Our speaker Wednesday, September 20th was Ms. Catherine Kennedy from Columbia Green. Columbia Green is a non-profit in the Midlands that does exactly what its name implies. They make Columbia Green by planting flowers, giving out grants for tree planting, giving out grants for neighborhood planting, etc. Ms. Kennedy currently serves on Columbia Green’s board as the President. She spoke to us Wednesday morning about all the wonderful things this organization is doing and how they are raising money to continue to do these amazing things. We were honored to have Ms. Kennedy speak to us.
On Wednesday, September 20th, Lola Gantt a 5th grader from Dutch Fork Elementary was recognized for being the Rotary Club of Lake Murray-Irmo Student of the Month. She was present with her family, as well as, her principal Mr. Julius Scott. She is committed to social action that leads to improvement at our school and local community. This young lady is well on her way to great things! Thank you to Sonic of Ballentine for sponsoring our student-of-the-month program.
On Saturday, September 16th we cleaned up Susie Ebert Island. We had 9 Dutch Fork Interact Club and 11 Rotarians in attendance for the clean. We collected 16 bags of trash! Afterwards, everyone went back to Joel Collins house and had a pizza party. Thanks to everyone who came out and helped make this event successful!
On Wednesday, August 30th we had a non-Rotarian Paul Harris presentation. Stacey Atkinson recognized her friend and colleague Lauren Wilkie. Lauren is a servant to her community. Here is a little about her:
Lauren Wilkie is a Licensed Independent Masters Social Worker who specializes in community and organizational change through program development and evaluation. She is a community educator in poverty and homelessness and supervises case managers and interns on how to give direct services to clients. Lauren has been directing and developing programs for non-profits in Columbia, SC since 2006. Currently, she is the Program Director at Transitions, where she oversees program development and data evaluation for a 260-bed facility as well as a 240-bed facility in the Winter the Inclement Weather Center. She has helped hundreds of people into permanent housing and has in the last year has developed programs specialized for youth in transition, seniors, emergency assistance, mobile housing outreach and financial stability. In addition to her work at Transitions, Lauren volunteers with several different philanthropic and community organizations. She is the current Chair of Women in Philanthropy and serves as a member of Young Leaders Society and Campaign Committee with the United Way of the Midlands. Lauren was a 2016 top ten recipient for the Capital Young Professional Award by Columbia Metropolitan for 2017 where it was shared that “everywhere that Lauren has worked has benefited from her effort, creativity and drive. She is one of Columbia’s experts on social work, and her knowledge and determination make the Midlands a better community.”
The Rotary Club of Lake Murray-Irmo is glad to have been able to present the Paul Harris award to Lauren Wilkie.
You’re Invited- As a member of a local Rotary club, you get a chance to become more involved in your community and to provide aid to other parts of the world through the opportunities that your Rotary club and Rotary International offer. Longtime Rotarians agree that involvement is the key to getting the most out of membership. Regular attendance is essential to a strong and active Rotary Club. Rotarians participate in weekly meetings and community projects, and enjoy the fellowship of community leaders striving for common interests. We meet every Wednesday morning at 7:30 AM for an informal breakfast and interesting speaker and fellowship at Seven Oaks Park, 200 Leisure Lane, Columbia, SC 29210, please consider joining us to find out more about the Rotary Club of Lake Murray-Irmo.
The Rotary Club of Lake Murray-Irmo proudly sponsors the GOLD Team at Nursery Road Elementary School. The GOLD Team (Goal Oriented Leadership Development) is comprised of 20 students (10 from 4th grade and 10 from 5th). The Team focuses on preparing students to become leaders both inside and outside of their school. Among other aspects of the program the team focuses on mentoring academic support and service to others. The students set goals every 9 weeks which may relate to academic, behavioral or personal achievements. We always look forward to our annual GOLD Team Christmas Program. This year they entertained us with songs and musical instruments and then surprised us by turning the tables and teaching US to play the instruments. Needless to say they did a much better job than we did. Thank you GOLD Team for bringing joy and fun to our weekly meeting.
The Lake Murray-Irmo Rotary Club was excited to host the Director of Riverbanks Zoo and Botanical Gardens Satch Krantz at our meeting on November 11, 2015. Satch has been the director of the zoo and gardens since 1976. With his vision and perserverance he has taken a local zoo to new heights as a top 10 zoo in the United States, the largest tourist attraction in South Carolina and the largest zoo in the southeastern United States. Not only does the zoo and botanical gardens host 1 million visitors yearly but it does so with a rating of 73% economic self sufficiency. This facility acts as a huge economic driver for our local community and is currently finishing up a 40 million dollar expansion including new parking lots, pedestrian bridges, new enclosures for sea lions and grizzly bears, and a new interactive children’s park called Waterfall Junction. Thank you Satch for being there for our community and us!