Rotary Youth Exchange Student Corey Yeung posts his first journal entry from Japan

Arriving in Japan

Arriving in Japan


Corey Yeung Rotary Youth Exchange Student Sponsored by Rotary Club of Safety Harbor

Corey Yeung
Rotary Youth Exchange Student Sponsored by Rotary Club of Safety Harbor

What an experience this is. I’ve only been here for ten days and it feels like I  already had a year’s worth of experience. My arrival in Japan was not as I expected. I thought I would either be vivacious or extremely anxious, but instead I didn’t know what I really felt. The initial feelings of excitement for an exchange student did not come to me immediately. While I was at the
airport, I was just thinking, “Alright…okay, I’m in Japan.” My perception that the Tokyo airport would be frenetic and completely confusing was the complete opposite. It was quite calm and the steps I needed to take through customs were pretty explicit. It was not hard to follow and I was able to get through the airport smoothly. My preconceived assumptions of how things would go were already
different from how it actually was.

After going through customs, my host family and fellow Rotarians were already
there. They greeted me as I bowed and pictures were taken. I thought that only
my host family would be there, but I was welcomed with several Rotarians. The
thought that the car ride from the airport would be silent wasn’t the same for
me. Even though I did not speak much, the car ride was comfortable. I rested a little
from my jet lag and was getting ready for the meal ahead, as it was dinner
time. The meal was excellent and everyone was having a good time. The people in
Japan are really easy-going with friends; the conversation was lively (even
though I did not understand it) and many laughs were going around. Albeit all
this being said, the first few days were very difficult for me.

Adapting to the culture and getting use to the host family’s routine was not
the difficulty, it was the language barrier was hitting me hard and I was
feeling overwhelmed with the task ahead. I was feeling lost and wondering what
in the world I was doing here. Am I really capable of doing this? How am I able
to push on? These were the kinds of questions I was contemplating over. However,
after that rough patch, I was finally introduced with the excitement of
learning about a new culture and having new perspectives. The support I have is
incredible (my family, friends, and Rotarians from the US and Japan) and that
was what motivated me to push on.

Taking small steps at a time was the solution. You can’t expect to learn
everything overnight, it takes time. Aside from events here and there, I am
studying all day, every day. I just organized a steady study regiment which is

The Japanese culture is one to admire and I am very appreciative to be given
this opportunity. What is in store for me in the near future is unpredictable
and that is what makes this so exciting, as independence and growth are
attributes that I will inevitably encounter. I can now look forward to this
exciting adventure.

– Corey Yeung

August 30th Program – Robin Bonnano SCCA Racer


I have been racing with SCCA (Sports Car Club of America) for twelve years. I started driving in  my Ferrari 328 with the Ferrari Club of America at tracks such as Sebring and at the time, Moroso in West Palm Beach, FL.  After two years of tracking the Ferrari, world famous racecar driver Amos Johnson recommended that I take lessons and get licensed  and drive with the proper safety equipment.  In 2000 I became a licensed race car driver through the Panoz racing school  at Sebring, Fl.

I purchased a Triumph Spitfire from the legendary, Ed Diehl. After five years of competing in GP I then moved on to a  British Radical and now race in D Sport, also known as DSR. I have

Robin BonnanoRobin Bonnano

Robin Bonnano RacingRobin Bonnano Racing

won  five Central Florida Region Championships thanks  to my wonderful husband,  and crew chief, Carl Lunderstadt who makes everything I do possible. I  was also fortunate  enough to find a great team of crew and support through Jonathan Brewer, Tom Peacock, Bill and Barbara Berg and Fernando Banchs  and my Mom who keeps us all well fed while on the road.

On May 22, 2011, I competed in the Mod Space 250 at New Jersey Motorsports Park.

Read more about me on the Road to ARCA.

Program August 23rd – Marie Padavich – Chamber of Commerce

Marie Padavich Chamber of Commerce Co-Chair

Marie Padavich
Chamber of Commerce Co-Chair

Speaker: Marie Padavich

Business: Safety Harbor Chamber of Commerce

We will hear from our newest member, Marie Padavich, who is Co-Chair of the Safety Harbor Chamber of Commerce.  She will bring us up to date on news from the Chamber and Safety Harbor at large.


Speaker August 16th – Matt Spoor – Safety Harbor City Manager


Matt Spoor

Matt Spoor


Matt Spoor has an MBA from the University of South Florida. He worked as a recreation manager for the city of Largo before joining Safety Harbor as Leisure Services manager in 2004. He rose quickly through the ranks there, serving as capital improvement manager, Public Works director, library director, finance director and assistant city manager before being named city manager in 2007.  After a brief stint with St. Petersburg, he returned to Safety Harbor.  At Friday’s meeting he will update us on happenings in our city.


Speaker August 9th – David Lylis

David Lylis Business Broker

David Lylis
Business Broker

David Lylis has built his business career in Marketing in the Real Estate sector in various Executive level positions, most recently with a subsidiary of Hyatt Hotels and Resorts.

Formerly from New England where he managed the marketing function for Eastern Resorts, LLC of Newport, RI, he joined the Hyatt organization as Marketing Director to develop and manage a condominium resort property in Dorado, Puerto Rico, adjacent to the Cerromar Oceanfront Resort.  Mr. Lylis resided in Dorado, Puerto Rico for four years, through the completion of the project.

Before joining Sunbelt Business Brokers, Mr. Lylis spent ten years as  National Marketing Director for Hyatt Vacation Ownership at Corporate headquarters in St. Petersburg, FL.

He is an experienced Executive level Director with strategic marketing, business  development, and sales experience.

Mr. Lylis is married to Susan Herman Lylis, Executive Director for a Conservation Foundation in Washington, DC.  His hobbies include trading equities, options, and investing, and he has restored two Triumph British sports cars which continue to be garaged at his home in Safety Harbor, FL.

He is a graduate of the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, and is a member of the American, Marketing Association, the Direct Marketing Association Travel and Hospitality Council, and the American Resort Development Association

Mr. Lylis has a daughter who resides in Easthampton, MA.

Speaker August 2nd – Chi Chi Rodriguez Foundation

Our guest speaker will be updating us on the Chi Chi Rodriguez Foundation and Academy.  We proudly sponsor these community organizations.

The Chi Chi Rodriguez Academy, located in Clearwater, Florida is a public private partnership school, that serves fourth through eighth grade students who are not achieving at their grade level, have low self-esteem or have difficulty adjusting to their academic environment.

Its mission is dropout prevention.

The Academy is made possible by a unique public private partnership between the Pinellas Country School System and the Chi Chi Rodriguez Youth Foundation.

The Pinellas County School System identifies the children in need of these special surroundings and provides the teachers and principal, while the Foundation provides the assistants, facilities, and the classroom enrichment materials.

Add that with the on campus Chi Chi Rodriguez Golf Club and Sports Complex that acts to help support the Academy and offers living classroom experiences for the students and you have the Chi Chi Rodriguez Academy (Public Private Partnership School).

The highest rated dropout prevention school in Florida and a truly one of a kind educational environment.