A message from President Hal about Monday’s meeting at Agape.

We have had a lot of feedback from fellow club members voicing their thoughts and preferences about our meeting venue. In order to make sure that everybody understands the genesis and importance of this process, I am writing this summary for your information.

The subject of moving the club meeting venue has been discussed for a number of years by previous boards. During Robin Gorman’s presidency, a committee headed by Brad Warthen was formed to review and recommend whether to change venues. The board decided not to pursue a venue change but was successful in getting Seawells to upgrade their food offerings. In spite of that upgrade, we have continued to hear calls from members to consider another venue. In consultation with President-elect John and the board, we came up with a plan that we thought would be fair to all concerned. We are now coming to the end of that process.

We want to be very clear on this: the goal of this process is not to satisfy some people and alienate others when it comes to our meeting place. The goal is to keep the Columbia Rotary Club strong and relevant in its second century of existence. Our hope is that whatever the outcome, our club will be stronger and more engaged.

We encourage you to make every effort to attend the meeting at Agape on Monday (Columbia’s own Anne Matthews and first ever female vice-president of Rotary International will be our speaker). We are going to do our best to make it as much like a regular meeting as possible so that you can make an informed, objective vote. The final decision ultimately rests with the board, but we are not going to make a change unless there is a clear consensus. Please be assured that the 4-way test will guide our decision.

Finally, one bit of clarification on the parking at Agape. The parking instructions that John Johnston sent out this week (which I am re-attaching to this email) say that there is a charge for parking in the garage. There is not a charge for this meeting if you park on the 2nd floor or higher. The entrance to Agape is just across a courtyard from the garage elevator. If you have any questions at all or need any assistance, please do not hesitate to call John or myself.

Monday, April 7th: General Becker from Ft. Jackson

The Commanding General of Ft. Jacson, Brigadier General Bradley A. Becker, will speak to the club on Monday, April 7th at 1PM at Seawell’s.  Please make plans to attend and bring a guest.

Here is a list of upcoming programs for the spring:

April 14: Dr. Bryan Beyer; Columbia International University

April 21: Anne Matthews; VP Rotary International

April 28:  No Meeting because of the Golf Tournament

May 5: Steve MacDougall; Mayor of Lexington


A message from President Hal about the 3/31 meeting.

As John Johnston related in his email last week, our program on Monday will be a club discussion surrounding the possibility of moving our meetings to one of the other banquet venues we have visited this year.

To refresh your memory, I initiated a plan this year to take some ‘field trips’ to other facilities around the area to expose us to what was out there. I have heard from folks for several years that they would like our club to consider other sites and I felt the best way to pursue such a consideration was to visit a few and then have the club vote to stay at Seawell’s or go somewhere else.

The purpose of Monday’s meeting is to let you ask questions, make comments, or promote your own preferences. The board will listen and answer as many questions as we can. We will take all of this input under advisement as we decide how to proceed to a vote. The goal is to have a vote by no later than the end of May

If are unable to attend (or if you just want to get your two-cents in before the meeting), please feel free to email me your thoughts or questions so I can share with the rest of the board.  My email address is: hal@graceoutdoor.com

In addition to this club discussion, Neal Coyle will take a few minutes to educate us on our Columbia Scholars Program. This will help all of us understand a little better why we put so much time and effort into our Golf Tournament.

Hope to see you Monday:-)


Monday, March 31st

Due to a cancelation of a scheduled program President Hal and the board would like to use Monday’s meeting as an opportunity to address any questions regarding Venue Visits that have been made over the past few months.

President Hal will be sending out more information this weekend or early Monday morning.

Hope everyone has a fantastic weekend!  We’ll see you Monday at Rotary.