Club Information

Come visit the Rotary Club of Fernandina Beach, doing good things since 1926!

Fernandina Beach

Service Above Self

We meet Wednesdays at 12:00 PM
Florida House Inn
(self-serve lunch begins 11:30)
22 South 3rd Street/Meeting Room on 4th Street
Fernandina Beach, FL  32034
United States
District Site
Venue Map
Home Page Stories
Board Meeting/Retreat at Oyster Bay.
Last Sunday, our Club had an important Board Meeting Retreat and Strategic Planning session from 1 to 3 at the Oyster Bay Yacht Club Clubhouse.  It was a great location and much was discussed and agreed upon.

The meeting went well and President Ron will soon be divulging that information that was captured during this retreat.


Here are a few pictures I took while the meeting was going on:



Last Saturday, our club helped out the Boy Scouts, Troop 89, with trash pick-up along the Amelia Island Parkway.  Another great turnout and the Parkway is clean.
Had a good time hanging with fellow Rotarian Nick Klein, Coach Benson and President Ron Heymann.
Nick Klein and Frank Gagnier....courtesy of President Ron Heymann  -  Coach Benson in the back ground
David Farr
Fernandina Beach, FL
David Farr, his father John Farr and our President Ron Heymann

David is a young man who graduated High School from Blair Academy, a boarding school in Blairstown, New Jersey.  His parents, John and Michelle Farr live here in Oyster Bay.  Upon graduating from H.S., David was accepted  into West Point where he wrestled for the school and graduated with his BS Degree in 2017.  Being now an officer in the military, the only way he could go forward with his graduate studies was to have a scholarship/grant awarded him so he could continue his education abroad. 


Past President, Pam Crouser, our President at that time, tried to arrange for David to be interviewed with our own District for a grant but it was dragging on and David was under a time restraint with West Point to have the Grant so Pam introduced David to the President of Indian Rocks Rotary Club in the Tampa Bay Area.  With the help of Deb Connelly (a member of our Club and Grant writer) wrote the Grant for David where half came from the Tampa Bay District and half came from Rotary International.  He was able to apply for a Grant with the Tampa bay District and Mr. Polansky, President of Indian Rocks Rotary Club at the time, sponsored him and of course, he was approved.  So there's the Our Club connection with David Farr.  Many thanks to Pam and Deb for seeing this through and getting David to where he needed to be in time to continue his studies.  Wow.....thank you Ladies for your indominable spirit and not accepting no for an answer.  Impressive!


Since graduating from West Point, David has been studying at the University of Edinburgh along with two other West Point Grads since September 1st last year and is studying in a program called Operational Research with Data Science within the School of Mathematics. David is still considered "active duty" and will return to his unit once his studies are completed.


David's research is focused on applying Machine Learning Algorithms to the combination of Biological information.  Specifically, he is attempting to design an algorithm that can model the decay 0f information in gene sets that attempt to explain which genes are most effected by the influenza virus. With a successive model, David along with other scientists, will hopefully be able to combine data from several different studies into one data set that will have much more information than a single study.  Who knows, it may be soon that a cure for influenza viruses will be discovered.  Wow!


While in Scotland, David had a lot of cool opportunities to travel.  He took some time and hiked Ben Nevis, the tallest mountain within the United Kingdom as well as a trip with a few other students, skiing in the Alps.  David took the train to London and had the opportunity to see many of the historical sights he had read about and always wanted to see...…


David will finish the program he is presently in, in late August and go to Fort Gordon in Augusta, Georgia to continue his career as a Cyber Officer in the military and hopes to continue a focus on Bioinformatics down the road.   He truly believes there is a huge potential to apply large data analytics to Biological Data and hopefully find treatment techniques for complex diseases.  Wouldn't that be cool!!!


David thanked us very much for allowing him to be part of our meeting this past week. He told me that it was "another very cool experience!" and for our clubs part (Past President Pam Crouser and Deb Connelly) in helping him receive this incredible opportunity he is following.


He told me he hopes we can stay in contact with him moving forward!!  I assured him we will and he has my information so I can communicate to the club from time to time what he is up to via our News Bulletin!


Although it needs updating, here is the link to David's blog for all of you who would be interested in following him on a regular basis:

David's program has people from all over the world and has enjoyed making new friends. In fact, he is the only American within his Rotary program of about 50 students. While there in Scotland, he had an amazing opportunity to travel to Coventry, England and meet other Rotary Scholars studying in the United Kingdom this past year.
Club Military Veterans
"What My Service Meant To Me"

Speakers - Wally Messer, USAF - Larry Myers, Navy - Vince Cavallo, Army

As your Editor, I will not be there. I will be with our friend and Winter visiting Rotarian, Mr. Bill Eisle in Bah Habah, Maine at his Rotary club meeting presenting him with our clubs flag. I'm so looking forward to my visit with Bill for the day. 

In my absence, there will be someone designated to capture the remarks and get that information to me for the weekly bulletin. Also, I would greatly appreciate anyone who would take some pictures so I can put them in our News Bulletin.  Thanks so much!


Larry Myers - Navy - Vietnam Veteran

Larry Myers was raised on Anna Maria island & in Bradenton Florida and graduated from Manatee County HS.  He attended University of Florida and earned his Bachelors of Building/Construction.

Larry served 24 years in the Civil Engineer Corps, U.S. Navy with 2 Command tours.  While serving his country, he received a Master of Arts degree in Human Resources Management and a MS in Financial Management.

Meritorious Service Medal, Humanitarian Service Medal, Navy Achievement Medal ,

Navy Commendation Medal, Meritorious Unit Commendation, National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Campaign Medal with 3 Stars,

Vietnam Service Medal, Republic of Vietnam Meritorious  Unit Citation (Civil Actions Medal First Class Color with Palm).

Straight out of college, Larry Join the Navy to see the world.  But first he had to attend several schools such as Officer Candidate School Newport, RI, 4 months.

Civil Engineer Corps Officers School. Pt. Hueneme, Ca. 2 months.

Atomic Biological & Chemical Warfare Defense(Ashore) School, Ft. McClellan, Ala 5 weeks.


Larry arrived at his first duty station Bermuda…spent 6 months writing a book.  He met his sweetheart, fell in love and got married in Bermuda.

Other Duty stations and Tours included MCAS Cherry Point, NC (where his first child Mindy was born) and the AM2 plank (2 years). Then on to the Naval Ammunition Depot, Hawthorne, Nevada.  From there, Larry went to Vietnam where he was responsible for clearing the jungle & building the Cam Ranh Bay Air Base (his second Daughter was 6 months old when he returned stateside).


Then on to building Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean….

Serving as the Commanding Officer of the Naval Schools Construction in Davisville, Rhode and the CO of the Naval Construction Training Center Gulfport Miss.  The School became the first Navy Technical School to become Accredited  by the Southern Association of Colleges & Schools.

As the Executive Officer of the Naval Construction Center Gulfport, a major shore command, Larry ended his career with the Navy after 24 years and retired at the rank of Commander, CEC, USN



Vince Cavallo - Army

Vince served in the US Army from 1968 to 1971.  He was stationed in Newark New Jersey for his entire enlistment. 

Vince was a Counter Intelligence Agent.  His duties consisted of conducting Security Clearance and background investigations; complaint investigations regarding security problems.  He was also an intel liaison with local PDs, conducted physical security tests at air defense bases and other duties as assigned!

Vince was Honorably discharged in 1971 at the rank of E-4 (sergeant).


Wally Messer - Air Force

Wally enlisted in Air Force right out of high school.  He didn't want to go to college right away just to get a military deferment like some of his friends. The draft was aggressive at that time.  His first duty station was at Travis AFB in northern California for a few years. At Travis he worked at base operations beat the flight line where he built navigation kits that he issued to flight crews and issued classified authentication codes to pilots so that they could identify themselves as a friendly force when entering the United States air defense zone.

Wally also worked in the aircraft dispatch office where he filed flight plans with the Oakland Air Route Control Center. Back then ,the flight plan was sent via teletype machine.  The dispatch office was also responsible for dispatching emergency response personnel to the flight line in the event of inbound inflight emergencies.

From Travis AFB, Wally was sent to Cam Ranh Bay Air Base in Vietnam where he worked in Squadron Operations.  His unit was the 535th Tactical Airlift Squadron.

After basic training at Lackland AFB, most of his duties were administrative such as Assisting with flight crew scheduling.

In Operation of squadron ground to air radio communication, Wally's call sign was "Tong Control" and he has no idea where that came from or what it means. Communication with the departure and arriving planes for the short field take-off and landing cargo aircraft, the C-7 Caribou.   Wally felt he had pretty good duty to have been in a war zone.

The most reoccurring danger on the airbase were fairly regular rocket attacks.  On one occasion, enemy snippers gained access to the base and blew up the entire bomb storage area... Some 11 and a half million dollars’ worth of bombs cooked off.

With his obligation to the military complete, upon returning to the states, Wally was honorably discharged with the rank of Sargent (E-4).

We did not have a normal meeting this past week.  We had an end of physical year celebration at the Story & Song Book Store with some of our Scholarship recipients.  There were no drawings, no singing just visiting the families and enjoying the evening.
President Ron did have one order of business and that was to announce our new member, Jeff Zola, sponsored by Rotarian Mary Ruark.  Welcome to our Club Jeff.  We all look forward to working with you!
President Ron did have one order of business and that was to announce our new member, Ray Whitehead, sponsored by Rotarian Mary Ruark.  Welcome to our Club Ray.  We all look forward to working with you!
New member Ray Whitehead, his Wife and Mary Ruark his Sponsor
President Ron Heymann thanking everyone for coming and to have a great time.
This was a fun event and the facility and food was awesome!
Next week......back to normal!
Jun 06, 2018 5:00 PM
Club Social at Story and Song Bookstore
Honoring 2018 Nassau County HS winners of the FB Rotary Club Scholarships

No regularly scheduled meeting on June 6th.  Come join the Rotary Club of Fernandina Beach for a social event honoring the 2018 Nassau County Scholarship winners.  The social will be held on the second floor of Story and Song Bookstore, (1430 Park Ave, Fernandina Beach, FL 32034)   

Appetizers and refreshments will be provided.

President Ron Heymann called the meeting to order- 

Dr. Page lead the club singing "My Country Tis of Thee"

Recited our "Pledge of Allegiance"

Followed by: "Take Me Home, Country Road"

Our meeting musicians, Bonnie Ridley on the piano and Wally Messer on bass.  They bring so much fun and great music to our meetings while we eat and during our opening songs.  We can't thank you two enough for your loyalty and dedicated time week after week to entertain us.  You two are awesome!!!

Secretary, John McAfee Report:   (In Johns absence, Executive Secretary Vince Cavallo gave the report)

In attendance were 32 Club Members

2 Honorary Members - Larry Myers, Dr. Jim Hicks and Roger Ganzel

Visiting Rotarians:  None

Visiting Guests of the Club:  Guest of Mary Ruark was Ray Whitehead (see you Wednesday evening Ray!!)

Visiting Special Guest: David Farr and his father John

Senator Aaron Bean read our District Governor Brent Coats, Report


50/50 Jack Pot:  $100  -  Lee Colwell had the drawn ticket and he pulled the Ace of Hearts (close but no SPADE)- 48 cards remaining

Boy Scouts: $25

Shelter Box: $32 

Bradly Bean greeting and shanking hands with fellow Rotarians.

President Ron Heymann

Again.....Our next "Social" event will be Wednesday June 6th from 5:00 to 7 pm at the Story and Song bookstore.  They will cater the food and the Student Scholarship winners and their parents will be invited to attend.  Let's have a great turnout and enjoy the company.  Bring a potential member and or your better half to enjoy this event.  This Wednesday night social will replace our normal meeting that day at noon.

We have our board meeting Sunday afternoon at the Oyster Bay Marina from 1 to 3.  Everyone is invited to participate and show support for our President and Board members with a chance for your voice to be heard relating to our Clubs business!  I will report on this meeting in next weeks bulletin.  I hope to see many of you there!

John Howard, Community Services Report:

John thanked everyone for their support, especially those who canvased up and down Centre Street before, during and after our meeting.  It paid off because our goal was to have 10 donors and we did reach that goal!!!  Thanks, John Howard, for your hard work on getting these blood drives arranged and successful!!

Barbara Gingher, Fundraising Report:

No Report

Pam Crouser, Club Membership:

No Report

Kris Meyer, Public Relations:

No Report

John Boylan, Director of Youth Services Report:

No Report

What a great group of Rotarians we have here in Fernandina Beach, Florida
Perfect Attendance Challenge:
Approaching the half way mark for the year 2018, there still remains two members; Frank Gagnier and Dr. David Page.  
I keep waiting for Dr. Page to take a day off and let me win this thing.....but he's being stubborn! smiley
Jonah Mitchell
"The Rocks Come With The Farm"

Speaker/Seminar Leader/Auctioneer/Adjunct Professor/Realtor/Broker/Expert Witness and now:


      "The Rocks Come With The Farm"  

      How to Prepare for, Plow Through and Profit from Tough Times (12 Resilience Lessons)


Doctorate of Philosophy (Ph.D.) Georgia State University, Atlanta, Georgia (1991)

Master's Degree (Counseling) Valdosta State University, Valdosta, Georgia (1978)

Bachelor’s Degree (Psychology) Asbury College, Wilmore, Kentucky (1973)

Bachelor's Degree (Theology) Ohio Christian University, Circleville, Ohio (1970)

Jonah captured everyone's attention immediately and kept everyone's attention his entire speech.

I believe none of us knew at the beginning of our meeting, except for Bonnie Ridley, what was instore for us with this weeks speaker, Jonah Mitchell.  But we found out after the first few words spoken, that we were in for a great speech/story about his book, "The Rocks Come With The Farm!"

Reading up on his background and education level(s), I wasn't sure what to expect but I was taken back by his delivery and well spoken, animated demeanor that I was going to enjoy his talk for sure.  

Jonah began by explaining where he was in his life at that point in time when he was inspired to write his story for his granddaughters, so they would grow up to know just exactly who their grandfather was and what he represented.  It was Valentine's Day when his wife rushed Jonah to the emergency room in the middle of a heart attack.  Remaining calm and compliant and not overly anxious, he managed his way through all what was happening while asking himself what was he most concerned about otherwise.  Was it forgiveness, had his life had any meaning or was it how he would be remembered?  Jonah felt like he didn't have a problem with any of those thoughts.  However, he decided at some point to stop everything and let the doctor know that he was not to be sedated until he had a chance to speak clearly to his two granddaughters.  Hence, the book was to be written so his granddaughters would know who their Papa was.

Jonah wrote the book stripping away all the badgers, titles, degrees, awards and daily expectations to explain who he really was as a human being.  It all started with growing up vey poor in Kentucky.  His father was the owner of the local Mitchell's General Store. He was one of thirteen siblings where three died in infancy and six were born in poverty with four born from another man, their mothers second husband.

Jonah began to write his book about how to prepare for, plow through and profit from tough times.  The book is written with the notions that "If we had not winter, the Spring would not be so pleasant; if we did not sometimes taste of adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome" and this lesson came from his brother, June Bug, who showed Jonah what "love" is really all about.  

Everyone who was at this meeting received a signed autographed book from Jonah Mitchell and now those of you who were not there, need to go buy the book because having already read the book now, I can say without reservation, it is so worth it and then some!!

So not to expose too much about the book and ruin a great read, I will say no more except to thank Frank & Bonnie Ridley for inviting their good friend, Jonah Mitchell, to come and speak before us here at the FB Rotary Club.  What a great treat that was.  Jonah is a fantastic speaker who had us in stitches and captivated throughout his entire delivery on his book, "The Rocks Come With The Farm"

Thanks Jonah for taking the time out of your very busy schedule to come to Amelia Island and deliver your speech.  A great speech at that!

President Ron Heymann, Jonah Mitchell and one of our Honorary members, Larry Myers



Jonah Mitchell
"The Rocks Come With The Farm"


​Speaker/Seminar Leader/Auctioneer/Adjunct Professor/Realtor/Broker/Expert Witness


      "The Rocks Come With The Farm"  

      How to Prepare for, Plow Through and Profit from Tough Times (12 Resilience Lessons)


Doctorate of Philosophy (Ph.D.) Georgia State University, Atlanta, Georgia (1991)

Master's Degree (Counseling) Valdosta State University, Valdosta, Georgia (1978)

Bachelor’s Degree (Psychology) Asbury College, Wilmore, Kentucky (1973)

Bachelor's Degree (Theology) Ohio Christian University, Circleville, Ohio (1970)

The Exchange Students of Florida and where they are from:
Last NameFirst NameGenderCountry
AlvesAna ClaudiaFBrazil
FerroFederica (Fede)FItaly
GomezLoleta (Lole)FSpain
Salinas MarceloMChile
StrakovaJulianna (Juli)FSlovakia
UncovskyVit  (Vitek)MCzech Republic
YuanJin-Han (Klara)FTaiwan
Here was their agenda while on the Island at the Conference:
Friday, 5/18
6:00 PM
St. Peter's Episcopal Church--corner of 8th and Atlantic Ave - 801 Atlantic Avenue
meet in the courtyard behind the church buildings.
Saturday, 5/19
9:00 AM
Ft. Clinch State Park - Enter Gate - Drive To Fort Clinch Tour Entrance
9:00 AM
Fort Clinch State Park
Tour & Service Project
11:30 PM
Leave Fort Clinch State Park
12:00 PM
Arte - 3rd Street and Alachua Ave.  
Free Time
Downtown Fernandina Beach
2:00 PM
2:30 PM
Boat ride
River tour - Cumberland Island Tours 
4:00 PM
Free Time
Downtown Fernandina Beach Walk To St. Peters Episcopal Church
4:30 PM
Chick Fil A Dinner
5:00 PM
Dr. Page House
9:00 PM
Sunday, 5/20
8:15 AM
Drop Off
OMNI Hotel - 39 Beach Lagoon Road, Fernandina Beach, FL
8:30 AM
Rehearsal Of Flag Ceremony For District 6970 Conference
9:30 AM
Flag Ceremony, District Conference
10:00 AM
District Conference Closing Ceremony
11:00 AM
Depart OMNI Hotel -
John Boylan, Assistant Governor RYE District 6970 said the weekend went very well and he thanks all the host families who put the kids up for the weekend and got them to their events.  It couldn't have gone any better and the kids had a fantastic time!
The closing ceremony was awesome with all of the students walking in holding their flags.   

Mary Hamburg
Jun 27, 2018
"Special Event Permitting"
No Meeting - Have a safe Holiday
Jul 04, 2018
God Bless America!
Roger Morenc
Jul 11, 2018
Owner of Marlin & Barrel
Jul 18, 2018
Diane Hamick
Jul 25, 2018
"Kenya Partners"
3 Members TBD
Aug 01, 2018
"Member Craft Talks"
Chris Martin
Aug 08, 2018
Boys & Girls Club of Nassau County
PhD. William Perry
Aug 15, 2018
"Cybercrime and Computer Secruity"
Michael Hickox
Aug 22, 2018
Nassau County Property Appraiser’s Office
Cody Peters
Aug 29, 2018
Fort Clinch State Park and All it Offers

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