Category Archives: Weekly Meetings

New Member – Eldon Bohrofen

At the meeting on July 17th, Eldon Bohrofen, told us  something about himself.  Eldon started off in the usual fashion…identifying himself as an attorney…sort of downplaying what exactly that meant. But the interesting part was exactly what road he traveled to become a lawyer and a pretty good one at that. Eldon’s family owned a farm in Iowa but this farm boy had a big problem he was allergic to GRAIN. So, his father pretty much summed up the situation, Eldon was not meant to be a farmer. He better go to college. Not just any college but Drake University, where his first foray into networking happened when he joined a fraternity. His fraternity brought in speakers on many topics including –How to Grow Yourself. One of the speakers owned a clothing business and somehow zeroed in on Eldon and his tie- clasp. He told him to remove it and proceeded to tell him why. You don’t want someone look down at your shiny tie clasp, you want them looking straight at you. You want to be able to look them in the eye and sell yourself. It was a lesson Eldon never forgot.

Still after graduating from Drake, he still wasn’t really sure about what he wanted to do but he knew he wanted to continue his education and decided to attend Duke Law School. Eldon probably was a pretty good student but after turning in one of his papers to his law professor and friend, Eldon got a strong wake-up call. You probably know your content of the law well but you are extremely weak at writing articulate conclusions on your topic. His mentor brought him around and that was soon corrected.

After graduation from Law School, Eldon taught Law for a while at Wisconsin and again through networking began a career in Banking and Trusts. Success with his Trust clients led him to join one of them in business as the 4th largest auto parts suppliers to the Ford Motor Company. When that company was sold, he went back into trust management and law eventually becoming senior partner at RohdeDales LLP, Wisconsin.

Gift of Life

Every once in a while, a Sanibel-Captiva Rotary Club Friday morning meeting speaker has a conflict that makes it impossible for them to attend our meeting to present their topic. This past week, Stuart Spoede from FISH & WILDLIFE had one of those conflicts and he had to reschedule. Therefore, our new club President, Chris DeCosta had to do some magical thinking and pull a rabbit out of a hat to keep us Rotarians engaged for more than fifteen minutes. Of course, we always have about fifteen minutes of club rituals after breakfast, from introductions to happy bucks – sort of our own club laugh-therapy session – and then proceed with the business portion of the meeting.

Chet Sadler

Luckily, an important mission report from Gift of Life in Haiti had just come out, which gave Rotarian, Past Club President, Sanibel-Captiva Rotary’s RI Trust Foundation representative , Chet Sadler the opportunity to bring us up-to-date on the Gift of Life program as a whole. This program was designed to identify and qualify young children from impoverished areas of the world in need of heart surgery and provide this surgery here in the United States giving thousands of children the Gift of Life. Each of these surgeries cost between $5,000 to $10,000, even with doctors and other medical professionals donating their time and talent. Although this program was highly successful, it was evident that the cost of these life-saving surgeries and money spent to bring these children and their families to the United States could be better used if facilities and medical training for doctors and other medical professionals were available closer to areas in need where more children could be helped through Gift of Life.

The report for Haiti Gift of Life is an outstanding example. Rotary International encouraged Rotary Clubs to financially fund the Gift of Life mission at St. Damien Hospital, Haiti supporting 7 medical missions treating 76 children along with 1 screening mission in 2014, where an additional 91 children were evaluated and placed on a National Cardiac Waiting List.

Sanibel-Captiva Rotary proudly contributed to the funding of this project along with a dozen or more Rotary Clubs and these contributions were then graciously matched by Rotary International. Thanks also, for Rotary’s partnering organizations on the Gift of Life Haiti mission…OPEN HEARTS HAITI, HAITI CARDIAC ALLIANCE, and AKRON CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL.

Our New Members – Cindi DeCosta

Director of The Children’s Education Center of the Island. While attending St. Mary’s College in Virginia Cindy spent some time in Brazil. She laughs at herself because she thought she was pretty good at Spanish and that would come in handy when she studied in Brazil but quickly found out Brazilians spoke Portuguese. One thing about Cindy, she has a good sense of humor and that comes in handy throughout life.

After graduating from St. Mary’s, she soon found herself quickly immersed in childcare, with four of her own. Cindy meshed the need to stay home with the desire to run her own at home day care business for a number of years. After moving to Florida, she found a teaching position at the Children’s Education Center on the Island. It wasn’t long before the director of CCI wanted to retire and Cindy applied for the job and the rest is history.

Our New Members- Ty Symvoski

Tarpon Bay Explorers Nature Tours & Rentals. Ty and his family have had a connection to Sanibel since the 1920. Two of his family’s residences are now part of the Sanibel Historical Museum and Village. Although he didn’t grow up on the Island, he visited often. After graduating from the University of Michigan he got his first job with the newly formed City of Sanibel’s planning department staying on for the next ten years. Ty told us he bought his first house on Sanibel on Periwinkle Way for about $1,000. Ty left Sanibel for adventure and travel eventually landing a job in the planning department in Key West. The commonality of these two Paradise Islands is obvious; beaches, sand, sun, great lifestyle, tourism and a Rotary Club. Years went by and Ty found himself lured back to Sanibel and back as an active member of the Sanibel-Captiva Rotary Club.

Herb Strauss Theater

Bobby Logue, Artistic Director of the BIG ARTS Herb Strauss Theatre updated the Club on theater offerings this year. Bobby’s whole personality exudes high energy and enthusiasm for what he does at the theater and his love of theater. When he came to the Sanibel originally to work for J.T. Smith and the Old Schoolhouse Theater, he never imaged that he would actually stay here and become the head of a theater of his own on the Island.

Bobby Logue

Bobby spent many years acting and dancing his way around the world; first in Broadway Productions and then on cruise ships. It was fun and exciting but dancers have a stage life, so to speak. When he came to Sanibel, he was contemplating what was ahead for him in the theater business. Well we all know what happened to Bobby; but Bobby was really not at our meeting to talk about himself, he was here to bring us news about the Strauss’s summer production of Rhythm of the Night and the exciting season ahead of music and drama at the theater starting in the fall.

Now open…Rhythm of the Night is a high-octane production exuding the sounds and energy of Latin music over the last decade. Bobby has selected music that will have you chair-dancing in your seats and has brought together an outstanding Broadway cast that will bring the romance and fun of the Latin culture to life on stage. Don’t walk but dance your way to the box office at the Strauss and pickup tickets to this dazzling production of Rhythm of the Night at the Strauss till August 15th.

As for the upcoming season starting in November look for the new musical revue Duets -November 20th to December 3rd, followed by a special Christmas/Holiday Show – December 18th to New Year’s Eve. 2016 will bring in Camping with Henry and Tom, Stepping Out, and ending the season Musical of Musicals -March 18th to April 16th.

New President

As the gavel was brought down last Friday morning, it was official Chris DeCosta took on the responsibility of being the new President of the Sanibel-Captiva Rotary Club for the 2015-16 rotary Year.  Chris, as many Islanders know,  is a founding partner in the law firm of Holtz Mahshie DeCosta –Sanibel and Fort Myers – concentrating on real estate litigation.

During the summer months attendance at our Friday morning Rotary club meetings dwindles down to a precious few; but it is also is the time when much of the planning for season takes place. New giving opportunities are discussed and new request for funds are encouraged and reviewed. One of those new requests is the opportunity of putting in place a brand new Sanibel-Captiva Rotary scholarship at Florida Southwestern College/FSW/ Edison College. Basically hand delivering that request was Paul Bova, Senior Director Development at FSW . Our Rotary Club has a long tradition of providing scholarships to students with outstanding academic achievement and financial need. In fact, raising scholarship funds was the driving force for the original Rotary Arts & Crafts Fair here on the Island.

Taking every opportunity to bring attention to the changes going on campus at FSW, Paul got up for a few minutes and highlighted some of those changes. Along with the name change a year ago, a new vitality emerged on campus. Many young people today see the value of attending their local colleges from both an academic and financial prospective; but while attending local college they also want the full college experience. With that in mind FSW has built two dormitory residences recently and is reintroducing a serious college level sports program at the school. Ground breaking of the new SunCoast Credit Sports Arena took place last week and before you know it tickets to Buccaneers Basketball games will be on sale. Just a short distance from Campus on the grounds of former Red Sox stadium-at City of Palms Park, FSW’s Buccaneers baseball and softball teams are getting ready for their upcoming seasons. Keep an eye on the sport’s page for announcements of FSW team schedules.

New Leadership

Friday, June 26, 2015 was the last official duty day for our outgoing Sanibel-Captiva Rotary Club, President Bill Rahe (July 2014-2015).  But before handing over the gavel to incoming Club President July 2015-16, Chris DeCosta (July 2015-16), there was a review of the major highlights of Bill Rahe’s term in office.

Bill Rahe

Under Bill’s leadership the club undertook the exploration of a new type of fundraiser for San-Cap Rotary with the Club presenting the highly acclaimed theatrical production of “Unsinkable Women” a one-woman show written and performed by award winning New York actress Deborah Jean Templin. This type of fundraiser will not replace our primary Rotary Arts & Crafts Fair Fundraiser but will supplement giving specifically on the Islands. This year the Sanibel- Captiva Rotary Trust Foundation-giving arm of the Sanibel Captiva Rotary Club- has been able to distribute close to $120,000 for global, national, and local projects; some of our larger global projects were matched by Rotary International and included collaborative grants on water projects in Guatemala. Sanibel-Captiva Rotary is currently participating in micro-loans for coffee farming in Guatemala and micro-loans to a women’s co-op in Ethiopia.

Snapshots of the Year in Review

Rotary International and the Polio Plus campaign has made huge progress toward the eradication of Polio throughout the world and our club’s dedication to funding for the Wheelchair Foundation and the distribution of wheelchairs in Haiti and Jamaica has distinguished ourselves among the Rotary Clubs in our Rotary District and with Rotary International.  Local non-profit organizations on and just off Island have received close to $60,000 including the proceeds from “Unsinkable Women”. A list of these organizations will soon be posted on the Sanibel-Captiva Rotary web site… This has been a great Rotary year and we thank all Rotarians and the community for helping us with our fundraising efforts and their support throughout the year.

Another remarkable achievement under Bill’s leadership,this year, has been the induction of fourteen new members into the Sanibel-Captiva Rotary Club. To stress the quality of a couple of our new members they were asked to present a brief informal oral biography at this meeting.

Focusing on our Club’s Membership History. Jim Reed, a fifty-one year Rotarian talked about himself. Jim first started out in Muncie, Indiana and then transferred to Sanibel in 1991 just at the beginning of our club. He gave us some background on our scholarship program and how it was first funded by a pancake breakfast at the Community House but soon that breakfast became the nucleus of the now Rotary Arts and Crafts Fair. This Fair is the primary fundraiser for San-Cap Rotary and continues to fund all of our Rotary projects.

At the end of the Assembly and year-end review, it was time for Bill Rahe to hand over the President’s gavel to Chris DeCosta. It has been a great year for Rotary under Bill’s leadership and Chris has some big shoes to fill.

Chris and Bill

S4TL (Seminar for Tomorrow’s Leaders)


Dana was our Rotary Club’s official red shirt student leader at S4TL 2015 sponsored by Rotary Districts 6890, 6950, and 6960.

Approximately 150 Rotary sponsored delegates from more than 150 high schools participate in this week -long program. Red Shirt Leaders take on the task of supporting, encouraging, and guiding the newbies through the program. Daily activities include exciting lectures, discussions, rap sessions, and demonstrations of those principles which enable an individual to lead others.

Students attending the Seminar for Tomorrow’s Leaders are challenged to utilize all available skill, knowledge, talent, expertise, and intelligence toward specific goals and objectives. The ultimate objective/goal of S4TL is for each student to leave the Seminar with new awareness of himself/herself, and more finely tuned to utilize their given abilities to serve others in leadership capacities throughout life.  Socialization and Fun are definitely part of the program from talent shows to friendly competitive games.

Skin Cancer

The Sanibel-Captiva Rotary has some of the smartest people I know as members. James Cardle Ph.D., J.D. Registered Patent Attorney is one of them with all kinds of prestigious academic achievements noted in his biography. As a Registered Patent Attorney his areas of expertise include the mechanical arts; medical devises; fluid mechanics; physical & chemical processes; semiconductors; thermal management of electrical devices; software; solar and alternative energy and more. That being well noted, unfortunately that didn’t really help much with the most important fight in his life, his diagnoses of stage four-melanoma skin cancer.

James Cardle, Melanoma 6-17-2013 8-12-02 PM 760x891

James really spoke to us as a warning, that no one is immune from a diagnosis like his. In James’s case he really only thought it was a skin irritation that had returned; might be just a little eczema or psoriasis. He was at the dermatologist for a checkup and the PA did a biopsy…just checking. Melanoma is sneaky. He had the biopsy, then a PET Scan…diagnosis Stage 3 Melanoma. Just wanted another opinion on treatment went to Mayo Clinic for this.

Warning here, know your body, check out anything suspicious, and get to the doctor for a skin biopsy.

What to look out for…a skin bump or irritation that might cause some concern. Use the ABCDEs observation method: A-Asymmetric, B-Brown or Black, C-Colors (plural), D-Diameter-bigger than a pencil eraser, E-Existing growths that changes or that ugly duckling thing that might just need watching.

Another warning from James, people of any skin color can get skin cancer. I bet most of us didn’t realize that Bob Marley died of Melanoma.

James was lucky enough to seek treatment at the University of Texas Health Science Center and Mayo Clinic. At Mayo his Melanoma was classified as Stage 4 and treatments started immediately with some of the newer treatment protocols for this type of cancer. Mayo Clinic-“The treatment of widespread melanomas has changed in recent years as newer forms of immunotherapy (known as immune checkpoint inhibitors) and targeted drugs have been shown to be more effective than chemotherapy.”

Now for me comes the tricky part…disclaimer here…I am definitely not a medical person, so to explain the treatments being used for stage 4 melanoma is extremely difficult; James even used a disclaimer at the beginning of his power-point presentation.

Bear with me here…The current treatment is-Cytokines used to provoke an immune response-Granulocyte Macrophage Colony Stimulation Factor (GM-CSF), Interleukin (IL-2) Interferon (IF-a). On one of James’s slides he presents this information…Discovery of Down Regulation of T-Cells…Tumor cells produce antigens (An antigen is any substance that causes your immune system to produce antibodies against it), Dendritic cells in the immune system recognize the antigens, Dendritic cells present the antigens to cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTL’s), CTLs then should destroy the cancer cells, however, the Dendritic cells also present an inhibitor to the CTLs that down regulates the CTLs aborting the attack on the Tumor-the Tumor survives. Recognition of this mechanism allows for new-targeted therapies.

This treatment has been successful for some but there also have been side effects. New investigational treatments are being tried to find the right combination of drugs that provide a more effective and less harmful way to treat Stage 4 melanoma. This is not a one size fits all treatment. There are treatments that now use a combination of drugs.…Ipilimumab, Pembrolizumab, Nivolumab, Pidilizumah, and in clinical trials MEDI-4736, BMS-936559, and MPDL3280A. Combinations might be Ipilimumab(CTLA-4 block) with Nivolumab (PD-1Block), Ipilimumab with GM-CSF and various other combinations. Each drug used to produce an intended effect and produce antibodies…relieve the immune checkpoint, stimulate T cells, or inhibit T regs.

Melanoma is the deadliest form of skin cancer. Although it comprises less than 5% of skin cancer cases, melanoma accounts for the great majority of skin cancer-related deaths.

James’s take-away…it all starts with self-examination…know your skin & body; if you notice anything get different get checked immediately. Metastatic melanoma is no longer an absolute death sentence-progress is being made. He is living prove.

New Member- Ralph Korn

Last week the Club welcomed a new member– Ralph Korn — who is a retired architect.

Korn and Pryor