Fun Stuff, Tidbits & Blog

Sustainable Human Trafficking prevention in Southeast Georgia

Sustainable Human Trafficking prevention in Southeast Georgia

Our club is working with other local clubs to help with the enormous human trafficking problem in Southeast Georgia through a District Grant.

Human Trafficking is a district and statewide initiative of Rotary.

The objective of this project is to raise awareness, prevention education and training on Human trafficking prevention for local agencies and the general public. The grant intends to include area Rotary and other civic clubs, faith based and existing trafficking organizations.

We will hold a number of events featuring experts on Human Trafficking open to the public. We also hope to include events with local officials such as law enforcement, education providers and the medical community, as these folks are often the first point of contact with victims. We intend to record these events and use them throughout the years to continue to promote awareness of the dangers youth expose themselves to and to educate adults on steps they can take to protect the children.

We will be looking for club volunteers now to help develop and plan this project and later more of y’all to step up and help with the events.  Please contact xPrez Joe to be a part of this very important club endeavor.

At the District Conference we learned that the number 2 Sex Trafficking Event in this country is the Augusta Masters Golf Tournament!!!!

Meanwhile, watch this video from Susan Norris at Rescuing Hope to help you understand why this is so important and the partner we will tap:

 

 

 

 

Taps at Twilight 2022

Taps at Twilight 2022

We held Taps at Twilight 2022 on May 30th

It was a success with many folks returning after two years with Covid restrictions.

The tribute began with patriotic music from the Coastal Brass Choir. SSI Rotary President Joe Leek welcomed everyone. Local musician Michael Hulett sang the National Anthem. The color s were presented, and retired, by the Glynn Academy USMSJROTC. SSI Rotary members Dick James and Charles Lewis, both retired arms forces, presented the wreath, accompanied by bagpiper Scott Townley. Rev. Kenny Grant, Teaching Pastor at Community Church, gave the invocation. Susan Imhoff, TAPS Chairperson, presented the Coastal Brass Choir playing the Armed Forces Medley, during which members, current and retired, of the US Army, Navy, Coast Guard, Marines and Air Force, stood when their anthem was played. Jonathan Haney introduced Lt. Col. Steve Bolton, Hunter Army Ai r field Commander in Savannah, who gave an outstanding keynote speech. Leslie Mattingly led the singing of God Bless America. The ceremony ended with the traditional playing of ?Taps? by Ann Marie Stirewall.

Many thanks to Susan Imhoff and her committee for a successful evening.

The Gil Tharp Global Grant Scholarship

The Gil Tharp Global Grant Scholarship

The Gil Tharp Global Grant Scholarship

Notes from Hamsa Thota

  • Gil Tharp was a member of the St. Simons Rotary Club until his passing in 1994. He was a member when I joined the Club in 1978. If I remember correctly, he was a member of our Club from the late ’60s. He was a “song leader” until his health deteriorated. He was confined to home care. During Gil’s home health care, PDG Pat Donahoo assisted Gil in managing his finances and in the preparation of Gil’s will naming the Rotary Foundation Endowment Fund as one of the two beneficiaries. The second beneficiary was the St. Simons Rotary Scholarship Fund.
  • Gil was a photographer on Sea Island. Gil Tharp made the first official portrait of the Thota family in the early 80s. Our family considers him a friend and cherishes his memories. He was a kind man with a smile worth million dollars.
  • He was one of the founding members of the Jekyll Island Big Band and played in it until he couldn’t.
  • Upon Gil’s death, the Gil Tharp Endowed Global Grant Scholarship began with an initial gift value of $151,068.48 (on Sept. 30, 1994).
  • The current market value of the Gilbert R Tharp Endowment Scholarship is $ 295,370.44 (on Dec. 31, 2021).
  • During my service as the District Governor in 2017-18, our district awarded Gil Tharp Scholarship to James Ferencsik from Savannah. His mom was a member of the Savannah East Rotary Club. James’s scholarship amount was $30,000. The scholarship enabled James to obtain a Master of Science degree in International Security at Sciences Po, Paris, France. Currently, James works for the National Security Agency in the Washington DC area.
  • Cadet Caleb Gordon is from West Point Military Academy. He is born in Augusta, Georgia and his parents still live in the Augusta area. Caleb is the current recipient of the Gil Tharp Scholarship. The scholarship amount is $30,000. The scholarship is enabling Caleb to obtain a Master’s degree in Spirituality & Religion at the University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Amsterdam International Rotary Club serves as his host Rotary Club. Post-graduation, Caleb plans to apply the skills and knowledge obtained from his studies as the Chaplain of the US Army.

I tell Rotarians throughout our district that Gil Tharp’s legacy lives on and I am blessed to see his wishes come true-to provide international education opportunities for children born in the 61 Rotary communities in South and South Central Georgia.

Pictured is Caleb Gordon – Our current Gil Tharp Scholar Recipient

Cadet John “Caleb” Gordon from Augusta, Georgia, and a graduate of West Point Military Academy, has been awarded a Gil Thorp Scholarship –  to pursue a Master’s Degree in Spirituality & Religion at the University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands. (This involved a special arrangement with the U.S. Army to allow for this experience BEFORE Caleb begins his active military service to our Nation).

The Application,  submitted by the Rotary Club of Amsterdam-International and District 6920, has been approved by The Rotary Foundation.
The award is in the amount of US$ 30,000.00.  The generous gift of the Gilbert R. Tharp Endowed Scholarship is providing $30,0000 for this global grant.
The Gil Tharp Scholarship was created by the ST SIMONS ISLAND Rotary Club and has benefited countless students since its inception.

Please Join us in congratulating Caleb on this amazing accomplishment and exciting opportunity.

SSI Reading Rockets Videos Premier

SSI Reading Rockets Videos Premier

Members represented our club at the Reading Rockets Videos Premier and celebration. Professional film-maker Lance Lipman, produced 37 Reading Rockets Videos which were showcased at the event and that are a gift to Glynn County school children. This is also one of our literacy initiatives and is a District Grant we sponsor. The 160+ books were chosen in collaboration with The Brunswick Chapter of The Links, Inc. Linda Muir and Jim Foster head the club’s literacy committee.

The event was held in the Brunswick Library. Light refreshments were provided by our club and efficiently organized by Anna K Mansfield (who is TRULY AMAZING)

For a video of several of the books click HERE

Our GRSP Student – Giulianna Sanches Carlo

Our GRSP Student – Giulianna Sanches Carlo

We had a great year with our GRSP student Giulianna.  She is graduating from the College of Coastal Georgia and will be returning to Brazil.

Before she leaves, she will be joined by her mother and her twin sister for a family vacation.

GRSP student Giulianna Sanches reported back after being here from Brazil since August 2021. Started in Thomasville in 1946, Rotarians in GA have been offering scholar ships to international students for one year to learn the culture and take classes in local colleges. Giulianna has been attending classes at the College of Coastal Georgia ? in business, English, Spanish, data science and other fun things like yoga and walking! She also belongs to the college’s Rotaract club. She also tutored and was paid with ATTIC – the Academic Tutoring and Instruction Center of the college.

Giulianna’s host family were Mike and Susie Curtis ? She also had host families in Brunswick, and Camden. Her twin sister is also a GRSP student ? her host family is in Alpharetta.

Many social gatherings were cancelled on account of the pandemic but all the students were able to gather in SSI for an unofficial GRSP fun weekend. Giulianna experienced other activities such as gun range, golf, American football, kayaking and visits to the Aquarium, Jacksonville Zoo and UGA. She helped with a Map Pack at MAP Internationl. She visited Fernandina, Santa Rosa Beach, Savannah, Batter y Atlanta, Norris Lake in Tennessee and Athens GA.

Giulianna ended her presentation by thanking all members for her wonderful GRSP experience. She is now applying for a job! Either in USA or Brazil  in Chemical Engineering.  She has an interview soon with Coke!!!!

Giulianna, we will miss you!

Region Speech Contest Video

Region Speech Contest Video

St Simons Island Rotary hosted the regional Preston Johnson speech contest.

This is the next step for our kids as they progress toward the District Conference.

These kids are truly inspiring and it is worth your time to view the video!

Click here to watch the video.

L to R: Jan Horadan – District Chair for the speech contest, 1st place winner Griffin Lee, 2nd place winner Nathan Hayes, 3rd place winner Ali Murphy, Host Jim Kielt

Kudos to Jim Kielt and his crew for putting on this event!

SSI Rotary Participates in Serbia Global Grant

SSI Rotary Participates in Serbia Global Grant

This is an email from our latest sponsorship of a Global Grant.

Sarah O’Brien 

Regional Grant Officer 

Sam Kendal 

USAID Program Officer 

Dear Sarah,

Dear Sam,

Today we completed the budget and funding for 15 kindergartens project. All required information has been entered and the application is ready to move forward toward the approval by TRF, without USAID funding.

My request to Sam is to check if the USAID will support this project, like they did last year. If yes, it would secure more funds and would enable us to purchase ICT equipment for 6 more kindergartens (then we would be able to provide equipment for 21 kindergartens). If the response from USAID is negative, we request that Sarah proceeds with the approval procedure for this project as regular TRF Global grant.

Our International partners in this project are again PDG Hamsa Thota , D5920 USA and RC Fitzgerald as International sponsor club. As you know, they will be in Serbia in May 5-10 for a site visit. It would be really great if by that time we could get the approval and the funds transferred to our designated account. The mobile furniture and ICT equipment for kindergartens have already been reserved with the supplier, so the whole project could be implemented in a very short time following the approval.

Thank you both Sarah and Sam for all your efforts and support. We really appreciate it.

 

Looking forward to your response,

Sustainable Human Trafficking prevention in Southeast Georgia

Sustainable Human Trafficking prevention in Southeast Georgia

Our club is working with other local clubs to help with the enormous human trafficking problem in Southeast Georgia through a District Grant.

Human Trafficking is a district and statewide initiative of Rotary.

The objective of this project is to raise awareness, prevention education and training on Human trafficking prevention for local agencies and the general public. The grant intends to include area Rotary and other civic clubs, faith based and existing trafficking organizations.

We will hold a number of events featuring experts on Human Trafficking open to the public. We also hope to include events with local officials such as law enforcement, education providers and the medical community, as these folks are often the first point of contact with victims. We intend to record these events and use them throughout the years to continue to promote awareness of the dangers youth expose themselves to and to educate adults on steps they can take to protect the children.

We will be looking for club volunteers now to help develop and plan this project and later more of y’all to step up and help with the events.  Please contact xPrez Joe to be a part of this very important club endeavor.

At the District Conference we learned that the number 2 Sex Trafficking Event in this country is the Augusta Masters Golf Tournament!!!!

Meanwhile, watch this video from Susan Norris at Rescuing Hope to help you understand why this is so important and the partner we will tap:

 

 

 

 

Taps at Twilight 2022

Taps at Twilight 2022

We held Taps at Twilight 2022 on May 30th

It was a success with many folks returning after two years with Covid restrictions.

The tribute began with patriotic music from the Coastal Brass Choir. SSI Rotary President Joe Leek welcomed everyone. Local musician Michael Hulett sang the National Anthem. The color s were presented, and retired, by the Glynn Academy USMSJROTC. SSI Rotary members Dick James and Charles Lewis, both retired arms forces, presented the wreath, accompanied by bagpiper Scott Townley. Rev. Kenny Grant, Teaching Pastor at Community Church, gave the invocation. Susan Imhoff, TAPS Chairperson, presented the Coastal Brass Choir playing the Armed Forces Medley, during which members, current and retired, of the US Army, Navy, Coast Guard, Marines and Air Force, stood when their anthem was played. Jonathan Haney introduced Lt. Col. Steve Bolton, Hunter Army Ai r field Commander in Savannah, who gave an outstanding keynote speech. Leslie Mattingly led the singing of God Bless America. The ceremony ended with the traditional playing of ?Taps? by Ann Marie Stirewall.

Many thanks to Susan Imhoff and her committee for a successful evening.

The Gil Tharp Global Grant Scholarship

The Gil Tharp Global Grant Scholarship

The Gil Tharp Global Grant Scholarship

Notes from Hamsa Thota

  • Gil Tharp was a member of the St. Simons Rotary Club until his passing in 1994. He was a member when I joined the Club in 1978. If I remember correctly, he was a member of our Club from the late ’60s. He was a “song leader” until his health deteriorated. He was confined to home care. During Gil’s home health care, PDG Pat Donahoo assisted Gil in managing his finances and in the preparation of Gil’s will naming the Rotary Foundation Endowment Fund as one of the two beneficiaries. The second beneficiary was the St. Simons Rotary Scholarship Fund.
  • Gil was a photographer on Sea Island. Gil Tharp made the first official portrait of the Thota family in the early 80s. Our family considers him a friend and cherishes his memories. He was a kind man with a smile worth million dollars.
  • He was one of the founding members of the Jekyll Island Big Band and played in it until he couldn’t.
  • Upon Gil’s death, the Gil Tharp Endowed Global Grant Scholarship began with an initial gift value of $151,068.48 (on Sept. 30, 1994).
  • The current market value of the Gilbert R Tharp Endowment Scholarship is $ 295,370.44 (on Dec. 31, 2021).
  • During my service as the District Governor in 2017-18, our district awarded Gil Tharp Scholarship to James Ferencsik from Savannah. His mom was a member of the Savannah East Rotary Club. James’s scholarship amount was $30,000. The scholarship enabled James to obtain a Master of Science degree in International Security at Sciences Po, Paris, France. Currently, James works for the National Security Agency in the Washington DC area.
  • Cadet Caleb Gordon is from West Point Military Academy. He is born in Augusta, Georgia and his parents still live in the Augusta area. Caleb is the current recipient of the Gil Tharp Scholarship. The scholarship amount is $30,000. The scholarship is enabling Caleb to obtain a Master’s degree in Spirituality & Religion at the University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Amsterdam International Rotary Club serves as his host Rotary Club. Post-graduation, Caleb plans to apply the skills and knowledge obtained from his studies as the Chaplain of the US Army.

I tell Rotarians throughout our district that Gil Tharp’s legacy lives on and I am blessed to see his wishes come true-to provide international education opportunities for children born in the 61 Rotary communities in South and South Central Georgia.

Pictured is Caleb Gordon – Our current Gil Tharp Scholar Recipient

Cadet John “Caleb” Gordon from Augusta, Georgia, and a graduate of West Point Military Academy, has been awarded a Gil Thorp Scholarship –  to pursue a Master’s Degree in Spirituality & Religion at the University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands. (This involved a special arrangement with the U.S. Army to allow for this experience BEFORE Caleb begins his active military service to our Nation).

The Application,  submitted by the Rotary Club of Amsterdam-International and District 6920, has been approved by The Rotary Foundation.
The award is in the amount of US$ 30,000.00.  The generous gift of the Gilbert R. Tharp Endowed Scholarship is providing $30,0000 for this global grant.
The Gil Tharp Scholarship was created by the ST SIMONS ISLAND Rotary Club and has benefited countless students since its inception.

Please Join us in congratulating Caleb on this amazing accomplishment and exciting opportunity.

SSI Reading Rockets Videos Premier

SSI Reading Rockets Videos Premier

Members represented our club at the Reading Rockets Videos Premier and celebration. Professional film-maker Lance Lipman, produced 37 Reading Rockets Videos which were showcased at the event and that are a gift to Glynn County school children. This is also one of our literacy initiatives and is a District Grant we sponsor. The 160+ books were chosen in collaboration with The Brunswick Chapter of The Links, Inc. Linda Muir and Jim Foster head the club’s literacy committee.

The event was held in the Brunswick Library. Light refreshments were provided by our club and efficiently organized by Anna K Mansfield (who is TRULY AMAZING)

For a video of several of the books click HERE

Our GRSP Student – Giulianna Sanches Carlo

Our GRSP Student – Giulianna Sanches Carlo

We had a great year with our GRSP student Giulianna.  She is graduating from the College of Coastal Georgia and will be returning to Brazil.

Before she leaves, she will be joined by her mother and her twin sister for a family vacation.

GRSP student Giulianna Sanches reported back after being here from Brazil since August 2021. Started in Thomasville in 1946, Rotarians in GA have been offering scholar ships to international students for one year to learn the culture and take classes in local colleges. Giulianna has been attending classes at the College of Coastal Georgia ? in business, English, Spanish, data science and other fun things like yoga and walking! She also belongs to the college’s Rotaract club. She also tutored and was paid with ATTIC – the Academic Tutoring and Instruction Center of the college.

Giulianna’s host family were Mike and Susie Curtis ? She also had host families in Brunswick, and Camden. Her twin sister is also a GRSP student ? her host family is in Alpharetta.

Many social gatherings were cancelled on account of the pandemic but all the students were able to gather in SSI for an unofficial GRSP fun weekend. Giulianna experienced other activities such as gun range, golf, American football, kayaking and visits to the Aquarium, Jacksonville Zoo and UGA. She helped with a Map Pack at MAP Internationl. She visited Fernandina, Santa Rosa Beach, Savannah, Batter y Atlanta, Norris Lake in Tennessee and Athens GA.

Giulianna ended her presentation by thanking all members for her wonderful GRSP experience. She is now applying for a job! Either in USA or Brazil  in Chemical Engineering.  She has an interview soon with Coke!!!!

Giulianna, we will miss you!

Region Speech Contest Video

Region Speech Contest Video

St Simons Island Rotary hosted the regional Preston Johnson speech contest.

This is the next step for our kids as they progress toward the District Conference.

These kids are truly inspiring and it is worth your time to view the video!

Click here to watch the video.

L to R: Jan Horadan – District Chair for the speech contest, 1st place winner Griffin Lee, 2nd place winner Nathan Hayes, 3rd place winner Ali Murphy, Host Jim Kielt

Kudos to Jim Kielt and his crew for putting on this event!

SSI Rotary Participates in Serbia Global Grant

SSI Rotary Participates in Serbia Global Grant

This is an email from our latest sponsorship of a Global Grant.

Sarah O’Brien 

Regional Grant Officer 

Sam Kendal 

USAID Program Officer 

Dear Sarah,

Dear Sam,

Today we completed the budget and funding for 15 kindergartens project. All required information has been entered and the application is ready to move forward toward the approval by TRF, without USAID funding.

My request to Sam is to check if the USAID will support this project, like they did last year. If yes, it would secure more funds and would enable us to purchase ICT equipment for 6 more kindergartens (then we would be able to provide equipment for 21 kindergartens). If the response from USAID is negative, we request that Sarah proceeds with the approval procedure for this project as regular TRF Global grant.

Our International partners in this project are again PDG Hamsa Thota , D5920 USA and RC Fitzgerald as International sponsor club. As you know, they will be in Serbia in May 5-10 for a site visit. It would be really great if by that time we could get the approval and the funds transferred to our designated account. The mobile furniture and ICT equipment for kindergartens have already been reserved with the supplier, so the whole project could be implemented in a very short time following the approval.

Thank you both Sarah and Sam for all your efforts and support. We really appreciate it.

 

Looking forward to your response,