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Dear Suncoast Members and Supporters,

As your Vice Chair I wanted to share some personal thoughts.  We, as a chapter, a community, a support group have ebbs and flows.  Almost two years ago I was asked to take on the role of Vice Chair by a friend of mine and I thought I was doing the chapter a favor, like I was helping out.  True, it feels good to volunteer and to know you are making a positive impact on your community.This thought is gratifying, but being a board member has taken me down a  different road.  It has been a  road of self reflection.  As it turns out, my friend and chapter were doing ME a favor by asking me to be on the board.  This journey has taken me down a road that has helped me become a better man and there certainly is a lot of refining left to do. I am thankful for the opportunity to serve because it has helped me grow.

I wanted to say thank you to my friends, volunteers and those that I have yet to meet.  It is the future of our chapter and organizations like ours that give me hope that our planet has protectors.  In January we have our annual kick-off celebration! As I sit here listening to my favorite AC/DC tracks I wonder what the new year has to bring?  All I know is that I sit here thankful, knowing full well that the year ahead brings challenges, successes, and reflective  moments.

In the last couple of years I have been blown away by the amount of plastic debris found on our beaches.  I thought our beaches were clean, but close inspection exposes a different kind of truth.  We found over 1050 plastic straws on a stretch of beach that is 400 yards long on St Pete Beach, FL!  Those straws did not wash up.  Many other plastics were found as a well.  I am convinced that we need to find ways to educate the public, corporations and ourselves on how we can do simple things that can have big impacts.

In the end, I am one person and as a board we are collectively a small group, but as a chapter we are powerful. As a chapter, we are consummately professional, caring of our environment and most of all in it together!

Our mission is the protection and enjoyment of oceans, waves and beaches through a powerful activist network.

See you at the "Party at the Pier!" on January 5th, 2013....


Ron Henkel, Vice Chair~