Students of the Month
OUR YOUTH OF THE MONTH AWARD recognizes hard-working pre-high school and high school students who attain high levels of scholastic achievement, community involvement and leadership, and daily demonstrate good citizenship both at school and at home. Students recognized for the month of March did not attend lunch due to Covid19. On June 17th we were honored to have Shamika Lazarre from Sebastian River High School, her parents and school advisor Jaime Sturgeon attend our first luncheon since Covid19 restrictions.
Shamika is an IB Diploma Candidate with a weighted GPA of 4.378 and Class Rank of 17/40. She is a member of the Excel Club, National Honor Society, FBLA, and Art Club. She won the 1st in Best of Show at the Superintendent’s Art Competition in 2018 and the Congressional Art Competition Merit Award. Shamika received the Merit Award for designing the Lions Club Peace Poster. She also volunteers at Mission Service, and United Against Poverty. Shamika uses her talents and runs her own company which allows her to sell her artwork globally. In accepting her award Shamika thanked her teachers, counselors, and her parents for their support. She plans to attend Florida Atlantic University and study Sociology and Criminal Justice and said, “thank you again Exchange Club for this incredible honor!”
Our annual installation of officers and directors was held on June 24th at Captain Hiram’s Tiffany Room. Adam Preuss presided as Master of Ceremonies. Karen McElveen gave the invocation and Mike Natale led the pledge of allegiance. President Michael Natale gave out many awards to members for their hard work in making our club successful. He thanked everyone for another good year and said, ”It has been an honor and pleasure to serve this year.” Eva Chapman also gave certificates of recognition to her Blue Water Open Committee Members and thanked them for their tireless efforts despite having to postpone this year’s event.
After the new board members were installed, incoming President Ali Qizilbash stated that he is “humbled and honored” to be elected as President. He spoke of his early connection to Exchange via his own personal selection as a student of the month at both Sebastian Middle School and Vero Beach High School saying he has now “come full circle with Exchange.” Ali’s vision is to have member input and he welcomes ideas from the membership.
At the conclusion of the meeting, the 50/50 drawing continued until the Joker was drawn. Rick Giteles pulled the winning card to win $264. He graciously donated his winnings back to the club. Thank you Rick for your generosity!
Blue Water Open
On June 27th several members (Bill Forte, Bill Middleton, Paul & Mary Williamson, Lyse and Tom McDonough, Mike Natale, and Kimball Stadler) met at Captain Hiram’s to network and draw the raffle ticket for the trip. Kimball hosted our event live on Facebook. With the help of little Aiden who pulled the winning ticket the drawing was held. The winner was Larry Coken, a recent transplant to Sebastian. Net proceeds from this event were approximately $10,000 – all for the children in our community. Excellent job Paul Williamson for all of your efforts in making this event such a success!
Supporting Local Charities
On June 24th we Awarded Phil Barnes, Executive Director of Youth Guidance $5000 to further its mission. Phil said Thank you everyone, we really appreciate your support.” Youth Guidance is now serving 32 kids daily in its summer program in which they are having a “blast” surfing, paddle boarding, swimming on our beaches – some who have never been before! New programs of learning include bicycle repair and maintenance, culinary, sewing and things that can lead to promising careers.
We also awarded Debbie Butler of Guardians for New Futures (GNF) a check for $2000. GNF is an advocacy organization for abused children and youth. Planning of a child advocacy center in the midst of the four counties it serves is underway. Almost $500,000 has already been raised for this project.
A check for $3000 was also given to Bill Boike of Shiloh Youth Ranch for their programs. Shiloh Youth Ranch is a Christian based home for troubled boys.
SPD Community Involvement
“In these troubling and unprecedented times, we need to understand that a lot of people are hurting emotionally and other ways that are not always apparent. The Sebastian Police Department is fortunate to enjoy positive relationships and mutual respect with our citizens. The men and women of our agency depend on these relationships to keep the City of Sebastian a safe and peaceful place to live, work, and play. We appreciate the trust they have in us to do the right thing, the right way. It’s unfortunate that all communities do not have this same partnership and we acknowledge that we must continue to earn and keep the trust of our citizens. The strong bond the community has with our police department is unique among law enforcement agencies, which is a benefit we do not take for granted. As we acknowledge the nationwide events and recognize the need for additional unity, I would like to take a moment to thank our community for its continued support. As your Police Chief, I promise we will continue to be the professional, transparent, and compassionate police agency this city deserves.”
~Chief Dan Acosta
The Sebastian Police Department held a food drive on Saturday, June 6th at Walmart in Sebastian. Many community members contributed to help those families in need. View the SPD Facebook page to see a great video showing the stash delivered to the Ecumenical Council Food Bank….Thank you, SPD for all you do for us in this community!
Recently Officer Jason Gillette had the opportunity to meet Mike. Mike is homeless and was sitting on a sidewalk asking for food. Through the relationships the police department has with local food banks Officer Gillette was able to give Mike two hot meals and enough groceries to last a week. The Sebastian Police Department wants to again thank everyone who donated to our recent food drive. Your support is important to us and very appreciated.
PLEASE JOIN US IN CELEBRATING CORPORAL BILL JURSIK’S 25 YEARS OF SERVICE WITH THE SEBASTIAN POLICE DEPARTMENT!!!
Corporal Jursik reached this milestone on April 24th, 2020. Corporal Jursik is recognized for his teamwork, unwavering dedication to this department and his commitment to the City of Sebastian! Congratulations to Corporal Jursik on reaching this phenomenal achievement.
PLEASE JOIN US IN CELEBRATING SERGEANT TODD FINNEGAN’S 10 YEARS OF SERVICE WITH THE SEBASTIAN POLICE DEPARTMENT!!!
Sergeant Finnegan reached this milestone on June 1st, 2020. Sergeant Finnegan is recognized for his determination, his team spirit and his dedication to the Sebastian Police Department! Congratulations to Sergeant Finnegan on reaching this remarkable achievement!
PLEASE HELP US APPLAUD CODE ENFORCEMENT OFFICER RICHARD IACHINI FOR HIS 15 YEARS OF SERVICE WITH THE SEBASTIAN POLICE DEPARTMENT!!!
Code Enforcement Officer Iachini reached this milestone on May 16th, 2020. CE Officer Iachini is recognized for his thoroughness, continuous productivity and dedication to the City of Sebastian. Congratulations to CE Officer Iachini for this amazing achievement!
“I was out jogging today [06/17/20], and by jogging I mean shuffling my feet (a turtle is faster), sweating and gasping for air. . . so a pathetic sight to see. An undercover car slows down and stops by me, and a cop tells me how proud he is of me and to keep up the good work. HOW FREAKING AWESOME IS THAT!! I wish I would have gotten his name so I could tell him how he made my day, and how nice that was of him to do. I finished my jog with my head held high and a smile on my face. If you’re reading this “thank you for making an overweight, old lady feel like a Rockstar athlete!” A salute out to our cops.”
This and That
Mike Natale announced that Kim Sviben, Pelican Landing has made an application for membership. Phil Barnes has arranged for us to install a Freedom Shrine at the Youth Guidance center. We have also met our new member growth requirements for the Excel Club and Jr. Excel Club this fiscal year. These are among several other components that contribute to our club receiving the Big E Award this year!
District Director Rene’s Corner
Sebastian Club: Rene reports the scholarship recipients of the Sebastian Exchange Club Scholarship Foundation for 2020 are:
Leticia Ovalle- $2,000
Alexander Ortiz Velez-$2,000
Madison Uhle- $2,000
Alyssa Sturgeon- $1,000 H.R. “Rappy” Perez scholarship
Adam Preuss Student Chairman has announced the following recipients:
Youth of the Year:
Alexander Ortiz Velez $1000
Alyssa Sturgeon $1000
Rian Butler $1000
Rian’s application/essay was also awarded the District Scholarship of $2500 and she is now competing for the National Title which is worth $15,000! Congratulations and best of luck to this deserving young lady!
District President Gerson Rodriguez with Rian Butler and
SRHS Advisor Jaime Sturgeon
Indian River Club: The club held its 4th Annual Toss Out Child Abuse Charity Cornhole Tournament on March 7th at Walking Tree Brewery. Thirty sets of partners teamed up, some arriving early to warm up and hoist a few limited-edition craft beers made especially for the tournament. A total of $3000 was raised for the prevention of child abuse and other local youth-oriented activities. Congratulations Indian River Club for your successes!
Fellsmere Club: Due to the Covid19 Virus the 2020 Shrimpfest & Craft Brew Hullabaloo scheduled for Friday, March 20th through Sunday March 22nd was canceled. Watch the website at shrimpfestfl.com for any rescheduling possibilities.
This is a joint effort with the Rotary Club of Sebastian and will raise funds to support youth sports and organizations throughout North Indian River County.
Greater Palm Bay Club: The club canceled its Junior Fishing Tournament at Pineapple Park in Melbourne scheduled for Saturday April 18th. Contact Ron Smith for more information at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The One Nation Under God Pancake Breakfast will be held on Saturday, November 21st. Location to be determined.
A car show is planned for the future – date to be determined.
2020-2021 Officers for the Exchange Club of Sebastian
President – Ali Qizilbash President Elect – Phil Barnes
Secretary – Eva Chapman Treasurer – Diana Best
Foundation Treasurer – Kathy Burns Newsletter Editor – Margie Duffell
Division Director (District 7) – Rene Van deVoorde District President – Chuck Walker
Treasurer – Steve Rawlins Secretary – Kathy Duchow
President Elect – Joe Walsh
Immediate Past President – Gerson Rodriguez