great house, driving nice cars and seemed to have all the trappings of wealth and success. One day, Channing was escorting visitors through a local hospital when he happened to run into one of his former high school teachers. It was a bittersweet reunion. His friend and former teacher happened to be a patient in the hospital because she was dying of breast cancer. This event caused Channing to begin re-evaluating his life’s goals.

In the process of self-examination Channing identified three goals which were impor- tant to him. The first was his desire to be a good husband and father. The second goal was his long-held wish to write a book about an athletically talented young boy who leaves the game of baseball but who eventually returns. He already had the title, The Seasoned Rookie. Finally, Channing wanted to bring his family to live in Charleston. With these three goals in mind, Channing approached his wife who eventually agreed and supported the changes.

While Channing was writing his book, he happened to catch a news story which captured his imagination. The story was about a baseball program in Conyers, Georgia where handicapped children could play baseball on a special field. Because of his passion for the game, he tracked down the leaders of the program and offered to donate $1.00 from every book he sold. In turn, they urged him to come watch a game. It was while watching the children in Conyers play baseball that Channing recognized the passion to which he wanted to devote his energies. He wanted to give mentally and physically handicapped children an opportunity to share and participate in the game he loves so much, baseball.

At first Channing could not get anyone interested in his idea. Nobody would even agree to serve on his board. Undeterred, he hit on an idea guaranteed to generate a lot of attention and get the ball rolling. He decided to donate his beloved 1965 Ford Thunderbird as a means to raise the money to start the Miracle League. Channing aired the Live Five news clip of that fundraising effort in which $25,000.00 was raised. In late summer 2004, the Charleston Miracle League broke ground on their new baseball field, and Opening Day took place in November 2004. Sixty kids showed up to play along with 500 spectators and volunteers. The television news coverage showed the smiles, excitement, and joy on the faces of everyone involved.

The Miracle League sponsors an eight-weekend spring and fall season. Children ages 5 to 18 who have a physical or mental challenges are invited to play. There are six teams, and games are held on Saturdays at , and . Each player is assigned a special buddy to help them while they play.

Channing urged anyone who might be interested to come out and watch a game. Joe Griffith Miracle Field is located west of the Ashley off Play- ground Road. There are many opportunities to volunteer, and to do so in any capacity that one might wish. One member asked whether opportunities exist for businesses to get involved and Channing answered affirmatively. Business involvement could range from sponsoring a team to donating much needed equipment such as team t-shirts. More information and registration forms can be obtained on their website: www.charlestonmiracleleague.org.

In other business. . .

Amy Jenkins gave the invocation and led us in the Pledge of Allegiance, and David Ginn welcomed visiting Rotarians and guests. Bucky Knowlton offered Health & Happiness, and President Mark made an announcement regarding the upcoming Open House. He also acknowledged and reciprocated a toast from the Rotary Club of South Africa. Bill Eaton asked for support for the Alzheimer’s Educational Support program. Three new members were inducted: Kenneth Fox, Dan Parker, and Channing Proctor. Earl Walker introduced our speaker (and new member) Channing Proctor.

— Helen Harloe, Keyway Committee