Jennifer Logue is the newly installed president of The Rotary Club of Ponte Vedra Beach, a civic club that serves the local community. A communications executive, she and her husband, David, have lived in Nocatee for the past 10 years.
Tell us a little about Rotary.
I often get asked that question! When I mention the Rotary Club, people will say, “Rotary…now, what is that?”
The short answer is that Rotary International is a global network of volunteers who join together to provide service to others.
With more than 1.4 million members in 46,000 clubs in 172 countries, Rotary is one of the largest nonprofit organizations in the world.
At the local level, Rotarians can be found pitching in to do whatever will help make our community better. Our community is blessed to have three Rotary Clubs – Ponte Vedra Beach, Palm Valley and Ponte Vedra (Nocatee) – and members of these clubs meet weekly not only to network and socialize but also to conduct community service projects.
From picking up trash along A1A and building homes with Habitat for Humanity to conducting food and clothing drives for local food pantries and shelters, Rotarians enjoy helping others and working to strengthen our communities.
We also conduct fundraisers like our annual Mineral City Celebration, the proceeds of which are distributed as grants to local nonprofits.
On a global scale, Rotary International plays a major role in disaster relief and humanitarian aid through its seven main areas of focus: promoting peace, fighting disease, providing clean water and sanitation, supporting maternal health, offering education, supporting economic development and protecting the environment.
Rotary is perhaps best known, however, for its global campaign to eradicate polio.
When I first joined Rotary, I thought polio already had been eradicated after the development of the polio vaccine in the 1950s.
I had no idea that while the disease had been eliminated in America, it was still flourishing around the world. In 1988, Rotary joined with several world health organizations to launch a global polio eradication initiative.
At that time, there were 350,000 new cases of the disease in 126 countries around the world. Today, two of the three wild polioviruses have been eradicated and the remaining virus is down to just a handful of cases in just two countries, Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Since Rotary launched its campaign, new cases of polio have decreased 99.9 percent. That means we are “this close” to making polio only the second disease in history, after smallpox, to be fully eradicated from the face of the earth.
As president of a local Rotary club, I try never to lose sight of the fact that while we do a lot of good in our local community, our local fundraising efforts have also made global, transformative achievements like eradicating polio possible.
How did you become involved in the Rotary Club?
I have always been active in the community. Growing up in Massachusetts, I tagged along with my parents when they volunteered for countless local church and civic groups.
My father was president of our local Lions Club – another wonderful service organization – and when I grew up, I became president of the same Lions Club.
After we moved to Florida, I became involved in the Rotary Club of Ponte Vedra Beach while serving as managing editor of the Ponte Vedra Recorder.
A longtime member of the club, Chuck Day, invited me to come to a meeting and I was hooked. I have been to many networking and civic meetings in my time, but never had I felt the energy and enthusiasm that radiated from the members of the Ponte Vedra Beach Rotary Club.
Plus, the meetings always featured really interesting speakers and a great breakfast to boot! When I was offered the chance to become a member, I gladly accepted.
What do you enjoy most about Rotary?
Being a member of Rotary has made such a positive impact on my life. It gave me an opportunity, as a new Florida resident, to meet people and form lasting friendships while also offering me a meaningful way to give back to the community.
I also enjoy seeing the positive impact Rotary has on others through what we call the “Family of Rotary.” Our club sponsors a wonderful “EarlyAct” program at PV/PV Rawlings that introduces elementary school students to the concepts of community service and caring for others.
We also have an “Interact” program at Ponte Vedra High School, and we have a strong partnership with the Beaches Rotaract Club – the Rotary club option for young adults from 18-30.
I witnessed firsthand the tremendous impact of Rotaract on my son, Bryan. When he moved to Florida, he was working from home and didn’t have an opportunity to meet people his own age.
After I invited him to attend a Rotaract social/fundraiser with me, however, he became involved in the club, and it literally changed his life. From making friends and finding a roommate to meeting a realtor who helped him buy his first house, Rotaract was the catalyst that helped him build a life in a new state.
And just last week, I had the pleasure of inducting him as the newest member of the Rotary Club of Ponte Vedra Beach – the “Family of Rotary” indeed!
What do you enjoy most about living in the North Florida area?
Next week marks the 10th anniversary of our move from Massachusetts to Florida, and we are so happy we chose Northeast Florida!
We love living near the ocean and the year-round lifestyle. I used to joke that in Massachusetts, summer was three days in July, and it’s so nice to be able to get outside and enjoy the beauty of the area all year long.
What do you like to do in your free time?
What is this “free time” of which you speak? Seriously, though, when I’m not working, attending a Rotary meeting/social event or participating in a community service project, my time is reserved for my family.
We have three adult children and a little grandson who is the light of our lives, and nothing makes me happier than when we are all together, even if it’s just hanging out around the pool.
I also love to travel, and I recently returned from Australia, where I attended the Rotary International Convention.
Hearing firsthand from people all around the world whose lives have been transformed through Rotary inspires me to make this a great year for the Rotary Club of Ponte Vedra Beach.