Saving Our Florida Reefs

reefLast night, we had Meghan Balling and Daron Willison from Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s Coral Reef Conservation Program come to our club to tell us about the ongoing danger to our local coral reefs and how we can reverse the damage to these important ecosystems.

The Conservation Program focuses on the reefs just off our coastline from southern Miami-Dade County up through Broward and Palm Beach Counties and to the St. Lucie inlet in Martin County (the rest of the reef stretching down through the Florida keys is protected and managed by the national park system and is seeing some recovery). The Southeast Florida Coral Reefs initiative is bringing together government, citizens and stakeholders to effectuate sound policies that will both protect the reefs from damage and allow access to boaters, divers, recreational fishermen and commercial fisheries.

This reef system, one of the largest barrier reefs in the world at about 350 miles, is crucial to our South Florida way of life by:

  • Providing an environment that supports a variety of marine wildlife including fish and seafood for consumption
  • Supporting 70,400 local jobs and producing $8.5 billion in revenue to our region
  • Protecting coastal dwellings and property from hurricanes and storm surges
  • Giving recreational fishermen and divers a beautiful habitat to explore
  • Providing medicines for cancer, HIV and heart disease

Reefs are under attack from hazards such as invasive species, pollution, damage from divers and boats and stress from a rising human population.

How You Can Help:

Learn more here:

Governor’s Visit, Interact and Youth Exchange

For those of you who did not attend the RCC meeting last night, you are going to wish that you had. The evening started with a visit from District 6990 Governor Larry Herman and Assistant Governor John Deihl. Larry spoke about the Rotarians for Hope initiative and the importance of Club activity.

The Interact Club from North Broward Prep was given a Certificate recognizing the Interact Club. Both Interact President Yash Moondhra, and Vice President Jake Renko were on hand to receive this from the Club.

Making her first for many appearances was Aya, our Youth Exchange Student from Brazil. She introduced herself to the Club and expressed how happy she was to be here and looks forward to sharing time with each of us.

We also had in attendance some good friends from other Rotary clubs in the district and a possible new member. The evening ended with Fellowship with Wings and Beer where everyone just relaxed and enjoyed each others company.

Want to be a part of this? We are easy to follow, just check us out here and on Facebook and Twitter. We have a very exciting year planned with Service Projects and Fund Raisers so book mark us so you do not miss a single event. Be a part of the “Best Kept Secret” in Coconut Creek.

We hope to see you soon.

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Rotary Youth Exchange 2015 The Journey Begins

At 6:15 AM, Host parents, Keith and Laura Royle got in their car and headed to Miami International Airport. No, they were not going on a vacation, they were embarking on a new adventure together as Host parents. Around 7:00 AM, we arrived at the International Gate. Soon the rest of the members from Rotary of Coconut Creek arrived and we all waited what seemed forever for the special individual to get through Customs, with colorful balloons and a big welcome sign. Then a young lady with the most beautiful smile emerged from the steel and glass doors. In one hand a guitar and the other luggage. Our Youth Exchange Student had arrived safely! Juliana (Aya) Anzai, from Brazil is here as an ambassador for her country and will spend her time not only learning about life in the US but will also share with us her culture and language. She will have the opportunity to meet other Youth Exchange Students during her stay. We are extremely proud of Keith and Laura for opening up their homes and their heart and giving the Club the opportunity to be a part of what others who have walked in their shoes before call a life changing experience.

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Guest Speaker – Justine Morgan – Equine Assisted Therapies of Florida

Justine will be our guest speaker July 20th, 2015. Justine was born and raised in South Florida and first fell in love with Equine-Assisted Therapies when she volunteered during high school and college. She attended horse camp during summers as a child and took lessons at a young age. After college, Justine was asked to join the Board of Directors.

Justine served as the Board Secretary for almost three years when she made the decision to leave mortgage banking and sales to join the exciting world of riding and horses. At Equine-Assisted Therapies, Justine works on the special events, fundraising and community development areas. She said she is thrilled to wear boots to work every day instead of high heels and use her marketing & sales background in the non-profit world.

For additional information, vJM Equestrianisit their website

Rotarians for Hope & National Center for Missing & Exploited Children

Rotarians for Hope & National Center for Missing & Exploited Children

Rotarians for Hope have joined forces with NCMEC to raise awareness and funding to combat this heinous crime of sex trafficking, against children and young adults in our local communities, across the U.S. and globally. Supporting NCMEC is essential in today’s society because you never know when you or someone you know may need their help. Rotarians for Hope and NCMEC, strive to build a bridge between all entities to expedite the recovery of exploited, missing and kidnapped children and young adults though social media, law enforcement agencies, government agencies and international agencies like Interpol. Please visit the site for additional information and statistics at

Our first fund raising goal is $20,000 and you can make the difference by purchasing our lapel pins for just $20.00, which is just .67 cents a day! These lapel pins are available by contacting the Rotary Club of Coconut Creek and can be purchased as an individual or as a group or company. Please email your request to the District 6990 Rotarians for Hope Chairman, David W. Mountford at email or call 954-718-0012. Please take a moment and click on NCMEC website to view all of the services that are offered not only to the victims but also to the families that are anxiously waiting for the safe return of their children.

Together, we can build a network of Hope and help provide children with a better tomorrow.

2015 Installation Dinner at Runyon’s

Rotary of Coconut Creek held its Installation Dinner at Runyon’s on June 19th, 2015. We had the honor of having District Governor Joe Roth and very supportive wife Diana Roth in attendance. As his term as District Governor ends, the Club would like to thank him for his support, dedication and most importantly, his friendship.

In addition to the Installation Dinner of the 2015-2016 Board, we also had the honor and blessing of welcoming a new Rotarian to the Club, Laura Royle, Keith Royle’s wife. Laura has been supportive and by our side in many of our projects and we are grateful for her service. Not only did Keith sponsor Laura but they are hosting a Youth Exchange Student from Brazil. All this in just one year!

Speaking about supportive spouses, we probably do not say this often enough but a big Thank You goes to the following spouses that joined us for this special event, Marsha Mountford, Wendy Betschart- Dayton, Sara Monaghan, and Tony Dublino. Without your support we would not be able to do the things that we believe are needed in the community, here and abroad. In addition to the spouses, Allyssa Dayton, Todd Dayton’s daughter who was involved in Interact when she was younger also joined us for the event. It just shows what a huge impact Rotary can have on family members and we wish her continued success in college and her career.

The Club recognized the following Rotarians for their continued contribution to The Rotary Foundation (Paul Harris):
– Todd Dayton Paul Harris plus 5
– Drew Monaghan Paul Harris plus 3
– Joe Schumacher Paul Harris plus 2
– Terry Witcher – Paul Harris plus 6

David W. Mountford was also recognized for his great leadership, and support with a Paul Harris. He now stands at Paul Harris plus 3!

District Governor Joe Roth and President of Rotary of Coconut Creek, David Mountford handed out the following awards:
– Jennifer Dublino – Her Service to the Public Relations for the Club
– Keith Royle – President’s Award
– Elsie Ortiz – Rotarian of the Year
– Drew Monaghan – Exemplary Service and Contribution Award

Your 2015-2016 Rotary of Coconut Creek Board of Directors are:
– David W. Mountford – President
– Keith Royle – Vice President
– Ja-Ronn Jones – President Elect
– Elsie Ortiz – Secretary
– Terrell Witcher – Treasurer
– Keith Royle – Sergeant at Arms

Your 2015-2016 Committees are:
– Todd Dayton – Foundation Chairman
– Laura Royle – Fundraiser Chairman
– Elsie Ortiz –Club Administration Chairman
– Stephen Engasser – Membership Chairman
– Jennifer Dublino – Public Relations/Public Image Chairman
– Elsie Ortiz – Youth Services/Exchange Chairman
– Drew Monaghan – Interact Chairman
– Keith Royle – Community Service Chairman
– Todd Dayton & Tom Pratt – Director at Large

We cannot close the year without thanking those individuals and companies that have generously supported us:
– Bru’s Room – The Club’s meeting location and the place for the best wings and beers
– Warner Painting – Painting services for our 4-Kids Service project
– Sawgrass Electric – Fans for the 4-Kids service project

As a final note, I would like to thank the Club for giving me the opportunity to be your Secretary. The bar has been set very high by the past Secretary, Todd Dayton who is also my mentor and friend. I am very fortunate to have the support of not only the President, David W. Mountford, but the other members of the Club. Here is too another great year and may the Creek forever be on the move!!
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