Rotary Club of Brandon: A Tradition of Making A Difference
Club Executives & Directors
Vice President/President Elect
Immediate Past President
Sergeant at Arms
Brandon Rotary Charity Fund
Take care of your employees, and they will take care of you. That was the overriding message from the Rotary Club of Brandon's weekly guest speaker, Robin Orosz this past week. It was a great message from the employment attorney with the law firm of Florin Roebig P.A.  She explained that Employment Law is complicated because it is a combination of both Federal and State law. It can be very expensive because all states have a fee provision meaning an individual can have a small monetary settlement, but potentially pay out huge attorney fees to the prevailing party.  She advised to always be aware of any issues that arise and get the advice of an attorney because knowledge is power. Robin also advised to take prompt and remedial action in any discrimination situation and advised against trying to solve FLMA or Discrimination complaints on your own.
Along with Robin, the club was privileged to have District 6890's District Governor Elect, Winnie Marvel who came to meet with our own President Elect, Dave Brown to make sure he is ready to carry the baton beginning in July. We all know Dave is going to have an awesome year! DGE Winnie is a member of the Downtown Rotary Club , a graduate of Plant High School and is a longtime resident of Tampa. The club wishes her the best of success as she embarks on this huge leadership responsibility.
Sergeant At Arms Fred Schwabe took a ton of Happy Dollars, highlighted by Larry Fassett explaining why he had a muzzle on his leg instead of his mouth, a complete breakdown of old school vs new school using Cade Rivard as his example of how to take care of the elders in the club, and at some point we thought Larry channelled his inner Fred Schwabe and the infamous Kentucky Derby story. Roger finally broke in to give the club some huge news - David Sigler was donating $10,000 towards the Rotary Event Center!! Way to go, Dave, and THANK YOU so much for your generosity and leadership! John Sellers had a happy $5.00 for the Clemson win and also in honor of Roger who made it possible for his son to secure tickets to the game.  Finally, Jeff Campbell had two happy dollars- first his son just got engaged and second, they just had their second grandchild.
The club got an update on the Rotary Event Center from Roger who said the work day went well, and the small group accomplished all they needed to get done. He was appreciative for the Rotarians that showed up. Painting will be next on the agenda for the service project. Dave West has already donated all the paint.
President Chuck announced that the District is accepting applications for S4TL . Applicants need to be a high school junior going into their senior year next year. Golf Tournament Chairman Troy Dimsdale gave an update on the upcoming Thursday, January 19th Golf Tourney at Buckhorn saying that we have 14 plus teams confirmed. Need more players and need hole sponsors.
Joe Campoamor gave the club an update on Wild Game dinner where he announced that we have already had $32K in presales.  Less than 50 VIP tickets are remaining, so all there is left to do is Sell! Sell! Sell! Sell!
The meeting ended much how it began with Larry Fassett the center of attention. Larry had the winning ticket of the 50/50 drawing, but Larry ended up pulling the two of diamonds and left with nothing for his troubles. The pot grows to over $360 for next week's potential winner.
The Rotary Club of Brandon kicked off the 2017 calendar year with a very prestigious guest speaker that has had a tremendous impact in our community for decades. Dr. Earl Lennard, former superintendent of Hillsborough County Public Schools from 1988 - 2005 among other community leadership roles, visited to speak with Rotarians about the current climate in both the United States and Florida with regards to the education system.
Fred Schwabe kicked things off in rare comedic form. The holidays definitely served him well as he had time to recharge and bring "the funny" back!
There was a lot to be happy for to begin the year. Justin Northcutt had 3 Happy Dollars- 1. Oldest Daughter is a delight and doing well in school, 2. Youngest daughter Bailey is doing well and recovering well from her surgery, and 3. He and his wife Kendall are expecting their third child! Now that's a lot to be happy about!
Ryan Burley gave a happy dollar celebration the birth of their first child, a son- Clark Burley, born December 26th, Rudy Liddell gave a happy dollar celebrating the marriage of his son, Mike Edenfield was happy the FL Gators won, Steve Moran was appreciative of Roger and Kimberly hosting an awesome tailgate party., Roger was thankful it was his 21st year in a row going to the Outback bowl, and he was thankful for John Sellers donating another $2k for the Rotary Event Center, and Sheila gave a happy $20.00 for a wonderful holiday and her son in law being saved. Now if that's not enough to kick off your New Year, then there's just nothing gonna make you happy!
The club celebrates a bunch of birthdays this month, and Wayne Strohaker, David Sigler, Clyde Eisenberg and Derrell Curry were all in attendance for the club's infamous Happy B-Day song.
Pat & Lee Elam celebrate their 33rd wedding anniversary this month, and JJ Massaro and Larry Fassett celebrate club anniversaries this month
There was a lot going on, but the real treat was our first guest speaker of 2017, Dr Earl Lennard. Lee Elam had the honor of introducing Dr. Lennard as the former supervisor of Department of Education and also a former Rotarian of our Club.  Dr. Lennard spoke about how times have changed dramatically in the last 20 years, and because of mobility there is no longer stability in neighborhood school attendance. Most children attend several different neighborhood schools throughout their school years. Graduation rates are better because students are realizing that a high school diploma is needed to be competitive in the work force.
He felt the school year is too short for our students to remain competitive globally. His recommendation was increasing the days from 200 and then eventually to 220 days per year. School should be a full time job for our teaching staff instead of just 10 months out of the year.
Overall, it was insightful and heartening at the same time.
This week's program will be led by Labor Law Attorney, Robin M. Orosz, Esquire from Florin Roebig, P.A. 
Big reminder to keep selling Wild Game Dinner tickets, golf sponsorships and foursomes and get the community involved in our awesome fundraisers!
The Rotary Club of Brandon Rotarians gathered this past weekend to celebrate the upcoming holidays at Dr. Craig Oldham's house. There was lots of holiday cheer, plenty of food and drinks and stories galore as over 50 plus showed up to enjoy the evening. For the club, it was a great opportunity to gather and share another holiday season to remember after an extremely successful 2016. It was fantastic to see so many spouses attend the event showing once again why the Rotary Club of Brandon is more than just a club, it's family!
Rotarians from the Rotary Club of Brandon came together to celebrate Thanksgiving at The Loft Event Center this week in true Rotary spirit. Over 50 Rotarians, friends and family members gathered to give thanks for all of their blessings, shared some great fellowship and feasted on an awesome Thanksgiving meal. The Rotary Club of Brandon wishes everyone a safe and Happy Thanksgiving, especially those serving and protecting all of us! This time of year the Rotary's Four-Way Test and motto of Service above Self is never more evident. The phenomenal leaders of this club continue to make a difference and impact so many families and children that rely so heavily on organizations like Rotary to be there for them in times of need. It is amazing to be a part of not just an organization, but a worldwide movement that starts at home in our own community.
The Rotary Club was represented this past Monday evening at the District 6890 Annual Rotary Foundation Gala. This year the Foundation's 100 year anniversary was the hot topic of the evening with Rotarians from all over the state attending to celebrate the great work that the Foundation has done over the years throughout the world. Debbie and Mike Meegan, Melanie and Alan Feldman, Barbara and Fred Schwabe and Chequita and Chuck Burgess all attended the event to represent the club.
The club was also recognized for its 100 percent club giving to the Rotary Foundation for the 2015-16 Rotary year. It was also announced that the Rotary Club of Brandon is the 8th largest donor club to the Rotary Foundation in the entire district with over $303,000 donated over the years. It was a fantastic event with hundreds of Rotarians gathering at the T Pepin Hospitality Centre. Along with some club awards, several individuals were recognized throughout the district for their Paul Harris contributions.
Way to go Rotary Club of Brandon!!

The Rotary Club of Brandon had another awesome weekly meeting to kick off November as Jason Jackman from the University of South Florida's Center for Urban Transportation Research visited and engaged the entire club in an interactive game of "what do you know about transportation". 

Sergeant at Arms Fred Schwabe kicked off the meeting by announcing to the club that he was flying with a wounded wing as he injured his rotator cuff washing dishes and will be undergoing another procedure. Jeff Reynolds, never at a loss for words, suggested we should address him as the Sargeant at ARM. 

Fred led the club into our weekly Happy Dollars segment of our program, and boy did we have some great ones!
Joe Campoamor gave a happy $20.00 as he and Beth just found out they are going to be first time grandparents! Papa Campoamor was beaming the entire meeting. It was the happiest we have ever seen Joe for losing $20!
Mike Hayes was happy just to be here as he received a lot of phone calls in the last couple of weeks as he shares the same first and last name as the individual involved in the local road rage incident. 
Justin was happy to announce they were leaving to take Bailey to Chicago for her last surgery. It has been a long road for the Northcutt family, and the entire club wished them well! B Lee Elam was happy to be alive after being involved in a car accident with his brother while on a visit to North Carolina. This will probably be the last time Lee gives up control of the car!
The Club wished Vince Ferraro, Joe Campoamor, Felix Velazquez, Bland Eng and Justin Northcutt a very Happy Birthday. Everyone but Bland Eng was present for the rousing but slightly off off key rendition of Happy Birthday led by Jeff Reynolds.

Alan Feldman was present and was recognized for 29 years with the same woman, Melanie, which the Club recognized as a miracle to Alan and great community service work from Melanie! Kelly & Tommy Odiorne celebrated their Silver Anniversary this month which is probably apropos to how many gray hairs Tommy has given to Kelly over the years!

B Lee Elam and Michael Hayes were present to celebrate their Club Anniversaries. The Club gave a big "Way to GO" to Lee for celebrating his 41st year of being a Rotarian!
After all of the formalities, the club was engaged in an great presentation from Jason Jackman – Research Assistant with USF’s Center for Urban Transportation Research which is comprised of 40 FT Faculty Researchers and 60 Student Intern. Jason works on projects that focus on safety for pedestrians, bicyclists and drivers. He gave a wonderful interactive presentation composed of surveying the club on their knowledge of transportation safety for pedestrians and bicyclists.
  • One of their initiatives is the WalkWise Tampa Bay program which is a grassroots initiative that provides innovative pedestrian safety education to citizens. Pedestrian safety is an issue that affects everyone.     
  • Jason also provided green light reflective back pack bags for the club. 

Overall, it was a fantastic meeting with many Rotarians completely engaged throughout! The Seafood Fest is next on tap for the club, and Mike Edenfield and John Dwyer will have the pressure of preparing food for about 90 plus Rotarians on their hands. Should be fun!

Lobster for days, more crab legs than a Boston marathon, a trough-full of shrimp and just for some fun, a few steak filets were all on tap at this year's Rotary Club of Brandon Seafood Fest. This year's event was again held at Rotary's Camp Florida, and over 90 plus Rotarians, spouses and friends joined in the fun. Thanks to the hard work and all day cooking of Mike Edenfield on the seaside of things and John Dwyer for the land lovers, the event AND food were simply outstanding!
The Camp was packed both inside and out as Rotarians told stories, consumed some adult beverages and dug in with both hands cracking open lobster claws and crab legs for hours. Corn on the cob, cole slaw and Derrell Curry's famous salad all showcased themselves alongside the oceanic smorgasbord. Led by event chairs David Sigler and Cade Rivard, the event had a great turnout and some of the best food we've had in quite awhile.
"It was the best food we've had at this event that I can remember," said a guest that has been coming for years. "The shrimp were HUGE!" The sentiment was shared by all as no one wanted to leave. From little Pappsters (Chris Papp's little ones)  and mini-Myers to the next generation of Dwyers and Dimsdales to an entire gaggle of Oldhams, it was literally wall to wall Rotarians and their families enjoying the evening.
A huge thank you to all those that showed up early to help set up, cook, serve and clean up! 
For the over 50 plus Rotarians and their families that attended last week's Fall Fireside Chat for the Rotary Club of Brandon, it was more than just getting together because the event was on the schedule. The evening, hosted at Rotary's Camp Florida, was an opportunity to celebrate family, friends and the community by coming together for an evening of fellowship, fun and philanthropy. Rotarians attended with their spouses and families, enjoyed some amazing steaks prepared by Event Chair, John Dwyer, got to spend time with Rotarians and listen to stories about good times of old.
Sergeant at Arms, Fred Schwabe, got the show started by getting everyone to introduce their significant other and lead us into news from Jeff Reynolds about the progress of the Rotary Event Center. President Chuck then discussed the importance of EVERY Rotarian playing a part in the success of this legacy-making opportunity moving forward.
The Club had several members that made the evening possible from Derrell Curry's infamous salad prep team to John Dwyer's amazing set up and cooking team to our volunteer-led clean up team. Awesome event!!
What do you get when you get a bunch of Rotarians with shotguns and clay pigeons flying all over the place together? A lot of money raised for local charities and a whole bunch of fun! The 2016 Rotary Club of Brandon's Bustin' Clays Sporting Clay Shoot at Fish Hawk Sporting Clays on Saturday, September 24th was a tremendous success as the club raised over $8,000 for causes throughout the Greater Brandon area.
With the morning safety tips and pleasantries out of the way, ear and eye protection firmly in place and shotguns loaded, it was all business for the shooters and their teams. One by one each took a turn knocking down the orange discs hurling from angles and directions only a trained eye could follow. The thunderous bellow of each shot was only matched by the mixture of gun smoke and clay shrapnel scattered throughout the shooting stations, each team doing their best to come out on top and claim bragging rights for a year.
When it was all said and done, several teams were in the hunt for the top prize, and only one shooter could claim top shot honors. This year's top shooter was our very own Joe Campoamor who just missed a perfect score!
It was great to have local businesses support the shoot with our top sponsors Brandon Regional Hospital, Bank of Tampa and Rivard Buick GMC stepping up to sponsor the event. Also, big thanks to Chick-fil-A and Bubbaque's for providing breakfast and lunch, respectively.
Huge kudos to Ryan Burley and Chris McGuire for organizing the event and making sure that everyone had a great time. Finally, a big thank you to all of our volunteers that invested time to help things run smoothly and provide a fun experience for all who attended. 
The Rotary Club of Brandon's Bustin' Clays Fundraiser is fast approaching, and the entire club is geared up to raise funds to support several local charities. The fun-filled clay shoot is scheduled for Saturday, September 24th at the Fish Hawk Sporting Clays. Sponsorships individual and team shooting slots are still available, but it is filling up fast! The fundraiser promises a day of light-hearted competition, lunch, raffle prizes and lots of opportunities to make a difference for all of the club's designated local charities.
Individual and team shooters can register online at the Rotary Club of Brandon's EventBrite page, or see a Rotarian for information. 
The day begins promptly at 8:30 with registration and a safety briefing. The shoot begins at 9:00 and will go until the last clay pigeon has been smashed. Lunch, awards and raffle drawings will follow. Come out and have fun while making a difference in your community!
Mediator Dawn Hayes took center stage at this week's Rotary luncheon and worked overtime (no worries, we paid her time and a half in pizza!) to educate the club on Worker's Comp in the workplace. It was another packed house as Dawn enlightened the members on ways to have a plan in place and take care of employees that may have had an injury on the job.
Prior to her taking the mic, the club tried its best to give one of our illustrious Past Presidents, Jeff Reynolds, a harmoniously melodies version of Happy Birthday. In the end, we failed miserably, and Jeff still remains the only Rotarian that seems to start us off on key. Well, at least a key that doesn't make dogs howl or glass break or guests vow to never come back!
Everyone wished Justin and the Northcutt family good luck with their daughter Bailey's surgery in Chicago. Good luck and God Bless for a speedy recovery, Justin!
Ryan Burley once again let the club know about the Bustin' Clays Clay Shoot on Saturday, September 24th at the Fish Hawk Sporting Clays. The club is still in need of sponsors, shooters, and raffle prizes. Sell those tickets!
The day belonged to Dawn Hayes, though, as she walked the club through some scenarios involving worker's comp claims, best practices and must do's in the workplace with the employee's well-being always at the forefront in decisions along the way. Thanks, Dawn and thanks to John Gardner for setting up another great guest speaker!
This week the club will be celebrating a number of wedding anniversaries including Saree and Pat Skidmore who will be celebrating their 41st anniversary on September 13th! Ann and Dick Eatman have several more years under their belts as they celebrate their 53rd anniversary on the 14th and Tammy and Michael Hayes celebrate 21 years of marriage on the 16th. Congrats to all of you lucky guys, and our sincere sympathies to all of your wives for putting up with you for a collective 115 years!!
Upcoming Dates in September
19th - Monthly Board of Directors Meeting
20th - Club Assembly - Overview of Bustin' Clays Fundraiser
24th - Bustin' Clays Fundraiser - Fish Hawk Sporting Clays
27th - No Meeting!!
29th - Quarterly Social - Stein & Vine
It was a packed house this past week as the Rotary Club of Brandon had its monthly Club Assembly where the 2016-17 charities the club is supporting were announced. The Brandon Rotary Club Charity Fund board met and recommended to the club a slate of charities to support, and the club unanimously approved their recommendation. The charities receiving support from the club this year are the BRCCF Scholarship Fund, Rotary's Camp Florida, ECHO, the Outreach Clinic, the Boy Scouts Alafia River Kayak & Canoe project, the Brandon Sports and Aquatic Center and a special allocation to the Family Promise of Greater Brandon and the Women's Resource Center of Tampa Bay. 
The club's Clay Shoot (September 24th), Golf Tournament (January 19th) and Wild Game Dinner (March 3rd) will all raise funds to go specifically to these charities while the annual Casino Night fundraiser (October 22nd) will benefit the BRCCF Scholarship Fund and Rotary Event Center.
The focus of the Club Assembly was to give everyone an update on the Rotary Event Center where Roger Rivard gave an overview of the finances and current/future funding needs for the project. Jeff Reynolds expressed the need for every Rotarian to take advantage of this legacy making opportunity by giving to the project. Several Rotarians stepped up big time and helped to cut into the project's overall expenses. Fred Schwabe wanted dibs on the Freddie Flusher in the Past Presidents "Lounge"! John Dwyer added that the project was moving quickly and should be done this Fall!
The meeting ended as Rotarians passed the hat to collect over $400 for Justin Northcutt's daughter, Bailey's, upcoming surgery. It was truly a heartwarming moment for us all as we get behind one of our Rotary families in a time of need. Justin thanked the club for their ongoing support as his family continues to deal with Bailey's medical issues.
This week's guest speaker will be Dawn Haley who comes to talk to the club about Worker's Compensation
It was a Bull Court Press this past Tuesday for Rotarians in Brandon as the University of South Florida's Head Women's Basketball Coach, Jose Fernandez visited to share about the current and future success of his phenomenal program. The club was treated to an extremely dynamic and passionate educator and coach that our community can truly be proud of!
We started with Sergeant at Arms Fred Schwabe paying homage to all of our past Rotarians that have passed away, most recently George Anello. It was a moving tribute to so many great, community-minded individuals that have shaped our club over the years. With that, we moved right into Happy Dollars, and who better to get the good vibes rolling than our very own Larry Fassett. Larry wanted to acknowledge all of the time and hard work that John Dwyer has put in at the Rotary Event Center. He also shared a story about his six year old grandson who was thought to have been lost at school, but it was because of a mix-up in communication. Larry stressed the importance of clear communication to our children on rules and guidelines! 
Jeff Reynolds was happy that Jose Fernandez was here as our guest speaker. Jeff was also happy/sad since he and Patty took their son, Jason, to the University of Virginia. His son was the 1st kid in the 1st class in the newly renovated Rotunda which was designed by Thomas Jefferson.  And in the "I want to stay out of the doghouse this week" department, John Gardner was happy that he remembered he had to leave early to pick up his wife at the airport. Hope you got there on time and didn't have to sleep on the couch, John!!

Maria Lewis continued the good vibes as she was happy as she is going to be a grandmother again. Congrats, Maria! Coach Fernandez was thankful for the start of school and the new class of students that he gets to work with this year. Go get 'em, Coach!

After we shared all of the happiness we could stand, it was time for the main event and Coach Fernandez! Coach started out by saying he has known Jeff Reynolds for 16 years (which we said we wouldn't hold against him, even though this may be questionable judgment on his associations). His wife and Jeff’s wife went to the same High School in Hawaii. It was truly an example of what a small world it is!

Coach Fernandez is beginning his 17th season with USF. He started coaching when he was 27 years old. His first year coaching, they won four games, his second year they won 14 games, and now under his guidance, USF has advanced to 12 postseason tournaments, including four NCAA Tournament berths, one of which being the program's first-ever NCAA Tournament during the 2005-06 season. As a sign of the team's success, Coach Fernandez let us know that the USF Women’s Basketball Team outsells the Men’s team in average attendance. They average 2,500 fans for their games. The program's success has led to four women being drafted by the WNBA! The USF Women's Basketball Team is also very academic focused as the team has had a 100% graduation rate proving that they are winners on both the basketball court! 

Coach Fernandez also discussed the international impact the team has had as they have eight student athletes on their team from all over the world. They offer 15 scholarships and recruit worldwide! 


Susan Thomason ended the day by winning the chance for the 50-50 drawing, but drew the seven of hearts. We all knew she had a lot of heart!!

This week we'll be celebrating Troy Dimsdale's birthday, Leila & Chris Papp's 5th Anniversary, Norma & Derrell Curry's 23rd Anniversary, Troy Dimsdale's 16th Club Anniversary and President Elect Dave Brown's 5th Anniversary!!

Key Upcoming Dates:

  • August/September Key Dates:
    • 6th - Guest Speaker - Dawn Hayes - “Labor”
    • 13th - Guest Speaker - TBD
    • 19th - Rotary Club of Brandon Monthly Board Meeting
    • 20th - Club Assembly/Fundraising Event Preparation
    • 24th - Bustin’ Clays - Fundraiser - Fish Hawk Sporting Clays
    • 27th - No Meeting!!
    • 29th - Quarterly Social - Stein & Vine
The Rotary Club of Brandon lost a true friend and community leader this past week with the passing of longtime Rotarian George Anello. George's short battle with pancreatic cancer came to an end on Tuesday, August 16th. For years George lifted up our club and community through his leadership roles, hands on involvement and financial support which extended to the many and diverse organizations in which he was involved.
To family and friends, George was a gentle giant who always had a kind word to say and gave you his undivided attention whenever you were in his presence. His impact will be lasting, and his absence will definitely leave a huge void for his family, friends and community. Our club will definitely mourn our loss of George, but we are also grateful for the time that we shared with him from weekly meetings to service projects to major fundraisers.
A big thank you to all that took the time to attend his viewing and/or celebration of life service this past weekend. His wife, Sharon, wanted to pass along her sincere thanks and appreciation to the entire club! Per the family's request, donations in  George's name to the Rotary Club of Brandon in lieu of flowers is appreciated.
Another great week at the Rotary Club of Brandon, and lots to celebrate and be thankful for! Fred Schwabe kicked things off with some Happy Dollars, and the club responded in style. Shelia Donaldson had a happy dollar for her grandson who was awarded his first Bible at Bell Shoals Baptist Church. Chris Myers was just happy that school is back in session, and he can get back to more of a "normal" life. John Gardner was happy because his trial that was set in Inverness was rescheduled which allowed him to attend today's Rotary meeting!
Community stalwart Betty Jo Tompkins made a special visit to the Rotary Club of Brandon this week to introduce us to the Hillsborough 100 Conservation Challenge. Betty Jo is the Executive Director of the Hillsborough County Soil and Water Conservation District. She is also a long time Rotarian- Past District Governor, 2016 Representative to Rotary’s International Council on Legislation and a member of the Rotary Thursday Evening Virtual Club. Some of her key points included:


  • Two million people die annually and 20 million are debilitated due to polluted water.
  • The focus of the Hillsborough County Soil and Water Conservation District is to educate and give local residents the responsibility to conserve our soil, water and other natural resources in an effort to prevent the problems that arise from over use and depletion of our local natural resources. 
  • They reach out to all types of organizations and encourage them to get involved in conservation efforts:  local chambers, Hillsborough County Schools, Colleges, Civic and social organizations and even Bush Gardens in involved. They encourage and help support efforts to add more green space by planting trees and gardens which helps preserve both water and soil. 
  • The success of conservation initiatives depends on human behavior. By raising awareness, inspiring concern, building knowledge and skills and creating opportunities for action, education initiatives can prepare local people to fully participate as partners in conservation.
Our club also celebrated Ron Marshall's birthday!
August/September Key Dates:
  • 29th - BRCCF Board Meets to determine recommended charities
  • 30th - Club Assembly - Charities Announced
  • 6th - Guest Speaker - Dawn Hayes - “Labor”
  • 13th - Guest Speaker - TBD
  • 19th - Rotary Club of Brandon Monthly Board Meeting
  • 20th - Club Assembly/Fundraising Event Preparation
  • 24th - Bustin’ Clays - Fundraiser - Fish Hawk Sporting Clays
  • 27th - No Meeting!!
  • 29th - Quarterly Social - Stein & Vine
Major life accomplishments, a passionate guest speaker and an engagement all came together at this week's Rotary club meeting to make it one of the best attended and fun meetings of the year. Sergeant At Arms Fred Schwabe kicked things off with Happy Dollars, and boy were they happy!! John Gardner tossed in a buck to celebrate his son Scott's passing the fourth and final CPA test thus making him an official CPA! Congrats, Scott on behalf of the entire club! JJ Massaro announced that his middle son just graduated from the University of North Florida with a degree in Advertising. Way to go! Maria Lewis was not to be outdone and announced that she passed her CFRE exam and is now a Certified Fundraiser. We are so proud of you, Maria, and all of that hard work finally paid off! And speaking of hard work, Chris Myers announced his engagement to Melissa Salvo, and we know how hard he had to work for that! Congrats Chris and Melissa!!
Visiting Rotarian Jim Daniel from the Palmetto Club got to witness it all as did Monica Savage who works for John Gardner as a paralegal. The club also welcomed six guests from hands of Hope- Ethel Ward, Sheryl and Leon Bellamy, Cecelia (CICI) Mitchell and William Gaylord.
The club will hold its first quarter of the Rotary year service project on Saturday, August 20th from 8:00AM - noon at the Rotary Event Center to do some expansive landscaping. President Chuck announced the Charity Fund meeting will be held on August 29th at 5:30 at Roger Rivard’s office to determine the charities that the club intends to support this year.
Flyers for the 2016-2017 Rotary Club Fundraisers and Sponsorships were passed out. They included two new sponsorships: Community Legacy Sponsorship and Rotary Impact Sponsorship which will allow sponsors to bundle sponsorships for all four events. Our first event will be the Clay Shoot which will be held on September 24th at the Fish Hawk Sporting Clays. The club is looking for goodie bag items and help selling raffle tickets. Tickets for the event were passed out to all Rotarians in attendance.
Guest Speaker Cici Mitchell from Hands of Hope- a non-profit  organization whose mission is to raise sickle cell awareness, educate the community about possible treatment and pain management while building a healthier quality of life through advocacy, education, fundraising, and supporting the Tampa Bay sickle cell community.  Cici is very passionate about educating and spreading awareness of this inherited disease as she has two family members ( a sister and a grandson) who have the disease.  She explained that this inherited disease affects all ethnic types and the effects of this disease can include extreme pain, strokes, pneumonia, blindness and hearing loss. Hands of Hope holds two fundraisers  per year– a walk that will be held in September and a fashion show which features models who have the disease. The funds raised are used to purchase $25.00 gift cards which are given to patients to help ease the financial burden that comes with lengthy hospital treatments for this disease.
CiCi’s sister Cheryl Bellamy spoke about how difficult and painful living with this disease can be and is proud to be involved and have the support from Hands of Hope. It was truly an inspirational and passionate presentation!
This week we celebrate Ron Marshall's birthday on August 20th. Happy Birthday, Ron!
Newly elected District Governor Joyce Gunter paid a visit to the Rotary Club of Brandon this past week to share her vision for the Rotary year and get the club up to speed on the latest and greatest from Rotary International and District 6890. It was a jam-packed agenda as three of our nominated charities presented along with DG Gunter's presentation.
Several guests joined the week's festivities including William and Candy Corsi- BSAC Trident Program, Jeff Rock – Boy Scouts, Past District Governor Gary Gunter and Assistant District Governor Clayton Jenkins. 
After some quick announcements, the charity presentations began. First on deck was the Boy Scouts and Jeff Rock. Jeff Rock representing Gulf Ridge Council of the Boy Scouts of America, asking for Club support to help them fund the Alafia River Canoe/ Kayak Project. They are in the process of developing a Primitive campsite with boat docks, pavilions and restrooms on acreage they own on the Alafia River. It is a $400k project and they have raised $75k. It was noted that the Boy Scouts help support the Rotary Fundraisers in several ways.  
Our very own Debbie Meegan from The Outreach Clinic was up next to share stories of the patients whose lives have been impacted by the ability to secure much needed healthcare. She is requesting money to continue providing healthcare services for the low income uninsured. Debbie also discussed the importance of The Outreach Clinic and its longstanding place in the community based on the growing needs of individuals and families that are still unable to afford "affordable" healthcare.
Our final charity speaker was William Corsi from the Brandon Sports and Aquatic Center's special needs program TRIDENT. William gave a wonderful testimonial of his involvement as one of the team members in BSAC’s Trident Program and the impact the program has had on his life. BSAC is  requesting money to help build classrooms for the ever growing Trident Program. President Chuck also commented on how this population is desperately underserved and has very little funding in Eastern Hillsborough County.
With the charity presentations completed and handed over to the Charity Fund Board, it was time for District Governor Joyce Gunter to present.Special Guest District Gov. Joyce Gunter :
Joyce talked about being a second generation Floridian who grew up in Sebring Florida. She and her husband Gary live in New Tampa and own an Allstate Insurance Company in Wesley Chapel.  She and Gary met several years ago while on a Rotary International Project in Costa Rica.  She shared a story from one of her many International Rotary Project trips about a woman who had to carry her crippled son everywhere because he  could not walk . She was overcome with tears of joy upon receiving one of the wheelchairs the mission team brought with them.
Rotary is Celebrating the 100th Anniversary of the Rotary Foundation, and she challenged all Rotarians to contribute. Joyce invited  all Rotarians to attend the Rotary International conference in Atlanta next June.  A bus will be available to help with transportation. DG Joyce also announced that the District Conference in April will be on a cruise ship and will include an international project. Finally, she shared Rotary President John Germ's 2016 message of the importance of Rotary Clubs involvement in their local community.  
In closing, as a special treat, DG Joyce presented the Rotary Rising Star Award to Chris Myers for his immediate contributions and impact to the club and the Shining Star Award to Fred Schwabe for his continued dedication to making the Rotary Club of Brandon and District 6890 better through his daily service.
This week's speaker will come from the Hands of Hope.
August Upcoming Key Dates:
16th - Weekly Meeting
20th - Club Service Project @ The REC
22nd - Monthly Board Meeting
23rd - Weekly Meeting
30th - Club Assembly (Supporting Charities Announced)
After a long month of fundraising, eight community events and lots and lots of phone calls and personal asks for support, Rotary President Chuck Burgess became the newest Honorary Mayor of Brandon at 8:00AM on July 4th. President of the Community Roundtable, Janine Nickerson, and longtime board member B. Lee Elam presided over the traditional "handing in of the checks" at Lee's office. Three candidates battled the entire month putting on more than 30 fundraising events in 33 days. In the end the results were record-breaking on all fronts.
Craig Beckinger, owner and operator of ABC Event Planning, raised over $24,000, George Shea, owner of the George Shea Realty Team, brought in over $36,000 and President Chuck, Executive Director of the Brandon Sports and Aquatic Center, and being sponsored by the Rotary Club of Brandon came in with an astounding $100,500. President Chuck's campaign total surpassed the previous record of $75,001. Combined the three candidates raised over $161,000 and broke the overall record by a mile!
President Chuck made sure to let everyone know that the credit goes to the community. "It was an amazing feeling and overall, just surreal," President Chuck said after winning the title of Honorary Mayor. "I am so humbled by our community's support, especially from my Board of Directors at BSAC and the Rotary Club of Brandon who really came out strong in support this year."
Representing the Rotary Club of Brandon, the Boys and Girls Club of Brandon and BSAC, President Chuck was able to bring a ton of exposure and awareness around several charities, their causes and their missions throughout the campaign. "The number one reason I ran this year was to bring more resources whether they be dollars, volunteers, awareness or exposure to all of the non profit industry," President Chuck said. "I cannot express my gratitude for this amazing opportunity to represent the Rotary Club of Brandon throughout the campaign."
After getting his name on the infamous Lee Elam sign and riding in the annual 4th of July parade, President Chuck is now geared up and ready for the year ahead to work with the Community Roundtable and use the Honorary Mayor platform to do more good in the community. "Being a Rotarian and living the mantra of service above self, this opportunity will allow me to impact even more of the non profit sector. I can't wait!"
President Chuck follows in the footsteps of past Rotarians to take the title of Honorary Mayor including Alan Feldman, Vince Ferraro and Jeff Reynolds to name a few. All right, Rotarians, who's next?!!
The Rotary Club of Brandon kicked off its 2016-17 Rotary year with some special guests, a charity presentation from the Family Promise of Brandon and the new Honorary Mayor of Brandon. With 30 plus Rotarians attending including some very special visitors in Brandi McMullen who has relocated from Delaware and is looking to join the club, Edwina Reddick, the Executive Director of Family Promise of Brandon and the infamous Linda Chion Kenney who presented Lee Elam and President Chuck with some framed photos of the 4th of July Parade and Mayor's Race, the meeting was a huge success.
The big news of the day was the announcement by Jeff Reynolds to the club that President Chuck Burgess was the winner in the Honorary Mayor’s race. President Chuck's campaign raised $100,500 dollars which broke the existing record of $75,001! Chuck thanked all of the members for their support, sponsorship, participation and attendance at all of the events and behind the scenes. It is exciting for the club to have its president be the Honorary Mayor as well which should bring more exposure and recognition to both the club and the charities it supports!
Happy dollars came in by the boatload as Derrell Curry gave a Happy Dollar for John Dwyer and his work in getting the walls up in the Rotary Event Center. Roger Rivard added a dollar because he is no longer "Trailer Trash" as he and Kimberly finally moved out of his travel trailer into his new home in South Tampa. Alan Feldman chimed in with a Happy Dollar for being able to spend time with his Granddaughter and her stepsister, and finally, B.Lee Elam put in a dollar because he was happy that the Mayor’s Race is finished and he still has money left over!
Edwina Reddick then presented to the club as our first nominated charity to speak on behalf of the Family Promise of Brandon. Family Promise is a collaboration of local area Churches who goal is to assist families who are homeless and help them transition into a stable housing situation. They do not separate family members  They provide lodging, meals, counseling and a safe place to stay during the day at their day center for up to 90 days. Average stay in the program is 72 days.  They assist with job applications and financial literacy training and provide a temporary address so they can receive mail. They have one full time employee and one part time employee who assists with transportation. They used the money received from our Rotary Club this past year to assist with materials for their Financial Literacy Program. 
Dave Brown won the 50/50 opportunity, but left with nothing to show for it with his 10 of diamonds. Keep putting those dollars in; the Ace of Spades is still in there!
This week the club celebrates several important dates:


  • Bill Handley - July 23rd 


  • Grace and Vince Ferraro - July 21st - 48 Years!!
  • Erika and Bland Eng - July 24th - 17 Years
  • Kathy and Bill Handley - July 24th - 40 Years!

Club Anniversaries

  • Cade Rivard - July 14th - 1 Year
  • David Sigler - July 14th - 1 Year
  • Chris Papp - July 23rd - 3 Years
  • Bill Handley - July 25th - 13 Years
News & Notes for the Week:
  • Strategic Planning Session next Tuesday prior to meeting for Rotarians that want to have input and get involved in planning the next several years of the club
  • Saturday is the District 6890 Membership and Public Image Seminar (Imperial Swan Hotel, Lakeland beginning at 9:00AM - 12:00PM) - Register on in the Calendar section
  • This week's charities presenting will be ECHO, Boy Scouts, Women's Resource Center of Tampa Bay and Special Operations Warrior Foundation.
  • Next week's program will consist of our monthly Club Assembly and strategic planning session.
  • August 2nd the club will host our newly elected District Governor, Joyce Gunter, as well as hear from our remaining two charities, The Outreach Clinic and BSAC.
  • All of our events, fundraisers and meeting dates have been put into the calendar for everyone's planning!!
You know your Rotary Club is tops when the Supervisor of Elections comes to visit because he's heard all of the great things you're doing. Well, that and he wants to make sure you vote! It was an awesome weekly meeting this week as we inducted Hillsborough County Sheriff's Major Bob Ura into our club, welcomed our own bionic man, Fred Schwabe, back from his short surgery and rehab break and had our newly appointed AG, Clayton Jenkins, visit us. Maria Lewis even shared that she completed the CFRE Exam and is embarking on a new career all while celebrating the birth of her new grandson, Luke!
The star of the day was definitely Craig Latimer, though, as he talked about Hillsborough County's election system for its over 800,000 registered voters. Educating the club on the Supervisor of Election's responsibilities and the make up of the office, Mr. Latimer told us about how 42 full time employees and over 4,000 part time employees make up the staff during the voting process. They also operate on a budget that is 1/3 of one percent of the total Hillsborough County budget. They were also a recipient of the prestigious Governor's Sterling Award which is based on strict requirements of excellent organizational performance.
With the 2016-17 Rotary year winding down, President Chuck thanked everyone that attended the Installation Banquet and reminded everyone that charity nominations for the upcoming Rotary year are going to be taken from the floor at next week's meeting.
The club will be celebrating Chris Larson's birthday on June 25th as well as Sharon and John Sellers' 38th anniversary on June 24th! Congrats!
Key Upcoming Dates:
June 21st - Charity Nominations for 2016-17 Rotary Year taken from floor
June 23rd - Monthly Social at Top Golf
June 28th - Club Assembly - approval of 2016-17 Calendar of Events/Budget
July 1st - Charity Applications Due
July 5th - No Club Meeting
July 12th - Charity Presentations
July 18th - Board of Directors Meeting
July 19th - Charity Presentations
July 26th - Club Assembly
What a year! The Rotary Club of Brandon celebrated a ton of success on all fronts with raising over $70,000 for local charities, getting the Rotary Event Center started, adding 14 new members to the club, having four great community service projects and making a huge impact on the community throughout the year.
Past President Craig Oldham inducted current and new President Chuck Burgess, and in turn, Chuck inducted our club's new officers/directors for the 2016-17 Rotary year. Congrats and thank you for your service to: Dave Brown (President Elect), Debbie Meegan (Secretary), Justin Northcutt (Treasurer), Fred Schwabe (Sergeant at Arms), John Dwyer (Events), Scott Carter (Fundraising), John Gardner (Club Admin), Ryan Burley (Service Projects) and Chris McGuire (Public Relations).
The evening began with Emcee Justin Northcutt pinch-hitting for Fred Schwabe who is currently on the Injured Reserve List rehabbing his brand new bionic knee. Kathy Curry kicked off the celebration and awards by bestowing a Paul Harris Fellow award to one of our members that displayed the true heart of Rotary and embodied the spirit of Rotary and Paul Harris. And the Rotarian was.... Debbie Meegan!! Congrats, Debbie and thanks for all that you do for our club.
Dinner was next on the agenda with The Tampa Club not disappointing with the main course and dessert spread. Jeff Reynolds took the mic to give everyone an outstanding update to our Rotary Event Center and recognizing all of those Rotarians that have donated funds to its renovation and completion. Jeff then thanked all of the Past Presidents in attendance and introduced the new Brandon Rotary Club Charity Fund board - Derrell Curry (President), John Sellers (Vice President), David Magann (Secretary), Roger Rivard (Treasurer), Susan Thomason (Director), Joe Campoamor (Director) and Jeff Reynolds (Director).
The festivities got kicked over to President Chuck to recognize all of the officers and directors of the board. He and Past President Craig handed out thank you gifts to each and thanked them for their hard work and service over the past year. Chuck then introduced a new award to be handed out each year as he recognized this year's Rotary Rookie of the Year for his outstanding work throughout the year with our fundraisers, service projects and events. This year's Rotary Rookie of the Year was none other than Cade Rivard. Congrats, Cade!
The next award presented went to an outstanding Rotarian who went above and beyond this year. Besides serving his duties as a board member, this Rotarian organized our entire year's guest speakers, helped organize the Steinhatchee fishing trip, worked his tail off at all of our fundraisers, service projects and events and was always available to go the extra mile. The Rotary Service Above Self Award went to Larry Fassett! Way to go, Larry and thanks for being so dependable!
This year's President's Award went to a Rotarian that really stepped up in an area in which our club needed some accuracy and accountability. This Rotarian was constantly behind the scenes working for others and even with some adversity outside of Rotary was a true leader. The President's Award went to Justin Northcutt. Thank you, Justin for all you do!
It was then time to recognize and celebrate this year's Rotarian of the Year for our club. This person was an unbelievable example of leadership, service, going the extra mile for everyone and always putting the club above all else. His selflessness, dedication to making us great made us all look better every week. He organized all of our events and socials this year, played an integral part of the process on the Rotary Event Center and just plain worked his tail off. Congrats to this year's Rotarian of the Year - John Dwyer! Thank you just doesn't do justice to the appreciation we have for you, John!! Great job!
Past President Craig then swore in (or at, we weren't sure) Chuck as this year's president, and Chuck then inducted the new officers and directors for 2016-17 - Dave Brown (President Elect), Debbie Meegan (Secretary), Justin Northcutt (Treasurer), Fred Schwabe (Sergeant at Arms), Roger Rivard (Membership), Scott Carter (Fundraising), John Dwyer (Events), John Gardner (Club Admin), Chris McGuire (Public Relations), Ryan Burley (Service Projects) and Craig Oldham (Past President). 
After the new board was sworn in, President Chuck presented a new award that will be given each year in recognition of some of our Rotary Club and community's pioneers. This will keep our club connected with those leaders of the past that worked so hard to pave the way for us today. This year's recipient left an indelible mark in the Brandon community with his service on the Chamber of Commerce, Center Place and other organizations he touched in his decades of impact. This year's Legacy Award went to George Anello. Thank you, George for you constant leadership and example!
After this outstanding evening, it was time to have some fun, laugh at ourselves and each other and leave with some happiness. Our year-long journey was documented in pictures with some funny commentary and crowd interaction. The evening was adjourned with a toast to success, and the work for the 2016-17 year is off to the races!
The Rotary Club of Brandon recognized eight local charities this past week in a celebration of its fundraising efforts over the past Rotary year. Over $60,000 was distributed to some of the top grass roots non profits in our area as well as college scholarships to three outstanding, local high school seniors. "This is what we work for our entire Rotary year," said club President, Chuck Burgess. "The Rotary Club of Brandon is all about making a difference in our community, and today we REALLY made a difference!"
Charities receiving funds included Rotary's Camp Florida, the Brandon Sports and Aquatic Center, ECHO, the Outreach Clinic, Family Promise of Greater Brandon, the Boy Scouts, Women's Resource Center of Tampa Bay and the Brandon Rotary Club Charity Fund. From serving the special needs community to providing healthcare to those in need to feeding the homeless and beyond, these charities are so important to the Greater Brandon community. The Rotary Club of Brandon's impact on hundreds of lives will be the end result of all of its efforts.
In addition to providing resources to local charities, the Rotary Club of Brandon also provided three major scholarships to some deserving seniors. Jason Reynolds of Jesuit received a $2,500 scholarship toward his education at the University of Virginia, Hannah Pridemore (Newsome High School) received a $1,500 scholarship to Duke University, and Grant Denham (Brandon High School) received a $1,500 scholarship to the University of South Florida. All three seniors are exceptional examples of achieving academic success, leadership in and out of their schools and community impact through volunteerism and service.
While giving was the theme of the day, it was only appropriate the future District Governor Dr. Nick Hall spoke to the club regarding his courageous trek from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic on a 1960's bicycle to bring awareness and resources to the Rotary's Polio Plus program. Nick captivated the crowd with his stories of meeting folks along the way, missteps in his journey, how he maintained his focus and composure while riding his bike 15 hours a day and the fulfillment of his journey as he touched the East Coast in St. Augustine capping the 50th anniversary of the same journey he made in the 60's. It was truly a remarkable story with an even more remarkable purpose.
The Rotary Club of Brandon will turn its attention to celebrating the hard work of the club this week at its Annual Installation Banquet at the Tampa Club on Thursday, June 2nd starting at 6:00. The new club officers and board members will officially be inducted as will the Charity Fund board and officers. This is a special evening as the baton is handed to the next year's leadership team to continue the long and storied tradition of excellence for which our club is know.
The club will also be celebrating the the birthdays of Lee Elam (June 4th) and Bob Solano (June 5th) along with Rudy and Sherri Liddell's 31st wedding anniversary (June 1st)! Congrats!
This week's meeting will consist of our monthly Club Assembly with next week's program being run by Immediate Past President Craig Oldham.
Upcoming Key Dates in June
2nd - Rotary Installation Banquet
7th - Weekly Meeting
14th - Weekly Meeting
20th - Rotary BOD Meeting
21st - Weekly Meeting
23rd - Monthly Social - Top Golf
28th - Club Assembly
The Rotary Club of Brandon earned a couple of special honors at this year's Rotary District 6890 Conference held at the Orlando World Marriott May 20-21. With a huge delegation from clubs all over the state, District Governor Tom Wagner recognized the Rotary Club of Brandon with a Presidential Citation from 2015-16 Rotary International President K.R. "Ravi" Ravindran. Only a few clubs in the entire district were recognized at this level for their work in increasing membership, service, fundraising, Foundation giving, work with Rotary youth and spreading the Rotary mission.
Tom Wagner also selected the Rotary Club of Brandon as the Most Improved club in the entire district for its huge membership growth and change in overall trajectory over this past year. President Chuck Burgess was at the Conference representing the club to accept the awards. These awards are a testament to the year of teamwork, hard work, planning and overall organization of the entire club membership. Through our combined efforts, committee work, service project impact, board leadership and fundraising, the Rotary Club of Brandon made tremendous strides in making a difference and leaving an impact on our community the entire Rotary year.
Way to go, Rotary Club of Brandon! Congratulations on a great year!
The Rotary Club of Brandon got a big dose of John Maxwell this past week with John Maxwell Team Trainer, Kris Beaird, imparting some leadership wisdom at our weekly luncheon. Kris's  exercise about leaders' capacities in roles was illustrated with a simple water bottle and lid. The purpose was to illustrate that the lid represents containment of capacity, and we all have to challenge where our lids are. Kris also spoke to self awareness and how other people may view us in our leadership roles.
Next week's meeting is a big one as the club disperses over $60,000 in funds to our designated charities for the year. The club is also recognizing its three scholarship recipients as well. Rotarian Nick Hall will be speaking as well about his trek across the country to raise money for Polio Plus.
This week the club celebrates John Gardner & Pat Brumley's 29th wedding anniversary on the 27th, Cade Rivard's birthday on the 26th, and club anniversaries for Kathy Curry on the 23rd (9 years) and Chris Larson on the 24th (5 years).
Key Dates for May/June
  • 24th - Check Presentations - charities, Nick Hall Guest Speaker
  • 26th - Monthly Social - World of Beer
  • 31st - Club Assembly
  • 2nd - Installation Banquet
The Rotary Club of Brandon is throwing its hat into this year's local political ring by sponsoring and supporting current Rotary President, Chuck Burgess, in his bid to become the next Honorary Mayor of Brandon. This annual, local event put on each year by the Community Roundtable has at the forefront a purpose to bring more resources and exposure to local charities through its primary fundraising component. The candidates begin raising funds through events and donations beginning June 1st and ending July 3rd. The candidate to hand in the most money raised becomes the next Honorary Mayor of Brandon for the next year beginning at the Fourth of July parade.
The Rotary Club of Brandon has a storied tradition with the Mayor's race with many past Honorary Mayors in the club including current Rotarians Alan Feldman, Jeff Reynolds and Vince Ferraro. Monies raised in this year's race from President Chuck will go to the Bill Carey Boys and Girls Club, BSAC's TRIDENT program and youth drowning prevention program and to all of this year's designated club charities. There are scheduled events throughout the month of June for families, the ladies, the men and kids.
The kick off event will be put on by Kimberly and Roger Rivard on Friday, June 3rd, and several other events will follow including a kickball tournament (June 4th), all day laser tag at CQ Tactical Laser Tag (June 5th), a movie night hosted by the Chicks for Charities group (June 8th), a clay shoot at Fish Hawk Sporting Clays (June 11th), an underground charity dance party (June 17th), a golf tournament at Cheval Golf & Country Club (June 18th) and a 5k/1-mile Fun Run with live concert and barbecue at BSAC (June 25th).
Rotarians can sponsor, donate or support by being a part of a committee as well as attend the events. Getting others to be a part of the campaign by donating and coming to the events will help get President Chuck to the finish line!
To find out more ways to join in the campaign, go to Facebook and visit the Burgess4Brandon page or the website at Let's all support President Chuck by being a part of this fun and exciting campaign that will bring so many resources and awareness to some outstanding local charities and their causes!



Service Above Self

We meet Tuesdays at 12:00 PM
Romano's Macaroni Grill
132 Brandon Town Center Drive
Brandon, FL  33511
United States
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January 2017