Guest Speaker Series
On June 16 th our speaker was Jessica Schmidt, CFRE and Executive Director of Literacy Services of Indian River County (LSIRC). This organization was founded in 1971 and celebrates 50 years this year.
Their mission is to “deliver comprehensive and innovative learning opportunities to local adults seeking English language and literacy skills to achieve their goals.”
- • 1 in 5 adults struggle to read in Indian River County and 13.5% of local households use a primary language other then English. .
• Children with parents having low literacy skills are more than 3 times as likely to drop out of high
• school compared to those with literate parents
• Non-US born adults comprise 34% of the population with low English literacy skills
• Low literacy costs the US $225 billion in non-productivity in the workforce, crime and loss of tax revenue due to unemployment.
Tutors are all volunteers with a variety of careers. They meet 1/1 with students for a 90 minute class once or twice a week. Virtual classes are also offered. Students are helped with their additional goals such as obtaining a driver’s license or citizenship. Of the 235 students last served, 81 improved reading and writing skills, 111 improved a job situation or obtained a job and 10 became US citizens.
LSIR partners with business and other non-profits. There is a computer lab in Fellsmere that can be used by those having no computer access at home. There they can complete schoolwork, fill out applications, sign up for services and learn to use the school district’s parent portal.
Income comes from Individual donations, special fund-raising events, grants and in 2020 a large gift from Windsor Polo Charity Club. To give financial assistance or to volunteer contact www.literacyservicesirc.org or call 772-778-2223.
On June 23rd our own member Phil Barnes, Executive Director of Youth Guidance was our speaker. Youth Guidance was established in 1973. YG provides 1/1 and group mentoring for kids ages 5-18. Approximately 250 kids are served annually, 30% of which have learning disabilities. Kids must 100% qualify for the free and reduced lunch program in school. The goal is to break the cycle of poverty for them.
Phil joined Youth Guidance in March 2020 just before the Covid shut down. That presented many challenges for him and his staff to overcome. Because many of the kids were homebound during the pandemic it made sense to reach out to them. He and his staff created care packages with hygiene products, games, puzzles and delivered to their homes. In June of 2020 COVID guidelines relaxed and summer camp resumed 5 days a week from 9-1 p.m.. Kids participated in STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) learning programs as well as outings of paddle-boarding, surfing, kayaking. In the fall when school resumed, a full-time day care center was opened from 8 a.m-7:30 p.m. Through virtual school the kids (who had no computer at home) were able to complete their schoolwork at the Youth Guidance facility. Tutors were on hand and 3 meals were provided daily through partnerships with the Indian River County School District and The Source.
Now YG offers vocational training for bicycle maintenance, construction, HVAC, plumbing and boat mechanics. The programs have been readily received by the students and in the fall of 2021 there are plans to add gardening, cosmetology and certify these pre-apprenticeship programs for ages 16-24 through partnerships with the school district and Treasure Coast Technology College. The goal is to broaden the kids horizon of life skills and vocational training skills.
Currently the kids can participate in 8 week programs in Wildlife Biology at the ELC, Young Journalists of IRC where they learn interviewing and writing skills, and through the Vero Beach Outlet retailers learn interviewing skills including proper interviewing attire.
Future plans are to renovate the 8600 square foot building that YG now occupies. A capital campaign will add a small commercial kitchen, trade/vocation space and a multipurpose room. The gal is to bring in specialists to led the classes – community involvement is the key. Another building is being eyed for purchase for a transitional living facility for those kids ages 16-24 and a business on the first floor with paid job opportunities.
Mentors are needed. Mentors are given a 8-week training and are asked to commit for at least one year. Guest speakers for the older kids are also needed, and donations are always accepted. For more information contact www.youthguidanceprogram.org.
2nd Qtr. Visitors – Please Come Again!
04/14/21 – Todd Finnegan, Sebastian Police Department
(Officer Donald Hart)
04/14/21 – Sean Facey, Edwd. Jones (Lyse McDonough)
04/21/21 – Rappy Perez (Diana Best)
04/21/21 – Mari Miles (Ali Qizilbash – Diamond Sponsor!)
04/28/21 – Dane Morris (Michelle Morris)
04/28/21 – Sean Facey (Lyse McDonough – membership
05/12/21 – Lt. Joe Abollo, Indian River County Sheriff’s
Department (Eric Flowers)
05/19/21 – Kevin Craig, Hart & Soul (Donald Hart)
05/19/21 – Roberta Barker, Hart & Soul (Donald Hart)
05/19/21 – Lane Solomon, American Security Council
Foundation (Eva Chapman)
05/26/21 – Lane Solomon (Eva Chapman)
05/26/21 – Tony Consolo, Indian River Sheriff’s Deputy
(Lt. Joe Abollo)
06/09/21 – Don Reilly (Lori Reilly)
06/16/21 – Lane Solomon (Eva Chapman – made application!)
06/16/21 – Lonnie & Jake Chandler (BWO Volunteers – Eva C.)
06/16/21 – Tiara Weetheed, Youth Guidance (Phil Barnes)
06/23/21 – Diogenes Chica, Capt. Hiram’s (Kimball Stadler)
06/23/21 – Tiara Weetheed, Youth Guidance (Phil Barnes)
39th Annual Installation Dinner
Our Annual Installation Dinner was held on June 30th at Captain Hiram’s Tiffany Room. Our talented veteran Master of Ceremonies Adam Preuss led us through the evening with proficiency!
Eva Chapman presented Blue Water Open Award certificates. There were 122 boats registered with 44 weighing in. Our final net proceeds from this fund-raising event are $102,956! She congratulated our club members for coming together to make this our most successful event ever! Ali Qizilbash presented his Presidential Award certificates and expressed his gratitude to members for all of the efforts this past year under most unusual and challenging circumstances. His slide show reminded us of all that we have accomplished regardless of these epidemic times. Past presidents were recognized and passed the gavel to our new president, Johnathan Rhodeback.
Our new officers and directors for the 2021-2022 year were installed by Rene VanDeVoorde:
President Johnathan Rhodeback
President Elect Frederick Jones
Secretary Eva Chapman
Treasurer Diana Best
Directors – Two Year Term
Directors – One Year Term
Past President Ali Qizilbash
President Johnathan Rhodeback, Eva Chapman, Diana Best, Kathy Burns, Lyse McDonough, Fred Jones, Karen McElveen, Adam Preuss, Division 7 Director Rene VanDeVoorde and Past President Ali Qizilbash
After installation President Johnathan Rhodeback took the podium and thanked Ali Qizilbash for his successful presidency and presented him with the President’s Plaque and Past President’s Pin.
Past President Ali Qizilbash with President Johnathan Rhodeback
Toward the end of the evening Ken Stadler drew the joker to win the 50/50 of $300. Ken donated his winnings back to the club!
Kim Prado, Region 9 Vice President closed the evening by telling our club how much she appreciates us and how we shine when she makes reports to National Exchange Club. We can all be proud of our club’s accomplishments throughout this past year. It takes a village . . . . . .
Lyse McDonough 07/09
Warren Dill 07/11
Karen McElveen 07/27
Ellen VanDeVoorde 2 Years
Laura Luettger (Boys & Girls Club) 7 Years
Sebastian Police News
The lemonade stand business in Sebastian is becoming quite competitive lately! Officer Hart and Sergeant Finnegan recently stopped off at Jonah and Micah’s lemonade stand for a sip of cool refreshing pink lemonade!
This particular stand is being operated by Allison, Brooklin and Jensen! The pink lemonade is the winner again!
On June 9th we presented Donald Hart, Founder of Hart & Soul a check in the amount of $1000. The Hart & Soul Youth Program mission is ”to provide teen coaching to young males in our community, and to motivate and inspire them to make responsible choices, smart decisions and discover their purpose.”
Calendar of Events
07/07 – No Meeting (Board Only)
07/14 – Debbie Butler, Guardians for New Futures
07/21 – TBD
07/28 – TBD
This and That
Please contact Jeff Kagan with ideas for future speakers. Suggestions are appreciated!
Lyse McDonough and Debbie Fitzpatrick are also asking for ideas for their Hospitality Committee to consider. Lyse is working on a poster for our next Hygiene Drive, the Feel-Good Campaign. The focus is to encourage kids to smell, feel and look good and want to show up for school. Hygiene products can be donated throughout the summer months to be delivered to Chum Bucket at SRHS and to Pastor Joey Everington, Youth Pastor of Calvary Chapel of Sebastian’s One Can You Can Program for distribution prior to the new school year. Please bring your donations of soap, shampoo, deodorant, and even underwear and socks to our meetings.
Eva Chapman needs to know of any volunteer work a member has done outside of Exchange Club. This counts toward credit we get from national toward year end awards. Please use her log or send her the name of the organization and number of hours you spent volunteering.
Eva Chapman reports that we have earned our National Service Award by participating in the collaborative beach cleanup. We have also earned our Big E Award – a great effort by all members to receive these two prestigious awards!
Paul Williamson reports that we are 46-member strong including our newest Member Sean Facey. Please welcome our new members and get them involved on committees as soon as possible. Don’t forget to contact members to let them know meetings can be attended via ZOOM if not in person. Also, bring guests and ask them to join the best club ever!
Phil Barnes announced that Junior Blue Water Open meetings will begin soon for the October 30th event. Please contact Phil to join the committee or volunteer.
Terry Gardner is chairing the Community Involvement Committee. Karen McElveen will serve with her. They encourage members to give them ideas.
COVID-19 Attendance Guidelines
These guidelines shall apply to all members and guests that attend our Club meetings in person in the Tiffany Room at Capt. Hiram’s restaurant:
1. There shall be no more than 4 people at each table, with an empty chair between any 2 people. Exception: Student guests and their family members may sit in adjacent chairs but shall not have more than 6 people at their table.
2. Members/guests shall try to take their seats as soon as possible upon entering the Tiffany Room and shall try to avoid close proximity interaction with others.
3. Everyone is encouraged to wear a mask in the Tiffany Room except when seated at your table or when speaking at the podium.
4. If any member/guest has tested positive for COVID-19, has experienced symptoms of COVID-19, or has been in close contact
with someone who has COVID-19, he/she shall not attend any meetings in person until they become symptom-free or test negative. Additionally, he/she shall notify the Club President of their condition, so that we can determine if any other members/guests may have been exposed.
Excel Club of Sebastian River High School
A member recruitment effort will be held at the beginning of the 2021-2022 school year. A meeting schedule will be established when the new school year begins.
A Junior Excel club table will be on display during orientation for the 2021-2022 school year. A meeting schedule will be established when the new school year begins.
As this school year closes we wish you all the best in your future endeavors! We all look forward to the 2021-2022 year’s clubs’ growth and achievements.
District Director Rene’s Corner
The Florida District Convention will be held Thursday July 8th -Sunday July 11th at the Safety Harbor Resort & Spa in Safety Harbor, Florida. For registration and more information visit Florida District Exchange.org/convention.
Rene VandeVoorde announced the winners of the 2021 scholarships to graduates at SRHS. Scholarships were in the amount of $2,000 each given to:
- Caleb Cummins
Marissa Perez (H.R. “Rappy” Perez Award – no relation)
Student Awards Chair Adam Preuss announced winners of our Youth of the Year and A.C.E. scholarships:
- Sarah Cosner, Female Youth of the Year $1,000
Joseph Twomey, Male Youth of the Year $1,000
Peyton Johnson, A.C.E. Award $1,000
Fellsmere Club: The 2021 Shrimpfest & Craft Brew Hullabaloo was held Friday, March 19th through Sunday March 21st, 2021. This was a joint effort with the Rotary Club of Sebastian and funds raised support youth sports and organizations throughout north Indian River County. Roughly $55,000 has been distributed to eight beneficiary organizations.
Fellsmere Club members express gratitude to all that supported the event by volunteering, sponsoring or just attending!