October 21, 2007

"Rotary Programs are Magical"

October 16th, 2007: District Governor Mary Martin began her address to our club with a heartfelt thank you for allowing her to join us. She smiled with pride as she shared the fact she has 23 clubs left to address out of 73 total. Her theme reflects the Rotary International President's theme: "Rotary Shares". We "share our time, energy, resources, money, and love with our community and other people around the world with people we've never met." DG Martin then related an anecdote from the Darlington Rotary Assistant Governor that emphasized how important our "Shares" outreach is to those we don't know. When the Assistant Governor was growing up in Hartsville, the paper product used for his schoolbook covers had the Rotary 4 Way Test printed on the back. He memorized it and never forgot it even though he didn't know what Rotary was at the time.

Ms. Martin then challenged us to read the President's message each month in the Rotarian magazine in order to provide guidance on our strategic direction. She further stated that Rotary Programs are Magical. They're magical because we strive to be:

- Accepting and welcoming ~ no matter where you move, there's a Rotary Family.
- Helping and giving ~ we financially support surgical procedures that allow children to live normal lives among their peers;
- Outreaching and empathetic ~ we help provide clean drinking water to villages that had none before;
- Focused and persistent ~ there's four more countries with polio…Polio Plus is dedicated to eradication of the disease.

After a request to read the District Newsletter and provide feedback [via email], Ms Martin emphasized our District membership is down and challenged us to invite good people, "even those nice Yankees that move in down the street," to enjoy Rotary fellowship and the opportunity to serve our community. She marked the goal of 5000 total members by the end of the year.

With great pride, our District Governor complimented our District, 7770, for being number one in the world in Foundation giving. "Korea is number two, just two thousand dollars behind, and the incoming President [from Korea] represents a club in which every member has given at least ten thousand dollars. Ms. Martin emphasized the Foundation returns more than it receives:

- $446,000 budget this year for educational and humanitarian efforts;
- Not one penny spent on salaries;
- 8 Ambassadorial Scholarships ($26,000 each);
- 4 Cultural Scholarships ($12,000 each);
- $80,000 in District simplified grants (there's still money left);
- $80,000 in matching grants;
- $50,000 in water purification efforts; and
- $20,000 for Polio Plus.

After inviting everyone to the next District conference in Myrtle Beach Ms. Martin said we have 1 President, 530 District Governors, 32,000 Rotary Clubs, and 1.2 million members: "look at your club times 32,000; let's hope the sun never sets on a Rotary project."

Reported by Bill Crowe, Keyway Committee

October 12, 2007

Birds of Prey- Wings of the Eagle

October 9th, 2007: The club experienced a very special program today as speaker, JIM ELLIOTT, of The International Center for Birds of Prey brought us news of the progress at their new location. Just 10 minutes from Mt. Pleasant, their donated site of 152 acres is as beautiful as it is productive.

Birds help us to understand the overall health of the ecosystem health of our environment. Just as birds were the first predictors of the dangers of DDT in 1967, the must recent findings on the West Nile Virus have come from studying birds. Birds at the center, mostly birds of prey are injured in many ways include gunshot wounds and contact with high power lines. Each bird has a story and that story is share with children in schools as a part of the educational program of the center. In fact, their lectures go as far away as presentations in Central Park in New York City.

Nationally, the greatest danger to birds has been due to oil spills. No such spill has ever happened in the Carolinas but since our Atlantic Ocean area is a major incubator of sea and bird life, such a spill here would be devastation. The center, while hoping not to use it is equipped to help birds who may be exposed to a spill.

The Bald Eagle has made an amazing comeback with over 200 eagle pairs in our state. The birds mate for life and live a very long life [up to 49 years have been recorded in captivity]. As a special treat Jim brought us a five year old eagle who preened and spread his wings for us. Eagles are full grown in 9 weeks and totally ready to fly at 16. Their speed of growth surpasses all other living creatures.

The Birds of Prey Center's mission is to identify and address vital environmental issues by providing medical care to injured birds of prey and through educational, research and conservation initiatives. If you wish to help, call 928-3494.

Reported by Fred Sales, Keyway Committee

October 5, 2007

Andrea Wozniak- Health Care in South Carolina

October 2nd, 2007 : Our club got a chance to hear Andrea Wozniak, CEO of East Cooper Regional Medical Center, on her thoughts regarding health care in our state and in our country. She has been in the health care industry in some capacity, beginning her career as a nurse, for the last 40 years. She spoke frankly about her industry and the problems that she and other hospital CEO's face.

First, there was no doubt, that she supports and wants reform in the health care industry. She strongly believes that we will all see that become a big issue during the 2008 campaign. The State of South Carolina currently has 721,000 people that do not have insurance, 160,000 of those are children. All hospitals are obligated to treat emergencies regardless of the patient's insurance status. The costs associated with treating the un-insured do, to some extent, get shifted to folks that are insured, thus continuing to drive health care costs up for everyone. What is the answer? Government mandated health care is something a few of the leading candidates have suggested. But Wozniak was quick to point out that in the few states that offer such a thing, suddenly doctors and hospitals are no longer excepting new patients. So, you may have insurance, but you can't get in to see a doctor.

One suggestion she made to all of us is to fully understand our health care coverage. All plans are very complicated these days, so much so, that even she had difficulty getting though her own mother's plan. Ask questions, make sure you understand what your plans cover, and what your deductible is if something should happen. Many young people today who are getting plans with a high deductible to keep their monthly premiums down, are suddenly facing huge bills when something un-planned occurs.

The message is simple: Our health care is the most expensive care in the entire world and far from the best. More importantly, there are no easy answers or solutions. Educate yourself, fully understand your health insurance policy and pay attention to the 2008 campaign and what kind of reform the candidates are offering. And vote!

Submitted by Darby Hand, Keyway Committee