Issue 13, March 20th

I’ll apologize in advance for the lack of brevity in this week’s message, but I assure you it’s worth the read.  With the interesting Presidential election currently underway, Supervisor of Elections Mike Hogan’s presentation last week couldn’t have been timelier.  He recapped the recent Florida Presidential Primary as well as shed light onto where Jacksonville differs from other areas of the state and the country in how we handle elections.  Additionally he set expectations of things to come later in the year when we revisit our polling places to participate in the political process.  With early voting, absentee ballots, sample ballots, etc. there really isn’t any reason not to vote in an election; our club has seen firsthand where even one vote can make a difference on multiple occasions.  Like I always say, regardless of your party of preference if you didn’t bother voting, then I’m not going to be very sympathetic when you complain about politics thereafter.

Additional excitement came from a rather creative door prize session led by Jepp Walter, our volunteer auctioneer.  We were of course fortunate to have wine from Howard Caplan and Donna Day’s Spa Package from Ponte Vedra Plastic Surgery continues to be more bountiful, and many more, but last week Jepp also donated a great marketing tool often overlooked, an offer to film 30 mins of a home, building, etc. from his own personal drone at ground level to as high as 400 ft.  With the opening bid of $100 and new member Anne Urban’s testimony of knowing others regularly charging $1,500+ for such services the price kept going higher particularly from one of our resident realtors, AJ Richwine.  However by far the most entertaining door prize was the Legacy Safeguard ice scraper from Frank Wallmeyer where Jepp decided to begin drawing names and the winner (used loosely) could opt to pay $2 NOT to take the item and have another lucky person’s card drawn……I think we made $30+ while Annie Howe and Mark Wilkinson ran around the room collecting $2 from members who were just feeling generous and wanted to let someone else have the opportunity to feel like a WINNER for the day!  You really have to hand it to Frank though for being such a great sport, but acknowledge he’s obviously a marketing genius for having pioneered the analogue automotive frost removal device market in Jacksonville Florida.  While you may laugh or make jokes about the item, I guarantee you’ll always remember who he is and the company he built for the past several years; that’s innovation if I’ve ever seen it.

Now recently you’ve probably heard mention at the meeting that Metro Diner will not be amongst the “Taste of Jax” concessions at The Players this year (though I understand they intend to return in 2017).  As the club left Prom Catering a few years ago for the chance to work for one of our members under a far more favorable arrangement, we had intended to continue working Metro’s tent this year again.  However, knowing we had written the club’s budget with the expectation of that opportunity, the Davoli’s being the ever so generous members they are offered us another opportunity to partner with Metro Diner for fundraising.  As we participated in the soft opening of the Southside/Baymeadows location 2 years ago, they’ve designated SBMC Charities the beneficiary of the Dinner Soft-Opening for the same location on April 8th, just 2 Fridays from now!  Anyone dining will donate $10 per person at the door and have the chance to order anything they like from the menu at no additional charge.  100% of the donations will benefit SBMC Charities which is our 501©3 through which we raise money for YAP, Pauline Smith, and JROTC scholarships as well as our annual Children’s Christmas Shopping Spree!  So when you see it on Facebook please share with your friends, and be sure to call and make a reservation to eliminate the possibility of an extended wait.  For breakfast and lunch Metro Diner donated approx. $4,500 2 years ago, so let’s see how many people we can bring them in just a 4 hour dinner stretch!

With that said however, the comradery of organizing and recruiting volunteers for and working the concessions at TPC is also very important.  The first thing I chaired back in 2009, in partnership with my 1st VP, then Co-Chair Julie Clements was TPC where we were responsible for managing 2 (later 3) tents of 400+ shifts involving 7 other organizations.  It was through this event I had the opportunity to get to know many of you, share experiences, and begin multiple business relationships.  I learned on whom I could count to Captain a day, arrive early, stay late, and some even worked multiple shifts to help earn money for our club.  Coincidentally last week I received an email from Prom Catering who was recently purchased by Levy Restaurants (Everbank Field and Veterans Arena concessions and catering to name a few) and they were seeking help from groups like ours.  As the shift rate had declined for several years and responsibilities grew we had ended that partnership, but Prom has offered a guaranteed shift rate of nearly DOUBLE what we were being paid previously.  Therefore we’ll be working only 3 days (Thurs-Sat) in a tent near Taste of Jax referred to as “The Grove.”  Now I know many enjoyed working on 18, however that’s the last hole and for our closing shift meant the last to shut down ending sometimes close to 8pm making that a 9 hour shift.  This one is further back which will be more conducive to an earlier shift close and less demanding as far as volunteer numbers.


This week our very own member, Representative Lake Ray III will address us on the recent session in Tallahassee.  Additionally, he’ll be joining us from the capacity of Duval County Republican Chairman speaking to the current election cycle.  As I mentioned last month, Rep. Ray was a very gracious host to our Tallahassee delegation having arranged access to the floor in the State House for about 30 mins and giving a full tutorial on the history, layout, and procedure that was rather interesting.  While they had an incredibly busy week ahead, he along with members and Reps. McBurney and Renner kindly showed us around the capital and made our group feel very welcomed.


In closing as I’m drafting this on Thursday I want to wish all our Jewish members Hag Sameach for Purim last week!  And to my fellow Catholic/Christian members upon reading on Sunday, Happy Easter

President Message Archive