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located around the world.



Rotarians invest approximately 47 million volunteer hours every year, into improving the lives of those around them



Rotary awarded $333 million to global service initiatives throughout the 2020 pandemic

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Dear Rotarians and Friends of Rotary:

It is tremendous honor to be the 100th President of the Rotary Club of Fort Lauderdale in our centennial year.  What a milestone! I am humbled to continue the legacy of those who came before me these past 100 years, and I am inspired by the over 1.5 million Rotary members worldwide we strive together with to uphold our mission of “Service Above Self.”

Last year’s International Rotary motto was “Serve to Change Lives.” It perfectly describes what we, as Rotarians, do every single day. This year’s theme is equally powerful: “Imagine Rotary.” Rotary International President Jennifer Jones – the first female rotary president ever – challenged members to “imagine the possibilities for change they can make to transform the world. Imagine a world where we get up each day knowing we can make a difference.” 

That’s a BIG challenge.  But by being a part of Rotary, you ARE transforming the world and making a difference. Through the community and international projects our club supports, we impact thousands of lives. And this year – our 100thtogether we will continue to make a difference with …
  • Our Fundraising, which has awarded more than $3million in college and vocational scholarships to deserving area students
  • Our Generosity, which has enhanced the lives of thousands of children and families in our community through our Holiday Toy Drive, Little Library book donations, Thanksgiving Basket distribution, and donation drives for people experiencing homelessness or in need of food and other life essentials
  • Our “Rotary Cares” Projects, where we have painted, planted, rebuilt, and refurbished dozens of homes, non-profit facilities, and public spaces
  • Our Global Contributions, which provide wheelchairs, clean water, education, and emergency supplies around the world, and
  • Our Stop Polio Now support of Rotary International’s pledge to eradicate polio from the planet
At the end of the day, it’s the people that make a great club. YOU are all exceptional people of action. Working together, we CAN make the unimaginable happen. It may be …
  • One scholarship student at a time
  • One person who got the gift of mobility thanks to our wheelchair donations
  • One street or waterway at a time when we do neighborhood or beach clean ups
  • Or one child at a time when they get a hot meal or gift for the holiday
It ALL makes a difference, and all of YOU make it happen. I look forward to serving to change lives and to Imagine Rotary, together, as we begin our next 100 years.  

Jaye Abbate, Club President 2022-23
Rotary Club of Fort Lauderdale


Rick Riccardi

2023-2024 Club President

Club President Letter 2023-24

Hello Fellow Ft. Lauderdale Rotarians,

I’m so proud to be your President this year. This is not a “job” I had hoped for in my later years but one that I’m excited about, and more than willing to do. “Service Above Self” and being a “Servant Leader” are principles in life (not just in Rotary) that I, hopefully, will be positively measured by.

This year, thankfully, does not have the obstacles of COVID and the aftermath of COVID to deal with. Thanks to Perry, Terry, and Jaye, our three previous leaders, I now have the opportunity to lead this club to new heights of accomplishments.

We are off to a good start with so many of you stepping up to participate in so many ways. Every member will be asked and given the opportunity to be of service to the club or to the community. We are all here to be of service, and hopefully you will all find that opportunity by serving on a committee or participating in one or more service projects. For that reason, I will make sure you all know about each committee and service project, week after week.

I would like to initiate two new long-term service projects for our club that, I believe, conform with Rotary International’s initiatives on “Bringing Hope to The World”. The first is Homelessness and Behavioral Health (including mental health and substance-use disorder).  The second is Urban Farming or “Agrihood” to bring better health (mental and physical) to our neighborhoods.

I will make sure that the new members are welcomed with enthusiasm and are included immediately in our weekly luncheons and service projects. I will ask you members with more time in our club to be of service to the club by sharing your time with other members who need to feel wanted and included. To help this along, I’m promoting the idea of a random seating system at lunch for those of you who don’t have a guest or have some reason to have to sit with a specific member.

I’m also trying a new weekly meeting structure. In order to get to know each other better, I’m asking you to volunteer to tell us who you are. On the first Wednesday of each month, we will have a club meeting that will include two of our members who are willing to tell us their story in a 12-minute presentation, with or without slides.

We will continue to have our evening social meeting on the last Wednesday of the month and continue to have our speaker luncheon meetings the other two or three Wednesdays each month.

We now have about 120 members, of which about 50 are new in the last two years. Our intention is to have more new members to replace and exceed the average 15% of members who leave the club each year. This club is here to serve each other and to serve the community – local and worldwide. Let’s let the community know what we do and how we serve, so others may have the opportunity to join us in service. I look forward to our Public Image Committee, with all its Information Technology commitment and talent, being very busy this year getting the word out on our club’s behalf.

Let’s be the best we can be.


Rick Riccardi, Club President 2023-24
Rotary Club of Fort Lauderdale

International Projects

Volunteer With Us

As we begin our Rotary year, here is a quick reminder of the service projects we have on our schedule so far. We do not have exact dates for everything, but please keep these projects in mind and be on the lookout for more information. If you would like to help with any of these projects, please contact the chair directly. If you have ideas for new projects, please contact Kristin LaFleur or St. George Guardabassi.

  • Find Your Way Home – Jorg Hruschka – Select Tuesdays and Thursdays
  • Holiday Toy Drive – Linda Cooke – October – December
  • Thanksgiving Baskets – Steve Botkin – Saturday, November 18
  • Salvation Army Bell Ringing – Steve Botkin – December
  • Challenge Air – Dan Rizzi – January 26 & 27
  • Agape Love Breakfast – Gail Auguston-Koppen – February 9 & 10

Rotarians In Action

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