December 2022 Newsletter

12/22/2022 7:07 AM | Steven Rodriguez (Administrator)


Fellow Skalleagues:

Thanks to everyone who joined us Monday December 12 at the Winter Wonderland in Clearwater. Lisa Mansell and her staff did a wonderful job of setting up the park and we were thrilled to be greeted upon our arrival by the Christmas Carolers. It was tough not to get filled up with the baked brie and Charcuterie board, but somehow, we all managed to save room for the magnificent dinner buffet and sweets for dessert. Thanks again to Lisa and her staff for a fabulous evening!

Thanks to everyone who brought girlfriends, boyfriends, significant others, and guests to the meeting. It was nice to see those new faces, hopefully we’ll see some of them again as new members in 2023! And speaking of members, let’s congratulate our winners of the membership contest for 2022. With five new members brought into SKAL Tampa Bay in 2022, our winner is Sonny Flynn!!   Sonny will receive free SKAL registration and meals in 2023. Our runner up was Oliver Kugler who received a gift certificate for a group wine tasting event for 12 people. CONGRATULATIONS to both Sonny and Oliver. New membership is the life blood of our organization, thank you to everyone who brought guests to our meetings and to everyone who brought a new member in.  Let’s keep up the great work next year.

Steven put together a great silent auction once again, and we raised $13,894.25 – a record breaking year.   Thanks to everyone for participating. We didn’t have a wine pull this year, but we did have 22 bottles of wine that we gave away – congratulations to all the winners. 

Every year we appeal to our membership to sponsor a young SKAL professional. Many of our young SKAL professionals’ organizations don’t have the funding to sponsor them, so we ask our membership to consider underwriting a young SKAL professional for $175 (or more), which covers their dues to SKAL. We need young SKAL members to join our great organization and industry and your help is greatly appreciated. Contact Steven if you would like to help.

Our next meeting, and installation dinner announcing next year’s President and Board is January 9th at the Dolphin Beach Resort – thanks to Oliver for setting up the meeting at his venue.  The invitation should be out any day now, so be on the lookout and be sure to register.  Oliver is offering special overnight $99 rates at the Dolphin for Sunday and Monday nights. Please call Oliver at 727-363-2431 between 9am-5pm prior to Friday, January 6, 2023, to make your reservation. February’s meeting is still in the works, but March is confirmed for Bahama Breeze – you have plenty of advance notice to get your Tacky Tourist wardrobe ready!

Please consider saying “Thank You” to the venues we visit - one way is through social media, so as promised, please find social media sites here. Our venue this month at Winter Wonderland has been operating as a charity fund raiser since 1993 to raise money for Pinellas County families. Entrance to Winter Wonderland is free but they ask visitors to bring a non-perishable food item and/or an unwrapped toy, which many of us did at our meeting. The toys and canned goods are donated to local area charities, such as the Homeless Emergency Project sponsored by Everybody’s Tabernacle. If you would like to comment about your experience there, please write your comments on their Facebook Page -

Yes, it’s time to begin our fundraising for 2023 – we are always looking for donations to offer as raffle prizes at our monthly meetings. The raffles every month help keep our membership rates down and contribute to our Young SKAL program as well as other charitable initiatives.  Please consider helping our efforts. Donations can be sent to our Executive Secretary Treasurer at    Skal Tampa Bay, c/o Steven Rodriguez, 18400 Gulf Blvd. Unit 1105 Indian Shores, FL 33785 or contact Steven at 

Finally, December will be my last full month as your President.  I have thoroughly enjoyed my time as your President and want to thank each and every one of the Board for your assistance and patience during my learning process. Thanks to the efforts of every single Club member, our organization continued to see excellent growth, and although we did not win Club of the Year for 2022, we were one of a handful of Clubs in the world to be invited to apply – an honor very few Clubs enjoy.   It was a pleasure meeting all our new members in 2022, and I am thankful for the time I spent getting to know everyone in our Club. I’m looking forward to a great 2023 and beyond. Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and safe and prosperous New Year.

Here’s to Happiness! Good Health! Friendship! Long Life – SKAL!


Mike Gruendel

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