Category Archives: News

Student Project- Marine Biology

Last Friday, FSW Professor, Dr. Roslyn Jester, PH.D –Ocean Science.  a visiting research scientist at SCCF here on the Sanibel brought along four newly FSW graduated honor students  (Kelsey Hoagland, Tori Frisina, Erin O’Neil, and Samantha Tawil) to our Club meeting. The students  who had recently wrapped up their Study Abroad studies in La Paz, Mexico.

Marine Biology 1 Marine Biology 2

La Pas Isla Espiritu Santo,in Baja California, is a spectacular island with dozens of bays, rich marine life and land-based reptiles, birds, and amphibians. Working with Ecology Project International nonprofit educational organization-  “Ecology International combines travel to remarkable places, rigorous andexciting field science, conservation efforts, and authentic cultural exchange experience to improve students’ awareness, understanding, knowledge, confidence and academic skill sets.” Although the students got to design their own course of research on the Island, emphasis was placed on endangered sea turtle, oceanography, research design & statistical analysis and field data collection.

Tori and Sam designed a survey to measure social drivers of awareness of protection and conservation efforts regarding La Pas sea turtle population by a representative number of local fishermen and the general public in La Pas and anthropogenic factors of environmental factors due to human activity.  The Survey results indicated that the fishermen were aware of conservation efforts but the practice of these efforts never quite answered.  The general population was aware of protection laws regarding the sea turtles but was leery of actual efforts to protect the turtles.  The students concluded more education was needed regarding sea turtle protection through education and enforcement activities.

Studies were also done on 39 Sea Stars, measuring the sea star size – longest arm measures-and growth and counting of current parasites.  This record will be kept and used again in other research.

Erin and Samantha’s research study was to involve the invertebrate population on Espiritu Santo but was somewhat hindered by the recent hurricane that hit the area.  Students camped for several nights on a beach located on Isla Espiritu Santo in the Gulf of California, and while snorkeling collect data for local scientists as part of a marine invertebrate research project. They did do their count and that was then compared with before hurricane counts.

Probably the most exciting part of this trip was whale observation and study; monitoring the whales, noting the marking and spots, measuring growth, swimming along with the whales and measuring their tales and documenting  information for further studies.

This is hands-on science and you could tell that this experience awakens the thrust for further knowledge and provides a platform for life-long learning.  Isn’t that what education is all about?

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.


Banner Membership Year for Sanibel-Captiva Rotary Club

The Sanibel-Captiva Rotary Membership Committee has processed twelve new membership applications, interviews, and inductions during Rotary Year – July 2014- July 2015 – under the leadership of current Club President, Bill Rahe and Membership Committee Chairs, Janet Strickland and new Membership Chair, James Davis.

Just two weeks ago, the club officially inducted its two newest members:

New Members May 2015

1. Eldon Bohrofen- now living full-time in Florida-Eldon recently moved to Shell Point with his wife Judy. The Bohrofens moved here from Wisconsin, where Eldon was a member of the Sheboygan, Wisconsin Rotary Club for 41 years serving with a turn holding the club gavel as Past President. Rotary Classification- Attorney. Sponsor- James Davis

2. Michele Tiff – Advertising Executive with The Islander, Sanibel. New to Rotary but a strong volunteer organizer at her church. Michele has done volunteer work for Mission of Hope, which lead to her first mission trip to Haiti 2 years ago and hopes to return there soon. Rotary Classification-Advertising Sponsor-Janet Strickland

This year’s twelve new members in order of induction: Rich Mattern, James Davis, Jim Young, Cindy DeCosta, Paul Prestia, Jerry Gorby, Greg Scherer, Ty Symvoski, Bill Taylor, Jack Kuhn, Eldon Bohrofen, and Michelle Tifft.

Paul Harris Awards

At the April 10th Club Meeting, three Paul Harris Awards were given to members who have contributed their time to service activities during the year.  The recipients were: Mike Raab, Dick Waterhouse, and Roger Thriftshauser

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Ambassadorial Scholar

Simon & Schuster Author of Unremarried Widow 2014, Artis Henderson visited the Sanibel-Captiva Rotary Club recentl to talk about her experiences as a Rotary Foundation Ambassadorial Scholar studying at the in Dakar, Senegal, for the 2010-2011 academic year.

Artis Henderson, Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar 4-15-2013 8-11-10 PM 3456x4608

The opportunity to receive a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholarship presented itself and Artis went ahead and decided to apply for a scholarship stipend to study at Université Cheikh Anta Diop in Dakar, Senegal.

It didn’t take long for the adventures to unfold. Her arrival in Dakar, Senegal brought home the point that this was definitely going to be an exciting and sometimes scary place to be. Dakar is the capital city of Senegal in West Africa with a population of over one million people. As with all large populated cities, Dakar had great wealth and great poverty. This would become more evident as time went by.

Artis was sick a lot on arrival and it took some time to acclimate to her new surroundings. Although Artis didn’t elaborate about her studies at Université Cheikh Anta Diop, she definitely was part of the student community. As part of that community she definitely heard the rumbles of worry about the unrest in the area after the protests in the nearby Arab nations. It was the time of the Arab Spring.

Wikipedia states that, “The Arab Spring is widely believed to have been instigated by dissatisfaction with the rule of local governments, particularly by youth and unions, though some have speculated that wide gaps in income levels may have had a hand as well. Numerous factors have led to the protests, including issues such as dictatorship or absolute monarchy, human rights violations, political corruption, economic decline, unemployment, extreme poverty, and a number of demographic structural factors, such as a large percentage of educated but dissatisfied youth within the entire population.” Similar problems exist across Africa. Soon there were protests in Senegal. Protests against the government corruption were now being exhibited with mounting tension highlighted by a protester setting himself on fire in front of the palace followed again by a second and third person.

This was a tough time to be an American in Senegal. There was an uprising of the Muslim identity in this part of the world. This gave Artis a boarder worldview especially when she was spit upon out on the street for being an American. She understood the reasoning for the protests and she saw major corruption within the country. Artis even mentioned the fact that many NGO entities in Dakar were spending donor funds foolishly and not using the money for the intended use. Many frustrations were just below the surface in Dakar and bubbling up every day.

Artis did manage to continue her studies in Senegal during this time, fulfilled her Rotary commitments, and did some journalistic writing for American news outlets; no doubt this was done in a much different way than she expected. She found the people of Dakar generous and kind. Artis’s Rotary Ambassadorial Scholarship certainly opened her eyes to both the differences and commonalities among people of the country.

2015 Rotary District 6960 Member of the Year

Sanibel-Captiva Rotarian, John Grey is this year’s Rotary District #6960 2015 Vocational Service Member of the Year award.

John Grey, John Grey Painting Co. 4-12-2013 8-27-36 AM 2497x2639

As many Islanders know John is owner and operator of John Grey Painting Company, on Sanibel. He has demonstrated high eithical standards in the conduct of his business and continually gives back to the community through both in-kind and financial support for many non-profits in Lee County. His remarkable record of service to the Sanibel-Captiva Rotary Club has demonstrated high standards in our club. John and his business have been an active force in Sanibel and Captiva, and the regional community.  He is on the Boards and Committees of Sanibel Sea School Sanibel, Community Housing and Resources, and Harlem Heights Foundation, Fort Myers.

On the International level John has personally funded and participated in 6 trips to Guatemala, Jamaica, Trinidad, and Haiti, promoting in a variety of projects, many of these being partnerships between the Rotary and other charitable organizations. They include the distribution of wheelchairs from the Wheelchair Foundation, the Haiti St. Marks School Sanitation Project, Miracles in Action, Coffee farmers’ micro financing, the distribution of smokeless stoves, and water filtration systems for use at the village level.

John can digress at length on the benefits of each of these projects. For example, the distribution of smokeless stoves helps combat rampant environmental lung disease that develops at a very young age in villagers who cook in their homes using open flame stoves. In addition to lung disease, severe burns are an ever-present risk in such homes. The morbidity and mortality from these burns is increased if the only source of water is polluted. The water filtration systems introduced on some of John’s visits helped not only to provide potable water, but also to provide clean water for cleansing burns and other wounds.

2015 Vocational Excellence Award

The Sanibel-Captiva Rotary recently voted to recognize this year, a non-Rotarian community leader with the club’s newly created Vocational Excellence Award. Candidates for this award were nominated by Sanibel-Captiva Rotary members with each candidate demonstrating exceptional vocational performance in our community. The club’s 2015 Sanibel-Captiva Rotary

The Vocational Excellence Award recipient this year was Maggie Feiner, President and CEO FISH – Friends In Service Here .

Maggie Feiner & Bill Rahe 4-12-2013 8-26-08 AM 4608x3456

FISH of Sanibel-Captiva, Inc. is a leading  nonprofit, non-sectarian, human services organization focused on “neighbors helping neighbors” on Sanibel and Captiva islands. Their mission is to lend a helping hand to those in need who live, work, or visit here. Their objective is to make a social investment in the community that assists our neighbors to live independently with dignity in their homes.

In her position as President of FISH, Maggie administers 6 core programs and actively fosters community partnerships, such as “Aging in Place” with the Zonta club. She has been recognized many times for her leadership throughout Lee County. Since her first term as President of the FISH Board of Directors in 2006, she has excelled not only in leadership, but in administration, as attested to by the growth and accomplishments of multiple programs under her supervision.

Along with receiving the Sanibel-Captiva Rotary Club 2015 Vocational Excellence Award, Maggie was also awarded the distinguished Rotary Paul Harris Award and medallion by Sanibel-Captiva Rotary Club President, Bill Rahe. This Paul Harris Fellow recognition acknowledges individuals who contribute, or who have contributions made in their name, of US$1,000 to The Rotary Foundation of Rotary International. To honor our Vocational Excellence 2015 recipient, Maggie Feiner, Rotary International has received a financial donation from the club in her