Wild Game Dinner
March 6, 2020
6PM to 10PM
Lupton's Boggy Bottom Ranch 
Wild Game from all over the County
Venison - Gator - Moose - Wild Hog - Quail - Fried Catfish - Clams -_Luptons famous BBQ Ribs and much more!   
Premium Open Bar - Premium Hand Rolled Cigars 
The Famous Mystery Gun Raffle   
Unbelievable Door Prizes including an amazing selections of GUNS. 
All proceeds benefiting local Charities
Purchase tickets on-line on this site or contact a Brandon Club Rotarian.  VIP Tickets- $150.00 (Early Bird Pricing - $140.00 prior to Jan 14, 2020) Reg- $100.00 (Early Bird Pricing - $90.00 prior to Jan Jan. 14, 2020) 
Early Bird Pricing also available for Sponsors.
Don't miss out out on the Biggest Guys Night Out of the Year!!!! 
Purchase your tickets today!
FAQs  Where can I contact the organizer with any questions?
 Joe  jcampoamor@integrityft.com     813-748-2076 
Chuck       cburgess@mybsac.org   813-787-2980
Debbie   debbiemeeganrotary@gmail.com  813-601-2315

        Thank you to our
All Event Sponsors:
Rivard Buick GMC
Bank of Tampa
Brandon Regional Hospital
TD Bank
West Star Interiors
  The 2020 Rotary Club of Brandon Golf Tournament - Sold Out! 
This event is so popular, for the first time ever- we had a record number of Teams sign up and had more golfers than the course could accommodate. (Lesson for next year- Sign up Early!) This years event will take place at Beautiful Buckhorn Golf and Country Club on Thursday, January 16, 2020.  Registration starts at 11am with a shotgun start at 1PM. There will be plenty of food and fun on the course so bring your appetite and your money because this is a FUNdraiser. (emphasis on FUN).  All proceeds benefit our local Charities. 
Membership has its Perks! The Rotary Club of Brandon celebrated the completion of its Member's Only Lounge by hosting a Watch Party for the LSU-Clemson Championship Game. There were fans cheering on both sides while Rotarians, friends and family enjoyed the typical football snacks- Beer-Pizza and Wings. We watched the game in style two giant TVs and Christened our newly finished custom bar. A great time was had by all who attended and we look forward to many more socials!
On July 10th the new Rotary Year Started 2018-2019 started off like a firecracker on the 4th of July…full of excitement and energy.  This year the Rotary Motto is BE THE INSPIRATION and our club is full of Rotarians who inspire others in our community every day. Last year we raised over $92,000 that we gave out to deserving local charities and students.
Rudy Liddell and Loren Potts celebrated birthdays this week.  Larry Cox and his wife Penny celebrated 40 years of wedded bliss and Justin Northcutt and his lovely wife Kendell celebrate 9 years of matrimony.
The Club celebrated with Scott Carter for his 14 years as a Rotarian.
On behalf of the Club, Jeff Reynolds presented 6 deserving college bound students with scholarships . Maddie Abdoney, Dominick Anderson, Jessica Den Haese, Danielle Dwyer, Sarah Grabau and Katherine Newcomb  each received $1000.00. What a great day for our club as we watched the efforts of our fundraising being invested in the next generation. We wish them much success for a bright and exciting future.  
Past President Dave Brown,  President Debbie Meegan, President Elect John Dwyer
Over 90 Rotarians, friends and family members gathered on June 19, 2018 to celebrate the Installation of the new Club President Debbie Meegan and her Officers and Board of Directors for the upcoming Rotary Year. Joining the leadership team for this year are:
 John Dwyer- President-Elect,               Jeff Campbell- Secretary,
Michael Hayes- Treasurer,                    Fred Schwabe- Sergeant-At-Arms,
Clyde Eisenberg- Service Projects,       Larry Fassett- Club Administration
Chris Myers- Membership                    Cade Rivard- Fundraising
Steve Moran- Events                            Immediate Past President- Downtown Dave Brown
Past President Chuck Burgess started the evening off with a lively and creative poem heralding outgoing President Dave’s many accomplishments during his 2017-2018 Rotary Year. Under his leadership, we had a record breaking membership year, installing 15 new members, and a record breaking fundraising year, raising over $90,000 for our scholarships and charities. The club impacted our community by completing four service projects, two of them as joint Rotary Projects with other clubs. We enjoyed food and festivities with our lively Fireside Chats, our legendary Seafood Fest and our always entertaining Socials. Many thanks to Dave and his outgoing Board Members; Ryan Burley, John Gardner and Chris McGuire for all their hard work in making this a very successful year for the Rotary Club of Brandon. We are looking forward to an exciting year under our new leadership.
The Brandon Rotary Club welcomed four new members to our Club in March:  Larry Cox, Laura Vizzari, Justin Cole and Larry Guastella.
Larry is a Master Electrician and the founder of Cox Electric. He is currently semi-retired and enjoys Travel, Genealogy and Old Cars.
Laura is local Optometrist who has an office in Brandon. She enjoys Church activities,  volleyball , reading and her spending time with her family which now includes 3 foster care children.
Justin is the Sponsorship Director and Girls DA Business Manager for the West Florida Flames Soccer Club. He enjoys Coaching Soccer, Youth Leadership Development , Fundraising/Marketing  and Non-Profit Management. 
We are so excited to have these new members who are ready to engage Rotary and make a difference in our community. We know they will great additions to our already  GREAT  Rotary Club !
The Rotary Club of Brandon kicks off its fundraising season this Friday as it hosts its annual Bustin' Clays Clay Shoot at Fish Hawk Sporting Clays. Led by Ryan Burley and Chris McGuire, this major event consists of teams vying for the prestigious title of Best Overall Team and Top Shot bragging rights for the year. There will be lots of raffle prizes, and this year Ryan Burley will be behind the grill for one of the best barbecue's this side of Hillsborough County!
There are still opportunities to participate for those wanting to bring a team, be a shooter or just come on down for the barbecue. Registration begins at 3:00 which will be followed by a safety briefing and then the shoot. After all of the clays have been shot, fellowship, friendship and a ton of food will be on hand with the barbecue and raffle drawing.
For more information on the Bustin' Clays fundraiser, click on the below links. Hope to see you all there supporting our community!
The Rotary Club of Brandon had a special guest speaker this past week as Mary Berg from A Kid's Place visited to educate our club on the thriving 501c3 non-profit and its good work. Mary talked about the challenges of operating the facility's frequently filled to capacity houses and the 60 children they are currently serving. A Kid's Place, which provides a loving home for abused, neglected or abandoned children was founded by Dottie Berger McKinnon as a place where children can be fostered without being separated from their siblings. Some of the ways that organizations like Rotary can help are to do things with the children, organize a field trip like bowling, or even do a facility project together with them.
As for the club meeting, Sergeant At Arms Fred Schwabe was in prime form with every joke hitting its target. President Dave announced that the club will soon be inducting three more members to the club as Alexis Weaver, Todd Allen and Pat Skidmore II will all soon be Rotarians. A big reminder that our Bustin' Clays Clay Shoot is scheduled for Friday, September 29th at Fish Hawk Sporting Clays. Ryan Burley and Chris McGuire are primed and ready for an awesome event with tons of raffle items and a family barbecue waiting for all participants after the shoot.
The club had a big impact at lunch today as well by raising $1,000 for the Sandy & George Simmons Riverview Boys and Girls Club's upcoming corn hole tournament. The Simmons family has been instrumental in our club's ability to have the event center, and our members wanted to show some of our appreciation by passing the hat and raising some much needed funds for the Boys & Girls Club. Way to go, Rotary Club of Brandon!!
President Dave suggested to the club that our upcoming Fireside Chat be moved to the Rivard-Simmons Rotary Event Center due to a conflict with Rotary's Camp Florida and that it be a club social. Event chair Steve Moran will be leading this as a Filipino-Irish themed event with authentic cuisine, drinks and fun. All Rotarians, spouses and future Rotarians are invited for the October 10th event!
This coming week is our club assembly and fundraising prep time. 
The Rotary Club of Brandon got a little bigger and better this past week as the club celebrated the induction of new Rotarians Adam Bantner and Taylor Bell. Adam Bantner of the Bantner Law Firm and Taylor Bell an AAG loan officer add a ton of energy, experience and community passion to the ever-growing club.
Past club president and Past District Governor Alan Feldman presided over the induction as Adam's sponsor (Chuck Burgess) and Taylor's sponsor (Dave Brown) joined in the ceremonies by "pinning" the new members and officially introducing them as Rotarians for the first time. Both members now go through the "Baby Rote" program where they will learn more about Rotary International, the Rotary Club of Brandon and get indoctrinated into the overall world that Rotary touches.
Welcome Adam and Taylor. We and the community are expecting big things from your years of future Rotary service!



Our Tuesday, September 12th Social has been postponed to a date to be determined later due to the impending hurricane. We ask that everyone use this time to take care of your families, businesses and homes. Please stay safe!! Thank you!

The Rotary Club of Brandon kicked off National Beer Month in prime fashion with guest speaker, John Corsemyer, the amazing VP of Sales for Three Daughters Brewery in St. Pete. John did a fantastic job of showing the club the evolution of the Three Daughters brand and some of the big goals that they have moving forward. It was entertaining, enlightening and refreshing as each Rotarian and guest got a two-pack sample of their Three Daughters Beach Blonde and new Coffee Blonde Ale craft beers. We learned about crowlers, growlers and howlers (wait, that was just Wayne in the back wanting a case of Busch Light)!
The meeting got started with Sergeant At Arms, Fred Schwabe, doing his best to get the crowd into the meeting, and he welcomed a ton of guests and visiting Rotarians. Immediate Past President of the Brandon '86 Club, Jake Mathers, was in the house as was former California Rotarian Taylor Bell.
Past District Governor and longtime Rotarian, Alan Feldman, gave a phenomenal presentation on the club's plans on bringing back our illustrious Baby Rote program so we can educate new members on the history and impact of both Rotary International and the Rotary Club of Brandon. Alan will be meeting with each new Rotarian this year to introduce them to the Baby Rote program so they are better equipped and prepared for a great Rotary experience! Thanks, Alan!
President Dave Brown made sure to remind everyone about our current sponsorship opportunities for the Rotary year along with our upcoming major fundraiser - the Bustin' Clays Clay Shoot at Fish Hawk Sporting Clays on Friday, September 29th. Our goal is to have 100 shooters so we can rock out the donations this year for our charities.
John Gardner then introduced John Corsemyer from Three Daughters, and he took over the show. John gave a great rundown of 3 Daughters' history, partnerships, strategies and future goals. Of course, the entire club was engaged!
Next week's guest speaker is longtime Brandon community leader, Cindy Sofarelli, who will be talking to us about Metropolitan Ministries.
The Rotary Club of Brandon kicked off National Ice Cream Month with a great treat - an awesome guest speaker in Brian West, and a chance to sample a flavor not yet released to the public. Now that's how you do it!
The meeting started off with introducing our guests and visiting Rotarians. Call Doyle, a local relator who works for Florida Realty and was invited by John Dwyer, wanted to learn more about Rotary and potentially joining us on a permanent basis. Also, Alexis Weaver who is relatively new to the area and works for The Bottle Crew stopped in for lunch to check us out. Alexis’ mon was a Rotarian and Alexis is looking for a club to join. Well, I think she may have found the one!
We had Rotarian and Immediate Past President of the Brandon '86 Club Jake Mathers visit us as well as he is interested in helping us with our website link for the Rivard Simmons Rotary Event Center. Thanks, Jake!
Awesome Rotarian John Dwyer’s daughter, Danielle, who gave the club an insightful presentation on her experience at S4TL this past June joined in the lunch fun as well.  She had a wonderful time learning about global and social issues affecting the world and our local communities. She felt the experience allowed her to grow as a person individually and gave her a wonderful understanding of the impact Rotarians make in the world. She is looking forward to going back to S4TL next year and has already signed up to be a Red Shirt which is a designation for someone who returns for a  2nd year . Way to go, Danielle, and thanks for representing our club with such leadership!
President Dave then kicked off the headliner of our packed meeting by introducing guest speaker Brian West. Brian, who is the marketing manager for Public, gave us a brief history about Public, and in particular, their dairy division. Publix was founded by George Jenkins who was born in a little town in Ga and worked in his father’s general store. George moved to Florida when he was 17 and worked for a Piggly Wiggly store for five years. He quit that job and started his own grocery store called Publix Food Store in Winter Haven, FL. His commitment was to clean, friendly stores with quality merchandise and amazing service. They currently have over 1,150 stores and have 190,000 employees.
Because July is national Ice Cream month, Brian’s talk focused on Publix Stores and their dairy department which includes their Publix brand ice creams. Publix owns three dairy plants are which are located in Lakeland, Deerfield Beach, and Dacula, Georgia. The Lakeland plant is the oldest of the dairy plants and offers tours to the public.  Publix buys milk from local dairy farmers and holds the quality to the highest standards possible which allows Publix milk to remain on the shelf for four days longer than another milk brand.  They have more than 500 dairy plant associates who process 100 million gallons of fresh milk a year. They also produce Publix brand ice cream, and Publix brand cultured products like yogurt and cottage cheese. Brian treated the club to Publix Brand Ice Cream. His selection even included one which is still in the creative process and has not been released to the public yet. He assured the club that sampling the new ice cream which was a peanut butter heavenly creation was so good it was a life changing experience. After the taste test, the entire club agreed!
This week's program will include several local high school seniors receiving scholarships from our club at our Annual Scholarship Luncheon. This should be an amazing day as we share our hard work with the hard work of some of the top students and young community leaders in our area!
The Rotary Club of Brandon kicked off its 2017-2018 Rotary Year with an awesome presentation by motivational speaker and author, Eric Papp, brother of Rotarian Chris Papp. Eric's call to action was to focus on grabbing on, letting go and moving forward, and it was full of energy and a positive message for us all. Author of several leadership books, Eric's clients include Million Dollar Round Table, American Dental Association, Nationwide, Homeland Security, and LifeLock. Eric serves as a weekly leadership expert on News Talk 1530 and publishes original content twice a week on his podcast and blog. Traveling around the globe with a message to increase effectiveness and productivity, Eric focuses on OWNERSHIP AT WORK: CREATING AN “I MAKE IT HAPPEN.” CULTURE.
With the newly constructed Rivard-Simmons Rotary Event Center up and running, and with our club's focus on increasing membership to make an even bigger difference in our community, Eric's time was spent showing the importance of building Rotary's presence and impact both in our own club and throughout the Tampa Bay area. The challenge was set for ALL Rotarians to bring more leaders into the fold to impact them first so they can experience the value of Rotary and the opportunity for they themselves to use their talents to impact others.
Prior to Eric's presentation, newly inducted President Dave Brown got to ring the bell for the first time, and he did an outstanding job of getting everyone pumped up about the new year. Goals have been established, board members and officers are primed and focused and everything is on the right track for a huge Rotary year. Dave reminded everyone about the upcoming Clay Shoot on September 29th and again encouraged everyone to bring a leader to lunch.
This week's program has Brian West from Publix, and the Brandon Rotary Club Charity Fund (BRCCF) recognizes its scholarship award winners at our annual Scholarship Luncheon on Tuesday, July 25th. It should be an awesome day!!
It was an amazing night of fun, recognition and excitement as the Rotary Club of Brandon's President's gavel got passed to newly inducted President Dave Brown. Almost 100 Rotarians, family and friends gathered for the 2017-18 Annual Installation Banquet at the Rivard-Simmons Rotary Event Center on Tuesday, June 27th. You could feel the energy in the room as soon as you walked in with the anticipation of new leadership, club goals and impending community impact. 
Master of Ceremony's Fred Schwabe got things kicked off with a few great jokes, and by a few, we mean one! Royalty was in the house as District Governor Joyce Gunter and Past District Governors Gary Gunter and Alan Feldman joined the festivities. In a night that more resembled the Oscars, by the number of awards, speeches and length of program, the overall feedback was, it was a hit!
The awards started with DG Gunter presenting incoming President Elect Debbie Meegan with a four time Paul Harris Fellow pin. This award is very prestigious from the Rotary International perspective, and Debbie also became a Paul Harris Sustaining Member which gives RI $1,000 annually. Congrats, Debbie!
The mic was handed over to President Chuck, and he took advantage of the time to give out several thank you's to many deserving Rotarians that served on the board, chaired fundraising committees and made an impact in the overall success of the club. Those recognized included Mike Edenfield, Justin Northcutt, Troy Dimsdale, Steve Moran, Chris McGuire, Ryan Burley, John Dwyer, Joe Campoamor, Past President Craig Oldham, Debbie Meegan and Fred Schwabe.
Next up for awards were the annual awards. President Chuck presented three Service Above Self awards to Rotarians that served our club above and beyond behind the scenes. Ryan Burley, Susan Thomason and Justin Northcutt all received recognition for furthering the Rotary Motto of "Service Above Self". After serving as secretary of the club for two years, keeping our club in line with RI and going above and beyond at every opportunity, Debbie Meegan was awarded the President's Award. Finally, the big award of Rotarian of the Year was presented to soon to be President, at some point in the future, John Dwyer. John's leadership in the Rotary Event Center project becoming a reality, taking on the lead for the Fireside Chats and Seafood Fest along with being the liaison for the club with the Interact Club of Strawberry Crest High all led to him being selected as our year's Top Rotarian! Congrats to all of the award winners, and the club sends you all a big thanks for your leadership!
After the annual awards were completed, our Perfect Attendees all received their pins and certificates. Next up, President Chuck said a few words about the year and then made sure to give Dave the "Rules to Being President of Our Club". Every Rotarian was mentioned, and the rules were very explicit. We'll see if Dave can follow them!!
The moment we were all waiting for finally happened as Dave Brown and his new board of directors were sworn in as the official leaders of the club for the 2017-18 Rotary year. Dave thanked the current board and President Chuck for all of their hard work over the past year, and set a vision for membership and making a much bigger difference through Rotary in the coming year. Dave's impassioned words challenged us all to have as a priority this year to engage local leaders to join our club in its quest to further Rotary, impact more families and organizations and to build on the strong tradition of success of the Rotary Club of Brandon.
The highlight of the night was saved for the end. In a tradition that began last year, the President of the club gets to select two Rotarians either past or current to bestow the prestigious Rotary Legacy Award. Alan Feldman presented Derrell Curry his much deserved award, and Larry Fassett handed Bob Solano his legacy award. Both of these amazing men have had 36 years of perfect attendance in the club and have led several key elements over the years that have made our club such a huge success. It was a very special moment for all of us, but none more special to Derrell and Bob's families who were all so appreciative. Thanks Derrell and Bob for leaving your legacy!!
The evening ended with a toast to success for this year by President Dave. It was an energizing evening and a fun one as well. Congrats to everyone for an unbelievable year. Now let's make this year an even better one! 
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: tiny.cc/rotary.
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: www.eventbrite.com/e/wild-game-dinner-tickets-3004729627
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)
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 DACDB.com 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 https://www.facebook.com/burgess4brandon/ or the website at www.burgess4brandon.com. 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!
Several members of the Rotary Club of Brandon gathered to assist the Emergency Care Help Organization (ECHO) this past Saturday at the Bill Carey Boys and Girls Club in Brandon and the ECHO center off of Parsons. The project entailed helping package over 50,000 pounds of inbound food products for local families in need as well as help to organize the ECHO center and process new donations for distribution. New Rotary member, Eleanor Saunders, organized hundreds of volunteers over the six plus hour service project, and the Rotary Club played a key role in the first part of the day.
Chris Myers, Cade Rivard, Ron Croone, Dave West, Alan Feldman, Bob Solano, Pat Skidmore, Clyde Eisenberg, Melissa Cox, John Sellers, Maria Lewis, Lee Elam and Chequita & Chuck Burgess all represented the club throughout the day. From sorting clothes to sorting food stuffs, the day was filled with lots of laughter and fun while the hands of many made a tangible impact on ECHO and the great work that they do in the community.
Thanks to Pat Skidmore and Eleanor Saunders for organizing and to all of the Rotarians that took time out of their weekend to come and assist with the project!
The Community Foundation of Tampa Bay's Rich Strehl served as this past week's guest speaker and introduced the Rotary Club of Brandon to all of the opportunities that the Foundation offers donors wanting to connect with charities. Rich talked about legacy, planned giving and donor specific giving programs as well as innovative grant opportunities that exist for non profits doing something outside the box to impact the community.
The day got started with Justin Northcutt pinch hitting for Fred Schwabe who was out having knee surgery. Justin did an outstanding job and even noted to the club that Brandon Regional actually did find a funny bone inside of Fred. Who would have guessed? The club sang a rousing rendition of Happy Birthday to Ryan Burley who just got a new front number.
Kathy Curry and Jackie Fields both stopped by to donate a check to the Rotary Event Center project on behalf of the Brandon South Club. Thank you so much, Kathy and Jackie!
A reminder about the club's service project for ECHO at the Boys and Girls Club was made as was one for the upcoming Installation Banquet for June 2nd at the Tampa Club.
John Maxwell Team speaker, Kris Beaird will be our guest speaker this week to impart some motivational wisdom for us all. Next week will be our charity check presentations and guest speaker Nick Hall! Should be an awesome two weeks at Rotary!
Club Anniversaries:
May 16th - Burley, Ryan (4 years), Jeff Campbell (4 years), David Magann (4 years), Chris McGuire (4 years), 
May 21st - Paul Garner (14 years)
Upcoming Key Dates:
May 23rd - Rotary Board Meeting
May 24th - Charity Luncheon
May 26th - Monthly Social (World of Beer)
May 31st - Club Assembly
June 2nd - Installation Banquet
The Rotary Club of Brandon had another banner day this past week as they inducted the Emergency Care Help Organization's Executive Director, Eleanor Saunders, as their newest Rotarian. Sponsored by recently inducted Dan Coyle, Eleanor took center stage and accepted the duties that go along with becoming a great community Rotarian. The club was excited to have her join the ranks and is expecting big things from her as she begins her Rotary career.
The week brought a lot of thoughts and prayers to many of our Rotarians as Fred Schwabe heads into surgery this coming week, and the club sent best wishes to both the Anello and Simmons families as they care for their family patriarchs. Best wishes to all, and you are all in our prayers.
Our last service project of the Rotary year is scheduled for Saturday, May 14th at the Carey Boys and Girls Club as we will be assisting ECHO with a food collection drive. Rotarians will help bring in and process over 50,000 pounds of food being donated for children and families in our community that are in need. This is a much needed project, and should be a great one for all of us to rally around and contribute to. 
The club is also getting ready for its annual Installation Banquet on Thursday, June 2nd at the Tampa Club where we will induct our new club officers and directors. We will also recognize the new Rotary Club Charity Fund board as well. This will be our official change in leadership which will begin July 1st for the new Rotary year which has the theme of Rotary - Serving Humanity.
Speaking of serving humanity, the Rotary Club of Brandon would like to send its congratulations to Liz Fields, her staff, board and volunteers at Rotary's Camp Florida for being recognized as a finalist for the Tampa Bay Business Journal's Non Profit of the Year. Rotary's Camp Florida continues to be a top non profit in the NPO industry locally, and Liz's leadership is evident by all of the amazing impact that the camp makes to so many children. Way to go, Rotary's Camp Florida. (Check out the link to the story: http://www.bizjournals.com/tampabay/news/2016/05/05/2016-nonprofit-of-the-year-finalists-named.html?ana=e_tbay_bn_newsalert&u=ZzMRNZ2i5u5Bq0kUkT03%2Fw0fb446c1&t=1462462721&j=72955362)
Key Dates for May:
23rd - Rotary BOD Meeting
24th - Charity Check Presentations/Nick Hall Speaker
26th - Rotary Monthly Social
31st - Club Assembly
June 2nd - Installation Banquet
Brandon Rotarians had some new digs this past week as they welcomed the club at Romano's Macaroni Grill for the next several months until the Rotary Event Center is completed. It was a packed house and agenda as Rotarians got an opportunity to vote for the distribution of dollars to the selected charities for the 2015-16 Rotary year. The club also welcomed guest speaker, Steve McCleary from the Special Operations Warrior Foundation. Steve talked to the club about how the 501c3 non profit raises funds for college scholarships for the surviving children of fallen Special Operations Forces, family & educational counseling, including in-home tutoring, as well as advocacy support and immediate $3,000 financial grants to severely-wounded Special Operations Forces service members.
Club members also began signing up for our annual Installation Banquet for June 2nd at the Tampa Club. We will be inducting three new board members with John Gardner rejoining the board and Chris McGuire and Ryan Burley joining the board for the first time. We are excited about our goals for 2016-17 and to take our club to an even higher level!
Happy anniversary to Rocky and Jane Santa Cruz!
Our club will be having a great weekend as we embark on our annual fishing trip to Steinhatchee, Florida for four days of onshore and offshore fishing, a fish fry, and tons of Rotary fellowship. Those not attending will have an awesome Thursday at Stein and Vine for our monthly social. Should be a lot of fun!
This week's meeting will have Ruth Van Dyke, and we will announce our 2016 Scholarship recipients.
Important Upcoming Dates for April:
18th - Rotary Board of Directors Meeting
19th - Weekly Meeting
21st - Annual Fishing Trip/Monthly Social - Stein & Vine
26th - Monthly Club Assembly
Brandon Rotarians took to the water, both inshore and offshore, to have fun, fish and enjoy Rotary fellowship at their Annual Fishing Trip to Steinhatchee. In all, over 30 plus Rotarians, friends and families gathered for the two-day event that included an evening steak dinner and a good old fashioned fish fry from the previous day's catch. Bob Solano, Pat Skidmore and Larry Fassett provided all of the set up, organization and fixins' which made for a great weekend.
The trip started with many Rotarians coming in on Thursday night and having the opening dinner at Fiddler's. Despite a long wait, lots of stories of past trips and anticipation for the next day's catch abounded. The following morning was an early start with a quick breakfast and the groups breaking out into offshore and inshore fishing. It was a beautiful day to fish, and the groups didn't disappoint with king fish, amberjack, blues, blackies, trout and a whole lot of others that didn't make the cut all being caught throughout the day. Once all of the fishing was done, it was time for fellowship and a signature steak dinner. Again, more tales and fun as many Rotarians prepared to lose their money and contribute to the Pat Skidmore retirement fund (also known as poker night!). 
The following morning was another early start, and a calm, clear day started another great fishing outing. After a great day of fishing, the traditional fish fry took place with lots of happy bellies enjoying the trout and amberjack which were cooked to perfection! Overall, the trip may not have had as many fish caught as in past years, but the laughter and fun were classic!
It was all about family and friends this past week as the Rotary Club of Brandon gathered for its Spring Fireside Chat at Rotary's Camp Florida. The steaks were cooking, the stories were flying and the next generation of young Rotarians shared a night of fellowship with an awesome group of community leaders. John Dwyer did another great job of getting everything coordinated and set up while Mike Edenfield manned the grill to make the best steaks ever! Derrell Curry took care of his world famous salad with the much needed help of Pat Skidmore, Larry Fassett and Clyde Eisenberg. Over 50 Rotarians, spouses and children all attended the evening where President Chuck and Roger Rivard gave the entire club an update on the progress of the Rotary Event Center. To date, the club has raised in both contributions and in-kind donations (service, labor, materials) approximately a quarter of a million dollars. We have a bit more to go, so getting more people involved, having other Rotarians step up and the charity vote distribution will all play a role in us accomplishing our goal.
This week the club moves to Romano's Macaroni Grill for its weekly meetings until the REC is completed. Howard Cohen (GM) has graciously accommodated us. Our club will also be voting to distribute close to $62,000 to our selected charities this week. Rotarians will get to divide 10 votes each to the Brandon Rotary Club Charity Fund, Rotary's Camp Florida, The Outreach Clinic, The Brandon Sports and Aquatic Center's special needs TRIDENT program, The Boy Scouts of America's Alafia Canoe and Kayak project and the Women's Resource Center. Charities designated for awards of $1,000 are Family Promise of Brandon, Emergency Care Help Organization and Senior Care Group Foundation. We are so excited to celebrate a year's worth of hard work by giving away these dollars to impact these extraordinary local charities!!
The Brandon Rotary Club will have a special guest speaker today from the Special Operations Warrior Foundation - Steve McLeary. Steve will tell us about the foundation, the great work they are doing and how they are impacting our military and veterans. 
We will be celebrating a big Happy Birthday to John Dwyer (April 13th) as well as anniversaries to Fred and Barbara Schwabe (April 15th) - 55 years!! and Chuck and Chequita Burgess (April 17th)- 23 years. Enjoy the celebrations!
In news and notes, Brandon '86 is having their 2nd Annual Golf Tournament at Bloomingdale this Saturday, April 16th and is looking for our club to put together a foursome or two to support them. Any Rotarian looking to have a fun, relaxing day on the course can contact Brad Metcalf for more information (Brad Metcalf, Tournament Administrator, 813-335-8281, Brad@BrandonInsuranceInc.com).
Our sister club, the Fish Hawk/Riverview Rotary Club is putting on their Annual Crawfish Festival at Winthrop on Saturday, April 16th as well. Longtime Rotarian Mike Meegan has asked our club to have a few people come out and assist with the beer tent. Anyone coming out will get an amazing lunch, and of course multiple samplings of what they are serving! Shifts needed are 10:45 - 12:30, 12:30 - 2:00 and 2:00 - 4:00. Mike's Rotary Club did a great job of assisting us at our Wild Game Dinner, so let's please return the favor!! Those that can help out, please contact Mike at mike.meegan@verizon.net.
Finally, our 2016 Brandon Rotary Club Charity Fund scholarship applications for current high school seniors are due this Friday, April 15th to be considered for awards of $2,000 (1) or $1,000 (3). If you have or know of a high school senior looking to get assistance from one of these awards, please have them fill out the scholarship application on our website. The charity fund committee will review all applications and award the most qualified candidates accordingly.
Key Upcoming Dates in April:
  • 15th - Rotary Club scholarship applications due!
  • 16th - Fish Hawk/Riverview Rotary Crawfish Festival - Please help w/ Beer Tent
  • 16th - Brandon '86 Golf Tournament - Help support their efforts
  • 18th - Brandon Rotary Board of Directors Meeting
  • 21st - Annual Club Fishing Trip
  • 21st - Monthly Social - Stein & Vine
  • 26th - Club Assembly
Tuesday, March 22nd - The Rotary Club of Brandon got a little bit bigger and a whole lot better this week as the club inducted new member, Chris Myers, as its newest member. Community leader and owner of ACE Heating & Cooling, Chris has impacted the Brandon area greatly with his work on the Greater Brandon Chamber of Commerce board of directors and the several charities that he has made a difference in through his business. After hearing about Rotary for the past dozen or so years from Rotarian Ron Marshall, Jeff Campbell finally closed the deal by sponsoring Chris into the club. As we know, being a member of the Brandon Rotary Club is a tremendous honor, and with it comes a lot of responsibility to be a top notch leader. Chris is a perfect fit! Welcome, Chris!
This week's meeting was a great one as the club made a collective choice to move its meeting location to Romano's Macaroni Grill beginning Tuesday, April 12th until the Rotary Event Center is completed. Our last meeting at The Loft with Arlene and Courtney will be next week, Tuesday, March 29th where we will also have our monthly Club Assembly. The club will not be meeting on the 5th of April as we put on our Spring Fireside Chat on the 7th instead. Should be another fun event for our club!
Lots of Happy Dollars flowed at the meeting, and why not after Fred Schwabe's great joke got everyone in the mood to feel good. Maria Lewis let everyone know about her organization's Top Chef event, Brandon Regional Hospital's CEO, Bland Eng, invited everyone to the ribbon cutting to their newly constructed facilities and Alan Feldman gave us a preview of his upcoming trip to China, and we have pictures to prove it!
Dr. Jean Batronie was our guest speaker as she talked about her 501c3 charity St. Jude's Helping Hand Foundation. The mission of the organization is to help the homeless in Tampa. For several years Jean and her family have been feeding the homeless by providing home cooked meals, clothes, toiletries and other needed items. She has also been a strong advocate for the homeless having areas where people like her can contribute to aiding their situation. Her passion for helping others in need showed through her presentation!
With the Club Assembly this week, there will be lots to report with the Rotary Event Center, our fundraising results for the Rotary year, membership, discussion around the next year and sign ups for the Installation Banquet on June 2nd at The Tampa Club. We are also celebrating some birthdays and club anniversaries this week. Happy Birthday to Paul Garner (April 2nd), Alan Feldman (April 3rd) and Chuck Burgess (April 3rd). Club anniversaries this week belong to Joe Campoamor (March 30th - 10 years), Chuck Burgess (March 30th - 7 years), Derrell Curry (April 1st - 35 years)!
  • March/April Key Dates:
    • 31st - Monthly Social - Top Golf
    • 5th - NO MEETING!
    • 7th - Fireside Chat
    • 12th - Club votes for Charity Fund Distribution (Meet at new location Macaroni Grill)
Tuesday, March 15th - The Rotary Club of Brandon's weekly meeting became a spine tingling experience as Dr. Matt Wilson of Epic Chiropractic and Wellness visited as our guest speaker to discuss the challenges of proper spine alignment in today's technological world. Prior to that, however, our weekly Emcee, Fred Schwabe, got things kicked into gear welcoming several guests, most notably Eleanor Saunders from ECHO. Fred delivered another breakfast joke that met mixed reviews and is determined to regain his momentum for another streak!
There were Happy Dollars flying around with great news about our Wild Game Dinner, community service project at the Rotary Event Center and Chris Larson helping out our members once again. Wild Game Chair Joe Campoamor made a point to thank all of the committee chairs that led their respective areas, our sponsors and the entire club for their tireless service and efforts in making the event one of the more successful ones over the years. Larry Fassett and Chuck Burgess both thanked those that attended the Rotary Event Center service project. Those that showed up did an outstanding job of taking down walls, putting up temporary walls and getting us a step closer to a permanent home.
Chuck then discussed that we were only at the Loft another few weeks, and that we would be proposing another location for the club's approval next week. O'Brien's and Macaroni Grill were two options, but we needed to get further info prior to presenting.
Dr. Matt took over from there talking to the club about how the emergence of mobile devices and computers are changing the spine alignment of adults and children. He informed us what a normal, healthy spine should look like and examples of spines that are out of alignment look as well. Dr. Matt offered to donate the consultation fee for every Rotarian that comes in to get checked out back to our Rotary Club!
Larry Fassett has set up Dr. Jean Batronie of the St. Jude Helping Hand Foundation as our guest speaker. The Rotary Club of Brandon will also be inducting new member, Chris Myers!
Special Club Celebrations this week include: Birthday - Tom Odiorne - March 26th, Anniversaries - David & Susan West (March 21st - 35 years), Craig Oldham & Peggy Colleran (March 26 - 22 years), Ron & Connie Marshall (March 27 - 35 years)
Key Dates
29th - Club Assembly
31st - Monthly Social - Top Golf
7th - Fireside Chat
This past weekend's Brandon Rotary service project at the Rotary Event Center had a little bit of everything. While many Rotarians were in small teams deconstructing the building, others were in construction mode by building temporary walls for the ones coming down. HRIC, Larry Fassett, (Head Rotarian In Charge) led the small, but mighty contingent throughout the long six hours of work, and a lot got done. Walls were knocked down, the chimney was removed, an entire bathroom was removed, part of the back roof came down and two false walls were constructed.
A big thank you to the entire work crew who pretty much all got there bright and early and stayed to the end. Thanks to Larry Fassett, Pat Skidmore, Scott Carter, Ron Croone, John Sellers, Wayne Strohaker, Chris Larson, Rocky Santa Cruz, Alan Feldman, Paul Garner, hopefully future Rotarian Rob Armstrong, Chuck Burgess, Chequita Burgess and Brandon Burgess. Also, a big thank you to Susan Thomason who took care of feeding the troops!
To say that this was a labor intensive project would be an understatement. Watching the elder statesmen of our club work non stop swinging sledgehammers, carrying concrete all day, throwing around plywood, tearing down a roof, ripping down walls and doing so all day long was truly impressive and inspirational. There truly is a lot of blood, sweat and elbow grease going into the REC by many dedicated and committed Rotarians month after month.
We are one step closer to getting it done, and we are more excited than ever to finally have a permanent home. Again, thanks to all of the Rotarians and friends of Rotary that showed up to make it happen! Way to go, Brandon Rotary!
It was a banner evening for the Rotary Club of Brandon this past Sunday as the new Bloomingdale WalMart (store 941), headed by community leader Peter Peck, distributed a check for $500 to our charity fund. In all WalMart contributed $8,000 to 16 local, deserving charities including some of our own charities including The Outreach Clinic, the Boys Scouts, ECHO and the Brandon Sports and Aquatic Center.
President Chuck Burgess and Secretary Debbie Meegan attended the ceremonies to receive the check on behalf of the club during the soft opening presentation. "We are so grateful and honored to receive these funds for our Rotary Club," Burgess said. "Pete Peck and WalMart have been huge supporters of our Rotary Club and the many local charities that are in need of a helping hand. It is organizations like this and people like Pete that make our community so strong."
The Rotary Club of Brandon gives its thanks to Pete, his entire staff team and the WalMart organization for their support of Rotary here locally! Thanks, Pete!
Tuesday, February 16th - It was a lights out meeting this week with TECO guest speaker Tad Denham taking center stage with an excellent presentation about TECO's local impact. Tad talked to club members about the new TECO owners, TECO's presence in New Mexico, their continued commitment to the Manatee viewing center and the rise of natural gas as mobile fuel. Thanks, Tad, for a great presentation!
Fred Schwabe kicked things off with the introduction of longtime Rotarian George Simmons' daughter, Christine Hogan, who was celebrating her birthday with us. The club also had local media maven Linda Chion Kenney from the Tampa Tribune. George Anello brought in his lovely bride, Sharon as a guest as well.
There were lots of Happy Dollars to go around as Bland Eng announced the Grand Opening of the new addition to the Brandon Regional Hospital ER will be held March 23rd at 5Pm. He invited the whole Club. Rex Etheridge former CEO for many years will be attending. Joe Campamor celebrated the opening of his 6th and newest title office in Davenport. John Sellers informed us that former Rotarian and Manager of the new WalMart on Bloomingdale will be donating  Grand Opening Funds to our club and many of the Charities supported by our Club . All are invited to the Grand Opening which will be held Wednesday, March 9th at 7:30AM. Alan Feldman gave two Happy Dollars, one for a great fishing trip with Captain Mike Anderson host of the Real Animals TV show. They caught a lot of flounder, red fish, trout , sheephead and a snook. Alan's second Happy Dollar was given because his wife Melonie bought him his dream kayak for Valentine’s Day which will ensure many more fish and love in his future.
Joe Campoamor reminded the club that we are two and half weeks away from our 40th Wild Game Dinner fundraiser and that we are in need of lots of help with silent auction items and raffle prizes. Susan Thomason has done yeoman's work on this, but we need everyone to help with this by either getting items from local businesses or donating dollars so we can purchase gift cards and items so this part of our event is successful. JJ Massaro had new posters for the event and Paul Garner showed a nifty customized putter that was being donated to the event. Michael Gottesman drew a 2 of hearts after winning the 50/50 drawing so the pot continues to grow.
This week is our monthly Club Assembly meeting. Several wedding and club anniversaries will be celebrated this week as JJ and Melissa Massaro celebrate their 26th anniversary on the 24th. Susan Thomason celebrates her 5th year in the club on the 22nd and Wayne Strohaker celebrates his 9th year as a Brandon Rotarian on the 27th! Happy Anniversary everyone!
Key February/March Dates:
23rd - Club Assembly Meeting
25th - Monthly Social - World of Beer
1st - Club Meeting - Wild Game Prep
4th - Wild Game Dinner!!
8th - NO MEETING!!
Saturday, February 13th - Brandon Rotarians took time out of their weekend to help lead Rotary's annual Engage Rotary Youth Day held at Rotary's Camp Florida this past Saturday from 10:00 - 4:00. Over 100 area Rotoractors, Interactors and Rotarians joined forces to educate, learn from each other and share Rotary experiences. The day was filled with great talks from District Governor Tom Wagner, District Membership Chair George-Robertson Burnett, awesome Rotarian Nick Hall, an amazing Rotary Youth Exchange student from Finland and many Rotoract presidents and high school Interact members. Team-building focusing on communication, cooperation and leadership were the themes of the day as was a very intensive service project helping Rotary's Camp Florida move their offices to their new location.
It was great to see our Brandon Rotarians in lead roles working with Rotary Youth. The passion, energy and excitement for doing good in the world was on full display! A big thanks to Alan Feldman, Fred Schwabe, Susan Thomason, John Sellers, Chequita Burgess and Brandon Burgess (the only middle schooler to attend) who all participated in the event along with President Chuck. Due to everyone's efforts, the Rotary Club of Brandon is one step closer to getting its Presidential Citation! Only one more step to go, and that's to get everyone to activate their accounts on Rotary.org.
The event was a ton of fun for all participants as everyone was organized in six different groups where they competed in a series of team-building tasks such as the four person ski walk, the ever shrinking Four Way Test challenge, the blindfolded water transport game and the team golf ball relay. To experience the joy of Rotary through our youth was refreshing and inspiring to everyone involved. Look out Brandon Rotary, we may have to institute some of these cool things at our next Fireside Chat!!
Again, a big thanks to the leadership of our club members that participated and helped to position us for our district leadership award! Rotary in Action. You've got to love it!
Tuesday, February 9th - Seats were hard to come by at the Rotary Club of Brandon's weekly meeting as Past District Governor George Robertson-Burnett cooked up some fun, sprinkled in a dash of humor and talked to the club about the Recipe for Rotary. Rotarians were glued to every word, partly due to the fun nature of the presentation, and partly because we were trying to understand English coming from a Scottsman.
The meeting got kicked into gear with Sergeant At Arms Fred Schwabe getting the club fired up about Rotarian Michael Hayes' birthday. Jeff Reynolds, as he does so well, led the club in the festivities. Fred then recapped the outstanding service project at the Rotary Event Center by thanking all those that participated in the clearing of land, digging of trenches and felling of trees. President Chuck brought to the club's attention the fact that Larry Fassett could cut down a 50 foot pine tree without a scratch but couldn't open up an envelope without requiring First Aid. Thanks, Larry for showing us that country boys don't mix well with city tasks!
The humor for the day was short and sweet, and the "I nailed the joke" streak for Fred is up to five weeks in a row! This is both a personal and club record for Fred. The program continued with Susan Thomason asking for much needed assistance with the Wild Game Dinner raffle/door prizes. Club members were asked to please contribute to getting gift cards and items to make the event a success. Dave West acknowledged how daunting a task this is and complimented Susan as a true Rotary Wild Game Dinner warrior with her relentless pursuit of any and all items for the cause! Chuck made sure to remind all Rotarians to order their shirts for Wild Game Dinner or a business shirt with the Rotary logo to represent the club both at the event and beyond. Chuck also encouraged all members that were not currently on a Wild Game Dinner committee to get with a chairman of a committee so they could get engaged.
Larry Fassett was handed the baton for one of his patented introductions, and George Robertson-Burnett was off to the races talking about his Rotary story and the secret sauce to a great Rotary experience. Fellowship, networking and doing good in the world were the ingredients to success. George also gave the club a little known tidbit that copper wire actually was invented by two Scottsmen fighting over a penny! After his presentation, George complimented our club for having the largest growth in the district since July 1st and talked about all of the energy and enthusiasm in the room. It was an awesome meeting!
This week the Rotary Club of Brandon will be treated to Tad Denham who is in charge of Community Affairs and Government relations for TECO. Tad has been a driving force for TECO building relationships and spreading all of the great things that TECO has done for our community over the years.
There are no birthdays or anniversaries this week to celebrate, but every week at Rotary is a party!
Upcoming February/March Key Dates
15th - Rotary BOD Meeting - The Outreach Clinic Community Room
16th - Weekly Meeting - Tad Denham Guest Speaker
23rd - Weekly Meeting - Club Assembly
25th - Monthly Social - World of Beer
1st - Weekly Meeting - Wild Game Prep
4th - Wild Game Dinner!! - Boggy Bottom Ranch
8th - No Meeting!!
The Rotary Club of Brandon's signature and biggest fundraiser of the year, its historical Wild Game Dinner, celebrates its 40th year and is just weeks away. The Friday, March 4th event held at Lupton's Boggy Bottom Ranch from 6:00 - 10:00PM will have over 600 business leaders, hunters, fishermen and regular guys from all around the Greater Tampa area and beyond. Touted as the biggest guys night out in Hillsborough County, this event has a goal of raising over $50,000 for local charities that will impact thousands of children and families in our area. The premise of the event started 40 years ago by some of Brandon's pioneer community leaders was simply a bunch of guys getting together one night a year for fun, fellowship, talking about fishing, hunting, business and raising money for local charities so they could make a difference. Guys from all over the state drive in for this traditional event that has raised over a million dollars over the years!
This year's celebrity guests Jon and Gina Brunson from the Addicted to the Outdoors show will be on hand to sign autographs, take pictures and tell lots of stories about their excursions from all over the world! Raffle tickets for a 50/50 drawing, door prizes and silent auction items along with great wild game from around the country will be on hand as well.
Tickets are $100 for general admission or $150 for the exclusive VIP section which includes a Wild Game Dinner souvenir hat, tumbler, cigar and access to the VIP area. All tickets include all you can eat wild game such as venison, gator, wild boar, quail, pork as well as all the fixin's and an open bar. There are still a few slots open for sponsors - $1,200 for Big Buck and $600 for Wild Boar. Wild Game Chairman, Joe Campoamor, is pumped and ready for this event to be a great one. "Our club has worked very hard to make this a special event for everyone that attends," Campoamor said. "With the Brunson's, the food, great prizes and just the overall energy and atmosphere of the event, it will be the best one ever!"
The Wild Game Dinner's purpose is to raise funds and bring awareness to the great causes for this year's chosen charities. When it's all said and done, the Rotary Club of Brandon will have impacted hundreds if not thousands of children and families after the event that are in need of financial assistance, health care, special needs programs, senior care, food and shelter, much needed developmental programs, outreach and opportunities for success. All proceeds go directly to the following charities:
The Outreach Clinic, Brandon Sports and Aquatic Center, Rotary's Camp Florida, Gulf Ridge Council Boy Scouts' Alafia Canoe and Kayak project, Emergency Care Help Organization (ECHO), Brandon Rotary Club Charity Fund (scholarships), Women's Resource Center of Tampa, Senior Care Group and Family Promise of Greater Brandon.
Local sponsors have rushed to support this event this year, and the Rotary Club is very thankful for their support. A big Rotary Thanks to Rivard Buick GMC, Bank of Tampa, Integrity First Title, Colwill Engineering, Sellers Financial Services, Fleet Acquisitions, Platinum Bank, Odiorne Insurance, Alvarez Plumbing, David Sigler, FBC Mortgage, Steve Moran - Keller Williams Realty, Hancock Bank, Suddath Workplace Solutions, Stadium Toyota, Vantage Benefit Solutions, Atlas, Bill Martinez, Love's Tire and Service Center, Bill's Prescription Center, Infinity Landscape & Lawncare, Addicted to the Outdoors, Rib Bone Brewery, Shooter's World, Center State Bank and Helena Chemical.
If you've never been to the Brandon Rotary Wild Game Dinner, click here to check out the cool video to get you pumped up to buy your tickets!
For those wanting a preview of items in our raffle and silent auction, well, here you go!
Mathews HTR No Cam Bow 30” draw and 70 lb. pull (see above pic w/ Jon Brunson). With top of the line accessories being QAD rests, Spot-Hogg sight, Limbsaver accessories and a Bohning Chameleon quiver, It also has GoPro quick release attachments mounted on it for someone to attach a camera if they desire.
2 Browning Dark Ops trailcams
2 Advanced Takedown treestands
1.Winchester SX3 Shotgun (camouflage) 12GA
2.Franchi Instinct Over/Under Shotgun (Wood Stock/Blued Finish) 20GA
3.Mossberg 500 Shotgun (Wood Stock/Blued Finish) 12GA
4.Stoeger “Coach Gun” Side-by-Side Shotgun (Wood Stock, Stainless Finish) 12GA
1.Marlin 1895G Lever-Action Rifle .45-70GOV
2.H+R Handirifle Single-Shot Break Action Rife (Black Synthetic Stock) .223REM
3.Ruger American Wolf Bolt-Action Rifle (camouflage) 30-06 Springfield
4.Browning XBOLT Bolt-Action Rifle (High Gloss Maple Stock) .270 WIN
5.Henry Golden Boy Lever-Action Rifle (Brass Receiver) .22LR
1.CORE 15 SCOUT Semi-Automatic Rifle (Black) 5.56NATO/.223 REM
1.Heritage Rough Rider Single-Action Revolver (Cocobolo Grips/Blued Finish) .22LR
2.Taurus Night Court Judge Revolver (Full-Size, Black) .45 Long Colt/.410 Shotgun
3.Springfield Armory XDS 9mm (Black) .45ACP
It's going to be a blast! So, guys, make sure you do a great job on Valentine's Day so you can get a Friday, March 4th Wild Game Dinner Hall Pass from your best girl!!  See you there!​​​
The walls were shaking, the Earth was quaking, and no, it wasn't an AC/DC back to the 80's concert that had the neighborhood rockin' this past weekend. It was Rotarians showing up in full force for their second service project of the year at the Rotary Event Center. Their efforts yielded lots of sprucing up, cleaning up and some good, old-fashioned lumberjacking! There was plenty to do, and the Rotarians were not going to let a little rain and foul weather dampen their spirits of service. Teamwork and persistence were the themes of the day as trees were spruced up, silt fencing began going up and a big pine tree was going down. Chief Lumberjack, Larry Fassett, was in control of the chainsaw, and used his wily introduction skills to introduce a mammoth pine tree to the ground. 
BMOC John Dwyer got things organized, and it was a well-oiled machine of humanity as Rotarians filled trailer after trailer with cleaned up debris and clippings in an effort to get us all a step closer to having our own meeting place. A big Rotarian thank you to all that showed up and invested their Saturday to further the cause. Thanks to Pat Skidmore for taking the lead on organizing the day and for everyone that made it happen!
February 2nd - It was another packed house at this past week's Brandon Rotary luncheon. Guest speaker, Mike Hazen, took center stage to give the club the low down on drug testing employees, DNA recovery tactics and why having a drug free workplace is so important to safety, cutting costs and creating a better culture for employees. The club recommended a screening for Brian Solano after his team won the Annual Charity Golf Tournament at Buckhorn a couple of weeks ago. Those boys played like they weren't human!
The meeting kicked off with Fred offering a prayer, John Gardner taking a crack at the Four Way Test and Maria Lewis leading us in the Pledge of Allegiance. A whopping 41 Rotarians, three guests and Special Guest Chris Myers all attended a jam-packed hour of all things Rotary. Special Guest Chris Myers  shared with the club that he has been a resident of Brandon all his life, opened his own A/C company in 2003 and is joining Rotary because he wants to give back to the community he lives and works in. We are excited to have Chris be a part of our club very soon and the energy and community impact he will bring!

Rotarian Bill Handley led off our Happy Dollars by letting us know that his wife may be collecting life insurance- he is participating in a Cross Country biathlon which consists of Cross Country Skiing and shooting.  He then is hiking four miles up a mountain to join his West Point buddies for a weekend reunion. Be safe, have fun and SHOOT STRAIGHT, Bill! Roger and Cade Rivard announced that Rivard Buick GMC will donate $500 for every car sale made to a club member, and the first for this year is Susan’s Thomason’s new car purchase.Maria Lewis gave a happy dollar as her stepdaughter announced she is having a baby boy. Congrats, Maria!
Our club is fortunate to have one of the best Sergeant At Arms ever, and Fred Schwabe has now set a personal record of four weeks in a row of nailing his joke to the club. The pressure for five is now on! Good luck, Fred!
Bob Solano won the opportunity for the 50/50 challenge and drew the five of hearts. No money, but that puts us one card closer to the jackpot!
Jeff Reynolds announced that the Brandon Rotary Club Charity Fund's scholarship application is on the website for graduating seniors to apply.
The deadline is Friday, April 15th. The club also welcomed back longtime Rotarian, Lee Elam, after his successful carotid artery surgery. Welcome back, Lee!
This week the Rotary Club of Brandon welcomes George Robertson-Burnett from the district. George is an awesome speaker. If you haven't heard him speak before, then you don't want to miss this week's meeting!
Rotary Celebrations this week
Michael Hayes - BIRTHDAY - February 10th. Happy Birthday, Michael!
Key Dates for February
9th - Weekly Meeting - Guest Speaker George Robertson-Burnett
15th - Rotary Board of Directors Meeting - Bank of Tampa
16th - Weekly Meeting - Guest Speaker Tad Denham - TECO
23rd - Weekly Meeting - Monthly Club Assembly
25th - Monthly Social - World of Beer
The Brandon Rotary Club Charity Fund is excited to release the 2016 application for its Annual Scholarship which awards a $2,000 scholarship to two selected high school seniors whose parents/guardians reside in the Greater Brandon area. All applications must be received to the Charity Fund Committee no later than Friday, April 15th. Eligibility requirements are as follows:
  • Candidate's parents/guardians must be a resident of the Brandon area as defined by the geographic area identified by the area bounded by the Fish Hawk subdivision to the south, Interstate 4 to the north, Turkey Creek Road to teh East and US Highway 301 to the West
  • Individual must be a current graduating high school senior
  • Individual must have a cumulative, minimum unweighted GPA of 3.0 or higher (proof provided with application)
  • Individual must provide written documentation listing service hours verified by high school administrator
  • Individual must be accepted to a two or four year accredited college or university (proof provided with application)
The Brandon Rotary Club Charity Fund has awarded tens of thousands of dollars to deserving high school seniors over the past several years and recognizes the best of the best in our area. A committee mainly comprised of the President/Vice President of the Charity Fund Board, the Rotary Club President/Vice President, other Brandon Rotarians, and a school teacher/counselor will review all applications and award two, $2,000 scholarships.
As a reminder, NO incomplete applications will be accepted for consideration and all monies awarded will be paid directly to the Financial Aid Department at the recipient's college or university.
Good luck to all applicants, and remember, FRIDAY, APRIL 15th is the DEADLINE!!
To download the application, click the link below:
A sea of golf carts carrying community leaders, business owners, Rotarians and supporters rolled in like a high tide this past Thursday, January 21st for the Rotary Club of Brandon's Annual Charity Golf Tournament at Buckhorn Springs Golf and Country Club. Over 120 golfers and wannabe links experts put work and worries aside to become charity-supporting super heroes for a day. The result was tens of thousands of dollars being raised for organizations impacting children, families, special needs individuals, senior citizens and tackling societal issues like homelessness, affordable healthcare, feeding the hungry and youth drowning prevention to name a few. 
Event chairman and longtime Rotarian leader Troy Dimsdale did an outstanding job organizing his committee team of Steve Moran, Scott Carter, Maria Lewis and motivating the entire club. Hundreds and hundreds of children and families will be the beneficiaries of this awesome event. A special big thank you to Troy's Golf Tournament sidekick, Steve Moran, for his above and beyond help. This dynamic duo were the Rotary version of Batman and Robin - you decide who wore the cape and who put on the tights:)
Events like this don't just happen. A lot of work and support over a long period of time come together and culminate in a day of energy, community togetherness and fun. The Brandon Rotary Club and the community we serve give our sincere thanks and a big standing ovation to our corporate sponsors for the event. Thank you to Rivard Buick GMC, Colwill Engineering, Odiorne Insurance Agency, Vantage Benefit Solutions, Inc., Marshall Business Accounting, M.E. Wilson, Bank of Tampa, Infinity Lawn Care, Choice HR, Rath Harper & Associates, Bill Harper, Keller Williams and Brandon Regional Hospital. Our club also profusely thanks Bill Harper and his great staff team at the Buckhorn Golf and Country Club for their outstanding hospitality in helping us to put on such a great show.
There were some great competitions from the overall winners to the closest to the pin to longest drive to hole in one and finally the putting contest. While no one won the big Sierra Truck from Rivard Buick GMC, there were several putting pros and long drivers on hand. For those competing in the putting contest, they got a chance to win some money and a free comedy show put on by our very own Fred Schwabe who was in full on comedian mode. We just hope the golfers come back next year!
Thanks again to all Rotarians who supported this event by sponsoring, getting sponsors, selling foursomes, playing in the tournament, helping with set up and breakdown, taking pictures of the event, working the different contests, registration and overall promoting the event. It truly was a team effort, and a huge success!
To view all of the awesomeness that is a Rotary Club of Brandon event, click here: http://www.feldmansphotography.com/Golf/ Alan Feldman has pics up so people can continue to donate to the event and get a memory of the day. As you can see, a great time was had by all!
Tuesday - January 21st - Over 30 members and guests attended the Rotary Club of Brandon's weekly meeting to ring the bell, induct and welcome as a new Rotarian, Daniel Coyle. Daniel is a financial planner with Edward Jones, he is married with two sons. He was born in Tampa and graduated from Robinson High School. His hobbies include BBQ especially smoking meats.
The meeting leading up to Daniel's induction had a ton of energy, and the buzz of adding a new member was in the air. Rotarian Jeff Campbell brought long-time Brandon resident and Chamber Board member, Chris Myers as a guest and potential new member, and thank goodness Jeff Reynolds was there to start our Happy Birthday song to birthday boys Derrell Curry and John Gardner so we were all in tune. It was brought to the club's attention that Derrell is the second most senior member. When asked how it felt, Derrell said at his age he was just happy to be anywhere!
The big Happy Dollars announcement of the day came from Roger Rivard. Roger had a happy $10.00 to announce that his daughter informed the family that Rotarian Cade Rivard is going to be a new uncle. Roger has now started therapy for his grandfatheritis (denial that he is not old enough to be a grandfather). Good luck with that, Roger!
The club sent well wishes, good vibes and prayers to Lee Elam for a healthy and speedy recovery from surgery. Bland keeps smiling as Lee continues to rack up Brandon Regional Hospital frequent flyer miles. Lee still has a ways to go in order to get his own suite named after him like Fred Schwabe though. A couple more surgeries and you've got it, Lee. Come on, we know you can do it!
The big 50/50 drawing had Joe Campoamor and Dave Siglar drawing the King of Diamonds. No big Ace of Spades winner, but they each got to divide $10.00. Congrats, guys! Two big things also happened at the meeting this week as Sergeant At Arms Fred extended his funny joke streak to three weeks in a row. He better get this week's joke down, though, as he has had an extra week to prepare. The pressure's on, Fred, don't let us down! And, in even bigger news, Secretary Debbie Meegan got all of the meeting's notes to President Chuck while still at the meeting. Her response was a mic-dropping, BAM!! Way to go, Debbie!
On the agenda for this week's meeting is guest speaker, Mike Hazen, so it should be a good one!
Upcoming Rotary Engagement Dates for February:
2nd - Weekly Meeting - Mike Hazen
9th - Weekly Meeting - George Robertson-Burnett
15th - Rotary Board of Directors Meeting - Bank of Tampa
16th - Weekly Meeting - Joe Campoamor - Wild Game
23rd - Weekly Meeting - Club Assembly
25th - Monthly Social - World of Beer
January 19th - 
The Rotary Club of Brandon had a very special guest speaker this past week as District Governor Elect Joyce Gunter came to talk about the District Administrative and Club Data Base (DACDB). It was a great presentation with lots of information on how our club can use this wonderful tool for Rotary contact info, calendars, reports, bulletins and other features that enhance the Rotary experience for members. We now need everyone to get their information updated so we can make sure we are current for communication. Thanks, Joyce, for walking us through DACDB!
This past week's meeting had another fantastic joke by our Sergeant At Arms, Fred Schwabe. That makes two weeks in a row where he has nailed the joke, so an official streak has begun! Special guest, Dan Coyle, enjoyed his last meeting as a special guest and will be inducted as a new member this week. The club is expecting big things out of Dan, and we know he will make a lasting contribution to the club as the years go by. The Fearnow boys, Brian and Robbie, joined us for lunch and were extremely impressed by the energy of our club. 
David Sigler got a great Happy Birthday song delivered thanks to Justin Northcutt leading us in Jeff Reynolds' absence. Happy Birthday, David, and nice job Brandon Rotary!
Leading the announcements was Troy Dimsdale who updated us on the golf tournament. Troy needed handicaps from our golfers, more sponsors and more volunteers. Maria Lewis will be coordinating volunteers for the event, and we should be close to having 30 teams! Our Wild Game Event still needs to have ticket sales and sponsors. We have a long ways to go, but we know we can do it. Keep selling folks, our goal is to make this the biggest and best one ever!
The lucky winner of the day was Maria Lewis whose number was drawn. However, she drew the two of spades on the 50/50 and walked away with another chance to win next week. Close but no cigar.
This week will be an update on the golf tournament and our monthly club assembly along with inducting Daniel Coyle as a new member. So, we have a lot on the agenda. 
Rotary Celebrations
Birthdays - John Gardner (Jan 22nd) and Derrell Curry (Jan 25th)
Key Dates:
19th - Club Assembly/Golf Tournament Update
21st - Brandon Rotary Golf Tournament (Buckhorn Springs Golf & Country Club)
26th - No Meeting!
28th - Monthly Social - Stein & Vine
2nd - Mike Mazen Guest Speaker
6th - Rotary Service Project (TBD)
9th - Guest Speaker TBD
15th - Rotary BOD Meeting
16th - Guest Speaker TBD
23rd - Club Assembly
25th - Monthly Social - World of Beer
January 5th - Over 40 Rotarians kicked off the New Year with a rousing first meeting of 2016 at the Loft. With the January 21st annual golf tournament at Buckhorn and the March 4th Wild Game Dinner on the horizon, Rotarians showed up in force to hand in their presale tickets and sponsorships and sign up for their foursomes and hole sponsorships.
Sergeant At Arms Fred Schwabe led the club in unison for the 4 way test and then told a joke that everyone actually laughed at. While rare, Fred's joke hitting some laughter wasn't as rare as a Tom Odiorne siting which really set the tone for the New Year! Fred then introduced guests Dan Coyle, who will be submitting application for membership, Brian Solano who is a regular guest, and visiting Rotarian Renee Douglas who will be leaving to go back to her home in North Carolina, but will visit the club again when she comes down to visit family who lives in the area.
Happy Dollars were on the agenda, and our Rotarians didn't disappoint. Maria Lewis had a happy dollar for a Top Chef fundraiser she will be heading up for her organization. We know that she will hit it out of the park with her energy and experience! Bob Solano had happy dollar to celebrate the birth of a new great grandson who is sure to be successful with the name: Roman A. Solano. Bob also acknowledged all the hard work his son Brian did in cleaning up the REC property. Now if we could just get Brian to actually become a Rotarian we would all be happy! Bland Eng wanted everyone to know all the phone numbers at the hospital will be changing with the exception of the main # 681-5551 which will remain the same. 
Steve Moran had a happy thank you dollar for the lovely Christmas Party hosted by Kimberly and Roger Rivard and was especially impressed with the ride in the elevator. It's the little things like an elevator in a house that really impress us, isn't it? However, Steve did say that now that it's a new year, he'll have to take the stairs at Roger's next time!
Troy Dimsdale updated the club on the Annual Golf Tournament at Buckhorn on Tuesday, January 21st. We are still in need of foursomes, some individual players, hole sponsors and event sponsors. We are closing in on making this event very successful, but need a big final push in the next two weeks from all of our Rotarians.
Joe Campoamor was excited to see so many Early Bird sponsors and tickets. The club has already secured a tick below $30,000 for the event. We do need additional game for the event, and we want everyone to keep pushing ticket sales, both general admission and VIP, and sponsors. Committees will be meeting very soon after the golf tournament has completed. Larry Fassett stepped up and found someone to donate three hogs for the event! Let's keep it rolling!
Pat Skidmore asked all the members to be thinking about a service project we could all get involved with on Saturday, February 6th. We need to get this organized so we can continue the service piece of what we do as Rotarians. Please contact Pat if there is a worthy project out there that we can impact.
President Chuck had some samples of Rotary shirts and will be bringing in other samples for Wild Game. Please get with him if you are interested so he can get the order in and completed.
The big guest speaker for the week was Lee Elam who talked to the club about his experience with the Peace Corps. Lee talked about his great experience in Columbia, South America, the importance of learning Spanish, how the Peace Corps came about under President Kennedy, the living conditions and the importance of service. It was inspiring to see Lee's enthusiasm as he recounted several experiences in his time serving in the Peace Corps. Thanks, Lee! 
The club will be celebrating the following special occasions this week:
Birthdays - Wayne Strohaker (Jan 11th), David Sigler (Jan 17th)
Club Anniversaries - Bland Eng (Jan 10th - 4 years), JJ Massaro (Jan 16th - 4 years), Larry Fassett (Jan 17th - 4 years)
Key Dates for January
12th - District Governor Elect Joyce Gunter - guest speaker topic - DACDB
​19th - Club Assembly - Golf Prep
21st - Brandon Rotary Annual Golf Tournament - Buckhorn
26th - No Meeting!
28th - Monthly Social @ Stein & Vine
Tuesday, January 5th - The Rotary Club of Brandon finished off the 2015 calendar year by setting its leadership team for both the club and charity fund for the 2016-17 Rotary year. Per the club's bylaws a new slate of officers was presented to the club for approval for the upcoming Rotary year, and the club unanimously approved the board and charity fund board's recommendations. The following directors and officers for the club and charity fund will be serving in leadership roles next year. Thank each of you for your commitment to making the club, charity fund and our community better! Special thank you to Larry Fassett, Pat Skidmore and Lee Elam for their service the past two years on the club's board of directors and Sheila Donalson and Fred Schwabe for their service on the Brandon Rotary Club Charity Fund board. Your time, energy and efforts is very much appreciated!
2016-17 Club Officers and Directors                                            
President - Chuck Burgess                                                               
President Elect - Dave Brown                                                           
Past President - Craig Oldham                                                          
Secretary - Debbie Meegan                                                              
Treasurer - Justin Northcutt                                                             
Sergeant At Arms - Fred Schwabe                                                    
Director - Roger Rivard (Membership)                                               
Director - John Dwyer (Events)
Director - Scott Carter (Fundraising)
Director - John Gardner (Club Admin)
Director - Chris McGuire (Public Relations)
Director - Ryan Burley (Service Projects)
2016-17 Brandon Rotary Club Charity Fund Board
President - Derrell Curry
Vice President - John Sellers
Secretary - Dave Magann
Treasurer - Roger Rivard
Director - Jeff Reynolds
Director - Joe Campoamor
Director - Susan Thomason
The Rotary Club of Brandon kicks off its first meeting of 2016 with special guest speaker Lee Elam who will be speaking to the club about the Peace Corps. It will be a very busy first quarter for the Brandon Rotary Club with the Thursday, January 21st Annual Charity Golf Tournament at Buckhorn Golf & Country Club as well as the Annual Wild Game Dinner on Friday, March 4th. Golf Chairman Troy Dimsdale still needs sponsorships, hole sponsorships, players and help with the event, so let's help in these areas so this event is a success!
Wild Game pre-sale tickets and sponsorship money is due Tuesday, January 5th. All discounts on general admission, VIP and sponsorships end on Tuesday, so get that money in to save. Regular priced sponsorships and tickets begin being sold on Wednesday, January 6th! Wild Game Dinner Chairman, Joe Campoamor, will be meeting with committees in the upcoming weeks.
Service Project Director, Pat Skidmore, is looking for some assistance from the club on a service project for our February 6th date. Any member who has a suggestion on a project that we could do, please get with Pat ASAP!
Upcoming menus for January meetings are below for everyone's convenience. Please make sure to invite a guest, bring a friend or colleague or get a fellow Rotarian from another club to join you for lunch. Our club is growing monthly, and it is THE Place to be for Rotary!
January 5th                                                                      
Baked Enchiladas                                                                         
Spanish Rice                                                                   
House Salad                                                             
Corn Bread                                                                               
Asst. Beverages                                                             
January 12th
Beef Burgundy
Egg Noodles
Broccoli Crunch Salad
Dinner Rolls
Asst. Beverages
January 19th
Fresh Green Beans
Caesar Salad
Italian Bread
Asst. Beverages
Janaury 26th
Kielbasa & Bratwurst
​Scalloped Potatoes
Creamy Cole Slaw
Potato Buns
Asst. Beverages
Happy 32nd Anniversary to Lee and Pat Elam!
Upcoming Key Dates for January
5th - Guest Speaker - Lee Elam - Peace Corps (Money due for pre-sale Wild Game tickets)
11th - Rotary Board of Directors Meeting
12th - Guest Speaker - Assistant District Governor Joyce Gunter - DACDB
​19th - Guest Speaker - Mike Hagen - Advanced Screening, Background, DNA - Final Prep for Golf Tournament
21st - Rotary Annual Golf Tournament - Buckhorn Golf & Country Club
26th - Guest Speaker - TBD
28th - Monthly Rotary Social - Stein & Vine
Question: What do you get when you combine the holidays with the most unbelievable decorator in the world, awesome food and some of the most fun people you'll ever meet? Answer: The Rotary Club of Brandon's Holiday Party hosted by Kimberly and Roger Rivard! That's right, with over 80 plus people sending in their RSVP, the Rivard's put on one of the best parties our club has had in years. The holiday cheer was flowing as Rotarians, spouses and significant others stepped into a Christmas wonderland on full display (awesome job, Kimberly!!) with great food and drinks catered by the Salt Block Catering Company. A huge thank you from the entire club to Kimberly and Roger for opening up their home, hosting a fantastic event and providing exceptional hospitality for all of us. It definitely got everyone in the holiday spirit, and it was awesome to see so many of our Rotarians with their spouses and significant others enjoying each other during the festive, holiday season.
If you missed it, then you definitely missed out on one of the best parties we've had all year. From couples laughing and having fun to groups of Rotarians telling stories to the grand tour of Kimberly's house and Roger's man cave, a great time was had by all on the cool December night in Apollo Beach. Thanks to everyone that took the time to attend. It was a fantastic way to end the year!
Tuesday December 8th - It was a packed house and festive weekly meeting for Brandon Rotarians this past week with Brandon High School's very own Aquilla stopping by to perform their annual Christmas caroling program. Even though it was hot outside in December, the festive choral group took us through a winter wonderland of solo's, duets and full choir songs that got everyone in the holiday spirit. It was so wonderful to see so many young, talented individuals that not only were great singers, but they also are so active in leadership, sports, clubs and community service as well. Thanks Larry Fassett for setting this awesome day up for us!
The meeting got kicked of with some superior singing as well with birthday boy and Sergeant at Arms Fred Schwabe being back in the saddle (no, that was no a reference to the Kentucky Derby!). After he basked in one of the club's best renditions of Happy Birthday he welcomed guests Mike Hazen, Joe Lesmeires and propsective member Dan Coyle. Also spending the afternoon with us were visiting Rotarians Renee Douglas (Washingon, NC), David Hazen (Salem, OH) and Brandon '86's Mitch Burley. The club was in especially great spirits as we congratulated Dave brown for the birth of his first grandchild. Poppa Brown was all smiles and he got our Happy Dollars started. Larry Fassett was a proud Dad with his daughter passing the ARNP licensing exam and visiting Rotarian Renee Douglas chipped in the good news that her daughter has blessed her with another grandchild.
President Chuck reminded EVERYONE to make sure to RSVP to the holiday party at the Rivard's and informed the club that Golf Tournament Chairman Troy Dimsdale would be sending out information on sponsorships and team signups for our January 21st fundraiser at Buckhorn Golf and Country Club. Wild Game Dinner Chairman Joe Campoamor passed out tickets and went over the sponsorships for the March 4th fundraiser. The club also congratulated Debbie Meegan on her 6th year of being a Rotarian! Way to go, Debbie!!
This coming week's meeting will feature our Annual Club Meeting/Club Assembly where we will be recommending our slate of board members and officers for both the Rotary Club of Brandon and the Brandon Rotary Club Charity Fund for the 2016-17 Rotary Year. This will also be the final meeting of the 2015 calendar year, so we'd like everyone to attend.
This week's celebrations include: 
Happy Anniversary to: Joe and Beth Campoamor - Dec 17th - 26 years
Happy Club Anniversary to: Alan Feldman - Dec 17th - 40 years!!!
Final week of 2015 - December Important Dates:
14th - Rotary BOD Meeting
15th - Annual Meeting - Club Assembly
17th - Monthly Social - Top Golf
19th - Rotary Holiday Party @ The Rivard's (Thanks to the Rivard's for hosting!!)
22nd - No Meeting
29th - No Meeting
Tuesday 12/1 - The Rotary Club of Brandon's weekly meeting was hopping this past week, even in the absence of crowd pleaser Fred Schwabe. President Chuck had to step in to fill the giant hole left by the club's prestigious Sergeant at Arms. Justin Northcutt, John Dwyer and Alan Feldman took care of the prayer, pledge and four-way test, and the club welcomed visiting Rotarian and former Ohio resident David Hazen and his son, Mike Hazen. Our two birthday boys - Fred Schwabe and Chris Papp - were not in attendance, so the Happy Birthday festivities were put on hold until next week. We said Happy Anniversary to Debbie and Mike Meegan who celebrated their 26th anniversary this week and to Dick Eatman, George Annello and John Gardner who all celebrated Club Anniversaries. The big news of the day was that Ryan Burley went away for Thanksgiving with his girlfriend and came back with a fiancee! It is still unknown if Ryan has told his girlfriend that he now has a new fiancee, but our hope was that it was the same girl!
As for announcements, Roger Rivard asked for the club to help provide some assistance with parking for the Holiday Party on December 19th at the Rivard's. We're sure there are some great teenagers looking for volunteer hours! Golf Tournament Chairman, Troy Dimsdale, let everyone know that the planning for our first fundraiser for our charities is underway, and that everyone needs to make sure to get those foursomes and sponsors lined up for Thursday, January 21st at Buckhorn Golf and Country Club. Wild Game Chairman, Joe Campoamor, let everyone know that Wild Game Dinner tickets are in and would be distributed next week at the meeting. He also told everyone that we need to start filling those freezers with meat for the event as well. President Chuck informed ALL members of the club to please get with Cade Rivard to let him know about their intentions of coming to the Holiday party on the 19th. Kimberly Rivard, who has graciously taken this on for us, needs everyone's RSVP ASAP!
It was a Throw Back Tuesday at the Loft for Brandon Rotarians as longtime member Derrell Curry was the featured guest speaker. Derrell gave an awesome history of Rotary's Camp Florida, how it began, the legacy role that the Rotary Club of Brandon played and continues to play in its history and where the Camp is now. His trip back in time included major contributions from Brandon Rotarians Mike Edenfield and Alan Feldman. It was great to hear about our Club's role in this amazing Camp, and Derrell did a great job of telling the story. Thanks, Derrell!
This week our club has the special privilege of hearing the Brandon High School chorus as they bring their ensemble to the Loft for their holiday choir concert. It should be festive and get us all in the spirit of the holidays.
Weekly Celebrations: Club Anniversary - Debbie Meegan (6 Years)!
Important December Dates:
14th - Rotary Board of Directors Meeting
15th - Annual Meeting
17th - Monthly Social
19th - Holiday Party at the Rivard's
22nd - No Meeting - Happy Holidays!
29th - No Meeting - Happy New Year!
Tuesday 11/25 - Turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and a plethora of holiday desserts adorned The Loft this past week as Brandon Rotarians came together to celebrate Thanksgiving, friends, family and all the blessings the year as brought. It was a packed house where Sergeant at Arms Fred Schwabe does his best work. Many Rotarians gave Happy Dollars for positive things happening in their lives, and the Club celebrated our Wild Game Dinner hunters. Stories of "the Great Hunt" abounded with John Sellers telling of the doe that cost him a buck and Joe Campoamor's wingman antics for Roger Rivard. Ron Marshall was the most excited as the third trip was the charm for him to finally nab that elusive deer. Congrats to all that went! A big thanks to both Pat Skidmore and Joe Campoamor for securing the Wild Game meat from the trip as well. Appreciate you both giving up a part of your weekend for the club!
The club got an opportunity to sing a Happy Birthday to Chris McGuire who got to celebrate Thanksgiving and his birthday on the same day this year! It was definitely a top 10 hit with many wives in attendance to offset our usually forgettable singing. Fred nailed his joke about softball in Heaven, and the crowd was happy. Everyone was reminded to let Kimberly Rivard know if you are attending the December 19th Holiday Party at the Rivard's. This week Derrell Curry will be giving some history and perspective on Rotary's Camp Florida with his presentation. The Brandon High School choral group visits the Rotary Club of Brandon on the 8th of December, and on the 15th, the club has its Annual Meeting where the slate of officers for next year will be presented for approval.
This past week we also had our monthly social. A small but boisterous group headed to World of Beer and had a blast! There were too many jokes to count, and the laughter never stopped. Thanks to Wayne Strohaker and John Dwyer for providing all the follies and also to Maria Lewis who held her own the entire evening! Thanks also to Rudy Liddell, Chris Papp, Craig Oldham for contributing to the fun. This month's social is at Top Golf on the 17th. Put it on the calendar, bring a guest and get ready for fun!
This week we say a Happy Birthday to Chris Papp (Dec 5th) and Fred Schwabe (Dec 6th)
Happy Anniversary to Debbie & Mike Meegan (Dec 2nd) - 26 years!
Happy Club Anniversary to Dick Eatman (Nov 28th) - 34 years a Rotarian! Also, a BIG Happy Rotary Anniversary to George Annello (Dec 1st) 28 years and John Gardner (Dec 1st) 20 years!
Key Dates in December
1st - Derrell Curry (guest speaker) - Rotary's Camp Florida
8th - Brandon High Choral Group (guest speaker)
14th - Board of Director's Meeting (Bank of Tampa)
15th - Rotary Club of Brandon's Annual Meeting
17th - Monthly Social - Top Golf
19th - Holiday Party @ Roger & Kimberly Rivard's
​22nd - No Meeting! Happy Holidays!
29th - No Meeting! Happy New Year!
Tuesday 11/10 - Over 80 Brandon Rotarians and their family and friends joined together on Tuesday, November 10th at Rotary's Camp Florida for the club's annual Seafood Fest & Fellowship event. The evening was filled with lots of stories, laughter and good eating. Live Maine lobsters were delivered earlier in the day, hundreds of shrimp and more crab legs than you could count. The team of John Dwyer, David Sigler and Cade Rivard did an awesome job of putting the event together for us all. Big thanks to all those that helped set up, serve and clean up - Derrell Curry, Pat Skidmore, Larry Fassett, Chris Papp, Debbie Meegan, Chris Larson, Wayne Strohaker and Maria Lewis! Great to see so many of our new members coming out as well. It is these types of events that keep our Rotary club strong and moving in a positive direction. Hope everyone had an awesome evening!
Next up is our monthly social at World of Beer starting at 6:00 on Thursday, November 19th and our Annual Holiday Party at the Rivard's on Saturday, December 19th. Troy Dimsdale has also sent word through the grapevine that we will be pushing for a successful golf tournament on Thursday, January 21st at Buckhorn Golf & Country Club. This will be our first big fundraiser for our charities, and we want to make this event as successful as we can with sponsors, foursomes and participants. Get with Troy if you intend to support this event in any way. He will also be looking for people to work the event with set up, registration, day of assignments and breakdown. 
Our weekly meeting will feature guest speaker Sally Ordway. Sally was the first female stock broker for Merrill Lynch in Memphis in the late 70's and was a senior VP and investment advisor with Barnett Investments. Her presentation should be a great one for us all! We will also be celebrating several birthdays this month:
Justin Northcutt - Nov 15th
Clyde Eisenberg - Nov 20th
Dick Eatman - Nov 22nd
Happy 26th Anniversary to Alan & Melanie Feldman - Nov 12th!
Big upcoming events for November/December:
  • 19th - Monthly Social - World of Beer
  • 24th - Thanksgiving Celebration
  • 1st - Weekly Meeting - Guest Speaker TBD
  • 8th - Weekly Meeting - Guest Speaker TBD
  • 14th - Rotary BOD Meeting
  • 15th - Annual Meeting (Last Meeting of 2015)
  • 17th - Monthly Social - Top Golf
  • 19th - Holiday Party @ The Rivard's
Saturday 11/7 - What do you call 12 people in a 20 foot Dragon Boat representing our club as the Brandon Rotary Clavicles in the Brandon '86's Dragon Boat Challenge at their annual Seafood Fest? Here's a hint... CHAMPIONS!! That's right, our 12 person crew, made up of Rotarians, friends and family of Rotary and representatives from one of our charities, BSAC, completely dominated the field to take the Championship Oar and claim total supremacy for a year over the likes of Brandon '86, KB Homes, Rivard Buick GMC, two teams from Edward Jones and Arrmaz. How was this even possible? If you ask team captain, John Dwyer, it was totally all about his superior rowing skills in the boat. However, if you ask President Chuck, who was on the Injured Reserve List, it was HIS incredible management skills in putting together the right team (well, John helped with that, too), taking great pictures from the dock, cheering on the Clavicles and awesome heckling skills which he used to totally disrupt the other teams. If you ask everyone else on the team, it was their sheer willpower, strength, teamwork and focus to take down all comers.
Whoever officially gets the credit doesn't matter. What does matter is that WE ARE THE CHAMPIONS!! After the fastest run of the morning, the Brandon Rotary Clavicles (named appropriately in honor of Past President Craig for breaking his collar bone after leading us to victory last year) had to go head to head against second seeded TECO in a straight-away fight to the finish from 200 yards out for both the championship and bragging rights for a year. It was a hard fought battle as the Clavicles took the early lead and then strategically got in front of the other Dragon Boat. The team was in complete sync heading to the shore when John Dwyer leapt out of the moving canoe, ran to the hammer and rang the bell sounding final victory. To continue tradition, and as a sign of respect to Past President Craig, he did make sure to fall next to the bell, hold his collar bone and relish the victory!
It was an awesome day of fellowship, competition and fun for all of us that attended and competed. Big kudos to John Dwyer for leading the team to victory and representing our club with pride. Hats off to Brandon '86 as well for putting on a great event and raising funds for our community. Great to have sister clubs in the Brandon area that share the passion of Rotary and make a positive impact. Now if they could just learn to row in a straight line and not run into the dock, I'm sure THEY would have enjoyed the event much better!
We want to encourage others to join in the Dragon Boat Challenge next year, and maybe we could even have more than one team. Way to go, Brandon Rotary Clavicles! 
Saturday 10/24 - The Rotary Club of Brandon's Annual Casino Night was in full swing on Saturday, October 24th at the Brandon Sports and Aquatic Center. Over 100 plus Rotarians joined by family and friends enjoyed a night out highlighted by a very competitive Texas Hold 'Em tournament, two Black Jack tournaments, craps, roulette, great food and even better fellowship. The event was a big success as the club raised funds for the new Rotary Event Center.
While everyone was a winner to some degree, the big winners of the evening were the Texas Hold 'Em champs which included our very own Scott Carter, Mike Carter and Chris Farnsworth. Past President Craig Oldham was the big 50-50 winner and Bob Solano won the Black Jack tournament. There were lots of winners at the end of the evening for the raffle prizes, but John Dwyer got the biggest prize - two private diving lessons with Two-Time Olympian Chris Colwill. John's only dilemma now is to see if he should focus on his cannon ball, belly flop or his Triple Lindey!
A big thank you to Chris Carter for organizing this year's event, Steve Moran for taking on the sponsorship piece, Mike Cessna for getting all of the raffle prizes and BSAC's Eric Soncrant for the program, print collateral and tickets. Big high fives go out to Fred and Barbara Schwabe and Alan and Melanie Feldman for taking on the check in and registration and to Vince Ferraro and Justin Northcutt for making sure all of the financials for the evening were accurate. As always, our Master of Ceremonies, Jeff Reynolds, stepped up to the plate to keep the evening rolling along smoothly at the mic. The most tickets sold award goes to Joe Campoamor who sold 22 tickets to the event! Awesome job, Joe!
The Rotary Club of Brandon couldn't have pulled off the event without the help of all of its Rotarians and their efforts, especially those that sponsored the event. A big thank you to all of the sponsors: Rivard Buick GMC, Platinum Bank, Keller Williams, FBC Mortgage, Bank of Tampa, Larson Plumbing, Infinity Lawn Care, Vantage Benefit Solutions, Schwabe Benefits Group, Insurance Bonds and Benefits, Ferraro Haye's CPA's, Brandon Dental Care, Odiorne Insurance, Sellers Financial, The Reynolds Group at Morgan Stanley and Integrity First Title. Also, a special thanks to On the Mark Catering and Casino Nights for providing the game tables and dealers.
Now with this great event behind us, our focus shifts to our January 21st golf tournament and our March 4th Wild Game Dinner. Committees will be forming shortly, and we ask that ALL Rotarians take a part in making these events a success. All of the proceeds from the upcoming events go directly to the charities that we have chosen to support. Troy Dimsdale (Golf Tournament) and Joe Campoamor (Wild Game Night) will be contacting all of you soon.
Way to go, Rotary Club of Brandon!
It is an extra special time this week for the Rotary Club of Brandon as we welcome six new members to our Club who have all transferred from the Rotary Club of Valrico. The Brandon Rotary welcomes Ryan Burley, David Magann, Chris McGuire, Danielle DeCarbo, Michael Hayes and Jeff Campbell. All of these community leaders continue to be outstanding Rotarians, and we are very excited to have them all become a part of our Rotary Club of Brandon family! Welcome!
Our meeting this week will highlight a recap of our Casino Night's success with a reminder to all Rotarians to hand in ticket and sponsorship money to Justin Northcutt so we can reconcile the event. We also need Rotarians to fill our Dragon Boat for Saturday, November 7th at the Brandon '86 Seafood Fest so we can defend our championship! District 6890 has the Rotary Leadership Institute this weekend as well as the Annual Paul Harris Gala which will be held at Saddlebrook on Saturday, November 14th. We are encouraging all Rotarians to consider going to this prestigious event to support the efforts of our district leadership and Rotary International. As a reminder to all Rotarians, please get with President Chuck or Secretary Debbie Meegan to insure that your information in DACDB is correct, especially your address, birthday and spouse's name. Kimberly Rivard is sending out invites to our Annual Holiday Party hosted by the Rivard's, and she needs this information to be both accurate and given to her in a timely fashion!
Our annual seafood fest dinner is scheduled for Tuesday, November 10th at Rotary's Camp Florida, so please make sure to get with John Dwyer as to your intentions to attend and whether you are wanting lobster or steak. Cade Rivard and David Sigler are both co-chairing this evening, so let's make sure to show these new Rotarians as much support as we can! Thanks, guys for taking the lead! NO REGULAR WEEKLY MEETING TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 10th!
Big Celebrations this week include Joe Campoamor's birthday - November 1st, Tom and Kelli Odiorne's 24th wedding anniversary - November 9th, and several Rotary Club anniversaries including Lee Elam's 40th year as a Rotarian, Michael Hayes' 18th, Sheila Donalson's 4th and Loren Pott's 1st! Thank you all for your service!
Our Thanksgiving holiday luncheon is scheduled for Tuesday, November 24th. Please let President Chuck know if you will be attending and how many will be in your party for the day so we can give the loft enough notice to be prepared.
Key dates in November:
7th - Brandon '86 Seafood Fest - Dragon Boat Challenge!
10th - Seafood Fest Dinner Brandon Rotary Club - Rotary's Camp Florida
10th - NO REGULAR WEEKLY MEETING (due to Seafood Fest)
14th - Rotary's Annual Paul Harris Fellow Gala - Saddlebrook
16th - Rotary Board of Director's Meeting
17th - Weekly Rotary Meeting - Guest Speaker TBD
19th - Monthly Social - World of Beer
24th - Thanksgiving Holiday Luncheon

All right Texas Hold 'Em experts, Roulette spinners, Black Jack double-downers and all around Casino crazies, the Rotary Club of Brandon's Annual Casino Night is here! Saturday, October 24th at the Brandon Sports and Aquatic Center is your place to give your inner risk taker a chance to shine. Whether you are an avid Texas Hold 'Em player, or you just like to dabble at the craps table or try your luck to beat the dealer to 21, the Brandon Rotary's Casino Night is your night! Food, drinks, plenty of games, a real live Texas Hold 'Em tournament as well as a Black Jack tournament all are there for the taking, and EVERY penny goes to the Rotary Club of Brandon's Charity Fund. There are chances to win prizes, and since it's for charity, EVERYONE WINS!

Sponsorships are available, and tickets are only $50 per person! What comes with your ticket, you ask? Well, you get great food, fun with friends, and we'll even start you off with your very own stash of chips so you can begin winning as soon as you walk in the door. This event only comes along once a year, and it is a great date night or night out with the gals or guys. We are expecting this to be an awesome event with lots of great fellowship and fun. Rotarians will be selling tickets this week, and a few sponsorship opportunities still exist. Looking to have fun AND make a difference in your community? Then you don't want to miss this great event with some of the most fun people in Brandon - our very own Brandon Rotarians! So, get those dressy casual outfits ready, practice your best poker face and be ready to be the night's big winner this Saturday, October 24th. You don't want to miss it!
Hear Ye, Hear Ye, Hear Ye! The Honorable Rotary Club of Brandon proudly put on its Fall Fireside Chat with a bit of a Medieval flair this past week at Rotary's Camp Florida. With over 50 Rotarians and their guests attending, it was a great evening of friendship, fellowship, good food and festivities. Events coordinator John Dwyer had the event set up, and then handed the baton to Joe Campoamor to take care of the awesome steaks, Susan Thomason to get the kitchen prepped, Sergeant at Arms Fred Schwabe to get the crowd warmed up, and President Chuck Burgess to recap the Rotary's first quarter of success.
There were many guests, former Rotarians, family members and friends that attended the event. Fred Schwabe made sure to capture every single guest and made the entire crowd feel welcomed and appreciated. President Chuck gave a recap of the entire first quarter's work of the club including the Rotary Event Center, check presentations to charities, new members joining the club, service projects and a look to the upcoming quarter. Fred finished the evening with a couple of great jokes and sent everyone home with laughter and good spirits.
President Chuck reminded everyone about the upcoming Rotary Casino Night at BSAC on Saturday, October 24th. A few sponsorship opportunities still exist, and the Club still was in need of more tickets to be sold for both the general event and the Texas Hold 'Em event. The event which begins at 7:00PM will be lots of fun with catered food, bar, gaming tables and lots of prizes. It should be a blast! Roger and Kimberly Rivard announced that they would be hosting the Annual Rotary Holiday Party at their house on Saturday, December 19th. Kimberly reminded everyone to make sure to have current mailing and spouse information in DACDB and Club Runner so the invitations could be sent out.
Tuesday, October 20th's meeting will be a recap of where we are with Casino Night, where we need help and what is left to get done prior to the event. Casino Night Chair Scott Carter has done a lot of work in getting this going, and we expect a great turnout for the event. 
There will be no meeting on Tuesday, October 27th.
Birthdays/Anniversaries/Club Anniversaries this week include:
  • Pat Skidmore - Oct 23rd
  • Vince Ferraro - Oct 31st


  • Scott and Donna Carter - Oct 19th - 24 years
  • Maria and Dale Lewis - Oct 21st - 9 years
  • Roger and Kimberly Rivard - Oct 24th - 34 years
  • Club Anniversaries
  • Mike Edenfield - Oct 26th - 34 years
  • Justin Northcutt - Oct 28th - 1 year
Upcoming Events
  • October Key Dates:
    • 24th - Rotary Casino Night @ BSAC (405 Beverly Blvd, Brandon, FL 33511)
    • 27th - NO MEETING!!
    • 29th - Rotary Monthly Social - Stein & Vine
  • November Key Dates:
    • 3rd - Weekly Meeting - Guest Speaker Elder Law Attorney Gerald Hemness
    • 7th - Brandon ’86 Seafood Fest - Dragon Boat Race
    • 7th - Rotary Leadership Institute
    • 10th - No Weekly Meeting
    • 10th - Brandon Rotary Seafood Fest - Rotary’s Camp Florida
    • 14th - Paul Harris Fellowship Gala Event - Saddlebrook Resort
    • 16th - Rotary BOD Meeting
    • 17th - Weekly Meeting - Guest Speaker TBD
    • 19th - Monthly Social - World of Beer
    • 24th - Thanksgiving Celebration
District royalty visited the Brandon Rotary Club this past week as District Governor Tom Wagner came to share the focus of our district. He also inducted our newest Rotarian, Maria Lewis, to the club. It was another jam packed weekly meeting with lots happening in the club. Scott Carter and Steve Moran gave everyone an update on the Saturday, October 24th Casino Night and tried to encourage everyone to sell at least six tickets to the event as well as consider having their businesses sponsor at some level. Chuck Burgess updated the club on the new playground event that happened at Rotary's Camp Florida. Their partnership with Met Life and Kaboom! was tremendous as they had over 300 volunteers from Rotary Clubs throughout the area, district leaders, Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office and others that helped construct the new playground. President Chuck also announced the Fall Fireside Chat which will be held at Rotary's Camp Florida on Thursday, October 15th. All Rotarians former, current or future are all invited. John Dwyer will be running the show. Sign up sheets will be available at next week's meeting.
After all of the formalities had been taken care of, District Governor Tom did the induction honors for Maria Lewis. President Chuck pinned her, and Maria made sure to thank the Club for all of their hospitality. She had visited several clubs in the area and felt like this was home to her. Welcome, Maria, we know you are going to make a great Rotarian for our club!
Assistant District Governor Mary Boor then introduced Tom Wagner as our guest speaker. Tom gave a wonderful presentation regarding this year's theme of "Be A Gift to the World" as well as an update on where Rotary is internationally with its goal of eradicating Polio from the face of the earth. This past month was the first month in Africa's reporting to be polio free! The efforts of Rotarians worldwide has cornered polio into two countries - Pakistan and Afghanistan, and the efforts are increasing in these areas. This is our Rotary Foundation dollars at work! District Governor Tom also thanked our club for its longstanding support of Rotary International as well as our leadership at Rotary's Camp Florida and our new Rotary Event Center. It is great to see the leadership at the district level in supporting all local Rotary clubs!
The meeting wrapped up with another reminder to get out there and sell Casino Night tickets!!
This week's celebrations include:
Birthdays - Susan Thomason - October 9th and Dave Brown - October 10th
Anniversaries - Ron & Rita Croone - October 10th - 56 YEARS!! Wow!!
Upcoming Events:
6th - Weekly Meeting
13th - NO MEETING!!
15th - Fall Fireside Chat (Rotary's Camp Florida)
19th - Rotary Board of Director's Meeting
20th - Weekly Meeting - Casino Night Prep
24th - Rotary Casino Night @ BSAC
​27th - NO MEETING!!
29th - Monthly Social - Stein & Vine
If you didn't make it to this past week's Super Social at Top Golf, boy did you miss out! Rotarians, guests, past Rotarians and friends all enjoyed rounds of drinks and golf along with some phenomenal fellowship. A great time was had by all, and there were stories aplenty, some could not be printed as to protect the innocent, or not so innocent as was in most cases! One thing about socials for Brandon Rotarians, you find out a lot about them! For instance, did you know...
  • John Dwyer can hit a golf ball over 300 yards. IN FLIP FLOPS!!
  • Jeff Reynolds can golf both left and right handed. Never knew he was ambidextrous.
  • Maria Lewis only golfs with high heels on. Fashionable, but is that good for the greens?
  • Felix Velazquez had the record for guest at a social coming the farthest. His friend Lydia is from Puerto Rico!
  • Rudy Liddell is a golf shark. Don't let the nice, calm demeanor fool you. He has ice in his veins.
  • Mike Edenfield is now $5 lighter in the wallet after betting Jeff he couldn't hit a moving golf picker from 150 yards. Wow!!
  • Alan Feldman used a golf club for the first time in 48 years. And he did pretty well!
  • Past Brandon Rotarian Steve Wilson misses us! Come on, Steve, Rotary is waiting!
  • Susan Thomason is READY for Casino Night!
  • Chuck Burgess plays way better after a couple of adult beverages. Look out John Daly!
Top Golf will never be the same! Next month's social is October 29th at Stein & Vine! Come on Rotarians, let's make it happen!
What an awesome meeting for the Rotary Club of Brandon this past week as the 2015-16 charities that the club is supporting were announced, and we got an opportunity to find out that Publix is a lot more than a store "Where Shopping is a Pleasure". The meeting kicked off with some very emotional Happy Dollars as we have many of our Rotarians dealing with very important family matters. We welcomed Maria Lewis as a special guest for the final time (new inductee next week) and Brian Solano, son of Bob. Dick Eatman made us all believe in true love again by announcing he and his wife, Ann, celebrated their 52nd Anniversary on September 14th! That's just plain awesomeness! Larry Fassett got one of our better renditions of Happy Birthday thanks to Jeff Reynolds starting us off in the right key. Happy Birthday, Larry!
Mike Edenfield wanted to remind everyone that Rotary's Camp Florida still needed volunteers for the playground project, and President Chuck made sure to encourage everyone to begin selling their Saturday, October 24th Casino Night tickets. Sponsorship and promotional collateral would be sent out once it was completed.
Jeff Reynolds announced that the Rotary Club of Brandon Charity Fund board recommended the following charities that we would be supporting this year through our Annual Golf Tournament on Thursday, January 21st and our Signature Wild Game Dinner on Friday, March 4th. Jeff explained that each of the charities nominated were more than worthy of our support, and the committee had decided to support each of them in different capacities. The following charities will be our charities of choice:
Rotary's Camp Florida
Rotary Club of Brandon Charity Fund
The Outreach Clinic
Brandon Sports and Aquatic Center
Gulf Ridge Council Boy Scouts - Alafia Canoe and Kayak Project
The Women's Resource Center of Tampa
ECHO - $1,000 for an assistant for their GED program
Senior Care Group Foundation - $1,000 for their food pantry
Family Promise of Greater Brandon - $1,000
After the great news of where our making a difference is going to happen this year, we were honored to induct our newest Rotarian, Michael Owen. President Chuck did the honors as JJ Massaro pinch hit the ceremonial pinning for Michael's club sponsor, Lee Elam. Michael is going to be a banner Rotarian as is evidenced for his energy and enthusiasm for the club, its members and its mission. It's beginning to look like our red badges are catching up to our blue badges! Larry Fassett has an entire nursery of Baby Rotes to take care of!
Once the Rotary ceremonies had concluded, Michael Gottesman introduced the day's guest speaker, Brian West, media and community relations director, from Publix Charities who visited us to explain how Publix impacts the communities of Tampa Bay with their influx of millions of dollars of support. We learned that Publix has 275 stores in six states, and he represents the Central and South Regions for Publix Charities. They have two divisions which constitute millions of dollars of support. Publix receives over 8,000 requests annually for support from organizations. Their funding priorities are youth, education and homelessness. Brian was proud and passionate to the fact that the George Jenkins Foundation gave away over $43 million this past year, much of it ($24 million) to United Way. He also explained their local giving months whereby patrons and staff can contribute during their shopping visits. Founder George Jenkins was asked once what he'd be if he didn't give away so much, and his answer was simply, NOTHING. The presentation was so fantastic that Fred Schwabe is now a Publix convert and will be a loyal customer from now on. Maybe they have some joke books for sale there!
The 50/50 drawing winning number was won by Dick Eatman and Rocky Santa Cruz. After President Chuck described how the 50/50 works to Mr. Eatman to refresh his memory (welcome back to the Club, Mr. Eatman!), a two of spades was drawn. Close to the Ace of Spades, but not a winner. The jackpot continues to grow!!
Tuesday, September 29th will be a special day for Brandon Rotarians as District Governor Tom Wagner visits and will induct new member Maria Lewis!
Special Celebrations this week include:
Birthdays - Craig Oldham (9/27)
Anniversaries - Chris and Vonda Larson (10/2)
Key Dates:
29th - District Governor Tom Wagner Visits, Maria Lewis Inducted!
6th - Club Meeting - Guest Speaker Lee Hoffman
13th - No Club Meeting
15th - Fall Fireside Chat - Rotary's Camp Florida
19th - Rotary BOD Meeting
20th - Club Meeting - Club Assembly & Casino Night Preparation
24th - Rotary Casino Night @ BSAC
27th - No Club Meeting
Continuing its 64 year old tradition of raising and giving funds to local charities, the Rotary Club of Brandon handed out checks to several Brandon-based non profits this past week. Through its efforts from their signature Wild Game Dinner and Annual Golf Tournament at Buckhorn Golf and Country Club, the Rotary Club of Brandon worked diligently under the Presidency of Craig Oldham to hand out checks totaling over $46,000 to eight well-deserving charities. Those receiving funds this year included Rotary's Camp Florida, The Outreach Clinic, The Women's Resource Center of Tampa, Emergency Care Help Organization, the Brandon Sports and Aquatic Center, Gulf Ridge Council Boy Scouts, the Boy's and Girl's Club of Riverview, and the Brandon Rotary Club Charity Fund for scholarships.
The Rotary Club of Brandon donated the following to the charities it supported this year:
$1,000   Emergency Care Help Organization
$2,000   Gulf Ridge Council Boy Scouts
$9,100   Brandon Sports and Aquatic Center
$9,400   The Outreach Clinic
$2,000   Women's Resource Center of Tampa
$11,100 Rotary's Camp Florida
$2,000   Boy's and Girl's Club of Riverview
$9,400   Brandon Rotary Club Charity Fund
The Rotary Club of Brandon has provided over $1.6 million in financial support and continues to support both local and global efforts with its fundraising, community service and outreach, as well as its international mission of eradicating polio from the face of the earth. The Rotary Club of Brandon is the longest standing Rotary Club in the Greater Brandon area and is poised for more impact in 2015-16. To find out how to give to the Rotary Club of Brandon, support one of its big fundraisers (Casino Night - Oct 24th, Golf Tournament - Jan 21st, Wild Game Dinner - Mar 4th), or to get more information on joining our efforts by becoming a member, please contact current Rotary President, Chuck Burgess, at cburgess@mybsac.org.
It is through the efforts of the Rotary motto: Service Above Self, that the Rotary Club of Brandon continues to be an impacting force for thousands of families annually. Congratulations to all of the awesome charities that were supported this past year, and keep up the great work that you do!
It was another banner day at the Rotary Club of Brandon's weekly meeting with four charities slated to present their case for support this year from the club. However, before the charities got their chance, the one and only Fred Schwabe got things started by introducing some of our guests from Lake Wales, Kim Marcus and Gordon Hoover. It was great to see them travel so far for lunch, and their feedback to us was that we've got a rockin' club! I'm sure we would all agree!
Fred then invited everyone to share a dollar or two of happiness in their lives. Vince Ferraro had a happy dollar for his and his family's vacation in Nova Scotia where they had a great time. Larry Fassett had a dollar to implore some help with lining up guest speakers and wanted to report that Pat Skidmore's wife just got out of ICU and is in stable condition. Our prayers for a speedy recovery all went out to Saree and Pat. World traveler and Past District Governor, Alan Feldman, had a happy dollar as he just returned from Denmark on a Rotary friendship exchange program. He and his wife, Melanie, also stopped by Scotland and saw the Queen at the Scottish Highland Games. We all knew you were royalty, Alan, now you have the Queen of England as a first hand reference! Justin Northcutt had a happy dollar to celebrate his youngest daughter, Bailey, having a negative MRI. We are ALL grateful for that!
President Chuck announced that we are in need of volunteers to assist Scott Carter with the October 24th Rotary Casino Night. Also expressed to the Club was that Rotary's Camp Florida is in dire need of volunteers for Thursday, September 24th and Saturday, September 26th for their big playground project. And, finally, it was asked of the Club to try and attend some picture-taking opportunities at the charities that we supported the past year. After the announcements, the fun began!
The Gulf Ridge Council Boy Scouts went first as George McGovern walked the club through the Alafia Canoe and Kayak Project that is underway. Their goal of expanding this area to have the Boy Scouts and local non profits be able to use the facilities was both visionary and community impacting. George also thanked the club for our support this past year and announced that we were more than welcome to help with eradicating the hogs on their property for our Wild Game Night Dinner. 
Family Promise of Greater Brandon went next with Edwina Riddick introducing herself and this local non profit to our Club. Edwina discussed all of the great things that this organization does to make a difference in the lives of so many children and families. Their mission is to end homelessness one family at a time. By providing temporary housing and offering case management services, this organization empowers their guests to escape homelessness. Edwina gave an awesome presentation, and we're sure she's making a huge difference in our community.
Next up was our very own Debbie Meegan, Executive Director of The Outreach Clinic. Debbie shared that the clinic provides both diagnostics and  primary care services for the uninsured in our community. The Outreach Clinic's work involves serving families at or below the poverty level that do not have basic insurance to cover vital health services themselves or their children. Debbie's work and passion at The Outreach Clinic is evident in the thousands of local residents that she/they impact every day. Debbie also thanked the Rotary Club for their continued support both financially and through service projects over the years.
Finally, Chuck Burgess, Executive Director of the Brandon Sports and Aquatic Center (BSAC) talked to the club about the work that he and his team are doing for the community. First, Chuck thanked the Club for their generous work and contribution for this past year. He then outlined the youth drowning prevention, special needs and community outreach that BSAC is doing through partnerships with the County, Children's Board and other non profits. BSAC helped to teach almost 1,000 Head Start children to swim as well as provide tens of thousands of dollars of financial assistance to students in their TRIDENT (intellectually disabled), after school, summer camp and swim lesson programs. He also discussed BSAC's reaching out to the Palm River area to begin after school and baseball programming through a partnership with Hillsborough County.
With the charity presentations coming to an end, the Brandon Rotary Club Charity Fund board was scheduled to meet following the meeting to discuss which charities to recommend to the club to support for the 2015-16 Rotary Year. The meeting came to a close with Debbie Meegan winning the 50/50 chance to draw the Ace of Spades, but, no such luck. The pot keeps growing!
This week's program includes the Rotary Club of Brandon celebrating the induction of new member, Michael Owen! Also, Brian West, media and community relations for Publix out of the Lakeland Division will speak to us about the Publix Charity program. The Brandon Rotary Club Charity Fund Board will discuss the charities they recommend for the 2015-16 Rotary Year as well. Should be another awesome meeting. Don't miss it!
Big celebrations this week include:
Craig Oldham's birthday on September 27th
​Wayne and Laurie Strohaker's 30th Anniversary on September 22nd
George and Sharon Anello's 33rd Anniversary on September 25th
  • September Key dates: 
    • 24th - Monthly Club Social - Top Golf
    • 29th - District Governor Tom Wagner Visits
  • October Key Dates:
    • 6th - Lee Hoffman (Riverwalk designer) Guest Speaker
    • 13th - NO MEETING!!
    • 15th - Fall Fireside Chat
    • 20th - Casino Night Prep
    • 24th - Rotary Casino Night @ BSAC
Federal Prosecutor Andrew Warren visited the Rotary Club of Brandon this past week as a very distinguished guest speaker, and three nominated charities presented to the club about the great things they are doing in our community. The meeting portion was very short this week as the agenda was chock-full of speakers. Eleanor Saunders of the Emergency Care Help Organization (ECHO) got things rolling discussing how ECHO is influencing our community with the over 14,000 people they served last year through their thrift shop and pantry. Eleanor discussed how their big project this year is one of an educational component assisting adults in getting their General Education Diploma. 
Cheryl Hickman from the Women's Resource Center of Tampa was up next and used her time talking about the expansion of feeding the homeless in the Brandon area. With many children and single mothers sometimes living in cars and places less suitable for raising a family, the Women's Resource Center has partnered with a local church to provide shelter and a place for them to get back on their feet.
Maria Lewis spoke on behalf of the Senior Care Group Foundation and let the club know about all of the needs that they are in search of to impact the lives of those that they serve. The Senior Care Group Foundation provides skilled nursing, rehabilitation services and home health care to the senior population. All three charities did an outstanding job of letting us know about the reach of their organizations, their mission and goals for using the funds this year if selected. 
After the charities were finished, the club got a special treat as Federal Prosecutor Andrew Warren gave a stellar presentation. It wasn't as stellar as Larry Fassett's introduction, but the club enjoyed it nonetheless! As a federal prosecutor with the United States Department of Justice, Mr. Warren specializes in complex, white-collar, criminal prosecution. During his seven years with the Justice Department, he has worked on several high profile investigations, including the successful prosecution of Allen Stanford and others for perpetrating an $8 billion Ponzi scheme. Mr. Warren also went into detail about being very diligent in researching any investment opportunity so you don't get taken advantage of.  
On Tuesday, September 15th, Gulf Ridge Council Boys Scouts, Brandon Sports and Aquatic Center, The Outreach Clinic and Family Promise of Brandon all present.
Upcoming Important Dates:
22nd - Michael Owen Induction/Publix Charities - Guest Speaker
24th - Monthly Social - Top Golf
29th - District Governor Tom Wagner Visits Brandon Rotary Club
6th - Lee Hoffman (Riverwalk designer) - Guest Speaker
13th - No Weekly Meeting!!
15th - Fall Fireside Chat
20th - Casino Night Prep
24th - Rotary Club of Brandon Casino Night
27th - Club Assembly
29th - Monthly Social - Stein & Vine
It was a packed house at the September 1st meeting at the Rotary Club of Brandon's weekly meeting at the Loft. Thirty three Rotarians, eight guests and our Assistant District Governor, Mary Boor, were all in the house as the Brandon Rotary recognized the charities they supported this year. After raising over $45,000 through its fundraisers, the Rotary Club of Brandon, which had already handed these charities their checks, got an opportunity to thank them for their service and find out a little more where the dollars were going at the annual charity luncheon.
The self proclaimed funniest man in Brandon, Sergeant at Arms Fred Schwabe, got things kicked off by getting the club to sing Happy Birthday to Rotarian Jeff Reynolds who made sure to make note of Fred's stylish and hip glasses. It came to no one's surprise that Jeff led his own Happy Birthday song, and even had the club start again after a poor start. Happy B Day, Jeff! After a very much forgettable rendition of Happy Birthday, there were lots of Happy Dollars with Roger Rivard kicking things off with a Happy $10. Roger just returned from a trip in his RV where he boasted an astounding seven miles to the gallon! Roger visited Gettysburg National Park and highly recommended a visit there for others in the future. Mary Boor kept the $10 Happy Dollar train moving by letting the club know about Brandon '86's Seafood Fest on Saturday, November 7th and our club's free entry to the event for the championship-defending canoe challenge. Past President Craig Oldham, AKA - the bionic collar bone - will be putting a team together to take on all challengers even though he was encouraged by Mary to not be in either the front or the back of the boat! Mary also was happy to see our club so full of life and so vibrant! Susan Thomason was happy that her son-in-law was recovering from a medical issue and wanted us to be mindful of taking care of ourselves on a daily basis and to make sure to get regular check ups. Michael Gottesman was happy that he sold his house, but is adjusting from going to a two-story place to something significantly smaller. Derrell Curry gave a dollar as he was happy that the road blockage on Ronele Drive was NOT a sinkhole. I think we were all happy about that!
The also club welcomed several guests. Bob Solano brought his son, Brian, as he made an attempt to be the first Rotarian to have 110% attendance! President Chuck Burgess's guest, Eric Soncrant, finally got to join a lunch meeting after helping with the golf tournament and Wild Game last year. Stewart Collins from Atlas was a guest of Joe Campoamor's for the second time as was Maria Lewis who was a guest of George Annello. Hmmmm... Looks like a couple of community leaders are about to join our club! Let's hope so! Fred Schwabe also welcomed our charity representatives: 
Eleanor Saunders- ECHO - was excited about her new role as the Executive Director of the Emergency Care Help Organization. Eleanor thanked the club for its continued support of their efforts to serve those in need in the Greater Brandon area.

George MCGovern- Boy Scouts of America - gave us an update on the Canoe project that the Rotary support is going to and let us know that we were more than welcome to hunt hogs on their property for the Wild Game Night. 

Cheryl Hickman- Women’s Resource Center - thanked the club for its support in helping them take care of women in need across our area. The dollars given to the Women's Resource Center are much needed in getting these women back on their feet.
Debbie Meegan - The Outreach Clinic - thanked the entire club for all of their efforts in supporting The Outreach Clinic in reaching more uninsured families in the area. The Outreach Clinic has officially changed their name to better reflect the diverse areas in which they serve.
Chuck Burgess - Brandon Sports and Aquatic Center - thanked the club for their support of BSAC's intellectually disabled program, TRIDENT (Training & Recreation for the Intellectually Disabled to Enhance their Natural Talents). Dollars given were also used to assist families that could not afford swim lessons, after school care and summer camp as well as members of the TRIDENT program.
Larry Fassett then welcomed Guest Speaker, James Baker, from Mosaic. James discussed some of the areas that Mosaic is moving into and the community impact that the organization continues to have all across Hillsborough County. James then pulled the 50-50 for the week, and the club found out that the answer to the equation of two guys named John + the Ace of Spades = over $300! That's right! After almost 40 straight weeks, Mr. John Sellers pulled the lucky card, and he and John Dwyer left the two happiest Rotarians of the year! I know who I'm sitting next to at the next social.
This week the Rotary Club of Brandon welcomes Andrew Warren as its guest speaker and will hear from The Women's Resource Center of Tampa, ECHO and The Senior Care Foundation.
Special Dates: We celebrate the anniversaries of Pat & Saree Skidmore who will celebrate their 40th wedding anniversary on September 13th and Dick and Ann Eatman who celebrate their 52nd anniversary on September 14th! Happy Anniversary Rotarians!
It was a packed house for the Rotary Club of Brandon's monthly Club Assembly at the Loft. Word on the street is it was like old times with a lot of camaraderie, stories flying through the room and lots of laughter, some of it even coming after one of Fred Schwabe's jokes! Prior to the Club Assembly, the focus was on recapping one of the best service projects the club has had in years at the new Rotary Event Center. Over 30 Rotarians along with family members and friends attended the two day project whereby preparations for renovations took place. There were kudos for John Dwyer and Larry Fassett's leadership in organizing and supervising the project, thanks to some of the harder working Rotarians and even some shots taken at some of the, let's just say, not so construction experienced members of the club, especially President Chuck.
Happy Dollars abounded as Rotarians celebrated the service project. Larry Fassett expressed his happiness for the overall Club’s involvement and hard work on Saturday. A special shout out was given because of a certain club member’s inability to figure out how to unclip an extension cord holder. John Dwyer gave happy bucks for Joe Campamor's incredible acrobatic and gymnastics ability. He didn't know if Joe was showing everyone up by doing work without a ladder or preparing for the gymnastics gold medal in Rio! John also acknowledged Cade Rivard being the first medical incident at the REC and gave Past President Craig Oldham a high five for actually completing the project without breaking his collar bone. However, we still wouldn't let him use a rubber mallet to ring a bell! Jeff Reynolds gave a happy dollar for Susan Thomason’s ability to keep all the Rotarians healthy, fed and hydrated on Saturday as well as document the great work that was being done with her photography skills.
The Rotary Club welcomed several guests with Maria Lewis visiting the club from the Senior Care Group Foundation. Maria moved in from Lakeland and searched out our club to join. Larry Galin joined us again as Dave West's guest as did John Dwyer's son Nicholas. Special Guest Michael Owen handed in his paperwork and is waiting for his seven day letter to go out so he can officially be a member of the Rotary Club of Brandon. Almost there, Michael, almost there!

Sheila Donalson and Larry Fassett both had happy bucks for their respective grandchildren’s first day of school and Jeff Reynolds acknowledged Dave Sigler’s giant alligator catch which was about 11 feet and over 700 pounds!! Can anyone say Wild Game here we come?! The Club recognized Steve Moran for his contribution to the Rotary Event Center efforts from donating money from a commission. Way to go, Steve! You are the man!!
President Chuck took nominations from the club members for charities that we would look to support this year. Applications were sent to each Rotarian who nominated a charity. Applications are due back to President Chuck no later than 5:00 on Tuesday, September 1st. The following charities were nominated:
Brandon Sports and Aquatic Center - John Dwyer
Gulf Ridge Council Boy Scouts - Jeff Reynolds
Brandon Outreach Clinic - Susan Thomason
USF Student Christian Mission - Fred Schwabe
Women's Resource Center - Sheila Donalson
Boys and Girls Club/Riverview - Jeff Reynolds on behalf of George Simmons
Boys and Girls Club/Brandon - Lee Elam
Emergency Care Help Organization (ECHO) - Steve Moran
Senior Care Group Foundation - George Anello
​Family Promise of Brandon - Vince Ferraro
​Rotary's Camp Florida/Brandon Rotary Club Charity Fund - automatically supported annually by club
During the Club Assembly portion of the program, several items were brought to the attention to the Club. First, that Tim Norstrem would be back in the club in March after wrestling season. Tim is an awesome member of our club, and we can't wait to see him back. We will be moving our next service project to a later date. It was scheduled for November 7th, but our club wants to support the Brandon 86 Seafood Fest at Rotary's Camp Florida and defend our Dragon Boat Canoe Championship! Pat Skidmore will let everyone know when the new date and project will take place. Scott Carter let the Club know that Steve Moran has agreed to be the co-chair of the golf tournament with Troy Dimsdale. Larry Fassett said that guest speaker slots were filling up fast, and Brandon Hospital CEO, Bland Eng, agreed with Jeff Reynolds' suggestion to have an upcoming meeting at the hospital so we all could get a tour of the great things that BRH is doing. The Club agreed only if Clyde Eisenberg provided the security detail! A bylaws review committee was formed to look at the current charity fund bylaws. President Chuck put together a committee with George Anello, Derrell Curry, Craig Oldham and himself. They will meet and present to the club at the next club assembly.
The club also hosted its monthly social at Wing House with a dozen Rotarians and guests attending. The Club even was joined by one of its more illustrious Past Presidents - our 2002 President, Charlie Thurman! It was great having Charlie sharing stories from his time as president and some of the impacting things the club was doing. We would love to see more of Charlie and hope he considers reconnecting with us as a member. Our next big social is scheduled for Top Golf, so you don't want to miss it! Thanks to John Dwyer for organizing!
We will be recognizing our 2014-15 charities at this Tuesday's, September 1st meeting as well as having a guest speaker, James Baker, from Mosaic. Should be another awesome meeting!!
September Celebrations
Sept 5th - Jeff Reynolds
Sept 3rd - Chris & Leila Papp (4 years)
Sept 4th - Derrell & Norma Curry (22 years)
Club Anniversaries 
Sept 1st - Mike Cessna (5 years) 
World travel and a life-impacting experience were the topics of the day at the Rotary Club of Brandon's weekly meeting. Guest speakers Joe Zuknick, who traveled to S4TL this past year, and former Rotary Youth Exchange student, Maggie Thallinger, captivated the Rotarians with tales of world travel through Europe and Canada as well as making friends, gaining confidence and personal exploration at S4TL. It was a feel good day for everyone as these two young leaders shared their appreciation for the experiences they have received through Rotary. Joe Zuknick walked us through his stay in the dorms and meeting his S4TL roommate for the first time to the Rap sessions with Rotarians to skits and projects where he gained confidence and came out of his shell. He also thanked Craig Oldham for nominating him and giving him this life-changing experience.
Maggie, who was hosted by Joe and Beth Campoamor four years ago, came back to join us for lunch an entirely different person. Four years removed from her junior year, she has been an au pair, traveled throughout Europe (Barcelona was her favorite), started her schooling in Vienna to become a teacher of English and was in her first wedding as a bridesmaid for Joe's son Joe this past weekend! Maggie told us all how her RYE experience has launched her love for travel and experiencing new things and thanked us all again for such a wonderful experience.
Happy dollars abounded as Susan Thomason let us know that she FINALLY got gas in her boat, Joe Campoamor was both proud of his son's wedding and happy it was over, Bland Eng thanked Chris Larson for bailing him out (literally) of a plumbing situation, Debbie encouraged us all to please lend a hand if we could to take Mike to his weekly treatments and Derrell Curry was pumped that we got the Rotary Event Center through rezoning! Mike Edenfield let us know that Rotary's Camp Florida was in need of supplies and volunteers to assist with the assembly of the Camp's new playground with their partnership with Kaboom!. Roger let us all know about George Simmons and his current health conditions, and the club wanted him to pass along our well wishes to George and his family.
The big news of the day was John Dwyer and Larry Fassett letting us know about our first service project of the Rotary year along with the tools and equipment that was needed to make the project a success. Friday at 3:00PM and Saturday at 8:00AM were the start times, and Rotarians couldn't wait to sign up! 
This week's celebrations include:
Troy Dimsdale's Birthday - August29th
​Troy Dimsdale's Rotary Anniversary - August 29th - 15 Years!! and Dave Brown's Rotary Anniversary - August 30th - 4 Years!
Congrats to both Troy and Dave! This week's meeting will be our Club Assembly as well as the club taking nominations for charities to consider supporting for this year. Should be another great meeting! This Thursday, August 27th, is also the club's monthly fellowship social which will be held at the Wing House on HWY 60 beginning at 6:00PM. 
Important Dates for September
1st - Charity Luncheon recognizing this past year's charities/Guest speaker from Publix charities
8th - Charity Presentations/Guest speaker - Andrew Warren
14th - Rotary Board of Director's Meeting @ 6:00 - Bank of Tampa
15th - Charity Presentations
22nd - Charity Board announces recommended charities for 2015-16
24th - Monthly Social - Top Golf! Bring a friend!
29th - District Governor Tom Wagner visits Rotary Club of Brandon
After many weeks of hard work, planning, meetings and strategizing, the Rotary Club of Brandon was rewarded for its efforts as the Board of County Commissioners voted in unanimous fashion, 6-0, in favor of the rezoning to our property on Ronele Drive and Kings Avenue. We had a ton of support from our club and other local Rotary clubs in our presentation. Special thanks to Cade Rivard, Rocky Santa Cruz, John Sellers, Dave Brown, Lee Elam, Larry Fassett, Pat Skidmore, Bob Solano, Justin Northcutt, Derrell Curry, Roger Rivard, Jeff Reynolds, Michael Gottesman, Chuck Burgess, Cathy Curry (Brandon South Rotary Club), Ryan Burley (Valrico Rotary Club), Eric Judd (Brandon 86) for all making time to show up to the meeting in support of the rezoning. It definitely made a difference!
For our club the rezoning means a permanent home; for the other local Rotary clubs it means an opportunity to have a central place for meetings and events. Thanks in large part to the diligence and focus of Roger Rivard, this community-impacting, legacy-leaving project will finally be a reality. This also could not have been done without Jeff Reynolds' time and effort, Derrell Curry's contributions, John Dwyer's helpful guidance, former Rotarian Mark Johnson's assistance and the financial generosity of Joe Campoamor, Alan Feldman, Craig Oldham, George Simmons, Roger Rivard, Derrell Curry and Jeff Reynolds. Our entire Club's hard work in contributing to this also cannot go overlooked with its major contribution to this project.
Now the real work and fun begins! The Rotary Club of Brandon will begin the transformation of the property on Friday, August 21st and Saturday, August 22nd with its first service project of the Rotary year. This is a tremendous opportunity for us to come together and use our talents and skills to impact the demolition portion of the overall renovation plans to the property. This will be a great weekend of service and fellowship that every Rotarian should look forward to. Pat Skidmore and John Dwyer will be leading the charge with coordinating volunteers, roles, duties and what supplies and equipment will be needed. Make sure to carve out some time to make a difference. Scott Carter was so excited about the project that he actually came a week early just to outdo everyone else. You rock, Scott! And Debbie Meegan, don't worry, there isn't a pool or water basketball game there to break your other foot!
Our meeting this coming week features Brandon Rotary's past Rotary Youth Exchange student, Maggie Thallinger! Our club is so excited to see how her life has been going and how she has used her exchange experience to her own life's benefit. We will also be celebrating Ron Marshall's birthday (August 20th), Tom Odiorne's better half, Kelly's B-Day (August 17th) and Justin Northcutt's better three-quarters, Kendall's B-Day (August 20th)!
The Rotary Club of Brandon got down to business with its first Club Assembly of the new Rotary Year this past week with lots of community impacting items on the agenda. First, the meeting got going with Sergeant At Arms, Fred Schwabe, welcoming some amazing guests. Nancee Sorenson from HCC visited the club and told us about some of the great things she is doing at one of the more forward thinking community colleges in Florida. We also had returning guest Michael Owen, and Dave West brought Larry Galin to visit as well.
Since there were no birthdays or anniversaries to celebrate, John Gardner decided to do a little fundraising on the spot and put up two USF mugs for auction. Dave West, probably feeling guilty because he didn't get his guest anything, went for it, paid his money and became the proud owner of two Bulls mugs! Fred had some humor and received his first honest crowd laughter of the year, and he wasn't even wearing his special red shoes!
Treasurer, Justin Northcutt, announced the birth of his second daughter and challenged President Chuck's sales skills as Justin talked his wife into letting him come to Rotary instead of being at home with the two girls. However, getting Dave Brown to be the next President of the Club still rates as the best sales job of the year. Dave Brown was quick to agree! Announcements included: No meeting scheduled for Tuesday, August 11th due to the Board of County Commission meeting at 9:00AM. Rotarians are all gathering at Bob Evans on 60 at 7:30 to meet for fellowship and then to carpool afterwards. The monthly social is scheduled for Thursday at World of Beer. Pat Skidmore will have sign up lists for our first Service Project (Aug 21-22) next week and expects everyone to participate.
Club Assembly began, and the Club was presented with the budget along with a monthly support assessment to aid in the operations of the new Rotary Event Center. The Club was also presented with a motion for allocating $12,000 toward the project as well to assist getting the project off the ground. 
After some great discussion, it was unanimously approved to accept all three motions. Each committee also reported with Roger Rivard (Membership) starting things off with an explanation of how he was going to lead the charge by reaching out to former Rotarians and others that he knows that will make great
Rotarians to invite them to lunch and to see our new Rotary Event Center (when approved by the BOCC). 
Scott Carter (Fundraising) discussed he was leading the charge and looking for a co-chair for the October 24th Casino Night. He also let the Club know that Troy Dimsdale would be leading the golf tournament, which we are still looking at either leaving the date as the third Thursday in January or trying to move it. This is still in discussion. Scott also let everyone know that Joe Campoamor
is already putting his Wild Game committee together and hitting the ground running. Larry Fassett (Club Admin) discussed getting members to give him contacts for great guest speakers. He wants to make sure that we've got quality speakers the entire year. Pat Skidmore (Service Projects) let everyone know that we will need tools and bodies for our upcoming service project on the 21st - 22nd. Sign up sheets should be filled in soon! The meeting was adjourned as a reminder to come next week to see Joe Zuknick speak to the Club about his S4TL experience.
The Rotary Club of Brandon is celebrating several birthdays, anniversaries and club anniversaries this week. A special congrats to:
Sheila Donalson (August 5th) - Happy Birthday!
Clyde Eisenberg (August 1st) - Happy 34th Anniversary to you and Patti!
Pat Skidmore (August 3rd) - Happy 33 Year Rotary Anniversary!
John Dwyer (August 5th) - Happy 18 Year Rotary Anniversary!
Upcoming August Events
17th - Rotary Club of Brandon Board Meeting @ Bank of Tampa - Brandon 
21st - 22nd - Club Service Project - Rotary Event Center
25th - Monthly Club Assembly
27th - Social - Ker's Wing House on HWY 60 in Brandon


ImageWhat an awesome weekly club lunch we had at the Rotary Club of Brandon this week! Guest speaker Christine Michaels, Executive Director of the Greater Brandon Chamber of Commerce, was on hand to give the club an update of all of the  outstanding programs such as the Chamber's Synergy Lunches,

Young Professional Leaders, Leadership Brandon and their paper and digital directory. Christine discussed some of the changes the Chamber is going through to better connect, educate and impact local small and major businesses. Way to go, Sheila Donalson for setting this up for us!


The club also welcomed Larry Guastella as a guest of Pat Skidmore, Stewart Collins a guest of Joe Campoamor and visiting Brandon South Rotarian Cathy Curry. Special guests Cade Rivard and David Sigler got their last free lunches on their sponsor's dimes as we will be inducting both of these future Rotarians into the Club on Tuesday, July 21st! This is always a special occasion, and the entire Club is looking forward to great contributions from both of these community leaders. John Sellers contributed to the Happy Dollar pot by telling us a little about his vacation, and Joe Campoamor let the club know that our former Rotary Youth Exchange student Maggie Thallinger is staying with the Campoamor family for a month since she will be a bridesmaid in Joe's son's upcoming wedding.

Fred Schwabe provided a great technology joke which was received with both laughter and relief that the joke was not a repeat. Come on Fred, bring the good stuff! Announcements included encouraging our Rotarians to reach out to Mike Meegan during his recover. There is no weekly meeting on Tuesday, August 11th since we will all be gathering at the BOCC meeting for the approval of the Rotary Event Center. The meeting begins at 9:00AM, and Rotarians can meet at Bob Evans at 7:30 for breakfast if they want to carpool to the meeting. Craig will be coordinating and letting everyone know the dates for us to distribute checks to all of the receiving charities from our work this past year. Key upcoming dates for the Club BOD meeting (July 20), Club Assembly (July 28th) and the monthly social at World of Beer (July 30th) located at 2878 Providence Lakes Blvd in Brandon were given to everyone. Don't miss the social as there might, quite possibly, perhaps, could be, maybe, if we're lucky a Tom Odiorne, Chris Papp or Mike Cessna sighting. We're not promising anything, and if they don't show, we know we'll still have a fun time. After all, when will you ever get the opportunity to spend time with John Dwyer, Wayne Strohaker AND Craig Oldham at the same time in the same place?! Wayne, don't answer that!Image

Vince Ferraro, who has dedicated several years of passion, focus and countless hours of hard work in helping to feed the homeless in our community through his work with the I Am Hope Cafe, announced that the Cafe was unfortunately closing. After several attempts at other options, it was decided by their board that this was the only option truly available. Vince thanked the entire club for their support and asked that the club reallocate the funds designated for the cafe back to the club so those resources may be used to assist the other selected charities this year.

As the club knows, the big things we do are most often done in small groups. Every Rotarian should get connected with a committee soon. Our committee chairs will be organizing and planning for a community-impacting year, and they need your help. To sign up, make sure to contact one of the following Rotarians:

Pat Skidmore - Community Service, Roger Rivard - Membership, B. Lee Elam - PR/Marketing, Larry Fassett - Club Admin/Guest Speakers, Scott Carter - Fundraising/Casino Night, John Dwyer - Events/Socials


Rotarians Celebrating Birthdays, Anniversaries or Club Anniversaries included:

Birthdays: Bill Handley (July 23), Debbie Meegan (July 27)

Anniversaries: Vince & Grace Ferraro - July 21 (48 years), Bland & Erika Eng - July 24 (16 years), Bill & Kathy Handley - July 24 (39 years)

Rotary Anniversaries: Chris Papp - July 23 (2 years), Bill Handley - July 25 (12 years)

After our Tuesday, July 21st meeting where we will induct new members, the Rotary Club of Brandon will conduct its first Club Assembly meeting of the 2015-16 Rotary year with many topics including our proposed Rotary Event Center, budget approval, committee updates and several items that will be discussed needing club approval. Don't miss it!

The Rotary Club of Brandon's weekly meeting at the Loft was held Tuesday, July 7th. The changing of the guard was official as Chuck Burgess presided over his first official meeting as the club's new president. Craig Oldham was said to officially be the happiest Rotarian in the room in his new role as Immediate Past President! The club welcomed guests and fellow visiting Rotarians, wished a Happy Birthday to George Simmons (July 1), George Anello (July 5), Rudy Liddell (July 8), Loren Potts (July 8) , wished a Happy Anniversary to Justin and Kendall Northcutt (July 3 - 6 years), Bill and Betty Harper (July 10 - 58 years), and recognized the following Rotarians for their years of service on their Rotary anniversary this week: Ron Croone - 21 years, Scott Carter - 11 years, Bland Eng - 3 years and Felix Velazquez - 3 years. Congrats to you all!

Secretary Debbie Meegan announced that 7-Day letters for club membership were going out for both Cade Rivard and David Sigler. Derrell Curry shared that the Zoning Hearing Master has recommended approval from the Board of County Commissioners which is scheduled on Tuesday, August 11th at 9:00am for our Rotary Event Center facility. Due to overwhelming support to have our Rotarians attend this meeting, it was announced that there will NOT be a regular lunch meeting held that day. Roger invited anyone who had not visited the facility to join him after the meeting for a preview. Chuck announced that he would be representing the Club at the District's Membership Seminar and Workshop in Bartow from 8:00am - 12:00pm on Saturday, July 11th. He invited anyone in the Club that had a desire to help grow the membership to attend as well. Chuck then went on to discuss the Club's vision and goals for the 2015-16 Rotary year. Chuck gave a presentation outlining all of the roles of the current officers and directors as well as the committees available to all members. The annual calendar with all key dates and meetings was distributed with special attention given to the designated fundraiser and community service dates. The Club's overall goals aligning with Rotary International were also presented along with the qualifications of our club being eligible for the Presidential Citation at the end of the Rotary Year.

There will be a regularly scheduled meeting on Tuesday, July 14th with guest speaker Christine Michaels who is the new Executive Director for the Greater Brandon Chamber of Commerce. 

ImageIt was an historic day for the Rotary Club of Brandon this past Tuesday as Cade Rivard and David Sigler began their journey into Rotary by officially joining the Rotary Club of Brandon. Cade, sponsored by John Sellers, was joined by his longtime Rotarian father Roger Rivard and the matriach of the Rivard family, Kimberly Rivard. David was joined by neighbor, friend and even longer time Rotarian, Pat Skidmore, for the ceremony. Both newly pinned Rotarians spoke about their excitement of joining Rotary, and President Chuck Burgess spoke to them both of the honor, prestige and responsibility that comes with being a member of the Rotary Club of Brandon. Cade and David were then handed off to Club Administrator Larry Fassett for their introduction into the Baby Rote program where they will get to learn more about Rotary, the Rotary Club of Brandon and how it operates, and how to get rid of that doggone red badge in order to wear the official blue badge. Cade and David, welcome to THE Rotary Club of Brandon!Image

In addition to adding two awesome new members at the Club's weekly lunch meeting on Tuesday, July 21st, the Club also welcomed guests Chris Hoffman and Kimberly Rivard (Guests of Roger Rivard) and Donald Morris (Guest of Clyde Eisenberg). It was another packed house with very few empty seats as Rotarians shared the great things going on in their lives. Secretary Debbie Meegan announced the birth of a new 8 lb. 15 ounce grandson and some good news on husband Mike's health, world Rotarian trekker Alan Feldman returned from a great trip with his wife and former Club Rotarian Joan Rhyne and her husband Richard, Felix Velasquez announced the birth of a brand new car which was delivered by Roger Rivard, and Pat Skidmore was the happiest person in the room now that David Sigler will have to pay for his own lunches! The Club also celebrated Debbie Meegan's birthday with one of its best ever Happy Birthday renditions, mainly due to Fred Schwabe starting everyone off in the right key.

Announcements were made regarding the upcoming Board of County Commissioners meeting on Tuesday, August 11th at 9:00AM in the county building. Club members will meet at the Bob Evans for breakfast at 7:30AM and carpool to the meeting afterwards. The Club's monthly board meeting was a huge success with lots of great conversation and planning, all of which will be discussed in front of the entire Club on Tuesday, July 28th. All Brandon Rotarians are encouraged to attend as several topics on the agenda will come forth for discussion and approval. Committees are forming for community service, PR, membership, club administration and fundraising. President Chuck announced that EVERYONE needs to be tied to both fundraising and at least one other committee in order to make this year as successful as it can be. Past President Craig Oldham relayed that he is putting together dates to visit charities receiving funds this year so we may do a big check presentation and bring awareness to both their causes and to our Club's as well. He invited everyone to try and make the check presentations as these were all funds raised by the entire Club.

ImageThe Club's first Club Assembly for the 2015-16 Rotary year is scheduled for Tuesday, July 28th. The following Tuesday, August 4th, we get a glimpse into the future of Rotary as we hear from Brandon Rotary's S4TL student, Joe Zukmick. He will join the club for lunch to discuss his experience, what he learned and the impact that this Rotary Leadership youth conference has had on him.

A big reminder went out to the Club inviting everyone to attend our very important social at World of Beer on Thursday, July 30th beginning at 6:00PM! Rotary socials are scheduled in order for our members to enjoy fellowship, invite others to join to learn more about Rotary and our Club, connect with each other, network with other professionals and to have lots of FUN! Our socials are the best place to find out exactly where Mike Cessna gets his hair done, if Chris Papp did more deals in one day than Rotary meetings he made last year (either he is awesome at his job or his GPS doesn't recognize THE LOFT as a destination), what Wayne Strohaker actually does for a living, who is helping Troy Dimsdale with the golf tournament (wait, he's running the golf tournament?!), how many pounds of meat Mike Edenfield HAS actually cooked for our Wild Game dinners and if he's a better attorney, butcher or storyteller, how many countries Alan Feldman has actually visited and how many he is allowed to return to, if Chris Larson actually repairs plumbing at 2:00 in the morning and if so, why are people calling him at 2:00 in the morning, what college Jeff Reynolds' son has chosen and what fraternity Jeff is pledging during his son's first semester, is John Dwyer Brandon's most eligible bachelor, and if so, what does that say for Brandon, who is John Gardner's first mate at his next sailing competition and can they keep up with him, who gets to ride in Joe Campoamor's new boat that goes on water AND on land, or who gets to ride shotgun in Felix Velasquez's new car and learn another language, if Dave Brown realizes he only has 49 more weeks until he is president, who will miss a meeting or make up first, Derrell Curry or Bob Solano (Cal Ripken has nothing on these guys!), if Paul Garner just sells the sound equipment or does he moonlight as DJ PG 13, if Rudy and Craig are each other's dentist, and if so, is that

Imageexpected or just weird, if Justin Northcutt will be in a delivery room or will his wife let him be at the social for the birth of his second daughter, how DOES Debbie Meegan deal with being married to the second funniest man in Brandon, will anyone be able to beat Scott Carter in the poker tournament at our Casino Night, will Fred Schwabe be wearing his infamous red tennis shoes and do they actually make him funnier, who will be the next Rotarian to be on Lee Elam's sign and if anyone has seen Bland Eng. Bland? Bland? You never know what stories will be told, what you will learn or what tremendous relationships you will build, so don't miss it!


ImageThursday, June 5th at the Tampa Club, the Rotary Club of Brandon had a passing of the torch as President Craig Oldham pinned President Elect Chuck Burgess as the 2015-16 President of the Club. Over 60 plus Rotarians, past Rotarians and families attended the annual event. Past President Fred Schwabe served as Master of Ceremonies. Jeff Reynolds and Roger Rivard recognized our Past Presidents' service and then presented our club's plans for the Rotary Event Center off of Ronele and Kings in front of the crowd and past iconic Rotarians George Simmons, Charlie Thurman and Don Pate. President Craig recognized both Derrell Curry and Bob Solano for another year of perfect attendance. Craig also tapped Roger Rivard and Joe Campoamor for their leadership and service in the Rotary Event Center and our 39th Wild Game Night Dinner, respectively. Craig then recapped a very successful year of fundraising, fellowship and our club's win in the Inaugural Paddle for the Camp. President Elect Chuck then recognized President Craig for his year of service with a golden gavel plaque and wine case.

Assistant District Governor Mary Boor then officially installed President Elect Chuck Burgess. Chuck then presented a look at the past, the present and goals for the future for the club. He then thanked all of the 2015-16 officers and directors for their commitment to serving and impacting: Dave Brown (President Elect), Debbie Meegan (Secretary), Justin Northcutt (Treasurer), Fred Schwabe (Sergeant at Arms), Craig Oldham (Past President), Larry Fassett (Club Administration), Pat Skidmore (Service Projects), B. Lee Elam (Public Relations), Roger Rivard (Membership), Scott Carter (Fundraising) and John Dwyer (Events). Chuck concluded the evening with a toast for future success. During the evening's ceremonies,

Imagethe Club also recognized both Lee Elam and Bob Solano with a "best effort" version of Happy Birthday! It was a great evening of fun and fellowship to get the next Rotary year kicked off.

Congratulations to Joe Campoamor, the Wild Game Dinner Honcho, and all the Brandon Rotarians!  Joe, you DID IT!  I did see your predecessor, Dave West, following you around! LOL What a wonderful event and the attendees certainly enjoyed the evening. I saw bartenders galore, tending to the libations!  Meat choppers and slicers and salad makers worked Thursday and Friday!  Ticket sellers were hustling for buyers while raffle prizes were being dolled out to the crowd. Many members were seen working diligently to make this the best Wild Game Dinner, EVER. There were Volunteers who were there to assist in any way and many took on multiple tasks to share in the successful evening!!  Thanks to all who made this a truly successful evening. Bet you can't wait until next year's event!!

Last week's meeting was mainly discussion about the WGD, however, our members did take a vote to amend the charity organization list. After discussion, a foundation, which was on the list, was eliminated. All charities on the remaining list are actual organizations who filed a form with our club. Voting will take place later. 

Derrell Curry announced that our club is the proud owner of a new building that will eventually become a Rotary Club of Brandon meeting space with other clubs and organizations utilizing the building on Kings, as well!!

Once again, S4TL is coming up in June and our club annually sponsors a rising High School Senior to attend the outstanding weeklong camp. It can make such a positive impact on a teen's life. If you have an interested child or grandchild or if you know someone who would make a great representative for our club, please let our President know. 

Member Birthdays:

March 19 John Massolio
 March 21 Tom Odiorne
March 26 William Harper

David and Susan West --1981
Craig Oldham and Peggy Colleran-- 1994

See you at THE LOFT!

It was a busy weekly meeting for our Rotarians on Tuesday, May 12th at the Loft. The meeting opened with a visit from Assistant District Governor Elect Mary

Boor stopping by to present President Craig and our Club the 1st Place Championship Oar for winning the Inaugural Paddle for the Camp Canoe Challenge. President Craig, still in his championship sling and showing his sacrifice and commitment, accepted the coveted hardware and acknowledged Tim Norstrem, John Dwyer and Chuck Burgess for their efforts in bringing home the championship!


The meeting was handed over to Past Presidents Roger Rivard and Jeff Reynolds as they went through their plan for the Greater Brandon Rotary Event Center (aka - our future home base). The current rezoning status, structural plans, financing, outreach to other clubs and naming rights opportunities were all discussed as the vision for the project was clearly put before the members. Roger, Jeff and Past District Governor Alan Feldman all 

showed their commitment to the project with securing naming rights to main areas of the event center. Thank you all for taking the lead! Pledge/donation forms were handed out to each member and an ask for support of OUR community transcending initiative was put forth to the club. Roger, Jeff and Derrell Curry have all done an outstanding job and have put in countless hours of time, effort and energy into making this a realtiy for our community. Thank you all!

President Craig reminded everyone to sign up for our Annual Installation Banquet on Thursday, June 4th at the Tampa Club starting at 6:00PM so Clyde Eisenberg could get a count. He also gave another reminder for all those who had not handed in Wild Game Dinner money to do so quickly so the event could be re

conciled. The 50-50 had no winner so the prize continued to increase in value. The meeting was adjourned until next Tuesday's meeting. Patrick Shea is securing a guest speaker, so you don't want to miss it!





This past week the Future Farmers of America Agricultural Issues Team from Strawberry Crest High School presented a skit about the Healthy Hunger Free Kids Act. Students played the roles of a school principal, concerned parent, busy student-athlete, a local politician, a cafeteria staff member and a moderator to each show the many opinions and effects of this legislative decision.

ImageThis very well prepared group of students did an outstanding job of showing both their writing and presentation skills. This group continues practicing for their big upcoming state competition, and the Rotary Club of Brandon wants to wish them all the best of success as they hone their skills for the big day! Thanks to Strawberry Crest educator Susan Mayo for having her students visit and to Rotarian Sheila Donalson for organizing. President Craig Oldham and Past President Fred Schwabe were on hand to thank the group for joining us for lunch and to get a few pics with the group as well. 

Our weekly meeting started with welcoming several guests to lunch with the hopes that they will continue to visit us and join our Club as active, impact-making members in the future. Roger Rivard discussed the Zoning Hearing that took place Monday, June 15th at the Board of County Commissioners meeting room. Several Rotarians from the Rotary Club of Brandon, Brandon 86, Brandon South and the Rotary Club of Valrico all attended toImage support the Rotary Event Center initiative. We will now wait for the Zoning Hearing Master's recommendation prior to going before the BOCC in August for more discussion and their vote.

President Craig also encouraged Rotarians to join the S4TL Rap Session this week and the July 11th District-wide membership seminar in Bartow. He reminded the incoming board of directors and officers that they would be meeting afterwards with newly installed President Chuck Burgess for their first meeting to discuss the overall plans for the 2015-16 Rotary year.

This past week's meeting also had fellow Rotarian Shelia Donalson bring in Brandon's very own Honorary Mayor, Liz Brewer, to talk about her time as Honorary Mayor and to tell the club about The Brandon Foundation. The Club was informed of all of the great things that the Brandon Foundation has done over the past several years and its current mission, vision and impact in the Greater Brandon community. Liz discussed their annual Pro/Am golf tournament, their Annual Coffee Breakfast, Evening of Hope and this year's big Masquerade Ball. All of these events are geared toward supporting the over 100 charities which apply annually for a support grant as well as families that have experienced a catastrophic event or a terminal illness in their life which is supported by their Angel Program. Liz discussed the many ways that Rotarians, business leaders and the general public can get involved by volunteering, donating, forming an Angel Team or participating in their Annual Giving Difference Maker program.

Liz also talked about the great time she has had being this year's Honorary Mayor of Brandon, her husband Jeff who owns Patriot Arms and her role as a business leader and mother in our community. 

President Craig reminded the Club that there was a meeting next week, Tuesday, June 23rd and NO MEETING on Tuesday, June 30th. The Club would meet again on Tuesday, July 7th for President Chuck Burgess's first meeting. Chuck will be the speaker for the day to discuss the overall plans and goals for the 2015-16 Rotary Year. This would be a great meeting to bring potential members to get them excited about the awesome things that we have planned for the year. You don't want to miss it!

  • A Big Happy Rotary Birthday to Roger Rivard (June 15), Rocky Santa Cruz (June 15) and Chris Larson (June 25).
  • Happy Anniversary to John and Sharon Sellers who will be celebrating their 37th Anniversary on June 24th! Congrats to you both!!
  • The Rotary Club of Brandon would also like to congratulate both Michael Gottesman (June 11) and Steve Moran (June 17) on their one year anniversary of being Rotarians in the Club. We appreciate all you do and the impact you make! Congrats!



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 2020