CORAL SPRINGS, FL – On most days, Tracy Lautomne is running a chamber referral group, attending government committee meetings, or helping to organize charity events benefiting children and families in need.
The 53-year-old mother of two is connected to nearly a dozen who’s who of organizations in Coral Springs, Coconut Creek and beyond.
Being involved is part of her job as community affairs specialist for Seminole Casino Coconut Creek. But giving back isn’t just a component of a job for Lautomne.
“I’m involved because I don’t know any different,” she said. “Why do I do it? Why not? Because I can. I wake up every morning and wonder what else is there to do but help other people.”
Come July, Lautomne is adding another title: president of Rotary Club of Coral Springs.
Of all her community work, this one is most dear to her.
“This is one group that truly believes in giving back,” Lautomne said. “It’s not just something you do for a year. It’s for life.”
Rotary Club of Coral Springs is a small group with just over 15 members who raise money for causes and volunteer for nonprofits and other groups. Lautomne and other members, though, have a bigger vision for the organization.
They want to start rotary chapters in local high schools to recruit younger members who will hopefully stay involved for life. They also want to encourage more business leaders to join.
“We need for the club to make the leap to have more business owners, youth and other highly involved people in the community join us and increase the vibrancy of our club,” said Scott Jablon, a former president of the club who is part of the leadership of the regional rotary organization. “We have a lot of great hopes for Tracy to help us get there.”
With coronavirus in the community, it’s a difficult time to make big changes, let alone keep operations going.
Rotary Club of Coral Springs’ main fundraiser for the year, a golf tournament in October, is tentative for now, so it’s unclear if the group can give scholarships to high school graduates or send children with cancer to a special camp in central Florida next summer called N.I.C.K.’s (Nothing is Impossible for Cancer Kids).
For now, though, Lautomne just wants to make sure the club can meet, virtually or occasionally in person, so members can help each other get through the uncertainly and stress of the pandemic. Rotary, after all, isn’t all about service. It’s also about fellowship.
And that’s where Lautomne can excel, members said. She’s planning on using her network of business and government contacts to raise the club’s standing in Coral Springs.
“She’s got a lot of connections and energy, and I know she’ll tap those connections to strengthen our organization,” said Candice Soeber, the club’s current president.
Lautomne got involved with the club after seeing its members support a community garden in Coral Springs in the SportsPlex area. She said she was also impressed with the members helping to create an apiary next to the garden.
“I knew the club was doing scholarships for students and that was great. But they were doing so much more in the community and helping to connect a lot of needs in our area,” she said.
She pointed to the garden. “So now, we have a place for bees next to the garden to pollinate the plants. That’s what I mean by everything connecting together,” she said.
During the early days of the coronavirus crisis, the club donated masks to the Coral Springs-Parkland Fire Department so the staff could bring them to assisted living facilities in the area. They also delivered meals to hospital workers at Broward Health Coral Springs who were often too busy to eat.
For these efforts, the club won an award from the regional rotary organization.
“That meant a lot to us,” she said.
When Lautomne becomes president next month, she’ll have a lot of community work to balance. She’ll be ready, she said.
“I’m used to working hard,” she said. “It’s all about giving back.”
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