Football Parking Update

Thursday, August 28th (Thursday) is the first Gamecocks Football Game. Kickoff is set for 6 p.m. Volunteers for staffing the event are needed from 2 p.m. until 11 p.m. in 3 hour shifts. Please contact Charline Mayo at her office at 738-8362, or cell at 206-1891. Charline’s email is  The parking lot at Palmetto Citizens Credit Union will open for parking at 2 p.m.

Gamecocks Football Schedule

The complete 2014 Gamecocks Football schedule can be found here.

Rotary International Conference Sydney Australia June 2016

Forest Acres Rotary’s new Foundation Chair, Tom Harmon, attended and is now back in Columbia. He will speak about his experiences at a future meeting.


Forest Acres Festival Saturday May 14th 2016

All members are asked to participate in this huge annual event that attracts up to 5,000 people.

Contact George Shissias for details (h) 803 960-6048 (c) 803 787-5065


Football Parking 2016

Palmetto Citizens Credit Union has signed a contract with our club to manage its stadium branch parking lot in 2014. The fee for 2014 season will be $330 – a 10% increase from 2013.


Rotary Club of Forest Acres Business Card

Forest Acres Business Card


Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA)

Forest Acres Rotary Club is sponsoring two high school students for summer training in leadership.


Volunteers at Harvest Hope Food Bank –  Rotary Has Heart 02-04-14 (Valentines Day)

Forest Acres & Spring Valley Rotary Clubs jointly attended the Districts “Rotary has Heart” program at Harvest Hope Food Bank on Valentine’s day. We staffed a production line filling boxes with food.


5th Wednesday Halloween at Tombo’s Grill Nov 28th 2013

IMG_0126 IMG_0127 IMG_0128 IMG_0129 IMG_0130 IMG_0131 IMG_0132 IMG_0134 IMG_0136


Meeting between Rotary DG Lou Mello & Lions 11-18-13

After the Lions Vision Screening at our 11-20-13 meeting, Lirarian Mary Louis Resch arranged a meeting between District 7770 Governor Lou Mello & Lions Executives in Summerville.  The objective was to discuss cooperation between the two service clubs on the Lions Vision Screening Program. It was agreed in principle that 7770 Rotary Clubs would assist Lions by providing staffing assistance when the mobile unit was in the locality. Lions will provide a schedule of locations so that local Rotary Clubs can participate. A joint proclamation of cooperation between Rotary & Lions was announced in 1997.

Lions – Rotary Proclamation


Football Parking pictures 

Tailgating Tailgating1 Tailgating - bar & food Tailgating - passers-by1 Tailgating - passers-by2 Tailgating - passers-by4 Tailgating - passers-by cheerleaders Tailgating - TV The chick magnet The chick magnet is working The ugly Americans Why Peter takes his dog to the Rotary parking project1 Why Peter takes his dog to the Rotary parking project2


Football Parking Report 11-16-13 (Florida)

Nice long day, good weather.  Tom Harmon and I met Hal Peacock at noon for a lesson in putting the new tent up and taking it down.  It is sturdy, just a few inches longer than the older one so it has to be angled to fit in the box.  It works best if everything else is out, especially the cones, and the tent placed inside.  Then the cones and other items can be placed around it.  This worked fine when we took it down after the game started and finished up around midnight.  There is a laminated sheet of instructions for erecting and taking down the tent in the box.  Mary Louise, if you wish we can set up a tent lesson with you at your convenience.  Hal also helped with number placement on the curves.

Great team help for the game: In addition to Tom and Hal, Alison Lockhart and David Soper, Debbie and Steve Hamm, and Scott Elliott were there, and Becky Dixon cleaned up Sunday morning.  Many thanks to them for their cheerful, helpful service.

Scott brought a plastic box to hold the numbers and some small items, making it possible to keep them in order.  Numbers 12, 13, and 34 were missing.  (There is no space for 42, that’s where the porta-potties reside).

We squeezed in four cars in the dumpster spaces.  It was tight on the turn, but there were no dents!  When I mentioned that the $30. charge was all donated to various local organizations that helped those in need, two said “keep the change” from the $40. offered. So we received a total of $140.

Even though someone was constantly in the driveway at the entrance to the lot, two of my folding chairs mysteriously disappeared from under the tent, presumably stolen.  Did one perpetrator deliberately distract us to allow the theft?  Something else to be aware of.

My policy has been to allow the peanut vendors one pass through the lot; I’ve had no complaints about their solicitation.  They usually ask politely for permission.

The torch is passed to Mary Louise.=

Ernest McCutcheon 11-17-13


Football Parking Report 11-02-13 (Mississippi)

John Yarbrough & Amy Cain were on duty at 8am. There was a Corvette parked in space #15.  John called Peter who arranged for it to be towed by City Garage.  John took pictures of some existing damage to the underside which was revealed when the tow truck raised it.  Debbie was unavailable because husband Steve had been taken into hospital & kept overnight – he has had tests & is ok though there is no detail.  Peter arrived at 10.30am without his dog (had a naughty fit & ran away but returned home after 30 minutes truancy).  Beth arrived at 11am by which time the car park was filling rapidly.  We attempted to put up the tent which had broken supports & was in serious distress. It was pronounced dead by Dr John & buried without ceremony in the dumpster. After John & Amy left, Zel arrived so we had plenty of help. Beth left at 3pm & Zel at 4pm then Peter grazed various tailgating parties until 5pm.  There were nine unfilled spaces – it was intended to sell them after half time but without success. However we did sell three spaces near the dumpster at the entrance for a total of $100.

Go Gamecocks!

Peter Chesney


Lions Vision Screening  – check presentation on WLTX TV Channel  19 Evening News 5.10 pm & 7 pm Thursday Oct 10th

Mary Louise Resch from Forest Acres Rotary Club made a TV interview showing the Lions Mobile Health Screening Unit in action with 250 attendees on the day. President Peter Chesney made a $1,000 check presentation to Lions Club for purchase of a SPOT machine that enables elementary school children to be screened for vision defects that may not be apparent & inhibit learning at an early age.

South Carolina Lions Clubs, in conjunction with support of SC Lions Charitable Services provide no cost vision, hearing and other health screening services to approximately 8,395 children in SC  schools annually.  However, due to the limited technology currently available, vision testing conducted on children below the age of 8 years old (3rd Grade) has a high inaccuracy rate.  Therefore, approximately 110,620 children in SC schools may  not receive adequate vision screening at an early level (Grades K-2), causing learning issues that may go undiagnosed for a number of years, particularly among low and moderate income families.

This project will allow the purchase of  six (6) of the SPOT Vision Screening Technology that can be used to provide vision screening for individuals as young as six months.  Use of this equipment for use in SC schools will provide access to an additional 12,291 children for earlier screening (Grades K – 2),  earlier identification of potential vision problems, provision of additional eye exams and glasses for families without the resources to provide them, and improved school performance due to remediation of vision problems.

Pilot testing of this technology, including the most recent pilot conducted with 31 preschool and special needs students in Abbeville, demonstrated ease of use and minimal training time for volunteers using the equipment.  What was more astonishing was that 16% of those screened were referred for additional vision testing and/or eyeglasses.  This reinforces the need to begin vision screening at an early age, before vision problems become learning disabilities.  This project will help to provide early intervention and remediation of vision problems in young school aged children.

The cost of each unit is approximately $6,500 per unit for a cost of $39,000 plus shipping and peripherals for a total of $42,000 for the project.  Local Lions Clubs have already collected $2,274 towards this effort that is still in its infancy stage.  Our goal is to assist these clubs in raising, through corporate, foundation and civic group support, approximately $21,000 of these costs which will be then applied for a matching grant from Lions Clubs International for the remaining $21,000 in project costs.

Forest Acres Rotary joined this initiative with a grant of $1,000 to the SCLF.  Forest Acres Rotary will be invited to the roll-out of the machines in the Columbia area and, if interested, train members of the club on how to operate this equipment so they can volunteer with us at local community events.

Keep the Midlands Beautiful – Speaker Wednesday Oct 9th

The guest speaker at the October 9, 2013 meeting of the Rotary Club of Forest Acres meeting was Jacqueline Buck, Executive Director of Keep the Midlands Beautiful. Keep the Midlands Beautiful was established in 1989 and serves Richland and Lexington counties. The organization seeks to promote litter prevention, recycling and beautification programs throughout the Midlands. Over 9,200 volunteers were involved in helping to keep our communities more beautiful this year. Our speaker talked about Adopt-A-Highway programs which pick up trash quarterly, Adopt-A-Waterway programs which pick up trash twice a year, volunteer opportunities for every age group.  There are many opportunities to recycle here in the Midlands, for day to day business operations, home and events. Most of the funding for the organization comes from private and corporate donations.

Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar Rachael Despres sends a message about her first experiences in London UK

I am extremely excited to have finally arrived here in London. So far, I’ve had a traditional pub dinner with Yorkshire pudding, seen Trafalgar square and the National Gallery, ridden in double decker buses, and taken a boat tour down the Thames. My classes begin in full next week, and I have already had the pleasure of meeting with my host Rotary club here in the U.K., Enfield Chase, who gave me a very warm welcome!

I have copied Chris Clark from the Enfield Chase club on this email, as Enfield wanted to get in touch with Forest Acres directly!

I don’t think I did bring enough warm clothes, honestly – I’ve already had my mom send me a package with extra jackets!

My blog for experiences and pictures of life in London are here: Rachel

Rachel Despres

Football Parking

Notes on football parking Saturday Oct 5th Mary Louise Resch (lead Rotarian), Peter Chesney & his dog, Amy Cain, Zel Gilbert, Tom Cranmer, John Hudgens (Gamecocks vs Kentucky)

Forest Acres Rotary was asked by Palmetto Citizens Credit Union to manage its car park during the State Fair (Oct 9th – 20th). Spring Valley Rotary arranged for its USC Rotaract Club to staff the Fair (80 members) and received parking training by FARC at the Kentucky game. The day went well – Patrons were establishing tents at 1.30pm when Mary Louise arrived so reinforces the need to be there early. Tailgating was almost finishing when John Hudgens & Peter Chesney left at 11.10pm. George Shissias did Sunday clean-up.


Notes on football parking Saturday Sept 21st – Keith Shealy, Armando Colombo, Stewart Harvin, Zel Gilbert & Laura Griese (SC State vs. Benedict)

Game time 4 pm. In anticipation of a busy day we hired a police officer from 1 pm – 5 pm for $160. Price was set at $25. Rotarians were on duty from 11 am. By 2 pm there was one customer so the price was lowered at 3.30 pm to $10 and was full by 3.45 pm. No toilets were provided (normally $175) so a profit of about $400.

Notes on football parking for Saturday Sept 14th – Ernest McCutcheon

Spaces #17, #34 & #40 were sold for the rest of the season. One customer arrived to find she had the wrong space – this was corrected. Other parking for a car by the dumpster & a motorcycle on the grass totaled $95. Total receipts $495 cash/checks + $200 to be invoiced. Spoke to Sheriff’s Deputies at the facility across the street (Cocks Corner). They stated they are present to keep the peace, and if we have a problem we can ask them to help. The charge for their presence is $35-45/hr, minimum 3 hrs.


1. Additions to the list of items recommended for Rotarians on duty – Sun Screen, gloves, trash bag, ant spray and mosquito repellent.

2. The need for vigilance of those entering and leaving is constant, and one person cannot monitor the situation adequately.  A car slipped in as the game started and parked in a client’s space (#2).  When they returned and found the space occupied they were understandably concerned. This occurrence is a reminder of the need for one person to patrol the sites periodically to check for the presence of the pass with the second person continuing to monitor the entrance. Any car or pedestrian stating they are there for the ATM needs to be watched to be sure that is what they are doing.  Several incidents of students wandering through and asking for food occurred and caused concern.  There seem to be many more students passing by than I have observed in previous years, related to the “Memorial Lot”, a gathering spot around the railroad just past us.

3. Need to investigate a car towing service.

4. Certain phone numbers for contacts on the parking diagram are incorrect. Parking numbers are in poor condition & need to be replaced. Recommend hiring a deputy for the game on Saturday 21st.

5. Recommended duty schedule for a game:- Arrive 8 hours prior to set up, leave 3 hours afterwards.  For example. for a 7 PM game, set up about 11 AM, leave 3 hours after the game or Midnight (as specified in the contract).

6. Pricing – Gamecocks website quotes parking for $40 in Gamecock Park and Fairgrounds. Fairgrounds then advertised on Saturday radio that spaces were $30. The website also recommends taking down tents prior to kickoff as storms can come up on short notice, as happened at the UNC game and tents were blown about and damaged cars.

 Rotary District Conference Friday Sept 13th

This was attended by Peter, Keith, Ernest & Tom Harmon. There were three main training sessions – District Grants, Membership & Foundation. Much was learned and Peter will make a brief report at the next meeting.

Board Meetings June 25th & Sept 4th

Agenda & minutes posted under “Members Only” tab

New member Tom Harmon Transferred into Forest Acres Rotary Club

Tom Harmon is originally from the Amish country of Pennsylvania.   After graduation from Penn State with a bachelors degree in Business, he went with a private organization to live and work for eight years in South Korea. He met his wife to-be Lois in Korea and married there. Before leaving Korea, a son was born. He transferred back to Dallas, Texas with the Army and Air Force Exchange Service (Army and Air Force PX’s). He retired after 31 years with the same organization, as Senior Vice President, Human Resources.  Along the way, he had two more children and now has eight grandchildren.  He also picked up an MBA in Marketing from the University of Dallas in 1974.  His wife went on to become a retired second grade school teacher, after graduation from Wheaton College in Illinois. After living in the Dallas, Texas area for almost 40 years, they moved to Columbia in 2013 to be near children and grandchildren.

Tom was asked by a friend to join Rotary in 1999.  He was looking for some way to leverage his interest in doing service work. This turned out to be an almost perfect solution to “pay back” in some way during his retirement years. He has 14 years of perfect attendance.  He is also a Paul Harris Fellow, a member of the Paul Harris Society, a sustaining member, a Major Donor,and a member of the Bequest Society. He has been the President of the Rotary Club of Duncanville, Texas, along with serving in many other leadership positions.  During his Rotary career, he has been able to make a trip to three countries in Africa to survey the need for water, a “polio” trip to India and five trips to Mexico to deliver wheelchairs.  During his last seven years in Rotary District 5810 (the Dallas, Texas area), he was honored to serve as the district wheelchair representative, raising money to purchase wheelchairs for people who need them all over the world.

Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar Rachel Despres leaving for London UK in September.

Rachel Despres was born and raised in Columbia, South Carolina, and attended the University of South Carolina Honors College for her undergraduate degrees. She majored in Spanish and International Studies, and minored in Business Administration and Chinese Studies. She heard about the Rotary District scholarship opportunity through USC’s Office of Fellowships and Scholarships, which actively works to keep students informed about grant opportunities. The OFSP helped with the application process as well as making connection with Forest Acres Rotary club as a host club.

The competition process included District level interviews in Charleston, South Carolina. She was one of sixteen candidates interviewing individually with a panel of judges.

Her program’s area of interest is peace and conflict prevention/resolution, specifically, through pursuing a Master’s Degree in International Relations from King’s College in London. She hopes to gain a deeper understanding of political systems and cultures which is a necessary requisite for anyone interested in navigating the waters of global conflict. In the future, she plans a career in the field of law, with the ultimate goal of resolving conflict through advocacy work with an intergovernmental or international organization, such as the United Nations.

Cultural exchange on a person-to-person basis is an important way to prevent conflict between people groups. To this end, the service component of her year will involve establishing an electronic PenPal program between an elementary school in London and an elementary school in Columbia, South Carolina. This will encourage children to engage with other cultures and perspectives, thereby instilling global awareness from a young age.

She plans to experience as much of the United Kingdom as possible. In order to share and document these experiences, she will be publishing a blog with consistent updates on her life in London, educational progress and work as a Rotary Ambassador. She can be reached at

Note that the Forest Acres Rotary Website will be expanded to include a blog page in future

 Happy Feet at Payless Shoe Store 08-04-13

Milton Wright liaised with Mrs McClinton of Hyde Park elementary and Miss Johnson of Forest Height elementary to provide a list of 125 recipients of shoes for school. We had a very successful outcome with a 119 children served (the most to date). Everyone was satisfied with their selection and the operation of the event. The cost of the event was very conducive for the numbers served ($2,222.24). We averaged approximately $18 per child with the final tally. The no-tax weekend plus additional discounts applied gave a boost to our ability to keep the cost better than expected. Pictured are happy children with their shoes.

Members in attendance:

Milton Wright, Armando Colombo & daughter, George Bumgardner, Amy Cain, Libby Church, Peter Chesney.

Mrs McClinton and Miss Johnson with their team of helpers from Hyde Park & Forest Height Elementary.

(Click on a gallery image to view in full!)

Midland Biz article on Transition of Rotary Club & International Officers July 1st

Speakers & Events
  • April 18th (Wednesday) Guillermo Espinosa – Clean air issues for the Midlands
  • April 25th (Wednesday) Natalie Britt Palmetto Conservation Foundation (Palmetto Trail)
  • May 2nd (Wednesday) Rod Funderburk CART Fund
  • May 4th (Friday) Rotary Meeting at Columbia Fireflies Baseball Ground –  Spirit Communications Stadium (downtown Columbia). Meet 6pm for 7pm game opener. Cost $9 entry + $5 for hot dog, chips & soda. Book in advance by April 30th using form circulated to members. Other Rotary Clubs will participate.
Contact Us

Sandy Olson
2017-18 Club President

Interested in Becoming a Member?
Please Contact:

George Shissias
Chair, Membership
(803) 787-5065

Club Address:
Post Office Box 6402
Columbia, SC 29260-6402

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