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Civic clubs like to mix business, breakfast

By JULIANNE WU

© St. Petersburg Times,
published September 26, 2001


SEMINOLE -- Early birds in Seminole conduct civic business over breakfast to have the rest of the day to do other things.

"By the time I get to work," said Dave Green of Largo last week, "I've already had my morning coffee and I've interacted with several people. I'm ready for the day."

Green, 46, is a commercial loan approval officer for the Bank of America in Tampa. He is also one of 20 members of the Seminole Kiwanis Breakfast Club, which meets at 7:15 a.m. Tuesdays at Sher's Kitchen in Seminole.

"Breakfast meetings tend to interfere less in my day," said Lee Brown, treasurer of the Seminole Lake Rotary Club. "I also like this club because it is small (30 members) and you really get to know people. It's like a family."

Brown, 38, of Largo is also a fourth-generation Rotarian, she said. She is the consumer awareness and education coordinator for the Great Bay Distributors of Anheuser-Busch products.

"This is the only kind of civic group I can belong to," said Glenn Stamm, Rotary president. "And a Friday morning breakfast is a nice way to start the weekend."

Stamm, 53, is in his 16th year as a business teacher at Osceola High School.

The Seminole Lake Rotary Club meets at 7:15 a.m. Fridays at the Seminole Lake Country Club.

At the Kiwanis meeting last week, incoming president David Burr also extolled the virtues of early morning gatherings.

"It's a terrific way to start the morning," said Burr, 53, of Seminole. "It's so much easier than breaking up the day with a luncheon or evening meeting."

Burr is in sales at Corporate Interiors, Clearwater.

Before the breakfasts arrived, Kiwanians spoke of the club's ongoing project: donating books and reading to elementary school children through the Reading Is Fundamental program.

Meanwhile, last Friday's Rotary Club meeting, which started with jokes and handshakes, ended up being an impromptu session in patriotism.

"I'm glad to be an American and happy President Bush is taking charge," said Gene Stern, as he put a "happy dollar" into the club's jar.

Attorney John Loftus, president of the Florida Holocaust Museum, was the guest speaker. His topic and the museum's aim, he said, was tolerance.

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