Columbia Rotary: Steve Wilmot with the RBC Heritage Golf Tournament will address the club on Monday, August 24, 2015.

13115184Bust out those plaid jackets!  The RBC Heritage will take place on Hilton Head Island April 11-17, 2016 and Steve Wilmot, Tournament Director, will tell us all about it on Monday, August 24th. Steve has been associated with the RBC Heritage for almost three decades and will conduct his 19th event when the RBC Heritage hits the famed Harbour Town Golf Links in April 2016.

Guests are welcomed and encouraged.  We like our speakers to have a full house!  Have a great weekend and we’ll see you Monday at Rotary!


Columbia Rotary: The (HILARIOUS) August 17th meeting featuring Glen Ward is now ONLINE!!

If you were unable to attend on Monday, you missed a fantastic and hilarious meeting!  Glen Ward had all of us laughing with his Strom Thurmond and Aaron Neville impersonations.  Fear not, you can make up the meeting online (or just watch it again for a few belly laughs).  Remember to email Debbie ( so she can adjust your attendance.

Columbia  Rotary: American Red Cross needs blood donations. 

Summer isn’t over yet and the American Red Cross still needs blood donations throughout August to help prevent an emergency blood shortage. Platelet donors and those with blood types AB, O negative, A negative and B negative are especially needed to #RestockTheShelves. To make an appointment, download the free Blood Donor App, visit or call 1-800-RED CROSS.

Columbia Rotary: Monday, August 17, 2015 will feature a presentation from our own Glen Ward.

GLENSNEWPICFellow Rotarian Glen Ward has a lighthearted and inspirational program for us on Monday, August 17, 2015.  If you’ve ever witnessed Glen’s impersonation of some famous American dignitaries, you know we are all in for a treat!  Guests are always welcomed and encouraged!

Glen Ward is a professional humorist and inspirational speaker. His engagements take him all across America addressing corporations; national, regional, and state associations; government agencies; chambers of commerce; schools; civic organizations; and churches.

His wholesome humor involves hilariously accurate impersonations of well-known political and musical celebrities. He also entertains his audiences with stories and life lessons learned from his experiences growing up in a minister’s home. His story of “Momma Powers” is a classic.   Please visit Glen’s website for more information.

Obituary for Ben Connell

c7c8b2fb-1f6b-4a2b-9b7f-43003b375b0bCOLUMBIA – A Memorial service for Ben J. Connell, 83, will be held at 3:00 p.m. Monday, August 10, 2015, at First Baptist Church, Boyce Chapel. The family will receive friends one hour prior to the service from 2 until 3:00 p.m. at the church. A private entombment will be held in Bush River Memorial Gardens Mausoleum. Dunbar Funeral Home, Devine Street Chapel, is assisting the family.

Mr. Connell died Wednesday, August 5, 2015. Born in Concord, N.C., he was a son of the late Homer Sykes Connell and Lucy Herrin Connell. Mr. Connell graduated from Appalachian State University with a BS in Mathematics and English; Southern Baptist Theological Seminary with a Master of Religious Education; and studied Religion and Philosophy at Samford University. He taught high school math and coached baseball in Winston-Salem, N.C. Mr. Connell served in Baptist churches, denominational agencies, associations and the Southern Baptist Convention. He served as the Director of the Brotherhood Department at the South Carolina Baptist Convention for over 20 years. He was a member and committee chairman in the Columbia Rotary Club; past member and soloist with Palmetto Mastersingers; past member of Culture Committee of the Memphis area Chamber of Commerce; past member and soloist with oratorio, opera and operetta societies in Charlotte, Winston-Salem, and Statesville, N.C. and Birmingham, Ala. Mr. Connell enjoyed music and loved traveling; visiting all 50 states, Mexico, Canada, Europe, the Middle East, Northwest Africa and Southeast Asia.

He was a loving husband, father and grandfather. Surviving are his wife of 58 years Shirley Kilbreth Connell; daughter, Stephanie Connell Cowherd and her husband, Jim of Clinton, Tenn.; and a grandson, Dylan Sykes Connell. He was predeceased by a son, Phillip Jerald Connell.

Memorials may be made to First Baptist Church, 1306 Hampton Street, Columbia, SC 29201.

Columbia Rotary: Steve Townes, CEO of Ranger Aerospace, will address the club on Monday, August 10, 2015.

townesairplane CROPPEDSteve Townes is the founder and CEO of Ranger Aerospace in Greenville. Townes is an engineering graduate of West Point, where he won the Eisenhower Award in 1975. He served in the 1st Ranger Battalion as a young officer.  Townes founded Ranger Aerospace in 1997, and since that time, the company has employed thousands of people in a successful series of Private Equity consolidation platforms. He is also the inaugural chairman for SC Aerospace – an industry cluster supported by the South Carolina Council on Competitiveness.  Join us on Monday, August 10th at Columbia Rotary where Steve will be speaking about what South Carolina can do to strengthen and grow the aerospace industry cluster.  Visit the web for more information on SC Aerospace.

Guests are always welcomed and encouraged.  Please visit us at Columbia Rotary!



Columbia Rotary: Chip Wile from Darlington Raceway will speak to the club on August 3, 2015.

UnknownPresident-Elect John has an exciting program lined up for us on Monday, August 3rd.  Chip Wile, President of Darlington Raceway, will address the club.  Whether you’re a NASCAR fan or you just appreciate the southern roots of stock car racing, you don’t want to miss this speaker.  Members are encouraged to bring a guest so we can fill up the room and give Mr. Wile a warm Columbia Rotary welcome!

For more information about Darlington Raceway including the history, traditions, current schedule and a great multimedia experience, please click here to visit The Lady in Black!