Sunset Vignettes
20 Years of Service, Fellowship & Fun

The Formation of the Sunset Club

On November 6, 1996, with the permission of the District Governor, and cooperation of the Hilton Head Island and Van Landingham Clubs, Ed Dowaschinski, Alan Coyne and others began the process of forming the Sunset Rotary Club.  After four months of Rotary documentation and oversight, Rotary International granted the new club its charter on March 20th, 1997.  The Sunset Club rounded out the options available to island Rotarians with a Monday dinner meeting choice to complement the Thursday lunch schedule of the Hilton Head Island, and the Tuesday morning timing of the Van Landingham club.  Three Charter Members of the original club (all officers at the time) are pictured below.  (Left to right: Morris Young (Sergeant-at-Arms), Ed Dowaschinski(President), and Alan Coyne (President-Elect) are still active in the "Sunset Club".
The founding members universally agreed that Community Service was the life blood of a new club. The motto "Service above Self" was adopted to reflect this value. Topics from initial speakers included Community in Schools, discussions on the Gullah Festival building plans for the Boys & Girls Club and learning more about the Paul Harris Fellow program, Paul Harris Society and the Rotary Foundation.

Charter Members

On a dual track over those four months, the seven founding members, mostly from other clubs, had to build up a club roster large enough to justify a Rotary Charter.  In those days Rotary emphasized and enforced member classifications to assure a broad base of talent and perspective within a club.  So these members aggressively targeted and successfully recruiting 20 more folks as Charter Members.  The classifications ranged from law enforcement, attorney, insurance, banking, writer/author and many more.  It is an example of club service that is worth remembering..   

Social Hour

Social "hour" is a feature of the Sunset club that makes it special.  Bill sporting his Crimson sweater is explaining just how bad the Tide will roll over the Tigers, while Bob "runs numbers", Isam and Toney guard the Hor' derves and Steve catches flies.  The snowbirds, Bill & Sue Weber and Ned & Rosalyn Lester, arrived that evening as well to help us through the winter.  David Lourance visited us as well from the Hollis-Brookline New Hampshire club to escape the presidential candidates.  Sorry David, you picked the wrong state. 

EMS vehicle for Congo

Internationally, our club has been quite active over the years. One of the more interesting projects our club undertook back in Rotary year 1999-2000, was the purchase of a used EMS vehicle and subsequent gift of the vehicle to the Dekembe Mutumbo Foundation for use in the Congo. The formal presentation to Mr. Mutumbo was made a social event our club held at the Hilton Resort (now the Omni Resort) in Palmetto Dunes attend my the Mutumbo family. We learned sometime later, the ambulance vehicle was used for a State Funeral of the President of the Congo and pictured on national news broadcasts.