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Rotary Happenings: A Rotary road trip

By Staff | May 27, 2015

Road trip for the Sanibel-Captiva Rotary last Friday morning.

Oh, we didn’t go far. As they say in Maine, we went up the road and round the corner to Captiva and the South Seas Resort for our Rotary District 6960 District Conference.

Rotary District 6960 covers 8 counties, Collier, Lee, Hendry, Charlotte, Glades, Sarasota, Desoto and Manatee Counties in Southwest Florida and includes 50 local clubs.

Each year District Officers invite all Rotary club members to join them on a four-day celebration event highlighting the amazing activities and goals members have accomplished during the current Rotary year-July 2014 to July 2015 and recognition of the Rotary motto, “Service Above Self” member activities.

South Seas was the perfect setting for Rotary District 6960 Governor, Pete Doragh’s welcoming reception the first evening of the conference.

A perfect sunset Luau on the beach, sponsored partly by our Sanibel Rotary Club, provided the warm friendly atmosphere of the conference.

The group, of course, would focus on some serious and informative topics later in planetary breakout sessions during the four-days but there was plenty of time to enjoy fun, friendship, fellowship and networking before and after each days formal sessions focused on Rotary projects and how Rotary International encourages clubs to work together on many international activities.

I can’t really tell you too much about the real fun stuff you know what happens at South Seas stays at South Seasbut I will tell you when the “Rotary Rocks” band plays the place is thumping.

Sanibel-Captiva Rotary hosted the 7:30 a..m, Friday morning’s formal welcoming session breakfast meeting.

Believe or not, their actually were attendees at breakfast. Maybe some attendees were there more in body, than in mind.

The session was pretty early after some late night partyingby late, I mean a little beyond Sanibel midnight.

After breakfast, Sanibel-Captiva Rotary President, Bill Rahe proceeded to ring the opening-bell on the first full day of formal activities at the conference.

The room then came alive with the emotional arrival of the Polio Torch and an amazing parade of Rotary club flags marching in and reminding us of how working together Rotary clubs throughout the world can make a difference in the lives of so manywhether we are putting our focus on the eradication of polio or helping local school children with educational or literacy programs; standing together makes us stronger.

Rahe then turned over the session to Rotary District 6960 Governor Pete Dorah for his welcoming announcements and the introduction of Rotary International President, Gary C.K. Huang’s representative to the conference, Dr. Marimuthu Natarajan from India, District 2980.

With just a few short words from Dr. Natarajan of encouragement and appreciation of service to Rotary it was back to the podium for Rahe and the introduction of Dr. Todd Golde, professor of Neuroscience and department chair at the University of Florida, directing the Center for Translational Research in Neurodegenerative Disease.

Dr. Golde spoke about research being done in the academic world regarding Alzheimer’s disease. Research funded by organizations such as Rotary.

In last week’s Rotary Happenings column I had a great deal of information about the CART fund and raising funds to provide seed money for cutting edge, high impact research in hopes of finding a cure/prevention for Alzheimer’s disease.

CART has awarded over $5 million dollars to accredited Alzheimer’s researchers, since 1995. This money goes directly for cutting edge research looking for all reasons that might be contributing to the development of Alzheimer disease from genetic dispositioning to environmental contributions.

The magic bullet has not been found yet, but this type of research is the breeding ground for finding an answer.

After all the special award presentations that followed Dr. Golde’s presentation, it was time for a break. More to come in next week’s column.

The Sanibel-Captiva Rotary meets at 7:00am, Friday mornings at the Dunes Golf & Tennis Club, Sanibel. Guests are always welcomed.