September 2015


Author: Special to CH2

It’s a nice problem to have” said Brian Neumann, president of the VanLandingham Rotary (VLR) on Hilton Head Island. The “problem”? The VLR-Hilton Head Island club, one of the most generous clubs per capita among all of the 35,000+ Rotary clubs worldwide, has just completed funding a $100,000 pledge to help build a new Learning Center at the Museum of Hilton Head/Honey Horn and must now identify a new worthwhile project to fund with the $50,000 the club generates each year from its annual WTOC-televised auction in late February.

Past projects funded by the club have included: $150,000 to purchase the land for the Hilton Head-Batten Family Boys and Girls Club; $350,000 for the new Hilton Head Island Children’s Center; $75,000 for the Neighborhood Outreach Center (NOC) learning center in the Oaks; $100,000 for the state-of-the-art pediatric dental clinic at Volunteers in Medicine (VIM); and more. In total, VLR has funded in excess of $1,000,000 in local charitable projects over the past 20 years—quite a feat for a club with just 50-60 full-time members!
“We’re looking for a great project that will excite our membership and motivate them to make our next auction(s) even more successful,” Neumann explained. He says the club is looking for the following:

• A tangible “sticks and bricks” type project such as those mentioned above.
• A project primarily designed to help children.
• A project that will be physically located on Hilton Head Island and/or whose primary focus will be to benefit the Hilton Head Island community.
• A project sponsored by a respected, ethical, well-run non-profit—an organization with which VLR will be proud to partner.

Per Greg Wynn, a VLR past president and chair of the project selection committee, the project needs to be “substantial” and should have a lasting and important impact on the Hilton Head Island community. For such a project, Wynn says the club would be happy to devote all the proceeds of one or even numerous auctions, meaning a club commitment of $50,000 to as much as $250,000. “We also like leverage,” he added, meaning the club’s donation would preferably be a catalyst for others to contribute to a much larger fund. “This is what we did with the Boys and Girls Club, the Children’s Center, the VIM Dental Clinic and others. We would love to do it again.”

Wynn’s committee will be making its preliminary selection of project candidates by September 15. Committee members will vet promising projects between September 15 and October 15 and will select two to three finalists who will then present their projects to the entire club membership. Wynn expects the club to make its final selection by November 1. 

Interested? Contact Greg Wynn at (843) 686-4052 prior to September 10.

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