Vacation time is over for me and its right back to work on Rotary articles.
While I was away, the Sanibel-Captiva Rotary had to arrange for a new meeting place (not ease, when your meeting is at 7 a.m. on each Friday morning). Don’t really know the particulars, but something about a restaurant lease. Just want to thank Wally Lambert and his family and staff for doing such a great job with our Rotary breakfasts over the last few years.
The Rotary Club also welcomed me back by have two speakers last Friday. More to write about and the same space in the paper. Thanks everybody!
Each year, the Sanibel-Captiva Rotary clubs gives a number of scholarships out and whenever possible we invite the scholarship winners to stop by and give club Rotarians an update on what is going on in their lives both at school and in their free time.
This week we were, privileged to welcome back Sanibelian, Katrina Pozeznick whose has been attending Florida Gulf Coast University with the help of a four-year Sanibel-Captiva Rotary Endowed Scholarship in memory of William Angst. Mr. Angst was a former president of the Sanibel Water Commission Board and a past president of our Rotary club. This is Kate’s senior year, and it seems she has taken advantage of every opportunity laid out to her by the FGCU and the Sanibel-Captiva community.
While maintaining a 3.9 grade point average as an English and Education major, she has explored classes within other fields of study. Two courses in particular was being involved in a class called the Colloquium at Florida Gulf Coast University — it is a course about sustainability and making decisions that benefit the natural environment. Although I have lived in Florida for nearly a decade, my knowledge of the natural world here was limited.
“I found that I have a great interest in learning about our ecosystems and ways we can collectively keep it healthy," she said.
Another class that made an impact on her was Environmental Literature and revolved around a relatively new word,biophilia, which means, according to its creator Edward O. Wilson, that humans have an innate love for the natural world.
“These courses have guided me toward what I believe is a path to a career that will challenge and excite me, create a sustainable, clean place for future generations to live, and be a rewarding life experience. I hope to continue my education beyond an undergraduate degree," she said. "My goal is to obtain a graduate degree in Environmental Studies or a similar academic program."
Kate has also worked with a number of non-profit entities on the Island (SCCF and the Sanibel Sea School) to gain personal incite and knowledge of the natural environment.
Wow! Kate is an impressive young woman and Rotary wishes her continued success.
Our next speaker, Jan Fiefer, was from the outstanding Special Equestrians a nonprofit public organization that provides therapeutic horseback riding and equine assisted activities to children and adults with special needs in Lee, Charlotte, Hendry and Glades Counties in southwest Florida. Hopefully everyone on Sanibel and Captiva has heard about Special Equestrians.
In a nutshell, the poem "I Saw A Child," by John Anthony Davies says in all: “I saw a child who couldn’t walk..sit on a horse, laugh and talk... Then ride it through a field of daisies... and yet he could not walk unaided... I saw a child, no legs below... sit on a hourse, and make it go... Through woods of green..and places he had never been..to sit and stare, except from a chair.
I saw a child who could only crawl... mount a horse and sit up tall... Put it through degrees of paces... and laugh at the wonder in our faces... I saw a child born into strife... take up and hold the reins of life... and that same child was heard to say... ”Thank God for showing me the way...”
Horseback riding has long been recognized as one of the most benefial fors of therapeutic treatment for individuals with special needs. Riding develops self-confidence, concentration and self-discipline. Joint mobility, posture, trunk control, balance and coordination are also improved through these equine assisted activities.
This is such a remarkable program; Rotary would like to take some credit for being the service club there in 1987 to help startup Special Equestrians, but can’t do that … it was a local Kiwanis Club. Rotarians have their cowboy hats off to them!
Through the month of September, the Sanibel-Captiva Rotary Club will meet at 7 a.m. on Friday at the Blue Giraffe Restaurant in the Periwinkle Place Shopping Center on Sanibel.