Washington Evening Rotary Club

Published 6:20 pm Saturday, September 5, 2015

WASHINGTON EVENING ROTARY Loretta Ebison and James Gaynor

Loretta Ebison and James Gaynor

Washington Evening Rotary Club met Thursday night at the Washington Yacht and Country Club in the upper deck overlooking Broad Creek. President David McLaughlin welcomed members and guests and opened the meeting with the Pledge of Allegiance and a blessing for the upcoming meal. Bartow Houston led in the singing of America The Beautiful. Following the meal, program chairman James Gaynor introduced the speaker, Loretta Ebison, who is the executive director and founder of Higher-Heights Human Services. Ebison began her talk with an emotional and heartfelt story of her life. She told the club members how she was raised by a single mother, who had a drinking problem and was physically abusive to her. She went on to say that as a young girl she never received hugs or kisses and no one told her that they loved her either. Before she was 16 years old, she had stopped attending school, and was searching for the love and affection that she did not get at home. Instead of love and affection she found herself pregnant. She went on to explain that a teacher saw her potential and encouraged her to pursue an education, which lead to a nursing degree and a couple of master degrees. After completing a successful nursing career she was led to “give back” to the community. The desire to give back eventually lead to the founding of Higher-Heights Human Services, an organization that works exclusively with teenage pregnant girls, with the aim of having the girls complete their education and avoiding second pregnancies so they, in turn, can give back to the community. Higher-Heights is a 501(c) 3 non-profit organization that is active in all of the schools in Beaufort County. Following Ebison’s presentation she was presented with a highly coveted Rotary pen, and a well deserved round of applause.

The meeting concluded with the Rotarians saying the Four Way Test of the things we think, say and do.

Following the meeting, at a special called meeting of the board of directors, it was unanimously agreed to make a donation to Higher-Heights to help support the work of the organization in Beaufort County.