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
Story and Song Bookstore Bistro
(self-serve lunch begins 11:30)
1430 Park Avenue - Second Floor
Fernandina Beach, FL  32034
United States
DistrictSiteIcon District Site
VenueMap Venue Map
Executives & Directors
Community Service
immediate past president
Birthdays & Anniversaries
Member Birthdays
Coach Benson
August 1
Rick Campana
August 1
John McClane
August 6
Dorothy Lord
August 15
Foy Maloy
August 28
Spouse Birthdays
Dick Connelly
August 7
Darrell Holcomb
August 12
Aaron Bean
August 22
C. Buck
Dolly Buck
August 24
Join Date
John McClane
August 1, 1981
38 years
Mary Ruark
August 2, 2017
2 years
Dorothy Lord
August 4, 2010
9 years
Rick Campana
August 8, 2018
1 year
Rick Keffer
August 8, 2007
12 years
Timothy Flanagan
August 15, 2018
1 year
Laureen Pagel
August 19, 2009
10 years
Russell Hampton
ClubRunner Mobile
Next Weeks Speaker
Mary Kelli Palka, Editor, Florida Times-Union
"Challenges Facing Today's Journalists"
Mary Kelli Palka has been a journalist for more than 23 years. She became editor of The Florida Times-Union in January 2017.
A native of Jacksonville Beach, Fla., Palka started her journalism career as a reporter covering police and courts in Burlington, N.C. She went on to cover similar issues in the Lee County office of the Naples Daily News. In 2003, Palka returned to Jacksonville to cover the Mayor’s Office for the Florida Times-Union.  She later covered a variety of government issues, as well as education, public utilities and projects.
She left journalism for one year, when she worked for UF Health Jacksonville in the communications office. She returned to the Times-Union in 2013 to lead its newly created investigative reporting team. Later that year, she began overseeing the Times-Union’s news and business reporters. Since then, she served in a variety of newsroom leadership roles before being named editor.
Today, Palka oversees a newsroom that tackles such diverse and complex issues as juvenile justice reform, police conduct, pension reform, dredging of the St. Johns River and struggling schools, as well as covers everything from nonprofits, education and the Jaguars to important developments in businesses and trends in sports.
This will be and interesting subject overall as the future of internet and social media outlets try take center stage in news.
Last Weeks Speakers
The 2019 District 6970 Regional Rotary Oratory Contest was AWESOME! 
First, let me introduce the Rotarians from the Rotary Club of South Jacksonville who are the caretakers of this event.  In attendance were:

Tomas A. Jimenez, Jr. – Co-Chair of the Oratory Competition

Steve Madden – Co-Chair of the Oratory Competition

Dean Scott - Assistant Area Governor

Dinkins Grange

Les Loggins



Rotarian Tomas A. Jimenez, Jr., PA began opening remarks by introducing the Rotary team with him and the contestants.  The Nassau County Region Oratory Contestants in no particular order were:


Kiersten Wright - Hilliard Middle Senior High School


Lukas Smack  – West Nassau


Katie Slaughter - Fernandina Beach High School 


Mitchell Allen, V – Yulee High School


What they had to speak about:

What are developing cultural trends that will change our community at home and world wide over the next 20 years regarding social service to humanity?


Their theories must include trend identification, trend growth and projected anticipated outcomes. They had to support their argument through research, supporting data and quotes and/or opinions from cultural experts.



We Rotarians, were to score each speaker on seven different categories on a scale from 1 (below Par) to 4 (Excellent) adding up to a maximum of 28 total points:

Introduction, Organization, Content, Delivery, Timing/Pace, Grammar/Vocabulary and Conclusion.


While Votes were being calculated, Captain Prado from the Us Army spoke to the Club.



Every one of these young students were special for sure.  Scoring was difficult as they all did so well with there own subject of choice and everyone of the choices were very interesting!  When it was all said and done and the votes were in, the winner was:


Katie Slaughter - Fernandina Beach High School 



Katie Slaughter with Club President Ron Heymann


Contestants with Tomas A. Jimenez, Jr. – Co-Chair of the Oratory Competition & Club President Ron Heymann 


The Students with Army Sgt. First Class Graham and Army Captain Prado (co-sponsors)




Last Weeks Meeting Highlights

President Ron Heymann called the meeting to order.  


Dr. Page lead the club singing a patriotic song. "God Bless America"


Recited our "Pledge of Allegiance"


Followed with an excellent invocation by Rotarian Joe Hastey


Secretary, John McAfee Report:

In attendance were 35 Club Members. 58 total attended the meeting.

Signing in was Rotarian John Howard. Officers of the club from L to R John McAfee, Vince Cavallo and Rick Campana


Honorary Rotarian Members in attendance - Frank Ridley and Jim Hicks


Visiting Rotarians:  Bob Ward from Ada, Ohio, Joe Gullo from Gatlinburg, TN,

From the Rotary Club of South Jacksonville were:   Tomas A. Jimenez, Jr. – Co-Chair of the Oratory Competition, Steve Madden – Co-Chair of the Oratory Competition, Assistant Area Governor Dean Scott, Dinkins Grange and Les Loggins


Visiting Guests: Guest of Rotarian Janice O'Connell was Sara Fargo.  Guest of Rotarian Jonathan Levitt was Beth Stark

Also four Oratory contestants and their coaches - 8  And two Officers of the US Army, Co-sponsors of the Oratory Contest.


50/50 Jack Pot:  @$148  - Rotarian Doug Geib  had the drawn ticket and drew the Queen of Clubs ! 43 cards remaining.


Boy Scouts: $22

Shelter Box: $111



Sergeant at Arms, Larry Melnick:

No Report - just a couple of quick trivia questions while votes were being tallied for the Oratory Winner.

Rotarian Joe Hastey with some good trivia for us about the Ground Hogs and their shadow smiley


Just wanted to make not to you all that due to time restraints to have the Oratory Contest, we pushed through rather quickly, the Report section of our meeting.  We will get caught up with Reports next week.

Frank Gagnier


President-Elect, Antoinette Richter:       

Antoinette announced that she will be collecting Toiletries to bring with her to the March 7-9, 2019 - President-Elect Training in Orlando.  Please contact Antoinette for further information about donating.


John Howard, Community Services Report:

Next Blood Drive is scheduled for March 20th.  Our quota is set at 11. Let's do another 18 again! wink


John Boylan, Director of Youth Services Report:

It is again that time of year when host families are needed for our 22 Exchange Students from Northeast Florida that will be coming to Fernandina Beach, FL, on Friday, March 29th thru Sunday, March 31st.
The commitment is to provide a bed for two nights, and dinner on Friday and breakfast on Saturday/Sunday.   For the most part on Saturday, the students will be doing a service project, downtown, and on the Cumberland Island boat ride, and on Sunday, enjoying our beach at Amelia Island on Main Beach.

If you have the time and space, please contact John Boylan at the contact information listed below.  THANKS for considering it!



Kris Meyer, Public Relations Report:



Barbara Gingher, Fundraising Report:


Scholarship Luncheon Event.  The Rotary Club of Fernandina Beach’s annual scholarship luncheon will be held on February 7, and features a surf-and-turf menu prepared by the culinary team at Fernandina Beach High School under the direction of Chef Michael Gass.

Pam Crouser, Club Membership Report:

No Report


Nick Klein, Club Social Events Report:

Nick Thanked everyone who showed up and helped put 52,000 meals together last Saturday for the Rise Against Hunger event! Thank you!!!


President Ron Heymann, Club Report:


Our Annual Rotary Scholarship Luncheon was a huge success this past Thursday at the Fernandina Beach High School!  Everyone enjoyed the Surf-and-Turf menu prepared by the culinary team at Fernandina Beach High School under the direction of Chef Michael Gass.  More on this event will be in next weeks Bulletin.  Here are a few pictures of the event:


Chef Michael Gass and his Culinary Students


Debra Connelly, Club Foundation Report:

Nothing new to report at this time