Letter from the President, May 2019

Humanists of North Central Florida

President’s Update

Fourteen members gathered yesterday at Chefs of Napoli for this month’s lunch gathering. In case you have forgotten Secular Tables is always on the first Wednesday at 11:30 am at different restaurants. Check the next month’s location on the website humanistsncfl.org, RSVP and JOIN US! We took advantage of this gathering to host Barbara Brooks, Ph.D. founder and director of R.A.M.A.L. and to present her with the HNCFL contribution of $1,000 to her organization’s good works. R.A.M.A.L. will again be offering a summer enrichment camp at Marion Technical Institute for children who are members of the Boys and Girls Club of Marion County. R.A.M.A.L “Reaching, Aiming, Motivating and Leading.” is an educational and social services organization which provides information, training, and life coaching to empower, inspire and motivate individuals to improve their lives and the community in which they live.
Learn more: ocaladvshelter.org
 
The HNCFL continues to do good for goodness sake! The contribution to R.A.M.A.L. and others made thus far in 2019 are possible thanks to your generosity and trust in the HNCFL Board to use your contributions wisely. Our operating costs are modest. After due diligence, the Board decided to share this generosity with five organizations we believe to be worthy. Learn more: ramalservices.org
 
Over the years the HNCFL has been a consistent donor to the Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Center. Since the beginning of 2019, the HNCFL has contributed $1,500 in cash and personal items, clothing, etc. At the time of our most recent $1,000 contribution to the Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Center, 75 women and 40 children were being provided services. Volunteers are needed at the center. Training is provided.
 
A $500 donation to Parkside Gardens Apartments, Read, Read, Read program is making it possible for 20 – 25 children to participate in an after-school reading program. Each child will be gifted their book at the conclusion of the program. After learning about this program one HNCFL member decided to answer the call and volunteer. Built in 1971 this complex is under new ownership Community Housing Partners (CHP). CHP offers affordable housing to people looking for a home and is an equal housing opportunity provider. Currently Parkside Garden has 144 apartments with over 200 children.
 
The Florida Center for the Blind serves visually impaired children and adults in Marion and 8 surrounding counties. The HNCFL contributed $1,000 to the FCB children’s programs with the caveat that the money is used where needed most. FCB is planning an extensive expansion to increase specific services. At present, the center serves more adults than children. Dining in the Dark is the annual fundraiser this year in October. This experience provides an opportunity to safely experience a meal with friends while vision is limited by darkness. Learn more: www.flblind.org.
 
The HNCFL Board decided to add the Boys and Girls Clubs of Marion County (BCGMC) to the list of worthy organizations supported this year. This organization is revitalized with new leadership a remodeled gymnasium and many services. Three locations serve over 200 children in afterschool and summer programs. Approximately 50-75 of the children need financial assistance to participate or to continue to participate. In addition to providing assistance with homework, tutoring in math and reading, when volunteers are available, attendees receive healthy snacks, have an opportunity to work in their small garden, and enjoy supervised recreation. The HNCFL contributed $3,000 to the BGCMC; a few members took the opportunity to attend the orientation and tour of the Marion County facility. Volunteers are needed at each of the three locations. Even one hour weekly is welcome. If you are interested in a tour please reply to this email. Volunteer needs are diverse ranging from getting on their list for one-time projects to weekly a weekly commitment. If you are willing to make time there is a place for you at the Boys & Girls Clubs. Learn more: www.bgcofmarion.com.
 
If you are aware of an opportunity to do good for goodness sake which you want to bring to the attention of the Board please send to humanistsncfl@gmail.com
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COMING EVENTS/PROGRAMS
Please reserve the dates for these two interesting and informative programs.
Share the information with friends, and family, your social and civic groups. Thank you!
 
Programs held at:
Live Oak Hall
8413 SW 80th Street
Ocala, 34481
FREE to residents of On Top of the World and Stone Creek all others $5 at the door or pre-register at masterthepossibilities.org;
phone 352-861-9751
 
May 18, 2019, 2 pm
Astronomy Saves the World: Securing our Future Through Exploration and Education
Daniel Batcheldor, Ph.D.
 
Dr. Batcheldor’s book and this presentation details the avoidable and unavoidable threats to our existence. He provides the case for astronomy as part of everyone’s education. Our future is hopeless without a well-informed and cohesive global society. Astronomy is the great educational motivator regardless of demographics, and it is rich with history, science, art, engineering, music, and mathematics. It is the lesson for all humankind.
 
Daniel Batcheldor, Head of Aerospace, Physics & Space Sciences at the Florida Institute of Technology. He holds a BSc (Honors) degree in Astronomy and a Ph.D. in Astrophysics from the University of Hertfordshire. His research started with super-massive black holes and using the Hubble Space Telescope to examine how they may have played a role in the evolution of galaxies. He has had research flown on board the International Space Station.
 
June 15 th 2 pm- 4 pm
Should Our Energy Future Include Nuclear Energy?
Bob Zannelli
 
We are facing an environmental crisis. The predominant forms of cheap and abundant energy that powers our affluent society is pumping tons of greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere causing dangerous climate change. In order to preserve both our standard of living and our environment, we need to utilize non-fossil fuel energy sources at a scale that is unprecedented. Even though renewable energy, primarily solar and wind, are advancing rapidly, the fastest growing segment of our energy sources is still fossil fuels. The question must be asked, what about Nuclear Energy? Is it safe enough and can it really help us meet our energy needs? What about Nuclear waste and Nuclear Proliferation? In this talk, we will be looking at the worst accidents in Nuclear Power history to evaluate their public health consequences and explore what lessons these events can teach us. These include the infamous Three Mile Island and Chernobyl nuclear accidents. Then we will look at the advances we have made in Nuclear Power Technology, with regard to public safety and cost.
 
Bob has extensive experience in the field of nuclear energy. He graduated Rhode Island Radio and Electronics School, U.S. Navy Electronics A School, Naval Nuclear Power, and Naval Prototype School. Bob worked at Raytheon Corporation prior to entering the Navy’s Nuclear Power program. After leaving the Navy he worked at the Clinton Nuclear Power station in Illinois, the Midland Nuclear power plant in Michigan and the Indian Point Nuclear Power station in N.Y.
 
June 27th, 5 pm
Movie: pre-release screening “The World is My County”
“The World Is My Country” narrates the life journey of Garry Davis, who died in 2013 at the age of 91. Not surprisingly, it was a rough journey. At his greatest moments of public acclaim, this modest self-trained philosopher often felt deeply critical of himself and describes the despondency that overwhelmed him at the very moments when his “followers” (he never intended to have any, and did not consider himself a leader) expected him to know what to do next. “I began to lose myself,” he says in a very touching onstage narration decades later, which provides much of the story’s structure as this unusual movie proceeds. He ended up working in a New Jersey factory for a short period, then attempting (without much success) to return to the Broadway stage, and ultimately found an organization devoted to world citizenship, the World Government of World Citizens, which continues to issue passports and advocate for peace around the world today.
 
Allie Gore, President
Humanists* of North Central Florida
humanistsncfl.org