Club Information

Welcome to our Club!

Fernandina Beach

Service Above Self

We meet Wednesdays at 12:00 PM
Florida House Inn
(self-serve lunch begins 11:30)
22 South 3rd Street/Meeting Room on 4th Street
Fernandina Beach, FL  32034
United States
District Site
Venue Map
Home Page Stories
After many years and many "Baaaahhh  Haaaaabaahhha's!",  perennially visiting Bar Harbor Rotarian Bill Eisele presented the Rotary Club of Fernandina Beach with a club banner.  Fernandina Beach Rotarians Dr. David Page, Frank Gagnier, and Larry Myers have all visited the Bar Harbor Rotary Club in the past.  Question is - did they present our banner?
The Rotary Club of Fernandina Beach will be holding our annual Holiday Party at the Sandbar and Kitchen at Main Beach.  The festivities begin at 6:00PM.  We will have musical accompaniment by the Rotary Rooters, who will be playing a holiday themed set list.  There will also be live music.  Cost is $15 per attendee.  The Club will also be assisting with heavy appetizers and some additional menu items.  Please invite family, friends, and anyone who likes to have fun and do good in the world around them. 
At Wednesday's meeting, the Rotary Club of Fernandina Beach kicked off the Rotary Scholarship Initiative fundraising drive.  The featured presenters were Mary and Briana Batrous.  2014 Rotary Scholarship recipient Kelsi Batrous was unable to attend.
Mary Batrous told her story of strength, struggle, hope and love - and how the Rotary Club of Fernandina Beach made a difference in her life.  After raising 3 sons, two of whom grew up to be Jacksonville Sheriff's Officers, Mary was faced with a difficult situation - raising 3 grand daughters.   Speaking like a pro during her first time in front of an audience, Mary shared the story of Kelsi - who wanted to be a neonatal intensive care nurse, and how the family couldn't make ends meet for tuition to help her achieve her goals.  Mary told us how she heard about the Rotary Scholarship Initiative, and how Kelsi applied, not knowing whether or not she would be eligible, let alone win.   Well.... Kelsi won.   In fact she couldn't attend Wednesday's meeting because she was working in the NICU at Wolfson's Children's Hospital, having obtained her RN certification at the age of 18, one of the youngest registered nursed on record.  Kelsi was working overtime, spending time with a premature baby born to a drug addicted mother.  (Kelsi keeps the Club informed of her progress with regular thank-you notes)
Then we learned about Mary's youngest, Brianna - who was in attendance.  Brianna is a really unique kid.  She's faced adversity since the day she was born prematurely - at 3lbs.   Legally blind, Brianna has not let any disadvantage hold her back.  She's a junior at West Nassau High School who will be graduating this year with a 4.5 GPA.   Brianna also shares her sister and grandmother's desire to make the world a better place.  She's amassed over 1200 community service hours - from running an animal rescue operation from her home to volunteering with the Vietnam Veterans and Nassau Council on Aging.  Brianna has contributed so much to the community around her that her work has received notice from Governor Rick Scott and Nassau County School Superintendent Dr. Kathy Burns.   Mary shared that Brianna may be shy and quiet (as most teenage girls are!) - but she's been raised to be strong, independent, and hardworking, as she's raised all three girls.
Needless to say, Mary, Kelsi, and Brianna's story moved those in attendance at the meeting.  It was powerful to hear how the Rotary Club of Fernandina Beach's efforts not just provided an opportunity for a local child - but how that kid went on to save others in the community.  It was inspiring to hear how our efforts continue to be desperately needed in the community - and how we can continue to pay it forward for future aspiring students.  There weren't a lot of dry eyes at the end of the presentation.
Our 2nd Annual Rotary Scholarship Luncheon is Thursday, February 8th.   Tickets for this special event start at $300 / $500 per couple.  100% of ticket sales will be passed through to scholarship recipients like Kelsi.   Your contribution might just help a kid like Brianna achieve her dreams, too.
Representative Byrd updated the club on what is next for the Florida Legislature session and how some of the growing concerns will effect those of us who live in Nassau County.  One of those concerns he spoke of was our need for more skilled workers in the trades.  Encouragement for younger students to enter a trade is becoming more and more a necessity as we begin to rebuild and strengthen our infrastructure.  We thank Representative Byrd for his time and wish him well as he prepares to attend the next session in the Florida Legislature.

Special recognition to Dr. Jim Hicks and John Boylan for their Paul Harris milestones.  Dr. Jim is a multiple Paul Harris Fellow recipient - and has contributed to the Rotary Foundation in his name as well as in the name of loved ones. John Boylan is a "Paul Harris + 5" - and is part of the Paul Harris Society. Donations to the Rotary Foundation are used to fight polio, provide clean water and sanitation, promote peace, improve education, and provide health care for women and children around the globe.


The Paul Harris Fellow recognition acknowledges individuals who contribute, or who have contributions made in their name, of US$1,000 to The Rotary Foundation of Rotary International.It was established in 1957 to show appreciation for and encourage substantial contributions to what was then the Foundation’s only program, Rotary Foundation Fellowships for Advanced Study, the precursor to Ambassadorial Scholarships. 

Many other notable figures have been named as Paul Harris Fellows, including U.S. President Jimmy Carter, Russian President Boris Yeltsin, U.S. astronaut James Lovell, UN Secretary-General Javier Perez de Cuellar, and Jonas Salk.  

The Paul Harris Society recognizes Rotary members and friends of The Rotary Foundation who elect to contribute $1,000 or more each year to the Annual Fund, PolioPlus Fund, or approved global grants

The number of Paul Harris Fellows reached the one million mark in 2006
Kelsi, Mary, and Brianna Batrous
Rotary Scholarship Recipient and Family


Kelsi Batrous was awarded a Rotary Scholarship in 2014, and has regularly stayed in contact with the Club to keep us informed of her progress.  on Dec. 6th - she will be accompanied by her grandmother Mary and younger sister Brianna (Bri), who is an aspiring student at West Nassau HS.  They will share their story of how Rotary has helped Kelsi achieve her goals of becoming a medical professional.

Steve Colwell entertained the Club with the 29+ year history of Centre Street's iconic Fantastic Fudge.   Fernandina's sweet shop has roots reaching all the way to Petosky, Michigan - and Steve's teen years working for a fudge shop there.  He shared a number of great stories of how Fantastic Fudge began - the sweat, hard work, and fun - and how the business has grown over the years, now employing a few dozen local teenagers on any given summer day.  The most humorous moment - when Steve recognized Wally Messer and said..... "Hey.....! Rum Raisin!"    A gracious "Thank You!" for helping Fernandina Beach keep that small town feel!
Be sure to stop by for some Holiday treats!
The FBHS Band Rose Quartet`
Dec 13, 2017 12:00 PM
A Saxophone Concert of Christmas
Senator Aaron Bean
Dec 20, 2017 12:00 PM
No Meeting
Dec 27, 2017
Seasons Greetings -
Nan Voit
Jan 03, 2018 12:00 PM
Director - City of Fernandina Beach Parks & Recreation
Membership Craft Talks
Jan 10, 2018 12:00 PM
Mary Ruark, Renee Stoffel, Joe Hastey
Rotary Oratory Contest
Jan 17, 2018 12:00 PM
Nassau County High School Students
Bill Brummond
Jan 24, 2018 12:00 PM
"The Art of Wood"

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