SAINT AUGUSTINE – Longtime Pilot Club of St. Augustine member Jeanette Smith was honored Nov. 15, recognizing her 90th birthday, which she celebrated Nov. 24.
Melanie Morrison, club treasurer, created a huge poster containing 90 2017 pennies, along with a poem authored by St. Johns County Commissioner Jeb Smith, and well wishes from members of the Pilot Club.
Lynne Stephenson, immediate past president of the local club and governor-elect of the Florida District, was joined by Sara Hetherington, St. Augustine president, in presenting Smith with a birthday cake which was cut by Smith and shared with members and guests in attendance at the November program meeting.
Smith has been a member of the St. Augustine club since 1991, and she’s also active in garden club, master gardeners and the Flagler Hospital Auxiliary, as well as a Realtor with Watson Realty of St. Augustine.
Circuit Judge Howard O. McGillin Jr. shared information about the Veterans Treatment Court Nov. 15, as guest speaker for the Pilot Club of St. Augustine.
McGillin, a retired U.S. Army colonel, explained that the treatment court here is patterned after the first facility started in Buffalo, N.Y., in 2008. What makes this type of treatment so successful, he explained, is that each veteran has a mentor. That’s the “secret sauce” in the program. The program “really works,” he said. “It’s new, it’s different.”
About 25 veterans are now involved in the local program, he said, noting that 10 percent of the population of St. Johns County is composed of veterans. The national average is six percent. Flagler County has 20 percent.
The end result and goal for the court, he told Pilots and their guests, is “we want to send them back into society.”
The program was arranged by the patriotism area of the club, with Tadzia Alexander, chairman of the area and president-elect of the club, introducing the speaker.