President Lynn King welcomed all to a very well attended meeting at Palmera Inn and Suites as well as on Zoom.
The prayer and pledge to the flag was offered and led by Kevin Courtney.
We received a lot of thanks from the organizations which were served at ROCS (Rotarians Offering Community Service) which was held on Saturday March 6.  VLR members participated in bagging oyster shells as well as working at Memory Matters.  Here are a few scenes of the oyster shell bagging at Honey Horn.  .
photo credits Beth Kuzmick
We will be doing another High School clean up soon - there is an area that really needs it - so watch for more information to sign up.
USCB really wants us to come back and we will probably be go back there starting the new Rotary year.  We will stay at Palmera Inn until then since they have done a great job hosting us.
We got a CARES grant for $23,000 as a result of Treasurer John Farrenkopf applying through the state of South Carolina.  It must be used for COVID health related projects.  The Rec Center has had to spend $5,000 a month extra for sanitizing because of COVID and Greg Wynn, in talking to them was able to arrange that we can use this grant money to help them.  This will also be applied to our commitment to the Center which is at about $100,000.  We will plan to have a remote meeting at the Rec Center and present them with a check in the near future.  
Membership - any member who might know someone who might be interested in knowing more about Rotary, please invite them to a meeting.  We have had three new members inducted since January and all three participated in ROCS.  Great job!!!  Keep the momentum going!
Jacob Hunt is currently on baby watch.
photo credit Lynn King
Sonny Huntly recognized Dick Storm, Paul Harris Society member, by presenting him with a Paul Harris +4 pin.  Paul Harris Society members have pledged to support the Rotary Foundation with $1,000 a year for as long as they are able. Plus four indicates that Dick has contributed for the fourth year in a row.    Thank you Dick for your commitment to our charity, the Rotary Foundation, congratulations!
Suzi Oliver, Sergeant at Arms collected Happy $$ and introduced visitors and guests.
We had three speakers this morning presenting information about Real Champions.
photo credits Lynn King
They were : Dr. Carl Martin, Executive Director; Ned McNair - Chairman of the board and co founder; Richardo Perry, Program Director.  Real Champions exists to eliminate the circle of generational poverty in South Carolina by providing paid, full time professional mentors and volunteer supports for highly vulnerable children starting in kindergarten through high school graduation.  They shared that the poverty rate in America hasn't changed in 56 years, the graduation rate has gotten worse since the 1970s, and the inequity gap is getting worse.  Children need "soft skills" to be successful and full time mentors can offer this. 
photo credit Lynn King
The pilot was started in Jasper County with other counties wanting them to come to their counties too.  They are working on perfecting the program before expanding.  Qualifications for mentors are that they are in their 20s or 30s with experience to relate to children and with stability to the area (since it goes from kindergarten to high school graduation and the same mentor stays with the child).  They emphasized the need for financial support.  One child can be supported for one year for $6,000.  $50,000 is the cost for an advocate mentor.  When you provide some support as an individual or organization you can change a child's life.  You can learn more about the organization at:  .