A. Higginbotham - President


Andy Higginbotham began his term as president of LaBelle Rotary on July 1, 2013. Andy is partner in the accounting firm Higginbotham and Soud, PA. He was a LaBelle club founder in 1984 and served two previous terms as president (1988-90).



Love The Lake (2013-12-12)

The 3rd Annual Love the Lake 5k/10k and Half Marathon is Sat, Feb 15 at Roland and Mary Ann Martin's Marina in Clewiston. Registration includes: FREE Post-Race Pancake Breakfast, FREE Admission to Hendry Co Fair on Sat, Event T-shirt & Goodie Bag! [Registration Form] [Web Site]

Family Eye Care (2013-09-04)

Lamar Youmans, O.D. presented about his 20+ years experience as a certified optometric physician for Family Eye Care in LaBelle, serving the eye care needs of the Southwest Florida communities. [Andy and Lamar]

S4TL Representative (2013-08-20)

Keyrone Reed was LaBelle Rotary's representative to the S4TL (Seminar for Tomorrow's Leaders) event this summer. Today Keyrone told us about his experiences & revisited his S4TL talent show performance of Amazing Grace, receiving a standing ovation. [Andy, Keyrone & Kim] [Standing ovation] [PPT slides]

City Initiatives (2013-08-14)

LaBelle Mayor David Lyons, CFO Ron Zimmerly & Public Works Director Michael Boyle described a range of City initiatives, including a proposed golf course, city parks, and other recreation areas needed as community amenities and economic magnets. [Full house] [Lunch] [David] [Ron] [Discussion] [PPT slides]

Community Health Assessment (2013-08-07)

Mary Ruth Proutty and Selena Parrish presented on The Hendry County Community Health Assessment - an effort to characterize the health status of the residents of the County and to identify areas of strength and present opportunities for improvements. [Mary Ruth and Selena] [Presentation]

Rotarian of the Year (2013-07-31)

Kim Hamilton was recognized as the 2012-2013 Rotarian of the Year and received a Paul Harris Fellow award for her dedication to the Rotary Club of LaBelle. [Photo 2] [Photo 3] [Photo 4]

District Governor Visit (2013-07-31)

DG Tim Milligan and his wife Sharon visited the LaBelle club on July 30, 2013. Tim spoke about the Engage Rotary theme, the District conference cruise, & the new Blue Buckets program for Alzheimer's research. [Cruise Presentation] [Discussion] [Dialogue]

Hendry County Administrator (2013-07-23)

LaBelle Rotary Club President-elect (2014-15) Holly Kobie hosted Hendry County Administrator Charles Chapman for a presentation about his ambitions for LaBelle, Clewiston and all of Hendry County, including a new "Imagine Hendry" initiative to bring more citizens into the governance process. [Charles Chapman & Holly Kobie] [Presentation]

Tour of the President (2013-07-16)

Lester Baird gave members a tour of his year as president of the Rotary Club of LaBelle. The slide show was assembled by Lester with help from Nargiza Abduvohidova, John Capece, and Michal Fidler. The club also discussed revisions to its banner. [Lester Baird] [Past and New Presidents]

Czech Rotary Magazine Article (2013-07-11)

Our club specialty - armadillos racing - is gaining worldwide attention. Thanks to an article by our former long-term visiting Rotarian Michal Fidler, the Swamp Cabbage Festival fundraising event made it into the Czech version of the Rotary magazine. [Article] [Magazine]

SFWMD projects (2013-07-10)

SFWMD At-large Governing Board member Mitch Hutchcraft talked about King Ranch (his employer), SFWMD projects in the Hendry/Glades region, and the "sector plan" for development of the existing King Ranch citrus groves in SW Hendry County. [Presentation] [Discussion]

LaBelle 2012-2013 (2013-07-01)

Rotary Club of LaBelle has summarized its 2012-2013 year activities with photos and captions. Congratulations to Lester Baird and his officers and members for a most successful year of service and fellowship. [Presentation]

Water resources issues (2013-06-19)

Philip Flood, Intergovernmental & Outreach Representative from the South Florida Water Management District talked about the ways the District is working with government partners, environmental groups and residents on local water resources issues. [Phil and Lester]

Transportation Projects (2013-06-12)

FL Dept of Transportation officers Zachary Burch & Carmen Monroy and Kris Cella from Cella, Molnar & Assoc. spoke about the SR80 widening project from LaBelle to US27 as well as the SR29 project including a new bridge over the Caloosahatchee River. [Carmer & Zachary] [Kris]

Peace Forum (2013-05-28)

Magdalena Mirowska is a Polish sociologist specializing in conflict resolution, spending her summer at the office of Intelligentsia Int. She spoke on the topic of Peace. "Peace through Service" is the 2012-2013 theme for Rotary clubs worldwide. [Magdalena and Lester] [D6960 Clubs Presentation Offer] [Presentation Slides] [Email to Magdalena]

HC Economic Development Council (2013-05-20)

Gregg Gillman, President of the Hendry County Economic Development Council and member of the Rotary Club of Clewiston presented a renewed vision for the future of Hendry County, including attraction of new and growth of existing businesses & jobs. [Gregg and Lester]

Peace Forum (2013-05-15)

From noon to 1pm on May 28, LaBelle Rotarians will hold their club's Peace Forum featuring a presentation by M. Mirowska. To attend as the guest, contact one of the club members or call 863-673-2008. Cost of the lunch is $10 and is at Beef O'Brady's. [Club Members] [Rotary Peace Forums] [Request Invitation as a Guest]

Hendry Regional Medical Center (2013-05-13)

Lynn Beasley, CEO and Administrator of the Hendry Regional Medical Center presented about the Center's providers, specialized fields (such as cardiology, sports medicine, etc.) and its emphasis on patient-centered care/safety and community relations. [Lynn and Lester]

Florida-Czech Rotary Bridge (2013-04-26)

Monika Deislerova Wetzlerova, President of the Rotary Club of Pilsen, presented Rotarian Michal Fidler with his Paul Harris Fellow award. At his Czech club meeting, Michal showed photos of his time in FL and activities of the LaBelle Rotary Club. [Shortened Presentation PDF]

Preparedness Team (2013-04-10)

Russ Gardner, RN, from Hendry & Glades County Health Departments presented about ways to avoid, identify, prepare and take steps to deal with seasonal flu & various antibiotic resistant viruses and ways to be ready when a disaster or calamity strike. [Russ and Andy]

Exhibit at Courthouse (2013-04-01)

During the month of April 2013, the exhibit case at the Hendry County Courthouse will feature information about the Rotary Club of LaBelle assembled by Mel Karau and Nargiza Abduvohidova. [Exhibit]

Work Opportunities (2013-04-01)

James Holland, our Club member and financial representative of the Northwestern Mutual Financial Network, will participate in the Florida Gulf Coast University internship and employment opportunities, offering students work experience options. [Career Services]

Passing of Paul Roser (2013-04-01)

Paul M. Roser passed away on Friday, March 29, 2013. Paul was very recently recognized with a "Perfect Attendance Award" for 50 (!) years of perfect attendance, visiting over 2500 Rotary meetings. Paul made a huge difference in the lives of so many.

Healthy Start of SW FL (2013-03-19)

Cathy Timuta, Executive Director from the Healthy Start of SW Florida and Dr. Lasheba Travis, Program Manager for the Hendry and Glades County Health Department presented about theirs common goal - reducing infant deaths and increasing healthy births. [Cathy] [Lasheba] [Both presenters]

Healthy Families (2013-03-12)

Judith Paskvan, Program Manager of Healthy Families Hendry/Glades, described their voluntary home visiting program for expecting and new parents, helping them to manage the stresses of parenthood and thereby preventing neglect or abuse. [Presentation] [Discussion] [Judith]

Rocking the First Stop (2013-03-06)

Martina Frycova's first stop after departing LaBelle was Rockingham, NC, where Rotarians donated $1000 to international humanitarian water projects. Martina has 23 more clubs to visit in her rail journey. She's off to an incredible start! [Presentation] [Friendly talk] [Receiving a check] [PDF article] [Newspaper] [Tour website]

Property Appraiser (2013-03-05)

Phillip Pelletier, Property Appraiser of Hendry County, delivered a presentation about his office tasks. He mostly focused on the conservation easement challenges that might play an important role in the future development of the Hendry County. [Presentation] [Discussion] [Easement map]

Armadillo Races 2013 (2013-02-27)

During the Swamp Cabbage Festival we organized our famous Armadillo Races. $2 bet can win a hat or double the money. Over the weekend we collected over $6500 that will be used for sponsoring various educational, social and other service projects. [Sponsors] [Contestant] [Organizer] [Track] [Race] [Winner]

Caloosa Humane Society (2013-02-27)

Alex Destesano presented about the Caloosa Humane Society - an organization dedicated to serve, shelter, and protect homeless animals. We supported the noble animal care effort with a $100 check delivered right after the presentation. [Presentation] [Discussion] [Delivering a check]

Youth Leadership Program (2013-02-27)

Our Club member Kim Hamilton presented about the Hendry & Glades Counties Youth Leadership Program, which is designed to prepare leaders to meet various challenges facing Hendry & Glades Counties, while providing a stimulating learning opportunity.

Kaki's Classification Talk (2013-02-19)

Our newly accepted Club member, Ayman Kaki, pharmacist and owner of K & M Pharmacy in LaBelle, made his new member orientation presentation. Ayman describes his role as an integrated member of the health care team directly involved in patient care.

Commissioner Turner (2013-02-12)

Hendry County Commissioner Karson Turner spoke about the search for a new County Administrator and the need to improve employment opportunities in Hendry County by elevating educational levels and cultural values of our young people.

HCSO - Gangs Unit (2013-02-06)

Investigator Aaron Angell from the Gangs Unit of the Hendry County Sheriff's Office presented about ways his unit fights against the importation of gangs into the County and how citizens can help with early recognition of potential gang threats. [Presentation] [Discussion] [Full house]

Future Business Leaders of America (2013-01-29)

Jodi Higginbotham from LaBelle Middle School chapter of Future Business Leaders of America thanked Rotary for its sponsorship of students attending their state competition. Three of her students told Rotarians about their FBLA activities and professional career hopes. [Jodi] [Students] [Discussion]

Supervisor of Elections (2013-01-22)

Brenda Hoots, the newly elected Supervisor of Elections for Hendry County, presented about her new role in the office she took over just couple of weeks ago. She talked about her office responsibilities as well as plans for improving voter turnouts. [Lunch] [Presentation] [Discussion]

Wheelchair Project (2013-01-15)

Steve Agius, fellow Rotarian and Chairman of Wheelchair Foundation Committee, presented about goals of the Wheelchair Project - provide a wheelchair to everyone in the world who needs, but cannot afford one. We supported this effort with $1500 check. [Oral presentation] [AV presentation] [Wheelchair] [Foundation] [Giving a check]

2013 Armadillo Races (2013-01-08)

The World Famous LaBelle Rotary Armadillo Races will be held on Feb 23-24, 2013 as a part of the Swamp Cabbage Festival. The only one thing that is more fun than racing armadillos is catching them in the wild. Let's make the 2013 races a success! [Hunting] [Racing] [2012 Sponsors] [2013 Sponsorship Form]

Adult Basic Education (2013-01-08)

Gary Breakfield, Administrator of the Workforce Development & Adult Education for Hendry County Schools delivered a presentation about General Educational Development (GED) preparation and Adult Basic Education (ABE) classes. [Presentation] [Discussion] [Website]

Perfect Attendance Award (2013-01-08)

Paul M. Roser, our long-standing member received a "Perfect Attendance Award" for 50 (!) years of perfect attendance. During the years, Paul visited over 2500 Rotary meetings. What an example of devotion to Rotary and its principles. Congratulation! [Paul & Nikki] [Paul & Lester]

Xmas Gift Exchange (2012-12-18)

The last meeting of the calendar year was the traditional Christmas gag-gift exchange. The gifts included standard fare: Superman-panties, whoopie cushions, fake mustaches and other fun stuff. Loads of fun! :) Merry Christmas! [Bianca] [Holly] [Michelle] [Mark] [Fred] [Kim]

Ambassadorial Scholar in Senegal (2012-12-04)

Journalist Artis Henderson presented about her 1 year stay as a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar in Senegal. While being there, Artis reported through AP and other agencies about the Senegal presidential elections and other actual local issues. [Presentation] [Discussion] [Blog]

The Dictionary Project (2012-11-30)

Hundreds of third-graders at four local elementary schools (Upthegrove, Country Oaks, Country West Glades and LaBelle) received from LaBelle Rotarians Student's Dictionaries. The books will help the kids to develop their writing and reading skills. [Photogallery]

Map-based Projects (2012-11-27)

Martina Frycova delivered a presentation about using various online tools for map-based projects. Functionality of Google Earth was demonstrated on an example of the Rail & Water Tour - a Rotary project Martina is working on. [Presentation] [Martina with meeting guests]

Rotary Rail & Water Tour (2012-11-26)

Our Club's regular guest Martina Frycova is getting ready for the 2013 Rotary Rail & Water Tour. Martina will deliver presentations to Rotarians all over the USA about the need for clean water in developing countries and sustainable solutions. [Martina and Lester] [Map] [Website]

Biofuels and Landuse Trade-offs (2012-11-20)

Michal Fidler, a Rotarian from the Czech republic and our long-term guest, delivered a presentation about land use requirements for production of biofuels in Florida. Various production scenarios and related trade-offs were discussed. [Presentation]

Checks to Local Schools (2012-11-13)

Few weeks ago, LaBelle Rotarians served spaghetti dinners to the students, parents and staff of three different local elementary schools. This week, the collected donations (over $2000) were delivered to the schools' education funds. [Country Oaks ES] [Labelle ES] [Upthegrove ES]

4-H Clubs (2012-11-13)

Sonja Crawford from the Hendry County Extension of UF/IFAS presented about 4-H Clubs - the nationís largest youth development organization. Sonja e.g. leads the "Meats Judging Team", where kids learn to identify & grade different meats. [Sonja and Lester]

Blooming Hibiscus (2012-11-06)

Curt Sinclair, owner of the "Exotic Hibiscus" delivered a presentation about researching, developing and hybridizing new cultivars of Hybiscus. All the girls in this meeting wanted a photo with Curt and his beautiful blooming flowers. [Curt with beauties] [Website]

American Red Cross (2012-10-30)

American Red Cross (Florida Southern Gulf Region) Communications Director (and a Rotarian) Colin Downey and CEO Heidi Ruster presented about their organization's activities - preventing and alleviating human suffering in the face of emergencies. [Colin] [Heidi]

BP Oil Spill Settlement (2012-10-23)

Attorney Evan Lubell of Aloia, Roland & Lubell, LLP discussed the BP oil spill settlement. Money has been set aside, giving businesses and individuals an opportunity to recover financial losses incurred because of the 2010 oil leak disaster. [Presentation] [More info]

Nature Park Tour (2012-10-17)

LaBelle Rotarian, Dr. John Capece, walked the Hendry-Glades Leadership group through the LaBelle Nature Park. He described Rotary efforts to maintain and improve the park and restore its oxbow as a community cultural and recreational amenity. [Background] [Group] [Walk]

Kobie's Classifications Talk (2012-10-16)

Our recently accepted members Holly and Fred Kobie made theirs classifications talks. Holly works as a riding instructor with Generation Farms South, LLC., Fred is an owner of Kobie Kooling, Inc., an AC/heating company serving all over SW Florida. [Holly] [Fred]

Armadillo Essay (2012-10-15)

For years, stories and essays by Amy Bennett Williams touch hearts. She writes from the beauty found in Florida to heart-warming stories of family, friends and neighbors. Her latest commentary is about an armadillo - an animal special for our Club. [Essay]

Golf Tournament (2012-10-15)

Our "Round Up" golf tournament took place at the Olde Range Course in Fort Myers' Verandah Club. Fifteen 4-persons teams participated and had a great time. A portion of the collected funds will benefit Rotary student scholarships. [Organizers] [On the Course] [Winners]

2012 Political Forum (2012-10-12)

LaBelle Rotary and Kiwanis Clubs sponsored the Hendry County 2012 Political Forum that took place in the LaBelle High School auditorium. More than a dozen of candidates for various political positions delivered theirs campaigning speeches. [Candidates] [Time-keepers] [Audience]

Extreme Swim from Cuba (2012-10-09)

Don McCumber delivered a presentation about several attempts of Diana Nyad to swim from Cuba to Florida. Don is a kayaker in Diana's team and informed us about many very interesting details from the 100+ miles extreme swim attempts. [Presentation] [Discussion] [Don] [Diana's web] [Jellyfish] [Reason for failure]

Check to Broncos (2012-10-09)

LaBelle Rotarians presented a $500 check to Hal Bennett, LaBelle Middle School Football Assistant Coach. The money will help the team with theirs new training field setup, so strengthen the team spirits and integrity. Go Broncos! [Hal and Lester]

Economic Development (2012-10-02)

Hendry County Commissioner Tris Chapman and County Engineer Shane Parker discussed infrastructure and other key Hendry County issues. They explained what is happening and how these new projects will enhance economic growth and development. [Audience] [Discussion] [Tris and Shane]

Social Norms Program (2012-09-25)

Our newly accepted Club member Bianca Loren Ross delivered a presentation about one of the efforts to create drugs-free Hendry County. "Social Norms Program" emphasizes the need to bring positive behavior as the norm, not the exception. [Audience] [Discussion] [Bianca]

Five New Members (2012-09-25)

After completing the new members initial orientation and training, 5 new members were officially accepted to our Club during an invocation ceremony - Holly Kobie, Bianca Loren Ross, Ayman Kaki, Fred Kobie and Brian Smith. Welcome! [Orientation] [Training] [Study]

Rotary Official Directory (2012-09-19)

Rotary International Official Directory 2012-2013 has been released. Among the standard topics such as e.g. History of Rotary, detailed listing of all major contacts to ALL Districts and ALL Clubs worldwide is included. [Official Directory (15MB)]

Plans for Airglades Airport (2012-09-18)

Frederick Ford from Florida Fresh Cargo presented about plans of developing and operating a major international air cargo airport in Hendry County. The plan is to convert its centrally located Airglades Airport into a major cargo hub. [Photo 2] [Photo 3]

Spaghetti Dinners (2012-09-18)

Each year LaBelle Rotarians serve spaghetti dinners to the students, parents and staff at the open house night of area elementary schools. All donations go back to the schools' education fund. This year we served at 3 different local schools. [Photogallery]

About the Salvation Army (2012-09-11)

Lisa Sands and Russell Rieder presented about history, goals and mission of the Salvation Army - an international Christian movement organized in more than 120 countries with the objective to meet human needs through its charity work. [Lisa] [Russell] [Lisa and Russell]

Seminole Wars in Florida (2012-09-04)

Clewiston Museumís curator Butch Wilson talked to the LaBelle Rotary Club about history of Seminole wars in Florida. Three wars between native Indians and US Army were fought between 1814 and 1858. Decedents of Seminoles are still living in FL today. [Audience] [Butch] [Butch and Lester]

Visiting Rotarians in Sanibel (2012-08-30)

LaBelle Rotary's long-term visiting Rotarian Michal Fidler and Rotaractian Martina Frycova (both from Rotary District 2240) presented about water projects in developing countries and upcoming Rotary Rail & Water Tour to Sanibel-Captiva Rotarians. [SanCaptions Newsletter]

Youth Leadership Check (2012-08-30)

LaBelle Rotarians presented a $500 check for the Youth Leadership Hendry/Glades to Kim Hamilton and Sonja Crawford Crews, facilitators of a class designed to develop leadership traits and contribution skills in students of four local high schools. [Sonja, Kim and Lester]

County Budget Presentation (2012-08-28)

The Hendry County Administrator, Judi Kennington-Korf, delivered a presentation about the County budget for 2012-2013. Substantial budget cuts are planned for the next fiscal year and will be further discussed during public hearings in September. [Audience] [Judi and Lester]

Canned Food Collection (2012-08-28)

Collection of canned food has been ongoing in our Club for several weeks already. The collected food cans will be delivered to the Salvation Army this fall, so each of our Club members is asked to bring a can or two to our upcoming meetings.

District 6960 Membership Forum (2012-08-27)

Stephen F. Schlueter, District 6960 Governor invites LaBelle Rotarians to attend the District 6960 Membership Forum (for Areas 4, 5, 6 & 7) that will take place on October 10, 2012 in the Crown Plaza in Fort Myers. Register online for the event. [Invitation]

Recalling Ranching Life (2012-08-21)

LaBelle Rotarian Norm Todd and "Mr. Cowboy" - Dallas B. Townsend (former IFAS livestock agent) presented a captivating video about ranches, cattle, cowmen and the "cracker" way of live. American cattle & horses started in Florida with Ponce de Leon. [Florida Cowboys Photos]

United Way Presentation (2012-08-14)

Arlene Bettencourt presented about the United Way - a volunteer organization dedicated to improving quality of life for people in the community through fundraising, fund distribution, community building, volunteer advancement, and information.

Project in Afghanistan (2012-08-07)

Our Club member Dr. John Capece delivered a presentation about a potential service project in north-east Afghanistan. Existing clinic and school there need help with resolving issues related to drinking water and sanitation.

District Governor's Visit (2012-07-31)

Stephen F. Schlueter, District 6960 Governor for 2012-2013 visited our club on July 31, 2012. DG Schlueter delivered to us his presentation about upcoming plans, while keeping in mind his Rotary motto: "Having Fun...Helping Others".

Support to Salvation Army (2012-07-24)

LaBelle Rotarians supported the Salvation's Army recent Peanut Butter Drive (as a part of the Back-to-School Food Drive). We collected jars over the last two weeks and donated 43 to the cause.

Scholarships Winners (2012-07-24)

Scholarship committee chair Mark Lapp presented to Jordan Walls and Josh Hernandez the LaBelle's Club scholarships. Jordan will graduate from USF Tampa in Spring 2013, Josh will start attending UWF Pensacola this Fall. [CaloosaBelle]

Lester Baird - New President (2012-07-10)

Lester Baird started his term as president of LaBelle Rotary on July 1, 2012. Lester is the general manager for Barron Water Control District and Port LaBelle Community Development District. He served a dozen years as Hendry County Administrator.

Rotary & Riverwatch Park Day (2012-07-10)

On July 9, 2012, Rotary Club of LaBelle and CRCA/Riverwatch hosted FGCU and Intelligentsia Int. students as well as others from the community for a project day in LaBelle Nature Park. Plant ID posts were installed, trails cleared and exotics removed.

Rotary Rail & Water Tour (2010-04-15)

Rotarians celebrate Americaís blessing by sharing the gift of clean water. If your club is along or near the planned Rail and Water route, you are invited to host a special one-day visit and presentation by French exchange student Cora Meneceur [Presentation Schedule] [Train Schedule] [Poster]

Speakers Bureau (2007-08-22)

The LaBelle club invites you to apply to be a speaker at our lunch meeting. Presentations should be no more than 20 minutes to allow for Q&A.

2008 Armadillo Races (2007-08-24)

The World Famous LaBelle Rotary Armadillo Races are held the last full weekend of February as part of Swamp Cabbage Festival. The only thing more fun than racing armadillos is catching them in the wild. Plan to join in.
[Armadillo Races]

International Water Projects (2007-08-24)

The Rotary Club of LaBelle helps bring clean water to remote villages of Central Asia. More than 40 clubs have joined this effort to promote health, peace and prosperity in troubled parts of the world. [Project Web Site] [Presentation & Articles]

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