February 2017 Update

Charlie Darwin Chili Cookoff, February 11

Freethinkers MeetUp February 17 at Bonelli's Cafe Italia

In This Issue...

• From the President 

• Charlie Darwin Chili Cookoff and fundraiser on February 11

• NO Friday FreeUp February 3 -- see you at the chili cookoff on the 11th

• Want to get involved? Learn more about HWF Membership, Board and Committees


From the President...


Happy New Year everyone!

I hope you had a very varied Solstice Season and enjoyed all the fun and decorations.

On October 9th the Board of Directors met and the major item discussed, and approved to go forward, was a scouting program called Navigators that is all inclusive and with no sectarian bent. We have reached out to the local Unitarian Universalist congregation, because Navigators was created by the national UUA and they are willing to supply the location for a group to hold meetings. The idea is to provide a secular scouting program for HWF and friends families who avoid other programs that discriminate. The partnership with the local UU is for them to provide a building and HWF would fundraise to help with the other costs of operation. We are now looking for two adults, one female, one male,  preferably to lead the group. If you know of anyone who may be interested please have them get in touch with HWF.

This past November 12th we held our annual Carl Sagan Cosmic Day of Remembrance picnic, this year at the beautiful Shoreline Park South picnic gazebo on the Santa Rosa Sound in Gulf Breeze. The park is very nice with a large gazebo, good restrooms, and has horseshoes, volleyball, and a kids shallow swim area right at our location. We had over two dozen attend with a number of new people. Our guest of Honor was the Rev. Dr. Dennis Tubbs from Mobile who spoke for about 20 minutes explaining his program of  Life Connections that assists prisoners on the inside and when they get out to reenter society. His organization also assists the homeless of the area. Everyone seemed to like the venue and the event. Our next chapter picnic is in May as usual.

On December 23rd Human Light Day brightened the season with reason - in between all the other celebrations going on.

 Now here's what's coming up.

 On Saturday February 11th will be our annual Charlie Chili Cookoff  at the First City Art Center again. Last year  was a fun time and very successful as our mid year fundraiser. We will again have A Little Madness Brewing company and their locally brewed beers, music, and of course, some very adaptive evolving chilies to sample and vote..

And as always, watch for our monthly FreeUps on the first Friday of the month (except for this month!). We meet at a restaurant allowing us dining at 6pm but don't start the programs until 7 and go to about 9pm. So if you need to skip the dining out please still come by 7 pm and catch the lively discussions. Watch for these on our Facebook page, MeetUp site, and our website calendar.

Thanks for your continued support in our mission to build a community on the Gulf Coast.

Buz Ryland, President.




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First Friday FreeUp: no FreeUp in February

Come to the Chili Cook-off instead!

Membership: Join or Renew

Membership makes it happen.

In addition to the work supporting the hungry and the homeless, HWF sponsors monthly FreeUps, Freethinker meetups, and periodic picnics and other social events to create a community where non-theists can meet others who share their life view. Through the Gulf Coast Coalition of Reason, HWF supported the “godless” billboards that were placed in Pensacola, Mobile, and Gulfport in 2015, to let non-theists on the Coast know they aren’t alone. 

Your membership and your membership dues make HWF eligible to solicit donations and apply for grants from corporations and larger organizations like the American Humanist Association. Without your support, HWF won’t exist. Why does that matter? How is HWF different from the many other charitable organizations helping the needy on the Gulf Coast? Because of our stand that we’re doing good for our communities because it’s the rational, human thing to do. HWF’s purpose isn’t just to show compassion for the needy, but to demonstrate that compassion isn’t the sole property of religion. And because a person doesn’t need to believe in god to do good and to be good, there is no need for a state religion to dictate how we live and how we treat each other.

You can join by clicking the big red Membership button on the right, and then select whether you are a new or renewing member. You can pay online using PayPal, or you can send a check to Humanists of West Florida, P.O.Box 15328, Pensacola FL 32514. 

We're a 501c3 organization so your donations are tax deductible


HWF Board of Directors:

President/Treasurer: Buz Ryland, president@hwfl.org

Vice President: Sandy Carroll, vpres@hwfl.org

Secretary: Kay Rudolph, secretary@hwfl.org


Suren Shah, suren@hwfl.org 

Charles Stauffer, charles@hwfl.org

Sedona Strong, sedona@hwfl.org


Get Involved!


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

Programs, Projects, and Events (PPE) Committee – Buz Ryland (Chair), Suren Shah, Kay Rudolph, Sedona Strong

Civics and Government Team (Buz Ryland, Team Leader): responsible for making sure our voice is heard in the public community, and promoting a positive image in the area.

Events and FreeUps Team (Buz Ryland, Team Leader): responsible for making awesome, interesting and informative social gatherings, special events and picnics to further fellowship within the community.

Homeless and Hungry Team (Buz Ryland, Team Leader): responsible for the homeless outreach programs and coordinating the mass distribution of food to low income families in the Gulf Coast area.

Young and Youth Team (Suren Shah, Team Leader): responsible for identifying strategies to help school children in the area, whether it be academically or with life coaching.


Finance, Fundraising, and Membership (FFM) Committee – Suren Shah (Chair), Buz Ryland, Amanda Kondrat'yev, Sedona Strong

Bylaw Team (Buz Ryland, Team Leader):  responsible for reviewing the chapter’s bylaws.

Fundraising Team (Suren Shah, Team Leader): responsible for encouraging donations from individuals and businesses interested in supporting HWF.

Grant Team (Buz Ryland, Team Leader): responsible for soliciting grants from organizations that support to vision of HWF.

Membership Team (Buz Ryland, Team Leader): responsible for rallying the base and building our membership in HWF.


Communications, Connections, and Promotions (CCP) Committee – Kay Rudolph (Chair), Amanda Kondrat'yev, Michael Kimball, Charles Stauffer

Newsletter Team (Kay Rudolph, Team Leader): responsible for keeping our membership informed and active through monthly newsletters.

Publicity Team (Kay Rudolph, Team Leader): responsible for developing tools to publicize HWF to build membership and member involvement.

Social Media Team (Amanda Kondrat'yev, Team Leader): responsible for cultivating the conversation with the public and keeping our group relevant and fresh.

Website Management Team (Michael Kimball, Team Leader): responsible for designing and managing the humanistsofwestflorida.org website.


Comments or Suggestions?

Please help us make this newsletter more useful and interesting by letting us know what you would like to read about. Send your comments and suggestions to secretary@hwlf.org. Thank you!

HWF Facebook Page

Follow us on Social Media:

Friend us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/groups/humanistswfl/ and join in the conversations about how to create a just and sane society.

We also have a Meetup group where we coordinate our community service and social activities. Please join and sign up to receive emails notices to stay informed: http://www.meetup.com/Humanists-of-West-Florida-Community-Service 


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The Mission of the Humanists of West Florida

... is 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.