Godfrey Gibbison: College of Charleston, School of Professional Studies

May 9, 2017:   It’s no secret or surprise that the workplace of today is vastly different than it was a very few years ago. The impact of corporate downsizing since the ‘90’s, the lightening fast impact of technology on business behavior, resourcing, employment practices, employee skill set requirements, uncertain economic times and the integration of changing demographic and cultural values have resulted in a working environment hardly recognizable to those whose preparation and expectations were set in the 20th Century. How to provide a new educational paradigm that addresses the needs of the 21st Century workforce is the mission of Tuesday’s speaker, Dr. Godfry Gibbison, Dean of the School of Professional Studies at the College of Charleston. Continue reading “Godfrey Gibbison: College of Charleston, School of Professional Studies”

Rotary art show to raise funds for Water Mission

How you can help 1,000 people get safe drinking water on May 18

The historic downtown Rotary Club of Charleston continues its quest to positively impact others by raising funds for our global water crisis. To help the club’s goal of raising $10,000, world-renowned and local artist James Pratt has donated his beautiful palette knife art for a fundraiser. All proceeds generated through this event, hosted at the Reinert Art Gallery, will go directly to a Water Mission project. Continue reading “Rotary art show to raise funds for Water Mission”

Spring Social: An Evening at the Ballpark

May 2, 2017:  Let’s play ball!  Our Spring Social was a family event held at Riley Park.  Our Charleston Riverdogs took on the Lakewood Blue Claws and lost in a close game 2-3. Rotarian baseball fans and their guests enjoyed a pre-game cookout held under the tent at Murray’s Mezzanine along the first base line.  There were plenty of hotdogs, hamburgers and adult beverages for everyone!  It was a wonderful evening to spend at the ballpark cheering on our Riverdogs.  Thank you to Dave Echols and his staff for hosting us!!

Scotty Parker: Scotty’s Ride for WMI/Kelsey Kool: Trunk Club

April 25, 2017:  Two speakers joined us for our April 25 meeting at Riley Park, Scotty Parker for Scotty’s Ride for WMI and Kelsey Kool from Trunk Club of Charleston. Inspired by images of children who did not have clean drinking water, at age 7 Scotty decided to do something about it. For his 8th birthday he asked for donations instead of gifts and raised $618. After that he decided to think bigger and trained to ride across South Carolina to raise money for Water Missions International. He was age 10 when he made the trip and was inspired by the communities, kids and adults who came out and donated ultimately raising $70,000. That money was enough to complete two sanitary systems in Honduras. He was then able to visit to see the impact of the donation and how it changed the lives of children there. Water Missions installed sinks in every classroom of a school there but the children were afraid to drink the water. Water Missions had Scotty drink from every faucet to show the kids it was ok. He was amazed by the response of the kids to getting clean water, for us it is taken for granted, for them it was life or death. Continue reading “Scotty Parker: Scotty’s Ride for WMI/Kelsey Kool: Trunk Club”

Erin Benson: With Purpose

April 18, 2017: Erin Benson of With Purpose joined us for our meeting on April 18. With Purpose is a youth and community-led movement dedicated to making sure kids with cancer have access to safe AND effective treatment options.  Erin began by sharing what led her to start With Purpose. In 2013, her son Sam awoke in the night, screaming in pain. He was ultimately diagnosed with DIPG, a uniformly fatal brain cancer. They were told the best modern treatment could offer would give him, on average, another year.  Because he was only 2, Sam was not eligible for clinical trials.

Erin continued describing how their life had changed:

“So we began planning our escape. We would go everywhere, and do everything. We would manufacture joy at any cost; scrape the fun out of each moment because we knew they were limited. We would make Sam happy.  In order to execute a plan like that you have to run. You have to pack up your newborns and your very sick child, put a smile on your face and turn off the part of your brain screaming ‘SAVE HIM!’….and just run. So we did.  We took more than twenty trips around the United States.  We ran from our home and jobs in South Carolina, relocating with family and friends in Minnesota. We ran to museums, zoos, toy stores, beaches and parks. But we weren’t fast enough.

Near the end,  we knelt down before that beautiful child and pleaded with him to tell us what we could do to make him happy. His response, “I am happy.” He died the next day.

Sam survived two and a half years longer than expected which was mostly good times. The great question that lingered was why there wasn’t more done about childhood cancer. It is the leading cause of death among children; 1 in 5 will not survive 5 years and several forms of childhood cancer still have survival rates of less than 10%.

The 3 major reasons for this lack of progress are:

Lack of funding- these cancer’s are so rare as to offer no Return on Investment for drug makers-only 3 new drugs for childhood cancer have been approved in 30 years.

The first stage is discovery research which has little funding from the National Cancer Institute. The next stage is proof of concept research that does not have any incentives to take discovery research and replicate it. The last stage is clinical trial research which is complicated, time consuming and expensive and pharmaceutical companies don’t fund it.

With Purpose was started to get funding for this research and found that it was the kids who came up with fund raising ideas- one child raised over $10,000 on a youth fun run. Sam’s would be kindergarten class is working on a documentary about helping people inspired by Sam and With Purpose.

With Purpose helps by supporting advocacy efforts for discovery research and has found a non profit, biotech start up to do proof of concept research. They also work with legislative advocates to focus on providing incentives for clinical research.

Texas A&M has since started a chapter of With Purpose and the College of Charleston will soon start a chapter.

— Don Baus, Keyway Committee




Continue reading “Erin Benson: With Purpose”