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
What a night! With almost 100 Rotarians, past Rotarians and spouses in attendance, the Rotary Club of Brandon officially kicked off its Rivard-Simmons Rotary Event Center this past Tuesday, May 23rd. To say the evening was a huge success would be an understatement with great food, Rotary fellowship and lots of fun. Roger Rivard acted as emcee for the evening holding court talking about the journey that began as a vision out of necessity, all of the people that stepped up to donate money, time, services, materials, expertise and labor, and the joy we all feel that it has turned out to be an amazing new home for us all. 
The club got an opportunity to honor George Simmons by presenting his family with the Rotary Club of Brandon's Legacy award which he received for all of his years of extraordinary service, leadership and impact in our club and community. Roger thanked all of the donors and people that made this a reality and handed the microphone over to several of the members to share some stories.
The Beth and Joe Campoamor Meeting Room was packed to the gills with Rotarians and their significant others having a blast. Rotarians got an opportunity to sport their brand new name tags, a big upgrade, and the look fits perfectly with the new digs. Overall, the kick off event was a huge success with the general feedback being, WOW!! 
The Rotary Club of Brandon gathered to check out the progress of its two year project - The Rivard-Simmons Rotary Event Center. With renovations continuing, lots of little projects getting finishing touches and a ton of excitement building, the club met to do a walk through and get introduced to the many amenities that the center will offer. The board room, large meeting space and member area were all highlights along with the open kitchen and prep area for caterers to set up the weekly meetings. After raising lots of money, putting in some major sweat equity, having several organizations and individuals donate materials, services and time, the center is running to the finish line.
To celebrate the kick off, the Rotary Club of Brandon is holding its Members Only Celebration event on Tuesday, May 23rd at 6:00PM. The catered event should be a unique opportunity for club members to come together to celebrate what is definitely a legacy making moment both for Rotary and the Greater Brandon community. A small program recapping the process and recognizing key organizations and individuals will take place as well as some great food and lots of fun.
After months of preparation, planning and hard work, the Rotary Club of Brandon held its Annual Wild Game Dinner to the tune of raising over $50,000 plus for its local, chosen charities. It was another amazing turnout with almost 600 in attendance from all over the state, and even some coming in from outside the state to partake in what has long been the club's signature event. Event Chairman, Joe Campoamor, put his team in action, and they did not disappoint!
With several club members hunting throughout the year all over the country and beyond to supply much of the wild game including elk, moose, venison and boar, there was plenty enough to go around coupled with Lupton's array of tasty vittles as a backdrop. Feeding 600 hungry guys is not an easy task, but the hard work of the club and Lupton's amazing staff was up to the task. In fact, the Rotary Club of Brandon even had enough left over to donate over 300 meals to Meals on Wheels. Over the past five years, the club has provided over 1,000 meals from this event to those in need on top of the dollars raised for charities. 
A huge thank you to the Boy Scouts of America who donated golf clubs, fishing rods and assisted with supervising the VIP area. Jeff Rock and his group also provided an opportunity for us to hunt hogs on their property which Joe Campoamor gladly took care of!
For most club members, the night of the event is a non-stop, frenetic pace of taking care of the guests. From tending the bar to serving the food to selling raffle tickets to announcing the event to minding the beer truck and beyond, the club rallied and worked together for one of its best events in years. Big kudos to Mike Edenfield and his meat preparation team as they worked three days to prepare some of the best food at the event. Thanks to Ryan Burley, Jeff Reynolds, John Dwyer, Chris McGuire, Rudy Liddell, Rocky Santa Cruz, John Sellers, Roger Rivard, Steve Moran, Troy Dimsdale for all of your work in preparing over 400 pounds of meat! Whether it was Roger Rivard's 800 pound moose, the eight hogs that Joe Campoamor supplied, the venison from some of our club's hunters in Nebraska or the quail, gator or elk, this team did an outstanding job! The moose chili alone is worth the price of admission as was Derrell Curry's famous salad (Thanks, Derrell)!
Also, a big thanks to John Sellers and his team of Bland Eng (and son Brandon), Chris Myers and Bob Ura for taking care of all of our guns for the raffle, Paul Garner for doing another great job on the mic, Wayne Strohaker for taking care of the hogs in the box, our illustrious check in group of Maria Lewis, Fred Schwabe, Kathy Curry and Debbie Meegan, our bar crew and beer truck attendees Jeff Campbell (chair), Alan Feldman, Clyde Eisenberg, Chris Papp (and his dad!), Mike Meegan (I think he works more in our club than his own!), Ron Croone, who worked ALL night long, Scott Carter and Chris Larson for taking care of the silent auction and raffle items, the money guys - Justin Northcutt, Vince Ferraro and Michael Hayes, our king ticket seller Larry Fassett and his team of Ron Marshall (loved the hat, Ron!), Pat Skidmore and JJ Massaro, our cigar master Craig Oldham, our sponsor signage guy Tom Odiorne, our VIP organizer Cade Rivard, the best dang clam steamers in town - Bob Solano and family. THANK YOU ALL!!
Overall, it was a fantastic event that will make a significant impact in our community. Way to go, Rotary Club of Brandon!!
It was the Valentine's Day edition of the Rotary Club of Brandon's weekly meeting, and it was another packed house as the club got to hear a great talk about the importance of superb public relations, getting ahead of situations by being transparent and ways in which to position your message in order to capitalize on situations both in business and in your personal brand. James Judge served in Afghanistan and then had a lengthy career with Blue Pearl. He is the president of Judge Public Relations whose firm specializes in creating customized creative communication solutions for his clients. He gave first hand accounts of why businesses should be proactive rather than reactive to any situations that arises. He also gave examples of how you can use current news to insert yourself or your business as part of a major story by lending advice or commenting on the current event.  He encouraged businesses to do good, and then tell people about the good they do using all the media formats available: press releases to the various media outlets as well as all the social media available.
The club enjoyed visiting Rotarian, Mike Meegan who made sure to give a happy dollar to announce that he was taking his wife out to a nice Valentine's Rotary lunch! The club also welcomed guest Brian Glaser to the weekly meeting.

Happy dollars were aplenty as one would expect on Valentine's Day. Bob Ura got things started with a happy dollar in celebration of the awesome soccer year his daughter and her league had this year. He also was happy that she was accepted at both FSU and UF and was happy she chose the right one- FSU. This choice made Lee Elam extremely happy, but not happy enough to put a dollar in himself for the future 'Nole! Justin Northcutt had a couple of happy dollars to celebrate Steve Moran who helped Justin and his wife Kendall sell their house and purchase a new one. The big happy dollar, though, was saved for the big announcement that they were expecting a boy! 
President Chuck reminded everyone of the important Club Service Day at the Rivard-Simmons Rotary Event Center. Lots to do for everyone as we finalize all the projects needed to finish the building. A big reminder to continue selling Wild Game Dinner tickets also went out as the club prepares for the biggest event in years.
This coming week the club has several celebrations with Melissa & JJ Massaro celebrating 27 years of marriage on the 24th. Congrats Massaro's! Two Rotarians celebrate club anniversaries with Susan Thomason hitting the six year mark as a Rotarian on the 22nd, and Wayne Strohaker celebrating an entire decade in Rotary on the 27th. Congrats to you both!
 February/March/April Key Dates:
  • 28th – Wild Game Prep Day
  • 3rd – WILD GAME DINNER!!
  • 7th – No Club Meeting
  • 14th, 21st – Guest Speakers
  • 20th – Rotary Board Meeting
  • 28th – Club Assembly
  • 4th – No Club Meeting
  • 6th – Spring Fireside Chat
  • 11th, 18th – Guest Speakers
  • 20th – Annual Fishing Trip
Big news was the order of business at this week's Rotary Club of Brandon's luncheon. Through a combined donation of $100,000 from the Simmons Foundation and the Rivard Family, the club approved naming rights for the club's big project as the Rivard-Simmons Rotary Event Center. Through the hard work and focus of Roger Rivard and his family and the major contribution from George Simmons' Family Foundation, this project will now be a legacy for our club for many years to come.
The club welcomed guest speakers – Dan Pepper & Bob Farkas – Active members of the Rotary Club of Tampa who spoke about the Military Transition Assistance Program which was started to provide assistance to Military personnel who are leaving the military and transitioning into civilian life. Their goal is to provide  information, tools, and training to ensure Service members and their spouses a successful adjustment in civilian life whether pursuing additional education, finding a job in the public or private sector, or starting their own business. Bob and Dan are reaching out to Rotary Groups and other organizations who have members that own business and encouraging them to hire a veteran because of their experience, work ethic, leadership skills and values. Veterans bring valuable skills and experience from their military service including disciplined teamwork and upper level management skills. Their Linkedin Group for prespective employers is:
The club had some great guests as well, one coming all the way from the Norman Sooner Rotary Club. Fred Benenati from Oklahoma was visiting his twin brother John and came to exchange club banners. The club also welcomed Jondexter Tooms to the meeting as well.
There was a ton to be happy about this week as well. Bob Solano was happy to report he just returned from Puerto Vararta, Mexico and presented our club with a Rotary Club Friendship Flag from that club. He stated they give out over 45 scholarships to children in need. They also support and run a remote school for 25 children with disabilities.  He let us know that 1/3 of the club is made up of Canadians and Americans who have retired to Mexico because the dollar is so strong. Alan Feldman was happy to report that he has been invited to teach at a Masters Photography Class in Johannesburg South Africa. That should be a ton of fun! Jeff Reynolds had a happy dollar for his son who is pledging a Fraternity. Look out, Jeff!
A big Happy Birthday went out to Michael Hayes who celebrated his birthday on the 10th. The club gave him a huge rendition of Happy Birthday led by our lead vocalist, Jeff Reynolds!
We had some big updates: Roger Rivard gave us an update on the and let us know that things are right on schedule. We are getting ready to purchase furniture, and Roger presented to the club a reproduction of a Thomas Kincade painting of Rotarians at a Rotary Club Meeting. With Club approval he hopes to hang it in the President’s Room. Joe Campoamor let us all know how the Wild Game Dinner was coming along. Only 28 VIP tickets remain, and we need to sell, sell, sell tickets in order to make this year’s event a success. Ryan Burley let everyone know that our quarterly club service Project will be February 18th at the Rivard-Simmons Rotary Event Center.
• February/March Key Dates:
• 14th – Guest Speaker - James Judge
• 21st – Club Assembly
• 28th – Wild Game Prep Day
• 7th – No Club Meeting
The best Wild Game this side of the Mississippi (hence the name of the event), tons of raffle prizes and silent auctions, an exclusive VIP area, and endless bar with the most hospitable servers in town, tasty food beyond your wildest dreams, some of the top business leaders in the Tampa Bay area, and much more await over 800 men in the Rotary Club of Brandon's annual Wild Game Dinner at Lupton's Boggy Bottom Ranch on Friday, March 3rd beginning at 6:00PM. This signature and historic event, in its 41st year, will also feature John and Gina Brunson from their hit show, Addicted to the Outdoors.
If you've never tried gator, moose chili, venison, wild hog or Lupton's famous barbecue, then you need to get your Wild Game Dinner tickets TODAY! There are still a few VIP tickets available ($150 each), and general admission tickets ($100 each) are still available online or from one of our phenomenal Rotary Club of Brandon Rotarians. Wild Game Dinner Chairman Joe Campoamor and his team of committees have been hard at work over the past year getting ready to make this the best event yet. Many of our Rotarians have been traveling the country hunting the wild game that we will all get to enjoy.
So, if it's an annual event permanently marked on your calendar, or this is your first year coming to the event, one thing is for sure: You'll definitely have a great time at this unique, stag only event. Try your luck at winning a shotgun or one of the many great prizes that will be available, or you may want to strengthen your odds by becoming a sponsor and being entered into our Sponsors Only Raffle.
Time is running out, so get those tickets TODAY! And remember, 100% of all net profits from this event go directly to local charities. So, the more you spend and the more fun you have, the bigger difference you can make in our community. Remember, Boggy Bottom Ranch, Friday, March 3rd at 6:00. It's going to be WILD!
Event Details
Event: Rotary Club of Brandon's 41st Wild Game Dinner
Date: Friday, March 3rd
Time: 6:00PM - 10:00PM
Location: Lupton's Boggy Bottom Ranch, 8407 Lupton Place, Plant City, FL 33567
Cost: General Admission $100, VIP $150
Online Tickets:
It was another banner weekly lunch meeting for the Rotarians of the Rotary Club of Brandon this past week with several key updates to a ton of success the club is experiencing to date. For starters, Troy Dimsdale reported that the golf tournament will bring in close to $16,000 in net profits supporting our local charities selected this year. The club heartily thanked Troy and Steve Moran and their team for all of their hard work and persistence in making the event a huge success. Joe Campoamor chimed in shortly thereafter to give a thorough update on where the club is with its Wild Game Dinner preparations. While the club is far ahead of last year's pre-slaes for the event, there are still a ton of tickets ready to be sold. There should be a mad rush to get the final few dozen VIP tickets in the next week or so!
The club had a some great guests show up including Jeff Rock from the Boy Scouts who donated several fishing rods and golf clubs for the Wild Game Dinner. The Boy Scouts have been huge supporters of the Rotary Club of Brandon and been instrumental in impacting several of our events with their volunteerism and leadership.
Carole Gill and Miriam Farmer both visited the club as well as potential members and had nothing but positives to say about their visit. They even brought some good luck to our President Elect Elect, Debbie Meegan, as she pulled the Ace of Spades and took home almost $400! Congrats, Debbie!
The club sent congratulations to Eleanor Saunders and her husband, Mark, as they celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary to kick off the month. Happy Anniversary Eleanor!
The great news of the day was reported by both Roger Rivard and John Dwyer in that the Rotary Event Center is continuing to pick up speed as it relates to both funds coming in and work being done. The club will have a service project on Saturday, February 18th in order to finish the flooring, paint the inside and continue touching up areas in preparation for the finished product. The club also is excited to partner with the Brandon '86 Club which will be painting the exterior of the building. Exciting times for both Rotary and our community!
This week's guest speakers come from the Rotary Club of Tampa. Dan Pepper and Bob Farkas will discuss their club's partnership with MacDill Air Force Base to keep military service members local when they transition into civilian life. Should be a great talk!
The Rotary Club of Brandon's annual golf tournament fundraiser was one for the ages this past week. Celebrating its 25th year through 450 holes of fundraising, the club boasted 28 teams, tons of local corporate and hole sponsors, great food and drinks, a very competitive putting contest and a beautiful day to play golf. Event Chairman, Troy Dimsdale, and his wingman, Steve Moran, did an outstanding job of planning, organizing and rallying the club and community to support this event that will make a huge difference in the lives of so many.
A big shout out of thanks to all of our corporate sponsors that made this event possible. Kudos to Rivard Buick GMC, Brandon Regional Hospital, Bank of Tampa, Marshall Business Accounting, Odiorne Insurance, Vantage Benefit Solutions, Inc., Infinity Lawn Care, Rath Harper & Associates, Vaxa, Choice HR and M.E. Wilson. We would like to also thank Bill Harper and the phenomenal staff team at the Buckhorn Golf and Country Club, our amazing sponsors, all of our food vendors, all of the golfers who played in the event, our incredible volunteers that worked behind the scenes and the awesome leadership of both Troy Dimsdale and Steve Moran. 
Through everyone's efforts, this event was able to raise over $16,000 for our local charities! What a great event, and we all can't wait until next year when we can do even more good in our community.
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)



Service Above Self

We meet Tuesdays at 12:00 PM
Rivard-Simmons Rotary Event Center
3007 S. Kings Avenue
Brandon, FL  33511
United States
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June 2017