Upcoming Events
Board of Directors Meeting - online
Aug 12, 2020
6:00 PM – 7:30 PM
Board of Directors Meeting
Oct 14, 2020
6:00 PM – 7:30 PM
Board of Directors Meeting
Dec 09, 2020
6:00 PM – 7:30 PM
View entire list
Russell Hampton
ClubRunner Mobile
The theme for 2020-21 Rotary Year
Jul 23, 2020 7:00 AM
Living with the Invasive Lionfish
Jul 30, 2020 7:00 AM
Microplastics in the Marine Environment
View entire list
This Week's News
All this month: Appreciating Florida's Ocean Bounty
You're in for an extra special line-up of programs throughout July! That's because we've arranged to hear from experts with Florida Sea Grant who will join us live from across the state to talk about some of the fascinating and engaging stories that flow from our state's most bountiful treasure, its oceans and coasts.
We all know why so many millions of vacationers travel to our beaches each year, but you'll have the chance to learn surprising and unusual new things about the ocean and coastal environments surrounding our state. These programs will introduce you to how important the coast is to our way of life, as well as give you renewed appreciation for its invaluable natural areas. This is an excellent month to invite friends and potential members to join our meetings, so be sure to extend the invitation far and wide. Enjoy!
This week: Florida’s Aquaculture Industries
No matter where we live in relation to the ocean, our well-being hinges on its health. The ocean produces more than 50% or more of the oxygen we breathe, regulates the global climate, absorbs CO2, and provides habitat for marine life, helping our planet—and all the world’s natural in balance wonders.

If you stretched Florida’s shoreline from the Florida/Georgia border up the US Atlantic Coast, it would reach halfway into Maine! Florida has 1,350 miles of linear coastline, and a tidal coastline of 8,400 miles. Florida’s territorial waters extend seaward three marine leagues on the Gulf coast (10.35 geographic miles), and three geographic miles on the Atlantic coast. Over 100 species of fish and shellfish are harvested in Florida waters. Almost eighty percent of Florida’s population lives in the 36 coastal counties (of 67 counties total).

In 2018, Florida’s economy exceeded more than $1 trillion dollars, 77 percent of which was contributed by activities in the coastal counties.  In fact, the GDP of Florida’s coastline exceeds the GDP of 45 of the nation’s 50 states.  A lot goes on along Florida’s coast!
July’s programs will be about some of the activities that occur along this massive coastline, and about some of the unique species that live in our waters. This week’s program will be a presentation from Dr. Laura Tiu about Florida’s aquaculture industries. Aquaculture is the breeding, rearing, and harvesting of fish and shellfish, plants, algae and other organisms in all types of water environments. Some of Florida’s aquaculture industries are national leaders and quite unique, and others are behind the rest of the US and the world in developing.
Laura will be 'zooming' in from another time zone in Florida's Panhandle, so we're deeply appreciative that she'll be up well before sunrise to join us! See you there!
Zoom connecting information
The July 236 meeting of the 2020-21 Sunrise Rotary year can be accessed via Zoom at this link:
Meeting ID: 999 5609 0100
One tap mobile
+13017158592,,99956090100# US (Germantown)
13126266799,,99956090100# US +(Chicago)
If you have trouble with your connection, don't panic. Normally all you have to do is launch your Zoom app or program, and type in the meeting ID number when prompted to join a meeting. The meeting ID is the same string of numbers found in the URL link above. That is, 999 5609 0100. You can also reach out to me, Dorothy at 352.377.5901. 
We'll be starting promptly at 7:15 am, but feel free to log on earlier if you wish to test your connection or visit with fellow members.
Congratulations to our New President, Dave Coker
Welcome to the 2020-21 Rotary Year! We'd like to introduce you to our new leader, President Dave Coker, who was duly installed at our annual transition dinner on Saturday, June 27. We owe a huge debt of gratitude to our outgoing president, Rory Causseaux, who skillfully navigated an unprecedented final quarter to bring our 2019-20 Rotary year to a successful close.
Rory and Bobbie Robinson threw a terrific transition party. Owing to social distancing norms, it was held (in-person) in the outdoor pavilion at Hatchet Creek Conservation area. Many thanks to Pam Gretter, who snapped this photo, and contributed many more to our Transition Dinner album, which you can view at this link from our Flickr online photo collection.
Stay tuned for video of the entire ceremony, supplied by Dave Ferro, that will be soon be uploaded to our Facebook page for everyone to enjoy. And just in case you're wondering, here's the list of members who have stepped forward to serve in club leadership for 2020-21.
President: David Coker
President Elect: Darleen Morgan
Secretary: Kevin Golden
Treasurer: Lorie Keegan
Sergeant-at-Arms: Dave Ferro
Vice President: Pam Gretter
Trivia Master: Bill Schmidt
Board Members (Year 1) -- Jonathan Dreyer, Greg Bradley, Ron Farb
Board Member (Year 2) -- Chris Trowell, Chuck Geiger, Bobbie Robinson
Immediate Past President: Rory Causseaux
Please continue to share your good news with President Dave

Please use the following email address: to share good news about our group with me! 

Great tip on a Florida news source: Earth to Florida Newsletter 
Florida is on the front lines of environmental changes that are affecting our natural resources, economy and way of life. Now more than ever, Floridians need to be equipped with digestible science-based information so they can make informed decisions and take part in sustaining the paradise we call home. Each month, a student-led team at the UF Thompson Earth Systems Institute curates Florida's environmental news and explains what’s going on, why it matters and what we can do about it. View our latest issue or subscribe.
Important updates about Rotary Youth Exchange in 2020-21
The Rotary International Board of Directors made an important decision about Rotary Youth Exchange in 2020-21 after reviewing a thorough risk assessment and carefully considering COVID-19 conditions around the world.

Although COVID-19 still causes uncertainty globally, especially because of the risk of infection, changing international travel restrictions, and school delays and closures, some regions may be able to host exchanges safely later this Rotary year. Where districts decide it is safe, short-term exchanges can resume in October 2020 and long-term exchanges can resume in January 2021, provided districts implement specific safety requirements outlined in the RI Board’s April decision.
After reviewing the requirements, is up to districts to determine whether they can proceed with Rotary Youth Exchange programs in accordance with the new safety guidelines. If your district is concerned, the best option may be to suspend the program temporarily and consider other ways to engage young people this year, such as facilitating virtual exchanges or getting students involved with Interact or RYLA. If your district is considering moving forward with the program, it will be important to consider the risks, create a comprehensive crisis management plan, and have volunteers who can commit more time to communicating with students and families, monitoring recommendations from health authorities, and acting quickly if the situation changes.
Webinar Series: Infinite Possibilities: Women in Rotary

Rotary District 6960 is excited to present INFINITE POSSIBILITIES: Women In Rotary! 

This four-part membership series offers you the unique opportunity to hear from some of the most dynamic speakers in Rotary.  The topics focus on Rotary history, celebrations, challenges, vision, encouragement, enthusiasm and motivation to grow your membership!  

As we bring major Rotary International speakers to the forefront, we have every confidence you will find each one-hour webinar well worth your time and attention.  The following is our series schedule:

July 31, 2020: 1 pm EDT: Sylvia Whitlock, 1st Female Rotary Club President
(Hosted by RI Vice President Johrita Solari and RI Director Valarie Wafer) Register NOW

Save the Date

August 28, 2020 - Rotarian Jenny Stotts, Boldly Leading the Way, Hosted by RI Director Peter Kyle and PDG Vanessa Ervin

September 25, 2020 - Past RI Vice President Dean Rohrs, Hosted by Past RI Director John Smarge and Zone 34 ARC Cyndi Doragh

October 30, 2020 - Very Special Guest Speaker, Hosted by RI Director Stephanie Urchick

We will be offering a second, four-part eeries - INFINITE POSSIBILITIES: Diversity Equity Inclusion, beginning January, 2021, so stay tuned for more exciting news to come your way!

Meet District Governor Rich Turnbull 2020-21

Dear Friends and Fellow Flamingos, my Rotary Family!!

We have been taught to not begin with an apology – and yet I apologize; this is a more personal letter than usual for the incoming District Governor.  And for good reason.

As I write this note to you on June 2nd, 2020, our country that we all love is in despair, turmoil, anger, rage and rioting, and in the midst of a pandemic that has taken at least 110,000 Americans away from their friends and family, too soon.  And with little or no chance for the comfort of family gatherings to grieve, share, and say proper good-byes. We are also a nation divided, and no longer conduct discourse, political or otherwise, in ways that build and reflect respect for each other, even though we may disagree.

And frankly, I am deeply hurt and troubled, and a little more than a little scared – you may need to read that again.  Scared for myself, my family, my community, my country, and yes, for Rotary. Alone, it would be easy for me to feel despair rather than joy as my leadership year approaches – I have been in training for countless hours for this position during the past three years!  And at the dawn of my DG Rotary year, much that I have been prepared for, is no longer in place.

However, I am a person of faith – I happen to practice (not perfectly) Christianity in my life, although I honor and respect the other major religions (as well as those who do not believe in a supreme deity), as I believe GOD is bigger than any box that religions try to place Him/Her.  So I am also a person of hope, a person who believes in the power and truth of redemptive resurrection.  And that hope, my faith, calls me to look past any despair or fear, to find and share light in places of darkness, to chase out the darkness, as only light can.

Rotary has provided Marie and me opportunities to help make the world a slightly less dark, slightly brighter and better place than what it could be otherwise; to fight for the eradication of the crippling disease that is Polio, to care for the hurt, the hungry, the homeless and the helpless.  And Rotary has made me a better person along the way, in no small part due to the gifts of friendship and love that I have at my small club, and throughout District 6970 –  we are 3,200+ strong Rotarians who care deeply about our communities and each other, and that gives me hope and strength!

And it is important to know that beyond the walls of our club, Rotary raises awareness and provides aid throughout the world, in over 200 countries, 33,000 clubs and 1.2 million members strong, all led by RI President Holger Knaack, who is truly an amazing person.  As are my fellow DG classmates from Florida, the Caribbean and from up and down the eastern seaboard of this beautiful, troubled country.  These leaders are truly inspirational in their wisdom, passion, and commitment to Rotary and the betterment of our communities throughout the world.

And all of that is a comfort to me, as we start this Rotary journey together.  But before looking ahead, let us briefly reflect on the year just completed: it has been amazing and inspiring to witness the resiliency that our club presidents (including Marie!) and DG Mike Darragh displayed during such a challenging year.  They began with the devastation of Hurricane Dorian, soon followed by the Covid-19 pandemic, spring tornados, floods and earthquakes, quarantines and virtual meetings; the list goes on!  Through this tumultuous year in our world and in Rotary, our presidents and District Governor have lead us with grace, calmness and a steady hand on the wheel.  Thank your President, and PDG Mike, extra this year – they all deserve every bit of our gratitude.

What this year means for me, and the ask I have for each of you, is to help make sure Rotary Opens Opportunities.  Only by remaining committed to our Rotary Ideals, embodied by the Four-Way Test, can we face the challenges of today’s world, embrace change, and find alternate ways to take advantage of those opportunities in our lives, so as to continue to do good in our communities and in our club.  And yes, to the betterment of ourselves – it’s kind of being smart selfish.

As we embark on this new Rotary journey together, I ask for your support and prayers, in whatever form that takes for you.  We have an amazing, passionate District, one of the absolute best in the Rotary World.  With your help, support, and guidance, we can continue our proud tradition of servant leadership, strong Foundation giving, and fun and fellowship in our clubs.  It is an honor to serve with you – let’s have a great year!

Yours in Rotary Service,
Rich Turnbull
District Governor 2020-21
District 6970, Rotary International

Feel the Energy in Taipei
Experience the energy of Rotary like never before in a city filled with tradition and infused with ingenuity. Join us at the 2021 Rotary International Convention in Taipei, Taiwan, 12-16 June. Registration is now open for the 2021 convention. Register at this link.

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