FishHawk, Riverview Rotary Clubs Merge
The clubs combined to create a stronger organization.
Two fledgling Rotary clubs have merged in the hopes of creating a larger, more vital club.
The Riverview Rotary Club has joined forces with the FishHawk/Bloomingdale Rotary Club to create the FishHawk/Riverview Rotary Club.
"We felt the combined clubs would enable us to do bigger and better events," said Christopher Jones, president-elect of the new club.
According to Elijah Heath, past president of the FishHawk/Bloomingdale club, the merger brings the total number of club members to about 30.
The Riverview club was founded in 2002 while the FishHawk club was started in 2008.
The Riverview Rotary Club previously met on Mondays at the Italian Kitchen Cafe, 6915 U.S. 301, Riverview.
The club sponsors the annual Christmas Alafia River lighted boat parade, reads monthly to Head Start students, provides scholarships for local high school students, distributes dictionaries to all local public schools and participates in charitable work in the community.
The FishHawk/Bloomingdale club met Mondays at Beef O'Brady's Irish Pub, 4330 Bell Shoals Road, Valrico.
In addition to hosting the annual Chili Cookoff at the Hillsborough County Fair each fall, the club held its first Crawfish Festival at Park Square in FishHawk Ranch in May, an event its hopes to host annually. In addition, like the Riverview club, the FishHawk club provides scholarships for local high school students, distributes dictionaries to local public schools and participates in charitable work in the community.
It's not unusual for clubs to merge, said Rotary 6890 District officer Mike Meegan, a member of the new FishHawk/Riverview Rotary Club.
"It's done all the time to bring new blood to a club," said Meegan. "The Winter Haven and Cypress Gardens clubs recently merged and so did the Southshore and Ruskin clubs. They can get a lot more done with a larger club than they can individually."
The newly formed club, which installed its officers on June 20, plans to continue the projects of each club. Jones said it will maintain its sponsorship of the Alafia River boat parade and associated chili cookoff. In addition, it will continue to host the chili cookoff at the Hillsborough County Fair and the Crawfish fest.
He added that the club is always looking for new members. For information, contact Jones at 813-267-0107. The club meets at noon on Mondays at Beef O' Brady's on Bell Shoals Road.
The international Rotary organization is known for its successful efforts to eradicate polio around the world, said Meegan.
With the eradication of polio, the organization's focus is on the improvement of health of people throughout the world, education and the alleviation of poverty, said Meegan.
Rotary was founded in 1905 with a primary focus on business networking and and fellowship. Throughout Rotary’s first century, the focus expanded to include service in the community, the workplace and throughout the world.
Today, Rotary is a worldwife organization of business and professional people who provide humanitarian service, encourage high ethical standards in all vocations, and goodwill and peace in the world.
The Rotary motto is "Service Above Self."
The FishHawk/Riverview club's next big activity will be a cleanup at Rotary's Camp Florida in Brandon July 30. The club also will host a club social at the Italian Kitchen Cafe in Riverview July 11 at 6:30 p.m.
Officers of the new club include Mara Shaughnessy, president; Christopher Jones, president-elect; Kim Tyson and Christine Ans, secretary; Duane Williams, vice president; Sandi Meadows and David Lemar, treasurer; Todd Blunt, sergeant at arms; Elijah Heath, immediate past president; and directors, Mike Meegan, Elaine Reinstein and Jake Peacock.