May 29, 2006

Piccolo Spoleto

May 23, 2006: Amy Riley introduced Ellen Dressler-Moryl, who was the first Director of Cultural Affairs of the City of Charleston. She shared information about the upcoming events, especially the Piccolo Spoleto Festival. Piccolo Spoleto was established to give access to local citizens who could not afford or would not otherwise attend Spoleto Events. Since its inception in 1977, Piccolo Spoleto has grown to 700 events and has a budget of $1.1 million. While its budget is less than the Spoleto's budget of $7 million, it provides a real impact on citizens in the local area. Even with the much smaller budget, Piccolo Spoleto accounts for almost half or $31 million of the $67 million economic impact from the Spoleto each year.

Piccolo Spoleto's events range from free puppet shows to concerts by the Charleston Symphony Orchestra with admission fees. It serves a broad rang of individuals and diverse groups in the community. Most importantly, it provides opportunities for local artists to participate and develops a "love of the arts" with the residents.

A very important part of Piccolo Spoleto is the Charleston Symphony Orchestra. David Stahl, Director of CSO, shared many of the things the CSO does year round, not just during Spoleto, in its vital role of promotion of the arts in Charleston. According to David, "Art is at the heart of any great city." With that being said, we are very fortunate to have the Charleston Symphony Orchestra as one of the best of its type which contributes immeasurable to art and our great city.

We also heard from Scott who recently became the Resident Conductor. He related his last experience in front of a Rotary group when he received a Rotary Scholarship to a summer art program which helped fuel his enthusiasm for the arts. Of the 240 services each year, CSO does 15% to 20% devoted to education and David is heavily involved. The community-oriented events range from Kinder Concerts for children under the age of 5 to Platinum Concerts given at senior citizens' homes.

Recently, CSO has been making great progress in solidifying their financial position and hopes soon to provide more support to the musicians. David said "he very much wanted to be able to pay musicians more than $18,000 a year." The group was very heartened by the progress that CSO is making and very grateful for their contribution to the cultural life of our city. David thanked the members of Rotary for their active support of the organization in many ways, not just financially.

Contributed by Wayne Outlaw, Keyway Committee

May 19, 2006

Hospice of Charleston--It's About How You Live

May 16, 2006: Today, the Club learned more about an important resource in our community: Hospice of Charleston. Hospice of Charleston is a nonprofit organization which provides care for those diagnosed with terminal illnesses. The new Hospice of Charleston facility, which officially opens next month, is located on Wando Park Boulevard in Mount Pleasant. The 20-bed facility serves patients and their families from all over the Lowcountry and enables the patient to focus on living their life as best they can and not focus on dying. To quote our speaker and fellow Rotarian, Executive Director Kit Cosgrove, "It's not about how you die, but how you live." This beautiful new facility embodies this principal in its design, including outdoor living spaces, wide hallways for relaxing outside patient rooms, and patient services including massage and nutritional counseling.

Hospice of Charleston was started in 1978 by a grassroots initiative of local doctors, nurses, clergy and social workers involved in providing care and counseling to patients who were terminally ill. Through the years, legislation enabled hospice to be funded by Medicare, and eventually to be provided on an inpatient basis. Hospice of Charleston underwent a $3 million capital campaign in 2000 and by 2002 was awarded its Certificate of Need for a new inpatient facility which was completed this year. Hospice of Charleston offers six programs of care including home care for those patients not quite ready for hospice, as well as a KidsPath program for children and teenagers coping with illness or loss. Hospice of Charleston's Bereavement program offers support for family and friends following the death of a loved one. They also sponsor grief counseling and support groups for anyone in the community who has experienced the death of a loved one.

We are proud of Kit's work with Hospice of Charleston, and the organization boasts many Past Presidents who are members of our Club. What a wonderful resource we have in our community and a beautiful facility of which we can be proud knowing it will bring comfort and dignity to those spending their last hours there.

For more information, please visit

Submitted by Amy Riley, Keyway Committee

May 12, 2006


May 9, 2006: Today, the club recognized our 2006 Rotary Scholars who represent the best and brightest students from 18 Charleston county high schools. This cross section of academically distinguished student-leaders included class officers, yearbook editors, National Merit scholars, National Merit Scholarship finalists, student government leaders, varsity athletes and hours and hours of volunteer work at churches and non-profit organizations throughout our community. Each student was accompanied by a representative(s) from their individual schools along with their parents and other family members. Many school board were also present to honor the recipients.

Undoubtedly, these talented students will go on to distinguish themselves at colleges and universities across the nation. Those colleges and universities include: Georgetown University, The College of Charleston, Brown University, Dartmouth, Vassar, The Citadel, Clemson, The University of South Carolina, Davidson, Wake Forest University, Swathmore. Trident Technical College and Furman.

This year one student was selected as Rotary Scholar of the Year and to receive a monetary award in the amount of $3,000.00. Two runners-up were also named each receiving an award amounting to $1,250.00 . This year's winner was Erica Charlana Russell and the runners up were Rachel Elizabeth Campbell and Shemequa Lavette Pringle.

The list of these impressive scholars is as follows:

Carley McCall Anderson, Wando High School
Travis Michael Bowker, Trident Academy
Kenneth Alan Butler, Garrett Academy
Rachel Elizabeth Campbell, First Baptist Church School
Hau Chan, West Ashley High School
Janeigh Leann Cooper, R.B. Stall High School
Christopher K. Fulghum, James Island Christian School
Catherine Pierce Haar, Ashley Hall
Benjamin Scott Hamner, Academic Magnet
Helen Virginia Harley, Porter-Gaud School
Ellen Nancy Heath, Bishop England High School
Sabrena Latasha Heyward, St. John’s High School
Rosa Emily Jenkins, Charleston Collegiate
Sheila Janay Jenkins, Lincoln High School
Christopher Ryan McGuiness, James Island Charter High School
Frances Johanna Morris, Charleston County School of the Arts
Shemequa Lavette Pringle, North Charleston High School
Erica Charlanda Russell, Baptist Hill High School

We congratulate all the Rotary scholars and send them our best wishes for success in whatever their chosen careers.

Submitted by Helen Reynolds, Keyway Committee

May 4, 2006


May 2, 2006: Today The Rev. Dr. Jimmy S. Gallant, III, member of City Council, Chaplain to the Charleston Police, and ordained member of the Episcopal Diocese, told us how he came to be the founder of G.E.M. Inc. After 16 years on a national crusade to address the problem of gang violence he came to realize that the problem is universal not just something relative to Charleston. He found himself time and again serving as the minister at funerals of young people who had died violent deaths, and who had no church home from which to be buried. As he sought to heal the wounds he sought a vision to provide healing.

From this vision the midnight basketball league was born. It was not really about basketball, but about something that young people would like. Yet many fine athletes evolved form this program and it was the young people who pegged his movement as "GEM" - Gallant's Evangelistic Ministries. The young people with whom he worked were totally involved in a very small world: home, school, and a few afterschool activities. Many had never in their lifetime been to the nearby Atlantic Ocean beaches. Thus, a trip to the Isle of Palms was a major event.

Dr. Gallant and his colleagues began to take the young people on trips, some local and some more distant. Every weekend they did something, year around. Sometimes the activity was to a nice restaurant where the young people learned about plates, forks and etiquette. An underlying theme has been to teach against violence, and counsel those who observe violent happenings. Included in the Gallant group are a dozen policemen and state troopers, both white and black.

The greatest killer of young people today is suicide, followed by death by shooting, and though not fatal, next in occurrence in their desperate lives is rape.

The young people being served by G.E.M. are not just from the east side. They come from all over Charleston. It is best to find those who are to profit from this association when they are about 8 years old. Anyone wishing to help can come to Calvary Episcopal Church on any weekend, or call 864-3636.

Reported by Fred Sales, Keyway Committee