Sixteenth Annual Child Abuse Prevention Luncheon and Conference

cap-luncheon-april-8-2009-copyApril is Child Abuse Prevention Month, and the 16th Annual Child Abuse Prevention Luncheon and Conference is here!

On Wednesday, April 8th, 2009 at the Jacksonville Marriott  we held our one day conference, dedicated to the prevention of child abuse. The event includes Continuing Education Credits, and an Awards luncheon recognizing individuals and organizations in the community for outstanding contributions in the area of Child Abuse Prevention.

Our Keynote Speaker was Justice H. Mark Kennedy, and he spoke to a packed house about child abuse prevention:camera-download-010609-089

Sylvia Burgess, Family Support Services of North Florida
Annie Williams, The Bridge of Northeast Florida
Andrea Trzcinski, Department of Children and Families
Lucy Farley, Jacksonville Children’s Commission
The Honorable Judge Dorothy Pate (retired), Daniel Memorial

The 2009 Awardees with keynote speaker Justice H. Mark Kennedy: camera-download-010609-090








Our Program: Parent Aide
Parent aides are professionall trained individuals who become a friend adn role model to parents who need help in dealing with life’s daily challenges. Parent Aides provide support and encouragement and address the special needs of the family. They help parents build confidence, self-esteem and coping skills. Many parents benefit by understanding the developmental needs of their children, while learning how to manage their home environment more effectively. Parent aides alo teach parents how to make social contacts and to use community resources.
As supportive, caring individuals, parent aides often make the critical difference  in enabling parents to succeed.  

On behalf of The Exchange Club Family Center and our local Exchange Clubs, we thank each of you, and all of the organizations and companies who attended, for your efforts to prevent child abuse.Exchange members from the downtown and beaches clubs working hard to check all of our guests in:camera-download-010609-0881









The Florida Times Union ad:cap-fl-times-union


April 2nd, 2009 Luncheon: Guest Speaker Mark Tondrenlt

 This week’s guest speaker: Mark Tondrenlt, the “Miracle Man”

Mark Tondrenlt and host Jay Severance:camera-download-010609-084

 Mark was given the title “Miracle Man” by his doctors. In May of 2007, he was admitted to the ICU at Jacksonville Beaches Hospital.  There was a lot of hurry up and wait. The doctors told Mark and Eileen that his kidneys had shut down and he needed a new liver.   Doctors told them they could only buy him time.  Mark was swelling from all the medication; his skin and eyes were turning yellow.  Now the doctors were worried about his heart because his body was retaining fluids.  His blood pressure was crashing and the doctors were afraid of heart failure.  He started dialysis; the doctors were still experimenting with different drug cocktails. Mark had faith in his doctors. The doctors had expected him to go into a coma.  Mark tried to keep his mind busy, focusing on what the doctors were telling him and dealing with the insurance company.  

The doctors had given him two weeks to live; it was a good thing because he was so tired.  But something happened that weekend, Mark decided after looking at the pain in his wife’s eyes, he wasn’t going to give- up, he was going to fight to the end.  Mark asked God for just one more year, praying he would be able to help others through what he had experienced.  After 34 days at the Beaches Hospital, Mark walked out; feeling he had been reborn.

But the fight was not over: on November 17, 2007 Mark was admitted to Shands Hospital, to receive a new liver.  Then the doctors discovered that Mark would also need a heart operation. The doctors agreed to do both operations.  Mark spent 85 days at Shands, but walked out the doors! Mark had many complications and is still going thru tests.

Mark had been given two weeks, but through many prayers and the skill of his doctors, has lived two more years.  He plans to live life as well as he is able and be an inspiration to others.

Exchange Island Clean Up

The Jacksonville Exchange Club participated in the city’s 14th Annual St. Johns River Celebration clean up event. Our club actually has its own island that we cleaned – Exchange Club Island!  We took a boat full of volunteers over on Saturday morning of March 21st, and collected about 36 bags of garbage. 

Some of our volunteers gathered around our island’s marker stone: exch-island

 Our volunteers did such a great job, we even recieved a letter of thanks from the Mayor, John Peyton:island-clean-up-letter

March 26th, 2009 Luncheon: Guest speaker Tommy Hazouri

This week’s guest speaker: Tommy Hazouri, Chairman of Duval County School Board

Tommy Hazouri with host Lem Sharp:camera-download-010609-075


Tommy Hazouri is the current Chairman of the Duval County School Board.  He represents District 7 and joined the School Board in November of 2004.  Mr. Hazouri served for 12 years as a member of the Florida House of Representatives from 1974-1986 and as Mayor of the City of Jacksonville from 1987 until 1991.  While in the Florida Legislature, Mr. Hazouri was Chairman of the Duval Legislative Delegation; chaired the House Committee on Education, K-12; and House Committee on Retirement, Personnel and Collective Bargaining.


Graduation rate for Duval is up 65%, with the drop out rate down 3.5%.  Our public schools received the highest level of accreditation this year, with 4 of our schools receiving the highest.  Our District has an overall grade of B out of the 67 counties in Florida.

March 19th, 2009 Luncheon: Guest Speaker Wanda Simmons

This week’s guest speaker: Wanda Simmons, Director fo the Exchange Club Family Center

Wanda Simmons and host Steve King:


Wanda reported that children are no longer being taken from their families, but can remain with their family while problems are being dealt with. The Department of Children and Families is helping families to deal with their problems, while the children remain in their homes.  The DCF is referring families to the Exchange Family Center, as well as schools and churches.  A Parents Aide Program Certificate is given to the family at the end of the program, is the family does not complete the program, it is given back DCF.  Then the DCF refers these families back to the courts to deal with a Judge.

The center now has three workers, which are on a contract basis only.  They are paid hourly and must file a signed report from the family to receive payment.   Currently the Center is serving 20 families.   Wanda has a case load of 10 families; each new worker will have 5 families.  The new workers have not officially taken on their duties; they are still in training.  They hope to increase their number of cases to 35 by the end of the year.


Visit the website for more information:

February 19th Luncheon: Guest Speaker Dr. Steven Wallace, students from Lee High School

This week’s guest speaker: Dr. Steven Wallace, President of Florida Community College of Jacksonville

Exchange member jim Hurst and Dr. Steven Wallace:


Congratulations to our Lee High School Student of the Year Award recipients Shaina Simone Smith and Adam O. Smith:p2190064_1


The Healing Field

Flags going UpThe Jacksonville Exchange Club, The Jacksonville Beaches Exchange Club and the National Exchange Club Foundation will host a temporary flag memorial “Planting the Seed of Awareness” Child Abuse Prevention Healing Field® Flag Display from July 15 – 18, 2009, at beautiful Metropolitan Park.

More than 1530 large American flags will fly on a field of green in perfect rows similar to Arlington National Cemetery, one flag for each child who lost their life at the hands of abuse or neglect in our country in 2007. Leaders and volunteers are taking on this project to express the enormity of child abuse related deaths in our country and to recognize the 30 year anniversary of the National Exchange Club Foundation’s child abuse prevention programs.  All funds raised will benefit programs that strengthen families through the Exchange Club Family Center and the National Exchange Club Foundation.

Help us raise funds by sponsoring a flag for $100, or visit the website below to learn more about corporate sponsorship levels.

Please visit the website: