Community Service Is Good Business

Ponte Vedra Rotary Club Serves St. Johns County Residents

Many people have seen the Rotary logo or heard of Rotary in one place or another, but few truly know what it means to be a Rotarian. “What it means to be a Rotarian is very personal to me as I was lucky enough to be part of the Rotary Youth Exchange program as a teenager, says Public Image Chair Mari Perroni. “Now, many years later, I’m honored to be part of the Ponte Vedra Club.”

Being a Rotarian means: “Service Above Self.” Rotary is a club that provides volunteer services not only to the local community but also on an international scale. And what better way to have the opportunity to bring the community together than by being there for one another?

The Ponte Vedra Club, in the last four years, has volunteered and helped raise money for many projects and non-profit organizations around St. Johns County. Some of the club’s work includes at-home family-friendly service projects during social distancing, Blessing in a Backpack helping local kids in need have food for the holidays, Autism Speaks Annual Walk for Autism and many more.

In late May, the club hosted the Annual Rotary Duck Race benefiting Learn to Read of St. Johns County. Learn to Read is a non-profit organization that teaches free one-on-one literacy and English as a second language.

If you’re inspired to help your community, you can visit the Ponte Vedra Rotary Club on Tuesdays at 7:30 a.m. at Treylor Park in Nocatee, where members make lasting connections with like-minded individuals while brainstorming ideas to aid those in need.

Treylor Park is located at 158 Marketside Avenue, Nocatee, FL 32081.

Building Local Business Partnerships to Help Flagler’s Teachers and Students Thrive

The Flagler County Education Foundation team ready for action

Helping Flagler Schools’ students and teachers is the mission of the Flagler County Education Foundation (FCEF). Acting as the direct-support organization for Flagler Schools, the Education Foundation raises money and awareness for the school district as well as the district’s many Classroom to Careers Flagship programs. In addition, FCEF oversees several other programs for the district, such as mentoring programs, senior scholarships, teacher grants and the STUFF (Supplying Things U Find Fundamental) Bus program. Last year the Foundation raised right at $1 million, and all monies raised goes directly back into the school district.

Each year it becomes increasingly important for the Flagler County Education Foundation to build partnerships with local businesses and business leaders. “There is no way we could do what we do for students and teachers without the help and support of our local business community,” said the late Joe Rizzo, FCEF executive director. Local businesses have supported the Classroom to Careers Flagship programs monetarily by the donation of equipment and supplies for the programs and by mentoring students through the Career Coaching program. “By supporting the Flagler County Education Foundation, we are supporting Flagler County’s future business leaders and employees,” said Trevor Tucker, Flagler County School Board chair and local business owner. The Classroom to Careers flagship programs start at the elementary school level and have pathways a student can choose to follow all the way through high school graduation. The programs include such things as law and justice, medical, fire, construction technology, business, banking and culinary arts.

“We are always looking for more business partners,” said Becca Bower, FCEF assistant director. If you would like to get involved with or support any of the Flagler County Education Foundation’s programs, you can visit, call (386) 437-7526 or email