The blog posts have been quiet this last month so I have plenty to catch up on.
Since our last meeting on April 10th we have had two membership meetings. Our second meeting in April was all club business. With Rotaract’s year ending June 30th we got the ball rolling on electing the board for next year. The results of that process will be revealed shorty. For our May meeting it was our pleasure to have Melody White from The World Affairs Council of Jacksonville join us to talk about their organization and their young professional group.
We have also had three club socials since we last “talked”. The first was a trivia night at Mellow Mushroom in Avondale. Although we didn’t win we had a great time showing off our smarts. In May a small group got down to float Ginnie Springs. I think this is an event we will revive again sometime this summer. Our latest event was a joint social with our sponsoring club South Jax Rotary. We had a great time at Corner Bistro tasting and learning about wine.
It hasn’t been all fun and games though. In April we teamed up with the Rising Tides for a cleanup on McCoy’s Creek. In a few hours work we pulled out 37 tires among various other debris! This is a long term project that the Rising Tides group is doing and they are having tremendous results. This last weekend we had our May service event where we volunteered at the River City Eco Fest. We filled in a variety of roles to help make that event a success.
I think that catches us up. Hopefully we will see you tonight as we have our second membership meeting in May. We will be announcing the board election results as well as featuring a guest speaker.
With One Spark going on downtown, it was fitting that we had Annie Tutt from Ronald McDonald House come speak to us about putting on events and fundraising. Annie is the Development and Marketing Director for the Jacksonville Ronald McDonald house and was recently named one of Jacksonville’s “40 Under 40”. She imparted a lot of great information on what makes a successful event and tips on how to achieve your goals. Her message to us was that you needed to focus on three things when putting on any event: planning, making it fun, and saying thank you. Her further insight into these topics provided a lot of valuable information that we can apply to our future Gala events.
After the meeting we took advantage of Jacksonville’s Skyway to head over to One Spark to eat and check out the festivities. This is a really amazing event that electrifies downtown. There is still plenty going on, so make sure to take some time this weekend and get out there if you haven’t already. A lot of what is making Jacksonville great and will lead to even a better future here is being shown at One Spark.
Our upcoming events which can be seen on our Facebook page:
-This Saturday several of our members will be taking part in the Katie Ride For Life
-April 16th there will be a “Fireside Chat” to introduce new members to Rotaract
-April 19th we will team up with the Rising Tides for our April service event doing a cleanup on McCoy’s Creek
-April 24th will be an important membership meeting since we will be presenting the board positions to begin the process of turning over the board for the new year
-April 28th we will be heading to Avondale’s Mellow Mushroom to show off our smarts in trivia for our April social.
We had a really great meeting last night. Not only did we have an enjoyable and informative speaker, but we also inducted two new members into our club. David Deviese was a previous Rotaractor who relocated for a job and returned to the area with an interest to continue serving the community. Our other inductee was Maggie Goodhart . She is a fresh face to Jacksonville who was attracted to our social and service combination. Both will be great additions to First Coast Rotaract.
Our speaker for the evening was Chris Folds from Habijax. If you are unaware, Habijax is the Jacksonville affiliate for Habitat of Humanity. Chris came and spoke to us about all the amazing work they are doing for this community. Since their start here in 1989 they have put up over $100 million in “brick and mortar” developments in this community. Currently they are working to help revitalize the New Town area in North West Jacksonville and have made great strides in reshaping that neighborghood. In June they will be doing a blitz build where they will build 25 homes in a single week! A job like this is going to take a lot of volunteers, financially and physically. So if you would like to be part of this great cause please get in touch with Habijax to volunteer.
This past weekend I had the opportunity to attend Rotary Presidential Elect Training Seminar (PETS). This is an annual conference that Rotary puts together in each state for the President Elects to come together and prepare for their upcoming year as Rotary presidents. The exciting thing about this year was inclusion of Rotaract clubs and their incoming presidents.
The Rotaract portion of the seminar had specific breakout sessions geared towards running a Rotaract Club. These followed a general guideline in topics which led to many valuable discussions. I took a lot away from these breakouts and will work to implement what I learned into my year as Rotaract president .In addition to the breakouts, all of the meals included a prominent Rotarian speaker that brought out the passion that Rotary stirs in so many people.
These seminars also allowed me to network with the many Rotaract leaders in Jacksonville and throughout the state. I am hoping that going forward we will be able to work together to better organize Rotaract clubs to increase communication and possibly form a district council. The growth and strengthening of Rotaract will be a great benefit for all of the communities that these clubs exist in.
I am very excited for what I can bring to Rotaract now and during my year as president.
This last Saturday First Coast Rotaract and South Jax Rotary partnered up to help fight hunger in Jacksonville. Throughout the day Rotaractors and Rotarians greeted Publix customers with the message that every bit helps. The support from the Roosevelt Publix and their wonderful customers was tremendous. One lady was only there to fill a prescription, but went in and filled an entire shopping cart with items to donate. In addition to that we met a family who really understood our cause since their son was adopted from The Children’s Home Society. In total we collected 2,018 pounds of food for The Children’s Home Society of North Florida. The day was a complete success and will do a lot of good for many children in need.
Last night we had the opportunity to have a local business leader in Matthew Kane speak to us at our membership meeting. Matthew is one of the owners of Greenshades software company; a company that was founded in Jacksonville, Florida and continues here today specializing in payroll software.
In addition to his success in the business world, Matthew is also very involved in community projects and organizations. It was very inspirational to hear the way he pairs the two sectors. His message was for all of us step out into the community and make an impact. This can be from joining non-profits, political committees, and mentoring. He has great intentions and vision for where this community is going and hopefully we can help it get there.
We had a great turn out of members and guests last night. I really enjoy meeting new people through our club and being able to speak proudly about about our organization.
Being a service club it is important for us to grow our membership to help expand our reach into the community. I hope that our guests were able to feel the enthusiasm we carry as individuals for this club and how we use it in enriching ourselves and the community.
I hope those that made it out will join us in some of our upcoming events. If you were not able to make it, please take the time to check us out at our membership meeting next Thursday at River City Brewing Co.
Finally I would like to thank Indochine San Marco. They provided a great atmosphere and excellent service for this event.