Posted by Nancy Riedel on Jan 10, 2019
President Steve Stauffer opened the first meeting of the year by ringing the bell at 8:00.
Kevin Courtney offered the prayer and led the pledge to the flag.
There will be a board meeting next week, January 15 at Mangiamo's
Auction - we will have rack cards next week.  There were a lot of items turned in at the meeting.  Time on WTOC has been slotted 12 - 3.
Island Rec Center opened Monday January 7. They are holding an Open House on January 31 at lunch time and VLR can attend and see the new facility which is contributing to.
Social - John Farrenkopf announced that there will be an Oyster Roast at the home of member Otto Farrene on March 30.  Watch for more details on that.
There is a ground breaking event on January 19 in Bluffton and they have requested our popcorn wagon.  Need volunteers and someone to tow it.
Ivan Bennett reported that Rotary Reader starts this week
There is still time to register for the "All Club Conference" to get the early bird special price.  Deadline is January 15.
Sergeant at Arms Alicia Powell introduced visiting Rotarians and collected Happy $$.
Visiting Rotarians: Ray Erstein, Long Island; Ken Nykiel, Shaumberg IL.  Great to see both of these "regulars"
VLR member Alicia Powell was our speaker. She is the Director of Development at the Port Royal Sound Foundation.
The mission of the Foundation is to "advance the awareness of Port Royal Sound and its contributions to the environmental, cultural and economic well-being of our area, the region and the Atlantic Ocean. The Foundation runs the Maritime Center, which serves as a gateway through the doors of discovery."  Many in the club have visited the Maritime Center which opened November 1 2014 so are familiar with it.  Alicia told us about the current status as well as future plans for the Center.  They offer over 20 educational programs, have served 340 young boaters, show cased 120 artists, have over 20 exibits and live animals and operate with over 100 active volunteers.  Since it has opened they have had over 100,000 visitors and over 10,000 school children.
Since the initial donation of land by the Stewarts, the Center has purchased 105 acres, 10 of which will house the research campus.  A 5,000 pavillion is going to be built, the land purchased and construction going to start in the coming year.  The pavillion will be used for many different events and will be another source of revenue.  It will seat 340 people for dinner or 400 for classroom events, TED talks.  They have many prestigious speakers lined up.  In October they received a grant from the state and this past year have raised 1.5 million dollars.  They are currently soliciting major gifts. "Night on the Sound" is a popular event and has sold out the past four years.  The event which takes place in October is already half sold out.  
The Center is growing by leaps and bounds.  Alicia took questions.
Let her know if you would like a private tour.
You can learn more by visiting