Humanists of West Florida

November, 2014 Newsletter

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In This Issue...

• From the President

• 1st Annual Carl Sagan Cosmic Day of Honor POT-LUCK PICNIC!

• Peanut Butter Drive

• Want to attend a board meeting?

• Your Board of Directors

• Meet Your Board Members!

• Potentiality

• Opportunity to make a difference!

• Get Involved! HWF Committee Action


From the President...

Hello members, associates, and friends,

I, and your Board of Directors invite you to the first annual Carl Sagan Picnic, celebrating the Cosmic Day of Honor. It is named so as to honor all the lives that have lived with us, and left us. Our loved ones, family, and friends and all of the “billions and billions” of life in the cosmos, and of course Carl Sagan. The date is this coming Saturday, November 8th, at Bayview Park “L” Pavilion Pensacola from 3-6 pm, and pot-luck. We'd love to see as many of you as possible, so please come out and celebrate with fellow humanists and honor your loved ones.

We are continuing to work on plans for another mobile food distribution to those in need so watch for the notices to volunteer, as it is a great feeling to help others who need food.

And, we continue to seek ways to help the large number of homeless in the area with food and security. Your board is active in working on ways we Humanists can help those who need it most, while continuing to build community on the Gulf Coast.

See you at the picnic on Saturday,

Buz Ryland, President
Humanists of West Florida



1st Annual

Carl Sagan

Cosmic Day of Honor POT-LUCK PICNIC! 


Join Us!!!:

Saturday, November 8

Bayview Park Pavilion, Pensacola


Join the Humanists of West Florida for a pot-luck picnic at Pensacola's Bayview Park on November 8, from 3-6 pm

Guitarist Mike Potters will provide live music. Come out and enjoy the pier, walking paths, children’s playground, & dog park — including Pensacola’s only dog beach.

Visit with HWF directors about future plans for HWF, including school tutoring, food distribution, helping the homeless, participating in MLK Day parade, maybe even a Mardi Gras “Krewe of Humanity”!

Bring marshmallows and the makings for s'mores--we'll have a fire pit to roast our marshmallows over as we celebrate the sun setting on our little part of the cosmos. (You're also advised to bring sweaters against the evening chill.)

Directions: From N.17th Ave., turn east on E. Mallory St., heading towards the Bay. Drive past the Bayview park and turn right into the parking lot at the end of the park, just before E. Mallory reaches the Bay. Pavilion is by the picnic tables at the far end of the parking lot.



“The average child will eat 1,500 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches before he or she graduates high school.”

Help Take a Bite Out of Hunger by donating jars of peanut butter in support of Santa Rosa County’s local peanut butter drive, running now through November 21.

Humanists of West Florida will collect donations of unopened jars of peanut butter at all HWF events (details to follow), and you may also drop off donations before November 19 at Open Books, 1040 N. Guillemard St. in Pensacola, any day of the week, from 12-5pm

HWF will then deliver your donations to the South Santa Rosa Service Center on November 20, in time for them to be distributed to local food pantries during Farm-City Week at the end of November.

You can also take your unopened jars of peanut butter to any of the following drop off sites in Santa Rosa County now through Nov. 21:

• Santa Rosa County Extension Office at 6263 Dogwood Dr., Milton, FL 32570

• Jay Extension Office at 5259 Booker Lane, Jay, FL 32565

• South Santa Rosa Service Center, Master Gardener Help Desk at 5819 Gulf Breeze Parkway, Gulf Breeze, FL 32561

• All Santa Rosa County Library locations

• Lowe’s Stores in Pace and Gulf Breeze


Want to donate peanut butter? Contact Kay:


Want to attend a board meeting?

Members are welcome to attend our board meetings if interested in seeing the board at work, or would like to bring a matter to the board for consideration.

Our board of directors keeps VERY busy and needs to stay on task to prevent elongated board meetings. For that reason, the board asks that members who would like to attend let the President know a week ahead of time that they will be attending, and whether they would like to speak to the board, or just listen.

Visiting members are asked to wait until the facilitator asks them to present their questions or comments as per the agenda, and not interrupt during the meeting so that the board can stay within the 2-hour meeting scheduled.

The next board meeting is scheduled for November 16, __________ (time)

HWF Board of Directors

President: Buz Ryland,

Vice President: Suren Shah,

Treasurer: Amanda Kondrat'yev,

Secretary: Kay Rudolf,


Charles Stauffer,

Sedona Strong,


Meet your HWF Board Members

Do you wonder what your board members are up to? Check here every month to hear about one of the HWF Board Members, why they're here, or what projects they are currently working on.

To the Humanists of West Florida,

My name is Amanda Kondrat'yev. I, like many others, feel inclined to help those in need. This drive does not come from a fear of punishment or a desire for reward, but it is there. I joined the Humanists board because I want to help others that are "Good Without God." We all have busy schedules, and finding time to add yet another responsibility is hard but people are doing it. The load is much easier to carry when distributed amongst a crowd, and we sure could use a crowd trying to survive in the Bible Belt. Please come to the picnic on November 8th at Bayview Park, and help us keep making good things happen. Looking forward to hearing new ideas.


Would you like to guest post in our newsletter or our blog?

We want to keep our newsletter informative, and local. If you are interested in writing about local events and activities, inform readers about local personalities activities in our greater communities, or even have photos or artwork related to humanism you'd like to share, please submit your 500 words or less article by the 20th of each month for consideration. (Not all submissions will be published, depending on the space available.)



We need your feedback! Tell us what you think about HWF being involved in these projects.

Fun? Good? Or no?

YOU decide!


Building Garden Beds for Homeless Community at Satoshi Forest

Many of you may be familiar with Satoshi Forest, a well-managed area available for homeless persons who can set up an encampment. HWF is considering providing lumber and mushroom compost to begin gardens at the Forest. But to make this happen, WE NEED YOUR HELP! 

Reply to if you would be interested in supplying either Money, or Time, or BOTH for this project.

Krewe of Humanity?

HWF is looking into the possibility of starting our own Krewe and building a float for Mardi Gras. A board member is contacting some local organizations to see what kind of financial and material support might be available for this long-range potential project.

To make this happen we'd need to have a group of dedicated members that were passionate about creating this Krewe and working on what would be a year-long but FUN project working along with other humanists just like you!

If you think this project sounds fun and think you might be interested in participating in some way, either by working on the Krewe, and/or supporting this financially, reply to


Thank you to David Suhor for lighting a fire under us! We're working on getting some names on the list for non-religious convocations. Here's a clip of David speaking at an Escambia School Board open forum:

David's latest edition of a non-Christian invocation. Enjoy!

NOTICE: This will continue to run in the newsletter to keep members and friends updated about this opportunity.

Here's your chance to get involved and make a difference, right here in Pensacola!

Old News: The City Council and County Commission still offer invocations (almost exclusively Xtian prayers) before every meeting.

Good News: Anyone can deliver an invocation! You just have to ask. From what I can tell, they need volunteers. I've done it three times, offering non-prayers and mocking pan/non-theist prayers. We need more! PLEASE PARTICIPATE. Here's how.

CITY: Contact Ericka Burnett ( and ask to be included on the list. Don't accept no for an answer. You don't have to be a clergyman, nor should you be put off for months. Currently, they have a list of local churches they ask and they have a hard time finding speakers. Why not fill that list with free thinkers?

COUNTY: Contact a commissioner. They choose who will speak. Yes, they mostly pick Xtians too. Here is the rotation: 

October 9, 2014 District 1 – Commissioner Robertson
October 23, 2014 District 2 – Commissioner Valentino
November 6, 2014 District 3 – Commissioner May
November 20, 2014 District 4 – Commissioner Robinson
December 11, 2014 District 5 – Commissioner Barry
January 8, 2015 District 1 – Commissioner Robertson

PLEASE, let's get some diversity into this archaic, religion-dominated practice. 

Here's some information about giving a secular invocation.

If you'd like to know more about getting involved in offering a humanist/secular invocation at a meeting, or discuss this more, contact David Suhor at 850 512-2220.



Get Involved!



Want to get involved in some of our activities and help build our humanist community? Contact the committee chairs and find out how you can help!

You can find a brief outline of our committee structure HERE.


• FFM Chair/Contact Person: Buz Ryland - Email:

• Committee Members: Suren Shah, Michael Fulford, Sedona Strong


• CCP Chair/Contact Person: Kay Rudolph - Email:

• Committee Members: Michael Fulford, Rose Jansen, Amanda Kondrat'yev


• PPE Chair/Contact Person: Charles Stauffer - Email:

• Committee Members: Suren Shah, Kay Rudolph, Robin Tillman

Committee member emails:

Charles Stauffer:

Michael Fulford:



Here's a list of some of the things we've done so far:

• Gave out Personal Care Packets for the Homeless

• Adopted 2 miles of Nine Mile Road for beautification

• Purchased and gave out 500 pounds of food to families in need

• Began monthly FreeUps to build social community and spark discussion

• Received $1500 grant from AHA

• Received several generous donations from local businesses and individuals

• We'd like to do so much more, but we need YOUR help! Come join us!


How are we using Social Media?

We now have a Facebook group!

If you hang out on Facebook, please come join us for conversation!

We also have a Meetup group to schedule our community service projects so please join it and choose to receive emails from that group if you'd like to participate! 

Also, please "like" our Facebook page, follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn, circle us on Google+ (follow links below)!


Please share this newsletter with anyone you think might be interested! If you look at the top of this newsletter in your email box, you should see a link that says, "Display problems? View this newsletter in your browser." Click that link and when it opens in your browser, copy and paste it into an email or on Facebook or other favorite social media.

Not a member yet? Join us today!

Like what we're doing and want to help HWF out financially? We're a 501c3 organization so your donations are tax deductible! Thank you!


The Mission of the Humanists of West Florida... to facilitate the advancement of humanist thought and action in Pensacola and surrounding areas by interconnecting groups of humanists, atheists, agnostics and non-religious. We will strive for equal participation in government and societal life through building strategic partnerships with other humanist and freethought organizations and with our religious neighbors to advance the greater good of humanity.