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Events

All Rotonda West residents will have the opportunity to tour the new 8,000 square foot Community Center on July 22.
Photo by Wayne Mengel.

It's Official: Our New Community Center is Open For Business!
By Don Mahon
Residents arrived in droves on Saturday afternoon, July 22 to view the brand new 8,000 square feet Community Center in scenic Broadmoor Park. They lined up 10-deep to observe the impressive opening ceremony and then had their first look at all the amenities in the Center.
     The new building has a large main meeting room and three smaller ones, a library and kitchen and a priceless view of two large lakes in in the center of the Park.
     Following the opening ceremony, residents filled into the main hall and side rooms and feasted on coconut shrimp and other delicacies prepared by the staff at The Hills Restaurant. Two 70-inch TV screens featured videos of the stages of the building under construction and other subjects of interest. Musical entertainment was provided.
     Pastor Carl Kaltreider gave the Invocation at the opening. He is the founder and former Pastor of Faith Lutheran Church, a 44-year resident and the community's Archivist.  "This is a beautiful new Center," he said. "Many of our 'pioneer people'.... residents that have lived here from the 1970s....were present to celebrate the answer to a lot of prayers and many years of planning." "It's truly a dream come true," he concluded.
     During his opening remarks, RWA President Russ Kulp welcomed the large crowd and acknowledged the vast roles of Glynn Perkins and Jay Lyons to make the building a reality. Glynn served as President for 6 years before returning to his native England. Jay was the Association Manager of 9 years until his retirement late in 2016. Current Manager Scott Feldkamp did yeoman work with requirements of the building construction since coming aboard early last year.
     "We've been waiting for this for a long time and it's wonderful," said 17-year resident Pat Wolcoxen of the 500 block of Rotonda Circle. Ardyne Beckett, who has lived on Tournament Road for only one month with her husband Ron, commented that "It's beautiful and I look forward to playing Bridge here every Wednesday."
     Residents who signed the Guest Book left laudatory messages like "wow, yea. love it, worth every penny, awesome, great job."
     Posey Bauer, former President of the Rotonda West Woman's Club and an active member, wrote, "Wonderful...never thought I'd ever see it."
    Members of Boy Scout Troop 100 in Sarasota participated with the American Legion Post 113 Honor Guard in posting of the colors in the opening ceremony in memory of the late Ryer Schermerhorn who was a member of that Troop until his untimely death. Also in his memory, the Scouts made picnic tables and benches for the Park. Ryer's parents are Scott and Karen Schermerhorn of Rotonda West.
    Soloist Johnnie Haas led the crowd in the singing of "God Bless America,"     During the Opening, a meeting room was dedicated to the memory of Fred Warner with his widow, Merrilee, present. Fred was the first volunteer of the newly-founded Rotonda West Association in 1991. He was elected President in 1992 and 1993 and was the longest serving volunteer for 25 years at time of his death. He was named "Volunteer of the Year" in 2013.
   Ken Guillerm has been a long-time advocate of the new building for years, said, "this great community finally has a 'heart' where residents can meet and greet." Ken has been an active volunteer and served as President of the Board in 2005.  He was the recipient of the coveted "Association Board Member of the Year" in 2005, presented by the Community Associations Institute of over 200-member homeowners associations at a banquet in Fort Myers.
    The Association had offices and a meeting room in a small former 2-lane bowling alley on Cape Haze Drive for 26 years. It outgrew the facility years ago as the community grew.
    During the Opening Ceremony. Earl Haas recognized several individuals and organization that provided special gifts. Earl is the long-standing chairman of the Community Relations Committee. John Farrell was applauded for providing the $50,000 sale price to purchase the 168-acre Broadmoor Park. The Cultural Guild of the Greater Cape Haze Peninsula donated $93,000 for structural elements like the entire floor tile. The RV Storage Association gave $2,500 for state-of-the art audio visual equipment, including two 70-inch TVs. The Woman's Club donated $8,500 for tables and chairs.  Roger Leigh donated a parrot statue worth $1,800 as his retirement gift. And residents George and Donna Krabbe presented the RWA with a 9-foot artificial Christmas tree.
     A resident who wishes to remain anonymous donated a $710 chandelier. Ground was broken for the new building last November and was constructed in seven months by Synergy Construction of Englewood. Paul Bigness, owner, was introduced to the crowd.
     Residents were requested to bring nonperishable food items and household goods for Englewood Helping Hand.  "Thanks to this caring community, we were able to fill their shelves with 526 pounds of food and residents also donated $224 cash to help stem the tide while they are experiencing a seasonal decline in donations," said Earl Haas.
    "This Center is a tribute to dozens of residents who participated in the planning and those who gave us their support," said Russ Kulp, Association President. "We send along a very sincere 'thank you all."



Recent News

Rotonda West residents enjoying the Stone Crabs game. Photo by Sue Killion.

"Stone Crabs Energize Rotonda West Crowd with Big Win"
By Don Mahon
The Stone Crabs brought home the bacon....and there were other winners, too...157 Rotonda West residents!
       Saturday, April 29 was "Rotonda West Night" at Charlotte Sports Park and the home team - the Charlotte Stone Crabs....won a competitive game, 2-1. Our fans were in Sections 216 and 217 behind third base and supported the Stone Crabs all the way.
      The Stone Crabs are an affiliate of the Tampa Bay Rays, while the Marauders belong to the Pittsburgh Pirates. Both are members of the Florida State League.
Most players are 20, 21 and 22 years old and just starting out in professional baseball. Many past Stone Crabs players have made it to the major-league level. That's one of the big perks of following Stone Crabs baseball.       Our fans epitomize that old chestnut..."baseball and hot dogs go hand-in-hand" as many of our fans put on the feed bag in the stadium's concourse before and during the game.
      Belinda Olsen echoed the sentiments of our fans. "We had a great time at the game, a perfect evening," she said. With her were her husband Don and Belinda's sister and her husband, Mary and Wayne Tipner. "The food was very good, too," Belinda added. The Olsen's live in the White Marsh subdivision, while the Tipner's live in Pinehurst.
      Stone Crabs starting pitcher Michael Santos, 21, of the Dominican Republic, got off to a shaky start in the first inning but settled down to earn the win. The Stone Crabs countered for a run in the bottom of the first inning, and added what was to be the winning run in the fourth inning.
      The announced crowd was 2,579. The low-scoring game accounted for the fast time of 2 hours and 4 minutes, a rarity in today's baseball.
      Crabs shortstop Jake Cronenworth had a hit and ran his hit streak to 23 games. He tied a Rays minor league record and was hitting a lusty 383.
      The Lemon Bay High School Marching Band played a stirring rendition of the "Nation Anthem" before the first pitch They will be heading for Washington, D.C. in July to participate in the Independence Day parade.
     "Rotonda West Night" has become a community tradition in the spring while many "snowbirds" are still here. It's a project of the RWA Community Relations Committee, chaired by Earl Haas. Earl's ticket sales committee were Russ Kulp, Hank Killion and Don Mahon.

Drone video of New RWA Clubhouse
Click here to view video
New RWA Clubhouse

March April Newsletter Available Click here

Check out Christmas Parade Pictures on the Photo Gallery. Click here

December 3, 2016 Click here to view video
Christmas Boat Parade and Gazebo Lighting

"Rotonda West Holiday Helpers" Support 30 Families at Thanksgiving

By Don Mahon
Thirty area families will be celebrating Thanksgiving with a traditional and complete Thanksgiving dinner after all, thanks to the generosity of dozens of Rotonda West residents.
The families range in size from two to ten members. At least one member in each family is a student at Vineland Elementary School in Rotonda West. Recipient families are selected by Kristen Rigney. Vineland Elementary School Counselor.
The Rotonda West group is known as "The Holiday Helpers." It was founded 9 years ago by Claudette and Joseph Romano and grows every year. Donations this year totaled $2,081.00.
More than one-half of the funding was provided by members of the Rotonda West Men's Breakfast Club and their wives.
      The staff of the East Englewood Winn-Dixie store collaborated with the Rotonda West "Holiday Helpers" to provide the turkey and all the fixings, as well as breakfast specials. They were Craig Clemens, Winn-Dixie Store Manager; Bridget Warner, Assistant Manager; and Barbara Cox, Produce Manager.
Rotonda West residents contributing were: Sam & Joyce Besase, Bob & Linda Bondeson, George & Lois Burger, Margie Carroll, Nick & Kathy Gizzi, Earl & Johnnie Haas, John & Joanne House, Dale & Rosemarie Jensen, David Kelly (on behalf of Rotonda Golf Partners, Inc,), Russell Kulp, Hank & Sue Killion, Susan Karay (GFWC Rotonda West Woman's Club), George & Donna Krabbe, Jay & Linda Lyons,  Alex & Valerie Moody, Don & Ginni Mahon, Mike Major, Glynn & Julie Perkins, , Stan & Charlotte Plizka,  David & Wanda Pulaski, Joseph & Claudette Romano, Scott & Karen Schermerhorn, Steve & Sue Superak, Andy & Linda Smith, John & Barbara Peszko (Rotonda RV Parking Association, Inc.),  and Walter & Claudette Taylor.

Rotonda West Food Collection Boosts Englewood Helping Hand

By Don Mahon
Rotonda West does it again!
A one-week community-wide effort by Rotonda West residents helped fill the shelves at Englewood Helping Hand's food pantry.
Residents answered the call in large numbers by donating 460 pounds of food and other needed items to benefit needy families in the area. Also, $225.20 in cash was donated.
Howard Goodrich of Englewood Helping Hand expressed his appreciation. "The summer months are typicality the leanest months of the year for food donations and other necessities," he said. "We are very grateful to the Rotonda West community."
Jay Lyons, RWA Manager, Scott Feldkamp, Assistant Manager, and the Association staff coordinated the collection at the new Rotonda West Association administration offices. Earl Haas, Community Relations Committee chairman, and Directors Russ Kulp and Hank Killion, as well as Jay and Scott, helped load the vehicle.
Englewood Helping Hand also is the beneficiary of food, toys and cash collections at the community's popular Christmas Parades. In the last two years, 2014 and 2015, 3,640 pounds, or more than 1 1/2 tons, of food items have been donated by spectators along the 3-mile parade route. In addition, ninety-two toys and $700.00 in cash were also donated.
These projects are the responsibility of the RWA's Community Relations Committee led by Earl Haas as Chairman. "Once again, Rotonda West proves it is a caring community, looking after our own and others," Mr. Haas commented.
The 10th Annual Christmas Parade is scheduled for Saturday, December 10.

Photos by Sue Killion

Long-awaited Community Center Underway in Rotonda West

By Don Mahon

A traditional groundbreaking ceremony on Saturday (7/9/16) marked the beginning of construction of a new 8,000 square foot Community Meeting Center in Rotonda West.
Several hundred residents attended the event at the site of the new Rotonda West Association administrative offices and the future Center at 646 Rotonda Circle.
Participating in the shovel-turning ceremony were Association Directors, including RWA President Glynn Perkins, Russ Kulp, Scott Schermerhorn, Hank Killion, Andy Vanscyoc, and Peter Traverso. Also manning shovels were RWA Manager Jay Lyons and Assistant Manager Scott Feldkamp as did Terry Osborn representing the architect, Osborn Associates, and Paul Bigness, the builder, Synergy Construction. Charlotte County Commissioner Stephen H. Deutsch represented County government. Pastor Carl Kaltreider led the gathering in an opening prayer.
About one-half of the facility under air will house the meeting rooms. A kitchen, library, lounge, veranda and other amenities will be included. The new building will overlook two scenic lakes in the center of the 169-acre property, a former 9-hole golf course.
The footprint of the new Center will be the former golf course putting green. "Our new Meeting Center is the culmination of many months of planning and hard work by our very capable volunteers," said Glynn Perkins, RWA President. Completion of the Center is expected by the end of the year.
Ten lakes and ponds dot the landscape. Future plans for the property include many passive uses, including fishing, walking and jogging paths, bicycling, open field recreation, nature and flower gardens, and wildlife viewing.
For the past 25 years, the Association had been operating in a former bowling alley on Cape Haze Drive that outlived its usefulness several years ago.

Photos by Sue Killion

Rotonda West Fans on Hand for Stone Crabs Win

Fireworks were the order of the night, both on the field and after the game! On "Rotonda West Night," 120 residents filled Section 216 at Charlotte Sports Park as the Charlotte Stone Crabs managed only two hits but outscored the Tampa Yankees 3-1 on Saturday night.

It was a strange game. The highly-rated Yankees pitcher, James Kaprielian, took a no-hitter into the 6th inning when the Stone Crabs manufactured 3 runs on a walk, a squeeze play and Yankee misplays but with no hits. Stone Crabs starter Chris Pike matched the highly-touted Kaprielian pitch-for-pitch. Kaprielian, from Tustn, California, was the New York Yankees 2014 first round draft pick and currently the #4 prospect in the organization. Chris Pike, from Watermill, New York, was drafted by the Tampa Bay Rays in the ninth round of the 2014 draft.

Fans were treated to a colorful and thunderous post-game fireworks display to cap off the evening.

Before the start of the game, a large cheer went up in Section 216 when Rotonda West's Charlotte Plizga let fly the ceremonial first pitch. It landed just short of home plate but drew cheers anyway. She had won the "'first pitch" contest at the ticket sales. Many Rotonda West fans were spotted wearing Stone Crabs and Tampa Bay Rays gear while a spattering wore uniform jerseys with the recognizable Yankees logo.

"Rotonda West Night" is an annual event sponsored by the Rotonda West Association's Community Relations Committee led by Earl Haas, working with Hallie Rubins of the Stone Crabs Marketing Department.

Photos by David Pulaski

Community Open House

Over 100 residents attended the Rotonda West Association's Spring Community Open House on Tuesday evening, March 29th.

Community service and social clubs were also on hand to explain their programs. The GFWC Woman's Club gained 20 new members and distributed an equal number of "Welcome to Rotonda West" books. The Fiesta Association, the community's premier social club, added 11 couples, while Neighborhood Watch gained 5 patrols. The Rotonda Elks Club signed up 8 new members, and both Englewood's Big Brothers Big Sisters and Brookdale Rotonda Senior Living reported positive results. Other exhibitors also added to their ranks.

The event is in its eighth year. The next Community Open House is scheduled for next November. The event is the responsibility of the RWA Community Relations Committee.

Photos by David Pulaski



Video Commemorates Our 25th Anniversary

In recognition of the 25th anniversary of the founding of the Rotonda West Association, a special in-depth video has been produced on the history of the 26,000 acres we call Rotonda West and the unique development of our community. Doing the honors are highly-qualified Rotonda West historians Jack Alexander and Pastor Carl Kaltreider. The Moderator is Jay Lyons, RWA Manager. Running time is 56 minutes. Click here to access the video

Going Green with West Ways

In line with a modern-day trend by many organizations, the Rotonda West Association has adopted its Electronic Communications Program designed to minimize printing and mailing costs for issues of West Ways and other Association documents.

Under the ECOM Program, all owners have the opportunity to read the newsletter on-line and in full color. All issues are posted on the West Ways Newsletter link on the right under thr menu. Eventually, the Association mailing list will be culled and only those owners who have not opted for the ECOM program will continue to receive printed copies of West Ways and other RWA documents.

So far, more than 1,000 members have chosen to read the newsletter on line, as well as receive billings such as the annual assessment and other documents via email.

If you have an email account and prefer to view issues on-line, send an email to Manager Jay Lyons at manager@rotondawest.org. Include your name, property address and account number and request participation in the ECOM Program. The ECOM program could eventually save the Association thousands of dollars in printing and postage costs. Sign up now!