Calendar of Events

March 6th - Alhambra Event

REMINDER: There is NO LUNCH meeting Tuesday, March 5, 2013, due to Alhambra event Wednesday, March 6, 2013

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 Theatre, 12000 Beach Boulevard.

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.

News From the Board

The Board is pleased to announce the following candidates have been approved for your consideration into membership: Sandi Christiansen-sponsor is PP James Chansler and the proposed classification is Computer Technology-Resource Planning; Alejandro Leon-sponsor is PP Dick Morales and the proposed classification is Business Services-Ceramic Import/Export.  Anyone having an objection should submit it in writing to the Board within ten (10) days.
  Tuesday, March 12, 2013

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

Meet Dr. Carlos Vargas
Dr. Vargas trained in Radiation Oncology at William Beaumont Hospital, in the Detroit metropolitan area. Upon completion of training, Dr. Vargas relocated to Jacksonville, Florida as faculty at the University of Florida Shands Hospital in Jacksonville.  At the Shands Proton Center in Jacksonville, Dr. Vargas developed and ran their proton beam program for prostate cancer for many years. 

Dr. Vargas is an internationally recognized expert on the use of proton beam radiation for prostate cancer and other diseases.  He has over 40 publications regarding the treatment of prostate cancer, having made important contributions to the advancement of proton beam radiation, brachytherapy, seed implants, external radiation, IMRT, and image guided prostate cancer treatment (IGRT).  Dr. Vargas has additional expertise in the use image guidance and stereotactic treatments for brain and lung cancers.  He also helped in the development of a sophisticated intensity modulated image guided adaptive process for head and neck patients.

Dr Vargas is the principal investigator for several prostate cancer research studies.  His research includes the uses of different forms of radiation and image guidance, as well as combined treatment with systemic agents.  He is frequently invited to speak at both national and international meetings about using radiation to cure prostate cancer.  He has multiple publications and presentations that can found in peer review journals.


Rotary is an international service organization with more than 1.2 million members worldwide with goals of world peace and understanding.  The 62 Clubs in Rotary District 6970 that are in Northeast Florida have worked locally, nationally, and internationally to improve the quality of life of those in need.  In addition to the dozens of local projects undertaken each year, efforts have been made over the past several years to support the Rotary International effort to improve access to clean drinking water and sanitation world-wide.  In some third-world countries, one in five children dies of water-borne diseases before the age of five.  One in seven people world-wide do not have access to clean drinking water--and many more lack adequate sanitation facilities.

Here’s just one Rotary story that changed the lives of 300 people in Honduras – led by a club in Jacksonville, Florida.

In 2013, the Rotary Club of South Jacksonville took on its biggest international clean drinking water and sanitation project ever.  The South Jacksonville club partnered with the Rotary Club of Oceanside, Rotary District 7550, and Rotary District 6970 to come up with matching funds for a Rotary International Global Grant totaling US$51,366 for a Santa Cruz, Honduras project. Other contributors included World Water Alliance Florida (WWAF), Books-A-Go-Go, and Agua y Dessarollo Comunitario (ADEC) who also threw their hats in to participate with the Rotary Club of South Jacksonville’s initiative. 

South Jacksonville Rotarian, James Chansler (retired COO of JEA), and two non-Rotarian water experts, Pat Davis and Scott Kelly (of WWAF) led the effort.

The project had its beginnings in June 2011, when the three men made a scoping and discovery trip to the Santa Cruz area.  Their reports showed that the village was remote, did not have electricity, and was only accessible by horse or four-wheel drive vehicles. The grant proposal and project partnerships evolved based on the findings of the scoping trip. 

The main objective of the project emerged – and it was to provide gravity-fed, clean drinking water supplied by a protected spring. This entailed installation of four kilometers of pipe, five pressure-break boxes, a storage tank, disinfection facilities, and 43 water service connections.  Additionally, the village school was included to receive a hand washing station to help with maintaining basic hygiene standards. Latrines were also added as needed for over 300 people in the village.  And, a major difference from past Rotary International projects is that this one included a Rotary Vocational Training Team (VTT).

A VTT consists of a Rotarian leader and at least three other experts who provide training that will help with the local sustainability of projects. For this Honduran effort, the VTT consisted of the original scoping team from 2011, plus Richard Walker, a water quality expert from the South Florida Water Management District. The team completed its training goals over a rigorous five-day visit from February 2 – 7, 2013.

In those five days, they had a village meeting at Santa Cruz, inspected the Santa Cruz water & sanitation project, did lab training in Marcala, set up a mobile lab in Gracias, visited three remote villages for future project consideration...and did hygiene training in schools in both Santa Cruz and San Manuel!
Final construction on the entire water project will be completed in March, 2013. Thanks to the collaborative effort of Rotary Clubs and local South American organizations coupled with Rotary’s leadership and all the caring from the individuals involved--the lives of folks in this remote village have been permanently changed for the better.  As one of the native Santa Cruz Water Committee members remarked at a meeting with gratitude, “We are poor and cannot pay you, but God will pay you.”

The power of a few Rotarians from the Jacksonville community to do global good is a shining example of thinking outside the box to help others - by placing service above self.

The Santa Cruz, Honduras Vocational Training Team outside their hotel in Marcala (Feb. 7, 2011). Note the overhead electric lines—a luxury sometimes not found elsewhere. Left to right: Pat Davis, Scott Kelly, James Chansler, Richard Walker.

James Chansler and interpreter Miguel Raymundo talking to the class at Santa Cruz. A total of 68 parents and students attended.

James Chansler with the students at San Manuel displaying their hygiene coloring work.

 Looking down the Santa Cruz “main street” from the front of the school (Feb. 4, 2011). The water line ditch--on the left side of the photo and continuing down the street--has been dug and is awaiting pipes. 

The teacher at the Santa Cruz school rides a long distance to school every day on a mule—and is happy about it!

Greetings from PP Barry Covington

Since I have somewhat limited computer access....especially since Madame PDG needs most of our available access time, and I'm not sure what's occurring on the home front, it appears new member additions, etc. is going well.  In conversations with Indian Rotarians, they are busy with their own efforts in this respect.  Much of the talk seems to revolve around the "focus" aspect of identifying prospects, getting present members INVOLVED in the process, and following up in some systematic fashion.  The phrase of "basic blocking and tackling" popped into my head since that seems to be much of what's involved.  It's the consistent steps that need to happen in prospective member additions.

The Indian Rotarians have been wonderful hosts in Chandigarh, as they were in our two previous trips.  It's presently about 7:00 a.m. and we're getting our acts together for about a 9:00 a.m departure back toward Delhi.  We stop for a visit to a specialty cancer hospital and eye clinic en route, with the hospital sponsored by the Ambala club.

I could spend the morning relating tales of our experiences but I'll just pass along this thought:  The Rotarians of India are very grateful for the involvement of Rotary groups who visit and support them and RI in the ongoing quest to wipe out polio.  It's becoming less common to see people afflicted with the results of polio and the population eagerly looks forward to immunization days.  They all know about January 2014 as the 3-year "no new cases" date.  If that happens, the various organizations will officially declare India as polio free.  The locals are proud of the fact that historically India was thought to be an impossible project to completely rid the country of polio....yet it's actually happening.

Our host club was holding immunization days in a very rudimentary fashion in the '90's, with local Rotarians manning booths,  giving the drops, and financing it themselves.  They could see the positive results quickly.  For 10 years they tried to get the government on board and it finally happened when a Rotarian came to power in India as the Prime Minister and then things changed.  It took a Rotarian to make the government shift its attitude!

Enough for to finish packing.  We have a great group of 27 of us and every one has been a trooper.  Warner and Sherrie Webb appear to be enjoying the entire experience.  I have some shots of Warner with some serious boogying during a local rock star's appearance at their district conference.....more on that later.

Miss you all and see you after the 12th.


 Welcome New Member
Cheryl Robitzch
 Cheryl Robitzsch is the Director of Design at Haskell for the Water Division.  Cheryl and her husband Derek have been in Jacksonville for over 14 years. They have one son who is 9 years old. She likes to golf, fish, kayak and spend time in the outdoors. 

Recap of the February 26th Meeting
Greeters:  Ryan Maloney, Travis Peters, PP Bobby Purser
The Pledge & Prayer:  Randy Gordon
Craft Talk: Ryan Maloney
Literacy Easter Basket Project Update: Chris Boutan
Introduction of Visitors & Guests:  Lee Hunter 
    Introduction of Guest Speaker: Madison Shelly (Jacksonville Club)
Guest Speaker:  Tim Cost, JU President