Home » Blog Posts

Category Archives: Blog Posts

2019 Veterans Day

Hot Diggity All Over Again!!

As part of the Longboat Key Chamber’s Freedom Fest, the Rotary Club of Longboat Key hosts the Hot Diggity Dog Parade & Contest! Here is our July 4th, 2019 recap of the event.

Rotary of Longboat Key President for 2019-2020

Say hello to our new Rotary of Longboat Key President Nancy Rozance (far right)! What a wonderful Passing of the Gavel event last evening as we enter our 5th year of ‘Service Above Self”.

Expecting an exciting year ahead! Thank you to our past President, Susan McGuire, for keeping us moving forward.


“I am honored and excited to to be President of the amazing Rotary Club of Longboat Key.  In October, we will celebrate our 
5th year of “making our community and the world a better place” through our service projects. These projects exemplify 
Rotary’s worldwide commitment to solve real problems such as literacy and meeting the nutritional needs in our community”, said Rozance

Longboat Key First Responders – 2019

Thank you from all the community and all of us!


click to watch the event

Longboat Key Paradise Center for Healthy Living -April 16th Rotary presentation

The Longboat Key Paradise Center for Healthy Living was recently formed as the result of the merger between the thriving Paradise Resource Center (formerly “Aging in Paradise”) and the Longboat Key Center for Healthy Living, an organization founded several years ago with the help of the Longboat Key Community Foundation to bring healthcare providers to the island. The new entity is partnering with Stratum Health System, the parent company of Tidewell Hospice, to develop a continuum of care for Longboat Key residents. With Stratum’s recent purchase of the commercial building at 540 Bay Isles Road (the former Northern Trust location), the new entity is poised to deliver on its vision for a year-round all-inclusive wellness, medical, and social center, according to the organization’s Executive Director, Suzy Brenner. Brenner addressed the Rotary Club of Longboat Key at its April 16th meeting; she is pictured (right) with Rotary President Susan McGuire.

Brenner elaborated on the mission of the organization: “To enhance the quality of life on Longboat Key by promoting year-round accessible healthcare and providing lifestyle enrichment programs.”

Classes, workshops, and seminars that have been offered by the Paradise Resource Center will continue on an enhanced basis, encompassing wellness, stress relief, maintenance of brain health, financial planning, hands-on technology (ie. smartphone usage, Facebook navigation), and informative lectures from important local resources such as Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium, Selby Gardens, Longboat Key Turtle Watch and others. Brenner explained, “We’ve got lots of needs, just like any other community. Loneliness and isolation are a huge epidemic in our aging population.” She added, “Feeling like you have a purpose outside yourself is very important.” She also stressed the importance of providing support for caregivers.

Fitness Quest Physical Therapy and the Center for Brain Health that is currently based in the Centre Shops on Longboat Key will relocate to the new facility. JFCS (Jewish Family & Children’s Services) will offer counseling services. In addition to establishing a primary care practice in collaboration with Stratum Health, the Longboat Key Paradise Center for Healthy Living is currently searching for service providers specializing in hearing and balance issues, dermatology, podiatry, and orthopedics with a goal of incorporating their services at the new center through a fully-outfitted medical suite approach with shared reception and conference room facilities in the secure WIFI building.

The new headquarters has approximately 8000 square feet of usable space. Plans for renovation are currently underway, and Brenner is optimistic that The Longboat Key Paradise Center for Healthy Living will be up and running at 540 Bay Isles Road later in 2019. For more information, visit http://www.theparadisecenter.org




Successes of the Club and the contributions of its members celebrated

Bob and Teresa Simmons named “Rotarians of the Year” at the April 16th meeting of the Rotary Club of Longboat Key. Bob is pictured receiving the award from the Club’s President, Susan McGuire. The certificate was inscribed, “With deep appreciation in honor and recognition of their tireless work in feeding Sarasota’s hungry children.”  For the past 5 1/2 years, Bob and Teresa have managed the stocking and staffing of a food pantry at Sarasota’s Tuttle Elementary School pursuant to the Longboat Key Rotary’s partnership with All Faiths Food Bank and the Sarasota Rotary Club Foundation.
Dottie Rutledge (left) was presented with an award by Longboat Key Rotary President Susan McGuire at the Club’s April 16th meeting. She was cited for her “Creative Support in Public Relations & Fundraising.”
Rotarian Margaret Loughead (right) was cited for her “Dedication to Reading at Tuttle” at the April 16th meeting of the Rotary Club of Longboat Key. Margaret volunteers as a reading tutor with Kindergarten and first-grade students at the Title I school several days each week.
Rotarian Jerry Bowles was cited for his “Steadfast Service as Club Treasurer” at the April 16th meeting of the Rotary Club of Longboat Key.
Rotarian Philippe Koenig received a certificate in appreciation for his “Taking the Lead at Tuttle Elementary Nutrition” at the April 16th meeting of the Rotary Club of Longboat Key. Philippe will be assuming the helm of the Club’s food pantry program conducted at the Sarasota Title I school in a partnership with All Faiths Food Bank and Sarasota Rotary Club Foundation. President Susan McGuire also mentioned that Philippe is one of the fittest members of the club!
Rotary member Gene Luca was cited for “Steadfast Leadership in Our Signature Community Service Events” at the April 16th meeting of the Rotary Club of Longboat Key. Gene has played key roles in the Club’s Veterans Day events and Recognizing Emergency Service Personnel on Sunday Events over the past several years.

First Annual FIGHT RED TIDE Event

Providing Comfort and Care

Rotary Club member, Philippe Koenig standing with Nafi Cunningham, Community Relations Representative with Tidewell Hospice

“We come to you, wherever ‘home’ is … We give comfort and care to the sick and to the family as a
whole,” stated Nafi Cunningham, Community Relations Representative with Tidewell Hospice, in her
presentation to the Rotary Club of Longboat Key at its February 5 th meeting. She is pictured (right) with
Rotary Club member, Philippe Koenig, who related how kind and helpful Tidewell personnel and
volunteers were three years ago during the last days of his wife’s life. Tidewell Hospice has served the
area for almost 40 years, working to fulfill the physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of people with
advanced illnesses, bringing services to private residences, assisted-living or long-term care
communities, hospitals, and Tidewell Hospice Houses.

Cunningham joined Tidewell in April 2016, managing multiple facets of the campaign to build a new
Hospice House in Lakewood Ranch which will be accepting its first patients next month. The eight
Hospice Houses in the Sarasota-Bradenton area include a total of 72 beds in a home-like atmosphere
with 24-hour care. The professional staff and volunteers of the local not-for-profit organization furnish
services to approximately 1100 patients with life-limiting illnesses each year in Sarasota, Manatee,
Charlotte and DeSoto Counties, providing comfort and care and pain management to patients whose
conditions have declined to the point where they and their physicians have concluded that curative
treatment is no longer effective and that death is likely to ensue within six months. Cunningham
reported that the organization also provided grief assistance to 9000 family members last year, stressing
that Tidewell Hospice is part of the community and its mission is to serve the family as a whole.

Kindness and compassion are the attributes of the 1100 “very special people” who serve as volunteers
for the organization, according to Cunningham. While she reported that Medicare, Medicaid, and
private insurance cover the expenses of most who require hospice care, she asserted, “We never turn
anyone away.” More than $4.7 million is raised each year to cover the expenses of Tidewell’s “Wish
Fund” and the many complimentary services and programs provided by the organization’s
interdisciplinary team. “We try to make the pain go away and to make good memories in the process,”
Cunningham concluded. To learn more about the programs, services, and volunteer opportunities
available through Tidewell Hospice, visit www.tidewell.org. To learn more about the Rotary Club of
Longboat Key, visit www.longboatkeyrotary.org.

From Myakka to Michigan – Giving Migrant Students a Chance to Succeed

From Myakka to Michigan – Giving Migrant Students a Chance to Succeed

Harold Medina has dedicated his professional life to working with migrant and immigrant students. A
first-generation Dominican born in New York City, he is currently the Coordinator of the Migrant
Education Program for the School District of Manatee County. Medina is pictured with Judy Achre,
Program Director of the Rotary Club of Longboat Key at the Club’s January 29th meeting where he was
the guest speaker. Medina clarified that a “migrant” is a person who moves from one area to another
within the country due to economic necessity, usually pursuing work in agriculture or in the fishing
industry; an immigrant, on the other hand, is one who migrates from one country to another. (more…)

Rotary Flag Exchange with Plant City