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Minutarian Week 39: March 27, 2023

Wow, I have never been so happy to be your District Governor. On Saturday March 25 we had a full day of Rotary which started with 100 RYLARians and over 25 Rotary leaders who were there to act as mentors and facilitators. Thank you, Lt. General Rick Tryon from the Rotary Club of Ponte Vedra Beach for serving as the warm-up act for keynote speaker Jade Gordon. Most importantly, the leadership of Lieutenant Governor and District RYLA Chair Michael Bruce modeled leadership for the RYLArians present.

Concurrently, 100 Rotarians from across the district came out for District Grant Training led by incoming District Foundation Chair and Past District Governor Rich Turnbull, District Trainer Marie Turnbull and incoming District Grants Chair Carolyn Mudgette. This was our first time doing hands-on grant training and I am sure that all participants left with a better understanding of how to put together a successful grant for both the upcoming year and in the future.

We ended the day with a food packing event where we packed 101,760 meals to help those with food insecurity in Northeast Florida. We believe this is a record for Northeast Florida. Most importantly, we all owe a debt of gratitude to our host for the day, Beachside HS and its awesome principal, Greg Bergamasco, from the Rotary Club of Hastings. Greg and his staff did an unbelievable job. It should be noted that Greg was not there to observe but was an active participant in the food packing.

As Rotarians stood side by side with our youth leaders, we packed for Meals of Hope and, in the end, these meals were distributed directly in our communities through Feeding Northeast Florida.

Youth Protection is something that the district and Rotary International take very seriously. For years, our Youth Protection Officer has been Karen Weiss from the Rotary Club of Deland. Karen recently retired from her job as a practicing psychologist and faculty member at Stetson University. Karen would like very much to pass on this district leadership role to another Rotarian who is interested in youth across the district. The right person is likely someone in the Education, Family Law, Psychology or Social Work vocations. This role is critical for the future of youth programs in the district, so we need your help to identify the right person. If you know of a Rotarian (or yourself) that you think might be a fit for this role, please contact me, District Governor-Elect John Tabor or Karen.

Each year, Rotarians across the district are asked to nominate outstanding Rotarians who personify the characteristics of Al Watson and Brent Williams. The nominations must come from a current club president; however, we encourage clubs to have discussions about worthy Rotarians. It is likely that worthy candidates will more closely resemble one but not both of these amazing Rotarians. Questions about the nomination process and the nomination forms can be found on the Rotary District 6970 website or directed to DGN Mickey Ulmer. Completed nominations must be submitted no later than April 19, 2023.

FirstCoast News reporter Jessica Clark was honored as a Paul Harris Fellow on International Women’s Day by the Rotary Club of St. Augustine Sunrise. Jessica has covered St. Johns County and St. Augustine longer than any other television reporter! Have you ever thought about recognizing someone in your community for outstanding service with a Paul Harris Fellowship?

This year’s representative to our District from RI President Jennifer Jones is Shirley Grace, who is Past President of the Rotary Club of Fresno, CA and Past District Governor of District 5230. Shirley has served her District as Foundation Chair, a member of the Council on Legislation and served as Zone 25-26 Institute Chair in 2017-2018. She’s an avid cyclist and has raised over $400,000 for End Polio Now over the last 7 years. A recipient of the Regional Service Award for a Polio-Free World and The Rotary Foundation Meritorious Service Award, Shirley and her husband Dick are Major Donors and Bequest Society Members. Shirley travels throughout the US to inspire Rotarians as a keynote speaker and continues to find fulfillment and peace through Rotary and Community Service.

Have you talked to members of your club about attending the District Training Assembly and Conference? What a great opportunity to attend part or all of the weekend with members of your club. We are open and want you to sign up. We promise that this will be an exciting weekend of fun, fellowship, amazing speakers and stories of doing Good in the World. Together we can IMAGINE Rotary.

The Satellite Club of Oceanside Bingo Fundraiser for Mission House is to assist people affected by homelessness and help them to get off the streets and back to productive and self-sufficient lives.  April 24, Culhane’s Irish Pub, 967 Atlantic Beach, FL from 6:00 to 8:00 PM. $20 prepay for 2 bingo tickets and 2 drink tickets and great prizes for winners.  Cash or check at the door.  Please register: Questions contact Mary Stutts.

The Rotary Club of Jacksonville Oceanside Putt’N Frog Race Social Event to have fun and bring new people to Rotary!  April 18, Adventure Landing, 1944 Beach Blvd, Jacksonville Beach, FL from 5:00 to 8:00 PM. $15 prepay for 1 adult for food, 2 drink tickets and golf.  Children 12 and under $10.  Frogs for sale too!  Great prizes.  Please register: Questions contact Mary Stutts.

Each year at the conclusion of the District Conference we celebrate the lives of Rotarians who passed away during the Rotary year. If a member of your club passed away this year, please send the name of the Rotarian, your club’s name and a photo to District Governor Nominee Designate Dale Moe as Dale will be putting the presentation together

Pictures of the Week

Your District Governor team is planning the remainder of the Rotary year and transition to 2023/24. It sure is coming fast.

RYLA Chair Michael Bruce and his team making final plans for RYLA Act 1.

Our RYLArians had a great day of learning about leadership.

A major part of the day involved breakout sessions with Rotaract mentors.

Rotarians were hard at work listening about how to complete a successful district grant.

Over 250 Interactors, RYLArians, Rotaractors and Rotarians were hard at work throughout the afternoon, packing 101,760 meals.

Interactors from throughout the district were involved in all phases of the food pack.

RYLA mentors and Rotary club presidents alike actively participated.

Meals of Hope modifies their meal packages to typify the American diet, so you will note that fortified macaroni and cheese is a centerpiece.

What a great way to combine Rotary fellowship and community service for all ages.

A quick moment with Empowering Girls chair Megan Madrid Kinhofer from the Rotaract Club of Downtown Jacksonville.

District Governor Nominee Designate Dale Moe never realized that his logistics training in the US Navy would prove to be so valuable as he wrapped palettes before loading them on the truck.