Calendar of Events

Welcome Matt Shirk

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Lunch begins at noon - Meeting begins at 12:30 p.m.

Meet Matt Shirk
Chief Public Defender

Matt Shirk is committed to providing the Fourth Judicial Circuit with an efficient administration, effective legal representation and engagement in the communities he serves.

Prior to becoming Public Defender, Matt spent time as a sole practitioner, as an associate with a Jacksonville law firm  and five years as an Assistant Public Defender under the late Lou Frost.  He worked in the State Attorney’s office as a law student.

Matt earned his J.D. from Florida Coastal School of Law in 1999.  As a law student, he received various awards and accolades for his academic accomplishments as well as his extra-curricular involvement.  Matt holds two Bachelor’s Degrees from Western Illinois University; Law Enforcement Administration and Political Science.

Presently, Matt resides in Jacksonville with his wife Michelle and their son Pierce.  He is on the Board of Directors for the Clara White Mission and the Northeast Florida Safety Council.  He serves as an Advisory Board Member for the Salvation Army and an Alumni Board member at Florida Coastal School of Law.  He is a member of the Southside Business Men's Club and First Baptist Church downtown.  

President Jim Lanahan, Summer Cuevas, Nathan Rowicki & Event Chair Doug Matthews
 Nathan Rowicki Wins Speech Competition

The South Jacksonville Rotary Club hosted the a speech competition on January 29, 2013 during the club's weekly meeting.  Participants in the contest were Summer Cuevas of Douglas Anderson, George Abraham of Stanton, Alex Morrell of Wolfson, Natalie Higdon of Bishop Kenny, Nathan Rowicki of Episcopal and Marijke Boers of Bolles.  The topic of a 5-minute speech given by each participant was this year’s Rotary International theme, Peace Through Service.  Rotary members in attendance were the judges.
S. Cuevas, G. Abraham, A. Morrell, N. Higdon, N. Rowicki & M. Boers

The winner of the $2,000 Rotary Speech Competition Scholarship was Nathan Rowicki of Episcopal. 

The runner-up, awarded a $1,000 Rotary Speech Competition Scholarship was Summer Cuevas of Douglas Anderson.

Each of the other four participating students won a $500 Scholarship in recognition of their having won their school’s intramural speech competition.

  Upcoming Club Event
The Rotary Club of South Jacksonville is presenting a night at the Alhambra featuring the play “Driving Miss Daisy”.  Proceeds will benefit the Episcopal Children’s Services “Generations Start” Project.   March  6, 2013 at The Alhambra Dinner theater, 12000 Beach Boulevard.

Our club has committed to buying the entire show for the evening and we will have exclusive use of the venue.  Reception will begin at 5:30 PM with the bar being on the main floor.   Dinner service will be 6:30 PM to 7:30 PM.  Show begins at 8:00 PM.

Each club member is responsible for the sale of 4 tickets at $75.00 each for a total of $300.00.  Your account will be billed automatically February 6.  *Sale or purchase of a sponsorship at any of the levels below satisfies your ticket responsibility.

There are sponsorship opportunities at the following premium levels:  (See promotional sheet at the sign-in desk for the complete benefits of each sponsorship level.)
Title Deed Package          $7,500
Limo Package                     $5,000
Driver’s Package               $2,500
Passenger’s Package       $1,000  


Congratulations to Toula Wootan and Fred Haley on their engagement!

Recap of the January 29th Meeting
Greeters:  PE Harlan Bost
The Prayer & Pledge:  PP Barry Covington
Family of Rotary Update:  Mary Alice Phelan
  Introduction of Visitors & Guests:  P Jim Lanahan 
Introduction of Guests from Bolles: Rick Morales
Introduction of Guests from Stanton:  Bill Jaycox
Introduction of Guests from Episcopal:  Skip Booth
Introduction of Guests from Wolfson:  Bill Langley
Introduction of Guests from Douglas Anderson:  PP Barry Covington
Introduction of Guests from Bishop Kenny:  Laura Hopkins
    Speech Contest Master of Ceremony:  Doug Mathews
Speech Contestants:  Marijke Boers, Alex Morrell, Summer Cuevas, 
Natalie Higdon, George Abraham & Nathan Rowicki

South Jacksonville Rotary Club hosted speech competition.  The  contestants were local high school students.  Their biographies are below:

Marijke Boers
Marijke Boers is a Senior at The Bolles School. She is a member of National Honor Society, National Chinese Honor Society, and the Phoenix Society (for students who are accomplished in more than one fine art).  She was awarded Freeman Family Award for her attributes of Character, Scholarship, Leadership and Service.  She has been a member of the Varsity Tennis team since the 8th grade.  Last year, the Varsity team won the FHSAA State Championship title for division 2A.  This season, she will be Varsity team captain. Marijke has also been involved in the Bolles Chorus since 6th grade and has been a member of the Bolles Select Ensemble and Acapella Group since 9th grade.  She is currently the President of the Advanced Women’s Chorus. She sang the National Anthem at the Citizen Naturalization Ceremony at the Jacksonville Federal Court House two years in a row and is scheduled to do so again this spring. She has also been a member of Bolles Improv Theatre group since 10th grade. She is a member of the Play for Change Club, Music for a Cause Club, Musicians with a Message Club, Poetry Out Loud Club, Chinese Culture Club, Young Women of America Club and she is the treasurer of Bolles Young Democrats Club.  She is a certified Quick Start Tennis Coach, a volunteer for Habitat for Humanity and Row for the Cure. In the summer of 2011, she participated in a Summer Study abroad program sponsored by the Chinese government to travel to Beijing, Xi’an, and then to study at a Chinese high school in Qing Dao for a month.  She then later hosted two Chinese students in America for two and a half weeks. 
Alex Morrell

Alex Morrell is a Junior in the International Baccalaureate Programme at Wolfson High School. He is currently ranked 6th in his graduating class, has maintained straight A's throughout high school, accumulating a 4.6 GPA. Alex is the president of the Economics Club, a member of National Honor Society and an honorary junior in Senior Fellows, and on the varsity baseball team. In addition he devotes many volunteer hours to Angel Aid and maintains a part time job. Alex's immediate goals are achieving both the IB Diploma and acceptance to Brown University

Summer Cuevas

 Summer Cuevas is a Junior at Douglas Anderson School of the Arts where she majors in creative writing. She loves poetry and oral interpretation. Last year she received a National Gold Key from The Scholastic Art and Writing Foundation for a personal essay she wrote about a person who changed her life. She is the president of Douglas Anderson’s Literary Arts Honor Society and next year will be taking over the Spoken Word Society as well. Upon graduation from DA Summer plans to study Broadcast Journalism and Communications and minor in Creative Writing.
George Abraham
George Abraham is a Senior in the IB Programme at Stanton College Preparatory School.  He plans to pursue a degree in materials engineering with an undecided minor in Chemistry, English, or Political Science.  George was accepted by the University of Chicago and Swarthmore College under their Early admissions programs, and has chosen to attend Swarthmore College in the fall.  George is the president of Stanton's spoken word poetry society, “The Expressionists.”  He also co-founded a music community service club known as the “Ensemble Club.”  George is also involved in Stanton's step team, IB magazine, Stanton's Literary magazine, varsity swimming and diving teams, the Stanton Medical Society, National Honor Society, English Honor Society, Math Honor Society, and the French Honor Society.  He maintains a 4.7 GPA, and ranks within the top 3% of his class at Stanton.  George has played piano for 12 years, and is currently enrolled in private lessons.  He works at Publix as a bagger and cashier on the weekends, and also works as a lifeguard for the City of Jacksonville during the summer.  George participates in the River City Swim team each summer, and volunteers to coach children on that same team.  The awards he has received include numerous Poetry Slam victories, the National AP Scholars with Distinction Award, first place in the regional History Fair for two consecutive years, second place in the Science Fair for Chemistry along with the Charles Biehler Memorial Award For Excellence And Innovation In Science, and winner of the competitive 2012 Kids Who Care essay contest, sponsored by First Coast Oncology.

Natalie Higdon
Natalie Higdon is a Senior at Bishop Kenny high school. She is the Co-Captain of the Forensics Team,   competes in public forum debate, president of the Anchor Club an all-girls service organization and a member of German Honor Society. She will be attending the Ohio State University next year majoring in aviation. She hopes to follow in the footsteps of her mother and become a pilot at FedEx or delta and continue her charity work in India. 

Nathan Rowicki
Nathan Rowicki is a Senior at Episcopal School of Jacksonville. He joined National Honor Society in the 10th grade, and Cum Laude and Mu Alpha Theta in the 11th grade. His GPA is 4.45, which currently ranks him number one of 135 in his graduating class. In the 11th grade, Nathan received the Yale Book Award, and the Rensselaer Medal Award, which is awarded to the student that excels in advanced math and science courses. Nathan has also received the academic award (top 5% of the class) in every class he has taken every year. He scored a 35 on his ACT and 5’s on all six of his AP exams.  His interests include music and computer programming. He plays seven instruments including the saxophone, piano, clarinet, bass clarinet, Irish flute, recorder, and electric bass. He is a student leader in ESJ’s chapel band. He is also a member of the concert band, jazz band, student vestry, and youth group. He is an active member of his church and sings bass in the choir. Nathan is a National Merit Semifinalist, and will major in business at college.