Josh the otter logo

Rotary Heroes For Water Safety

Rotary District 6930 Governor Jim Underwood

Rotary District 6930 Governor Jim Underwood has been instrumental in furthering the adoption of the Josh the Otter Project throughout East Central Florida counties. Recognizing the value of the Merritt Island Breakfast Rotary Club’s initial Josh the Otter program, he quickly moved to adopt this on a District wide level, supporting participating clubs with a simplified matching grant, to allow them to purchase the materials for this project at a reduced cost to members, and directly leading to the distribution of over 5000 books. Then seizing the opportunities as they presented themselves, he was instrumental in gaining Josh the Otter project recognition at the Zone 34 Conference of Governors which included all Governors-Elect for the Southeastern United States; at the Presidents Elect Training Seminar (PETS) representing all incoming Club Presidents in the State of Florida; and finally, endorsing and supporting the Joshua Collingsworth Memorial Foundation to have one of only 134 booths at the Rotary International Convention’s House of Friendship in New Orleans…which included 30,000 Rotarians participating from around the world! He was awarded the 2011 Joshua Collingsworth Memorial Foundation’s Water Safety Awareness and Advocacy Award for his amazing efforts.

US Coast Guard Admiral (ret)
Jim Underwood

Jim Underwood is an absolute Hero for Water Safety. As a recently retired US Coast Guard Admiral, Jim has been dedicated to drowning prevention throughout his life. His leadership capabilities & pursuit to prevent drowning has led him to serve as a board member for both the National Drowning Prevention Alliance & the Joshua Collingsworth Memorial Foundation. The foundation is extremely grateful for his efforts to partner Rotary International and Josh the Otter. He was the first Rotary President to take on Josh the Otter Water Safety & Literacy Project for his home club, Merritt Island Breakfast Rotary in 2010. They distributed “Josh the Baby Otter” to 500 kindergarten students their first year. In 2011, Jim was instrumental in helping make the project a District-wide literacy project for District 6930. In just one year they went from distributing 500 books to over 7,000 to kindergarten students in East Central Florida where drowning is the #1 Cause of Unintentional Drowning for Children 1-5. Jim was awarded the first Joshua Collingsworth Memorial Foundation’s Water Safety Awareness and Advocacy Award. We appreciate his ongoing support for our foundation & couldn’t ask for a better friend!

Otter swimming half body
sea urching no bg

Dick Hattwick , General Coordinator for the Rotary International Literacy Resource Group & District 6930 2010-2011 Literacy Chair

Dick Hattwick was the 2010-2011 Literacy Chair for not only Rotary District 6930 but also for Rotary International worldwide! Dick played a fundamental role by supporting the adoption of the Josh the Otter Water Safety Project becoming a 6930 district-wide literacy project. He is followed by 2011-2012 Literacy Chair Patricia Hare who continues to support the partnership between District 6930 and Josh the Otter! We are eternally grateful for his belief and support of our project!

Alan Stein, District 6930 2011-2012 Literacy Chair & Past President of Cocoa Rotary Club

2010-2011 Past President Alan Stein led the Rotary Club of Cocoa to become the second Florida Rotary Club after the Rotary Club of Merritt Island Breakfast to adopt the Josh the Otter Water Safety project. They distributed 800 books to the local children in their community and have continued to do the project annually ever since! Currently, Alan Stein has been named the 2011-2012 District 6930 Literacy Chair. Along with the District Governor, one of her goals this year is 100% of the Clubs win the District Literacy Award. Alan Stein and her Literacy Committee assist each club with all of their literacy projects. District 6930 has a special emphasis for literacy. As a district, they have listed the following for the the project: “Present a copy of the Josh the Baby Otter book to one or more kindergarten classrooms, or present copies to each child in a kindergarten or pre-school classroom.” Thank you Alan Stein and District 6930!

Alan Stein,
2011-2012 District Governor 7640 New Jersey

District Governor 7640 Alan Stein has been a true visionary for our project reaching the east coast! After meeting Alan at the 2011 Rotary International Conference in New Orleans he has been able to adopt the Josh the Otter Water Safety Project as a district-wide literacy project. Furthermore, he is personally visiting over 50 clubs (all his district clubs) and teaching them about the importance of water safety. Most importantly, he is encouraging them to do their own Josh the Otter project! We are beginning to work with many clubs who want more information and he is not stopping within his district. We have received calls for support from near by District Governors wanting to get involved! We thank Alan, his local Voorhees Breakfast Club Josh the Otter committee chair Christina Pinozzotto, and all of the supporters we are meeting through Alan. The future looks even brighter for water safety awareness with his support!

Christine Moreno, Hobe Sound Port Salerno Rotary Club Literacy Chair

Christine Moreno, Literacy Chair for the Rotary Club of Hobe Sound Port Salerno has been an absolutely supporting and driving force for the District 6930 adoption of Josh the Otter. Christine has been so supportive even to the point of organizing other clubs in the southern part of the District to get involved with the project. Her dedication has involved not only helping her club and other clubs to get involved, but jumping in the costume as well! Furthermore, her local club was the first Rotary Club to purchase their own Josh mascot costume! Her dedication to the project can be heard in her quote, “Josh the Baby Otter, by Blake Collingsworth, has been a wonderful program for our young kindergarten children. We adopted Josh the Otter. How about you and your club?” Please visit their club website for Josh the Otter to see pictures and video from their efforts Thank you Christine and thank you to your amazing club members!
  • Rotary Club of Susitna in Wasilla, Alaska
  • Rotary on the Ridge in Central Flordia
  • Lander University Rotaract
  • Rotary Club of Englewood
  • Port St. Lucie Rotary Club
  • Rotary Club of Susitna in Wasilla, Alaska
  • Rotary Club of Odessa in Texas
  • Rotary Club of St. Andrews in Charleston, South Carolina
  • Rotary Club of Delray Beach in Florida
  • Twin City Rotary of Batesburg-Leesville and Batesburg-Leesville Rotary Clubs in South Carolina
  • Noon Rotary Club of North Platte in Nebraska
  • Rotary Club of Bonita Springs in Florida
  • Rotary Club of Boca Raton Sunset in Florida
  • Rotary Club of Cocoa in Florida
  • Rotary Club of Yuba City in California
  • Rossi Interact Club and Rossi Intermediate School in Vineland, New Jersey
  • Sonora 49er Rotary Club in California
  • Rotary Club of Chilliwack in British Columbia, Canada
  • Merritt Island Rotary Breakfast Club in Florida
  • Rotary Club of Williamstown in New Jersey
  • Rotary Club of Indialantic in Florida
  • Rotary Club of Emerald City in South Carolina
  • Rotary Club of Voorhees Breakfast in New Jersey
  • Cindy Seidel and the Yuba City Rotary, CA
  • Misty Robertson and the North Platte Rotary, NE
  • Lyle Leleux and the Rayne Rotary, LA
  • Mary Sbuttoni and the Medford Rotary, MA
  • Don Smith and the Sonora Rotary, CA
  • Marialeice Saucier and the Bridge City Orangefield Rotary, TX
  • Jon Decker and the Middle Township Interact Club, Cape May Court House, NJ
  • Babs Angel and the Rotary of Titusville, FL
  • Caryn Smith and the Quincy Rotary, MA
  • David Jack and the Washington Township Rotary, Sewell, NJ
  • Archer Honea and the Rotary Club of Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, District 6110
  • Jim Underwood and the Rotary Club of Merritt Island Breakfast in Florida, District 6930
  • Beulah Gordon-Skinner and the Rotary Club of Camden in New Jersey, District 7640
  • Lorraine Angelino, Rotary District Governor 7750
  • Ben Motion and the Rotary Club of Northlake – Mandeville in Louisiana, District 6840
  • Bonnie Markham and the Rotary Club of Anthem in Arizona, District 5490
  • John Hughes and the Rotary Club of Woodinville, Washington, District 5030
  • Alan F. Stein, Rotary International District 7640 Governor 2011-2012 and the Rotary Club of Voorhees Breakfast in New Jersey
  • Terri Westcott and the Rotary Club of Royal Palm Beach, Florida, District 6930
  • Patricia Hare and the Rotary Club of Cocoa, Florida, District 6930

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