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Westchase Dads Club Merges into the PTA

This summer the board of the Westchase Dads Club moved in an entirely new direction by voting to dissolve their organization effective Aug. 11. 

Doing so has signaled an end to a ten-year run as an independent 501(c)(3) corporation in the state of Florida. The Dads’ Club’s primary mission was to encourage stronger bonds between dads, their Westchase Elementary children and the school itself.

“Over the past year or so, it had become apparent that a great deal of synergy was being missed by maintaining a structure independent of the very benefactor of our efforts,” said former WDC President Eric Holt. 

It was this belief that encouraged Holt and the board to open up discussions with the PTA on the possibility of transitioning the Dads Club into a permanent PTA committee this fall.  “We just realized that our true strength was providing good programming support for the school….our mission could be maintained, our image as a partner with Westchase Elementary could be bolstered, and full engagement with the school could be achieved by making this move.  Plus, we could provide a path for dads to become more involved with the PTA in general,” Holt added.

The Dads Club Committee expects to continue to provide the same type of support for events like the Fall Festival, Folk Dance and Kickball Tournament that it has in the past.  They also hope to continue events like Bowling for Burgers and their annual Poker Tournament, which has become a very well-attended fundraiser for the school over the years.

Holt, who is now the acting Dads Club Committee chair, is excited about the opportunity to recruit new volunteers into the PTA now that school has begun. If you are interested in becoming a Dads Club Committee volunteer, you are encouraged to sign-up at the school, send an e-mail to westchasedadsclub@gmail.com or call Eric Holt directly at 727-2019.

By Eric Holt

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Bowling For Burgers May 18

The Westchase Elementary School Dads’ Club is pleased to announce their fourth annual Bowling for Burgers Tournament! Bowling for Burgers is a fund-raiser for Westchase Elementary School and will again be held at Veterans Pin Chasers on 5555W. Hillsborough Ave. on Sunday, May 18, from 3:30-5:30 p.m.

Last year they had a great turnout and a great time. The winning team will earn a $50 gift certificate to their favorite local burger joint! In addition, the winners will be invited to present proceeds from the event at an upcoming Westchase Elementary Morning Show. Many thanks to SouthEast Personnel Leasing, Inc., whose generous sponsorship is funding both the winning prize and a major contribution to the school!

Join us for great family fun! Please R.S.V.P. to westchasedadsclub@gmail.com. Reservations are limited.

By Eric Holt

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Dads’ Club Raises Stakes at Annual Poker Tourney

The Westchase Dads’ Club (WDC) is thrilled to announce that their third annual poker tournament was the most successful one to date. 

Congratulations to Scott Dudley, Juan Humara and Phil Montiegel for earning the first, second and third place winnings, respectively.  A special shout out goes to Phil, who generously donated his winnings back to the WDC to benefit the elementary school.

Due to the high level of support, the Dads’ Club raised over $1,000 for Westchase Elementary at the event. All of it will be presented to Principal Holley during an upcoming Morning Show. 

Well done, Dads!

By Eric Holt

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The Dads’ Club Celebrates Back to School with Baseball and Fireworks

With the start of each new school year, you can always count on the Westchase Elementary School Dads’ Club to kick off another season of family friendly events.

The Westchase Dads’ Club invites parents and kids to join them at Bright House Field to watch the Clearwater Threshers play the Lakeland Flying Tigers on Saturday, Aug. 24. What better way is there for reunited classmates to salute the final days of summer together than a trip to a ball game? It will perhaps be everyone’s last chance this season to head over to the ballpark and enjoy the ritual of consuming more hot dogs, ice cream, peanuts and cold drinks than you should – while watching the players swing for the fences. We’ll even top it off with a great fireworks show after the game as we happily bid farewell to summer and look forward to the festivities of the fall.
All attendees will also be registered to win one of three Westchase Dads’ Club hat/shirt package giveaways. Tickets can be pre-purchased for $7 directly from the Dads’ Club by sending ticket requests to westchasedadsclub@gmail.com or by calling Eric Holt at 727-2019. All tickets ordered by Aug. 21 will be distributed through the school by Aug. 23.

Celebrate the start of another school year by joining the Dads’ Club for an evening of baseball, fun and fireworks!

Westchase Dads’ Club Threshers Outing
When: Saturday, Aug. 24, 6:30 p.m.
Where: Bright House Field,  601 N. Old Coachman Rd., Clearwater

By Eric Holt

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WDC Offering a Perfect Father’s Day Gift!

Nope. It’s not a tie!

The Dads Club is pleased to announce that their new Westchase Dads’ Club (WDC) sport shirts and hats are now available for purchase! These quality items will be the perfect Father’s Day gift for all of the Westchase Elementary dads out there. In addition, all profits from the sales of both items will go directly to Westchase Elementary School.

Sample items and order forms are available in the school’s front office. Shirts are on sale for just $30. Hats cost $15 each. Orders close on Friday, May 17. If you would like to place your order for either the shirt or hat directly with the WDC, just e-mail us at westchasedadsclub@gmail.com.

In other news, we congratulate Team Donahue, whose members won the Third Annual Dads’ Club Bowling for Burgers Tournament that took place last month. For the second year in a row, the masterful bowling skills of Jack Donahue and his son Michael earned them $50 worth of free burgers and fries! Team Donahue not only walked away from the alley victorious once again, but also crushed their own previous tournament record with an incredible per string average score per person of 214 – a 40 percent increase! Clearly, Michael continues to excel at the game.

The Dads’ Club wishes all the best to the Donahue family as Jack’s re-assignment takes them to Ohio this summer. We thank him for his service to our country, and we wish good luck to Michael with his bowling endeavors. I hear the competition is pretty tough up there!

By Eric Holt

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Westchase Dads’ Club Bowls for Burgers

The Third Annual Bowling for Burgers event, hosted by the Westchase Dads’ Club, gets rolling on Sunday, April 7.

The Westchase Dads’ Club (WDC) has once again reserved lanes at Veterans Pin Chasers. The fun begins at 2 p.m., and the winning team will walk away with $50 worth of gift certificates to your favorite burger joint. It’s not too late! Join us by sending an R.S.V.P. to westchasedadsclub@gmail.com. Tickets are $10 per bowler for the two-game entry.

Congratulations to the top players at our Dads’ Club Poker Tourney, which took place at the Silks Room at Tampa Bay Downs in late February. Brad Martz, Steve Nadel and Scott Dudley walked off with first, second and third-place winnings respectively. We thank all who participated and helped raise $600 for Westchase Elementary in the process! Well done, Dads!

Upcoming Events

We are working on our Second Annual WDC “Wizards Mini Golf Challenge” and food truck rally. We had a fantastic turnout last year and received plenty of positive feedback. We hope to make this year’s event even more successful. In upcoming months we’ll have more information.

Also, the official Westchase Dads’ Club sport shirt is currently in production. It’s going to make the perfect Father’s Day gift. We’ll let you see it soon!

By Eric Holt

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Bowling For Burgers Is Back!

The Westchase Elementary School Dads’ Club is pleased to announce the third annual Bowling for Burgers Tournament!  Last year they had a great turnout and a great time. 

Event:  Bowling for Burgers
Date:  Sunday, April 7, 2-4 p.m.
Location: Veterans Pin Chasers, 5555 W. Hillsborough Ave.  

Bowling for Burgers is a fund-raiser for Westchase Elementary School and will again be held at Pin Chasers on W. Hillsborough Avenue.  The winning team will walk away with $50 worth of gift certificates to one of Westchase’s favorite burger joints!  In addition, the tournament winners will be invited guests on one of the school’s upcoming Morning Shows to present proceeds of the event on behalf of the Dads’ Club.

Join us for great family fun!  Reservations are limited, so R.S.V.P. to westchasedadsclub@gmail.com.

By Eric Holt

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Westchase Dads’ Club Kicks Slates Second Annual Poker Tournament

If you are a poker fan, then you won’t want to miss the Dads’ Club’s first event of 2013. 

On Saturday, Feb. 23, both the skilled and amateur poker player is invited to participate in a good, old fashioned Texas Hold’em tournament! 

The venue is the Silks Poker Room at Tampa Bay Downs and the dealing begins at 4 p.m. sharp.  All proceeds benefit Westchase Elementary School and the last three players standing at the end of the tournament have the potential to walk away from the table with hundreds of dollars in cash.

Seating is limited to the first 40 players to ante up the $50 buy-in.  If you want in, R.S.V.P. to westchasedadsclub@gmail.com.  This is a really enjoyable afternoon for Dads, and we expect to raise a lot of money for the school while we’re at it!  Naturally, moms are invited, too!

Upcoming Events

The Dads’ Club is in the process of finalizing plans for our signature “Bowling for Burgers” tournament at Veteran’s Pin Chasers, currently scheduled for March 2013.  More details to come!

By Eric Holt

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Westchase Dads’ Club Announces Schedule of Events

The Dads’ Club has activities that will fill your fall and winter up with fun!

The Westchase Dads’ Club (WDC) would like to thank the many parents who have recently expressed new interest in becoming active in our organization. Every year our group grows, and we are thankful and excited for the opportunity to do even greater good for both Westchase Elementary School and the Westchase community.

One of our key areas of focus over the past two years has been to build programming that’s not only consistent and reliable in nature, but also worthy of your interest and participation. At the end of the day, if we can deliver on this initiative, then the school receives much needed funds and both parents and our children benefit from the social interaction.

The WDC, however, is not just about putting together outings. We often support, volunteer and donate to other local events and causes. Examples include donating and handing out treats at the Westchase Community Association (WCA) Movie Nights, the PTA Fall Festival and the music department’s annual folk festival. In fact, just last month we donated $500 worth of closet supplies to the school’s ESE department and WDC Vice President Marc Holtzberg even provided the labor to install them. Nice work, Marc!

We hope that all Westchase Elementary School parents and children will continue to find value in and support our non-profit organization through participation and volunteerism. Below is our schedule of events for the next several months. Final details will be forthcoming via future WOW columns, school flyers and the WDC e-mail distribution list.

Upcoming WDC Events:

October: Join the Veteran’s Day Outing to the Clearwater U.S. Coast Guard Station, where we’ll see cool planes and helicopters.

November: The WDC Social hosted at Maloney’s Local offers complimentary beverages, wings and football.

December: Look for your chance to ride aboard the WDC parade float during the Westchase Santa Parade.

January: Get lucky at the WDC’s Second Annual WDC Poker Tournament at the Silks Room and you’ll see winnings for you and the school.

February: The Dads’ Club’s Third Annual Bowling for Burgers Bowling Tournament is always fun and sponsored by Five Guys Burgers and Fries.

If you’d like to get on our events and communications e-mail list, just let us know at westchasedadsclub@gmail.com.

By Eric Holt

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Dads’ Club Announces Logo Contest Winner

Congratulations to Rafael Borromeo for his winning entry into the Westchase Dads’ Club logo contest!

A fourth grade student in Ms. Watson’s class last year, Rafael impressed the judges with his colorful vision and skilled hand, which earned him a $100 cash prize and an appearance on the Morning Show. 

By giving students a chance to re-invent the current Dads’ Club logo, the contest was meant to inspire creative competition within the elementary school.  The many submissions brought before the Westchase Dads’ Club (WDC) board illustrated just how enthusiastic and artistic kids can be when presented with a fun challenge and few stylistic limitations.  The Dads Club thanks all who participated!

By Eric Holt

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Bowling for Burgers Winners Make $500 Donation

Congratulations to Team Donahue for winning the 2012 Dads' Club Bowling for Burgers Tournament!

Michael Donahue and his dad Jack averaged a very impressive 152 points per person during the competition and earned themselves $50 worth of free Five Guys Burgers and Fries! The winners were also given the honor of presenting Westchase Elementary School with a check for $500 on the Morning Show. The donation represented the funds raised through the event.

The Dads Club would like to thank all participants for their enthusiastic support. A big shout out goes to the local Five Guys Burgers and Fries for their generous sponsorship. Most bowlers visited the Countryway location after the tournament and the food was simply delicious! Special appreciation also goes out to Dave Tanner and Brian Lippman for providing the group with complimentary soda at the bowling alley.

Coming up in June, the Westchase Elementary School Dads' Club presents the biggest putt-putt golf tournament ever held in Westchase!

If you'd like to stay in touch with the Dads' Club, or have an interest in sponsorship, just reach out to us at westchasedadsclub@gmail.com.

By Eric Holt

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Westchase Dads’ Club Makes Multiple Donations

The Westchase Elementary School Dads’ Club is pleased to announce two significant donations it made in March.

On March 2 Dads’ Club Treasurer David Tanner and Vice President Marc Holtzberg joined Principal Scott Weaver to present $1,100 to the Special Operations Warrior Foundation, an organization whose primary function is to offer full college scholarships and educational counseling to the children of fallen special operations personnel. This donation was the direct result of the Dads’ Club Veterans Day program held back in November, when Westchase families were invited to go on a special field trip to the Clearwater Coast Guard Station.

WDC board member Dave Tanner stated, “We need to thank all of the Dads’ Club supporters who participated in our trip to the station last fall. Our ability to raise these funds on behalf of the school and our community could only have happened through their involvement and generosity. We are proud to represent our school and Westchase families in this way.”

The Dads’ Club also took the opportunity to present a $1,000 donation directly to Westchase Elementary School in March. This contribution represented several months of Dads’ Club fund-raising efforts and events. The WDC looks forward to making many more similar contributions to the school this year, and appreciates all of the interest and participation they get from the dads, moms, and kids of Westchase Elementary who drive those efforts. Thank you!

The Westchase Elementary School Dad’s Club will be holding its annual board of director elections in April. Anyone who is interested in becoming a board member or officer of our 501(c)(3) charitable organization is welcoming to contact us at westchasedadsclub@gmail.com.

By Eric Holt

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Dads’ Club Kicks Off New Year Texas Hold’ Em Style!

If you are a poker fan, you don’t want to miss the Dads’ Club’s first event of the year.

On Saturday, Jan. 28, both the skilled and amateur poker player will be invited to participate in a good, old-fashioned Texas Hold ’Em tournament! The venue is the Silks Poker Room at Tampa Bay Downs and the dealing begins at 4 p.m. sharp. All proceeds benefit Westchase Elementary and the winner can expect to walk away from the table with up to $800 cash! More details will follow, but seating is limited to the first 40 players to ante up the $50 buy-in. If you want in, R.S.V.P. to westchasedadsclub@gmail.com. This will be a really enjoyable afternoon for dads especially, and we’ll be raising a lot of money for the school while we’re at it!

The Dads’ Club is also proud to have participated in Santa’s Pre-Flight Parade last month. Thanks to all who acknowledged us along the parade route! The sore throwing arm and the numb butt were well worth it! We enjoyed it so much that we already have plans to graduate to a full blown float in 2012.

Keep your eyes out for the invite!

By Eric Holt

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Dads’ Club Raises Bucks for Veterans Day

The sky was the limit for excitement during the Dads’ Club’s outing to the the U.S. Coast Guard Station in Clearwater last month. The club is pleased to announce that they raised over $1,100 for Westchase Elementary School’s Veterans Day program!

Speaking of the event, Dads’ Club member Phil Montiegel stated, “Seeing the excitement on my girls’ faces when they were sitting in the [vulgarity] of a C-130 was awesome and meeting the pilots was a real privilege.”

The Dads’ Club would like to thank all who supported our efforts by joining us on that rainy but rewarding day!

Other fall events for the Dads’ Club included participation in Westchase’s 20th Anniversary Party on Oct. 29.

In November the club will lend a hand with the Fall Festival on Nov. 4 and will show its ongoing support of the Westchase Community Association’s Movies in the Park series.

You can stay informed about club activities by joining our e-mail group. Simply forward your contact information to westchasedadsclub@gmail.com.

By Eric Holt, Dads’ Club President

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Dads’ Club to Tour Coast Guard Air Station

On Sunday, Oct. 9, the Westchase Elementary Dads’ Club will be making a very special trip. They’ll be traveling to the U.S.’s largest Coast Guard Air Station, located in Clearwater.

Once there kids and parents are going to learn about the critical missions that take place at the busiest air station in the country. In addition to checking out the station’s amazing planes and helicopters, participants will also have the chance to board some of them!

The idea for this trip came about last fall, when the Dads’ Club was asked to donate to the school’s Veterans Day program. At the time, the club agreed to match the funds raised through the program, which amounted to $120. The dads, however, believed that they could do better than that in 2011. They decided to do something that would both raise more money for this year’s program while also teaching their children about the Coast Guard’s valor and critical life-saving support for Americans. “This really is a unique opportunity to wow our kids with some very impressive aircraft equipment, in addition to teaching them the values of duty and respect,” explained Dads’ Club Vice President David Tanner.

Because the number of participants will be limited for this trip, reservations will be taken on a first-come, first-served basis. The cost of the trip is $20 per person, with all proceeds going directly to the Westchase Elementary School Dads’ Club Veterans Day fund-raising program. Tickets include bus transportation to the station, as well as complimentary snacks and beverages.  The bus will depart from Westchase at 11:45 a.m. sharp and return at approximately 3:30 p.m. This program is recommended for children 5 and older.

R.S.V.P.s can be submitted to westchasedadsclub@gmail.com.

By Eric Holt, Dads’ Club President

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Westchase Dads’ Club Announces 2011-2012 Board of Directors

As we head into another school year at Westchase Elementary, the Dads’ Club will continue to provide parents with an excellent opportunity to enjoy quality time with their children.

And they’ll manage to do this while raising funds to assist the school.  Don’t miss out on your chance to stay tuned and enjoy the fun!  Send us an e-mail at westchasedadsclub@gmail.com so that we can keep you informed.  Supporting your little Wizards and their educational experience couldn’t be easier!

Name: Eric Holt
Title: President
Born: Nashua, NH
Village: Radcliffe since 2007
Employer: Anheuser-Busch, Inc.
Children: Graham, 7, and Reid, 5

“Having the opportunity to enjoy time with my boys is something that I never want to take for granted.  Finding fun ways to support Westchase Elementary and the community at-large is a great way to teach them the value and benefits of social responsibility.  I’m looking forward to another rewarding year with the Dads’ Club!”

Name: Marc Holtzberg
Title: Vice President
Village: The Bridges since 1998
Born: Columbus, OH
Employer: Catalent Pharma Solutions
Children: Daniel, 13, and Adina, 9

“I have been involved with the Westchase Dads’ Club for eight years now and this has fostered wonderful relationships and experiences with my kids. In turn, this also has taught my children to give back to the community and has instilled the good feelings that come with volunteering within the community for any worthy cause. I have seen the school be built and the Dads’ Club grow from a few volunteers to a great school asset. No project is too big or small for our dad volunteers and I am very proud to be a part of it.”

Name: David Tanner
Title: Treasurer
Village: Radcliffe since 2004
Born: Vero Beach, FL
Employer: Southeast Personnel
Children: Sean, 9

“Westchase Elementary and the Westchase community have been so important to both my son and my family that I wanted to find some way to give back. I thought that the Dads’ Club gave me the opportunity to do just that for the community and specifically Westchase Elementary.  Westchase Elementary is one of the strongest – if not the strongest – schools in the Hillsborough County public school system and they need our support to continue that. The Dads' Club looks forward to an exciting and active year filled with lots of activities designed to do that and more.”

Name: Phil Montiegel
Title: Secretary
Village: Radcliffe since 2004
Born: Shawnee Mission, KS
Employer: CACTUS Software
Children: Maggie, 8, and Lucy, 5

“If you haven't time to respond to a tug at your pants’ leg, your schedule is too crowded.”

Name: Joaquin Arrillaga   
Title: Director
Village: The Greens since 2006
Born: San Juan, Puerto Rico
Employer: Self-employed
Children: Amanda, 9, Viviana, 5

“Teaching your children responsibility for their community is done by example and there’s no better way to do it than helping our kids and promoting their education. Come and cooperate. Join us during all the fun activities we will have during the year. Our kids will be grateful. Yours will be proud.” 

By Eric Holt, Dads’ Club President

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