Category Archives: Events

PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE The Rev. Dr. John H. Danner April 9, 2018


The Rev. Dr. John H. Danner

Sanibel-Captiva Rotary Club

April 9, 2018


I realize this is not a classification talk.  But the theme for the coming year in Rotary seems custom made for a pastor:  be the inspiration.  I mean offering inspiration, being inspiring, is literally part of my job description.  In fact in a recent survey of the members of my church conducted by the Pastoral Relations Committee one of the questions asked if I preach inspiring sermons!

Personally,  I find some inspiration from time to time in the comic strip drawn by Doug Marlette called Kudzu.  It features the comings and goings of a young man in the south, who frequently turns to his pastor for counsel and advice.

In one strip, they are out for a walk, when the young man turns to the preacher and says, “Bein’ a minister must be really hard, huh, preacher?  I mean, living for others, leading an exemplary life!  That’s a lot of responsibility!  The pressure must be tremendous!  Having to set a good example!  People watching, waiting for one false move, one sign of human fragility they can jump on! . . . I don’t know how you handle it! . . .”  The preacher thinks for a moment, and then says, “I stay home a lot.”

That is most certainly not the case with this club.  This club has discovered over the years that part of our work, part of our mission, if you will allow the term, is found outside the four walls of the Clubhouse at the Dunes.  Certainly, what happens there on Friday mornings is important, and in and of itself often inspiring.  Over breakfast we often share our lives, and offer support to one another in times of difficulty.  Networking connections are made that enhance our ability to serve in our own professions.  We find a few reasons to laugh, ribbing Don Russell about his beloved Buckeyes, listening to one of John Frederick’s stories. Our speakers often challenge us to think in new ways, and to take on new efforts.  But this club has learned that what matters most is not what we do on Friday mornings, but rather, what we do the rest of the week.  For it is when we move out into the wider world, as individuals and in groups, it is then that we can truly be an inspiration.

I’ve been thinking about that a lot these past few weeks–and considering the many ways I have been inspired by the members of this club.

I am inspired by the way there is always somebody willing to step up and take on a task when needed, like Cindy DeCosta, Dorrie Hipschmann and Shirley Jewell did this evening.

I am inspired by the way some of our members, like Chet Sadler, Bill Rahe and John Grey, have devoted so much time and effort and even personal funds to keep us involved in places like Haiti and Guatemala and Trinidad.

I am inspired by the fact that we as a club are helping farmers in Guatemala with microloans that make it possible for them to grow some of the best coffee in the world.

I am inspired by the all hands on deck approach we take to the Arts and Crafts Fair, and the way Scot Congress, Dick Waterhouse, Robert Monk, Rachel Tritaik, the two Rogers (those guys can sell anything!) and so, so, so many others make it possible for us to raise tens of thousands of dollars every year all while providing Sanibel with a top-notch community event attended by thousands.

I am inspired by the fact that this year we are planting a tree for every member of our club –and how we helped fund a Food Forest right next door in Pine Manor in Fort Myers.  A food forest, for crying out loud!  In Fort Myers!

I am inspired by the hundreds and hundreds of wheelchairs we have provided for persons in desperate need, allowing them to literally get up off the ground, sometimes for the very first time in their lives.

I am inspired by how Eldon Bohrofen has worked overtime to bring in new members, and how those new members like Richard Green and John Schwandke have become vital participants in our work.

I am inspired by how Jack Alexander and Joleen Raho got us involved in the rehab work along the Imperial River after Hurricane Irma and how the residents there were keeping the faith.

I am inspired by the way Lee Almas, year after year, after year has organized our efforts to help various community organizations park cars for important fundraisers that benefit the island.

I am inspirited by the young men and women who have received thousands and thousands of dollars in scholarships from our club, and the way Dan Cohn and his committee have kept that project so very well organized.

I am inspired by the fact that such a large percentage of our members serve on various boards and committees across the island, and literally around the world, making a real difference in so many lives.

I am inspired by Holli Martin makes sure every contribution is acknowledged with her weekly shout outs and thank you notes.

I am inspired by the fact that doctors and preachers and lawyers and accountants and teachers and scientists and bankers and others are willing to scour the side of Summerlin Road once a month and pick up all manner of debris to help keep our world a beautiful place.

Yes, friends, even working on road kill can be an inspiration.  But none of it would happen–none of it at all–if we simply stayed home.  If we simply ate eggs and bacon and raised our cholesterol levels and enjoyed ourselves on Friday mornings none of it would happen at all.

But we don’t.  We take seriously the need to put “Service above Self”.  We take seriously the fact that yes, we are women and men who can and do make a difference as individuals, but also that we are able to multiply that impact exponentially when we work together.

And in the year ahead, I will do all in my power to help us continue being the inspiration.  I will be proposing some new efforts as well as supporting our tried and true programs of the past.  I will be encouraging us to explore what it might mean to sponsor an Interact Club at the Sanibel School.  I will be asking us to find creative ways to partner with FISH and other groups at part, RUSH–Rotarians United to Stop Hunger.  I will be urging us to think about our relationship to Shell Point, and to examine the idea of fostering a Satellite Club there.

On a more personal basis, I turn sixty-five this summer.  And so it seems time again to get on my trusty bike, and put in a couple of hundred miles to raise some funds for wheelchairs.  When I turned sixty, we were part of an effort that raised $22,000 to that end.  We placed over two-hundred people in those chairs.  What can we do this time?

I am so honored to serve as your President for the coming year.  Because, my fellow Rotarians, you inspire me.  You inspire me to be a better person.

Back in 2011 the late Art Cramer, a long time Rotarian, asked me over and over again to come with him to a Rotary meeting.  I finally relented.  A year later, Art passed on.  And I had the privilege of officiating at his Memorial Service.  Recently, I looked up my homily from that day.

“Art,” I said, “not only repeated the words of the Four Way test at each and every Rotary Club meeting, he lived by them as well.”

Fellow Rotarians, might that be said of each of us.  As individuals and as a club, might our words and our deeds be the inspiration.

July 4th Parade

A video of the Club’s participation in Sanibel’s July 4th Celebration

July 4th 2017 from Sancap Rotary on Vimeo.

Sanibel Independence Day Parade



2016-4July Float

2016 Arts and Crafts Fair

Our 2016 Fair was our most successful Arts Fair EVER!

The weather could not have been better!  Even given the parking problems, one would be hard pressed to find any major negative issues.

We estimate over 3700 people attended the Fair on Saturday, and 2200 on Sunday, 110 artists were represented, we experienced record t-shirt sales ( approx 500 shirts), and record coffee sales (125+ bags!) .  We also had an amazing turn out for the silent auction The artists seemed happy with their revenue. Many of whom thanked us upon leaving for our organization, and attention to detail.

Arts and Crafts Fair 2016a

Arts and Crafts Fair 2016b

Arts and Crafts Fair 2016-5

Arts and Crafts Fair 2016-6

Arts and rafts Fair 2016-7


San-Cap Rotary 2016 Arts and Crafts Fair

The Island is busy, the weather forecast is good.  We’re looking forward to a great Fair this Year.

Health Screening Program

Sanibel-Captiva Rotary welcomed Kurt Peters, Sanibel Captiva Lions Club President, to our podium last week to give us an overview of the club’s Health Screening Program. I don’t know if many Islanders are aware of this program but believe me they should know. This is a one-stop FREE health screening opportunity to have your-blood pressure checked, blood glucose checked (primarily for diabetes), peripheral visual fields checked, testing to determine your intraocular pressure of the eyes (glaucoma), muscular degeneration screening, and a hearing test. These are painless tests that provide a quick easy preventive check for health issue that are unfortunately so common for many of us, especially as we age.

The Lions Club wants everyone on Island to take advantage of this program and has setup five various dates and locations for these Lions Club Health Screening opportunities …Sanibel Senior Center for Life-Nov. 18th, Sanibel Community House-Nov. 21st, and the Sanibel Rec. Center-Jan. 14th, Feb. 15th, and March 14th…all screenings will take place from 9:30AM TO 12:30PM.

Bailey-Matthews Shell Museum- Anniversary

At Friday’s meeting, Rotary Club President, Chris DeCosta, Rotary of Sanibel-Captiva Trust Fund Chair John Grey, and Trust Fund member, Lee Almas presented to the museum’s Executive Director, Dorrie Hipschman a $2,000 check for this very special event celebrating the 20th anniversary of the Bailey-Mathew’s Museum.

Shell Museum Donation

Sanibel-Captiva Rotary sponsors Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum Free Admission Day

Saturday, November 14th from 10am-5pm

The Anniversary day, (November 14t),  will be filled with family-friendly activities including scavenger hunts, hourly live-tank demonstrations, and arts and crafts projects.  Birthday cake by Bailey’s General Store will be served beginning at 11:30 until it runs out! And, each visiting family will receive a special birthday gift to take home (while supplies last).

For our birthday we’ve decided to give a gift back to our community – we’re grateful for the support of our many friends who make everything we do possible. Let’s take some time before “season” arrives to celebrate the past and envision the future” – Dorrie Hipschman, Executive Director.,,,Satellite parking and shuttle will be available at SCCF for this event.

July 4th Parade

For this year’s Independence Day parade on Sanibel, our Rotary Club had a great float and a lot of fun.

July 4th Celebration



July 4

Bill Rahe has once again taken on the roll of our Sanibel-Captiva Rotary Club’s 4th of July Float team leader. Bill is currently seeking a few volunteers to paint our new Uncle Sam Figure for the float. The 8 foot Uncle Sam has been cut out and his outfit has been drawn on….If you can paint by numbers…WE NEED YOU. Ask Bill for more information.

Shelterboxes for Nepal and CART (Coins for Alzheimers Research)

Rotary International President Gary C.K. Huang urged the humanitarian organization’s 1.2 million members worldwide to assist the victims of the April 25th earthquake disaster in Nepal in any way possible, including contributions to ShelterBox .

ShelterBox is the international disaster response charity that is Rotary’s project partner for disaster relief delivering emergency shelter, warmth, and dignity to people made homeless by disasters worldwide. At the ready are a large number of Shelter Boxes for responses instantly to these types of disasters but depletion of stockpiled boxes go quickly and financial contributions are needed to prepare additional boxes for large disasters such as Nepal. Shelter Boxes contain a tent to sleep ten people, ten sleeping bags or blankets, water purification equipment, pots, pans, knives forks and spoons, mosquito netting, ponchos, tools to help rebuild their living quarters, cooking stove, and activity kits for young children.

Sanibel-Captiva Rotarians, Roger Thrifthauser and Bill Rahe, immediate put into action a request via e-mail to club members to be ready to respond to this appeal with financial support for the purchasing of ShelterBox units slated for Nepal, at last Friday’s meeting.  Some of our snowbird Rotarians and others who would not be attending that meeting responded immediately with pledges amounting to $1,550 and the meeting itself brought additional contributions of $1,108. This $2,658 was then rounded up to $3,000 by Sanibel-Captiva Trust Foundation funds in addition to $1,000 already slated by the Trust Fund budget for ShelterBox. This $4,000 will enable the Sanibel-Captiva Rotary to purchase ShelterBox units for Nepal.

Rotary is an amazing humanitarian organization and Rotarians when challenged to make a difference in this world contribute hours of volunteer time, whether directly with boots on the ground or fundraising for projects that need financial help, they step up and make a difference.

Another perfect example of this is our Rotary District #6960 support of CART-Coins for Alzheimer Research Trust. Our Friday morning speaker last week Rotarian, Dr. Gary Goforth founding program director of the Florida State University College of Medicine Family Medicine Residency Program at Lee Memorial Health System. Gary made a visit to our club to bring attention to Rotary’s CART Fund. The CART Fund is dedicated to raising funds to provide see money for cutting edge, high impact research in hopes of finding a cure/prevention for Alzheimer’s disease. The goal of the Fund is to encourage exploratory and developmental AD research projects within the United States.

Dr Gary Goforth

Dr. Goforth’s power point slide describes Alzheimer’s, “Alzheimer’s destroys brain cells. There are 100 billion nerve cells, or neurons, creating a branding network. Signals traveling through the neurons forest form memories, thoughts, and feelings. Alzheimer’s destroys neurons, thus also destroying memories, thoughts, impulse control, personality, etc. Alzheimer is a brain failure.” As our population ages the need for more information about Alzheimer’s disease is imperative and the fact is, that the typical research being done is not coming up with answers for us. CART supports cutting edge research. Not yet a Rotary International project but being supported by a number of Rotary Districts across the United States, CART has awarded over $4,500,000.00, since beginning in 1995 to accredited Alzheimer’s researchers.

CART uses a novel fundraising program. Rotarians are encouraged to voluntarily empty their pockets and purses of change, or whatever amount they choose in the blue CART buckets available on the tables whenever they attend a Rotary meeting. They also welcomed contributions of currency, checks, or credit cards. Sanibel-Captiva Rotary Trust Foundation has budgeted $1,000 for CART this year.