Creating communities for non-religious South Floridians since 2004
WELCOME TO FLASH!
Glad to have you aboard. Here’s some background information about our group:
FLASH MEET UP GROUPS:
The meet up groups are our social arm. When you come to any of our meet up groups, it is to meet like-minded friends, to have book and current events discussions, and for discussion of any other topic you’d like to bring to the table. We keep
things lively and, generally, cover topics of interest to atheists or atheism. PLEASE, if you have a political topic,
make sure it relates to atheism! We encourage ALL opinions and interesting debates.. BUT, we strongly discourage
“ad hominem” attacks of any kind! PLEASE, argue the point, not the person! We have four meet up groups at present: Palm Beach, (on Wednesdays), Miami (on Wednesdays), Deerfield (on Mondays), and Fort Lauderdale (on Tuesdays). You are a member of FLASH when you attend any one of them and may attend any at any time.
FLASH 501, c, 3; The official arm of our group:
FLorida Atheists and Secular Humanists is a non-profit group (some would spell it: non PROPHET, LOL) and as such, you may contribute and receive a receipt for a tax deduction on your federal taxes. You may have noticed the “can” floating around the table and people putting money into it…. There are some meet ups that require a fee each time you participate. We do not charge a fee; HOWEVER, we DO encourage you to donate to “the cause”. We make no apologies: money is needed for our FLASH group and here is why:
We are committed to educating the public on the folly, uselessness, and dangers of this vestigial institution…. superstition. In order to do that, money is required for advertising. We have, in the past, advertised on radio and billboards, as well as many other venues. We are committed to increasing our membership, and, to do that, we must remain visible to the public. The only way to do that is to advertise, and that can be expensive. One month for a billboard is approximately $3,000.00 and up. Thirty seconds of radio ad time is about $1,000 per week or more. We know that superstition based organizations have massive resources that we could only hope to match, but we must keep pushing back.
We use our money to sponsor Carl Sagan Day (the first in the country in 2009!) and Darwin Day during the year. They are sponsored in cooperation with the CFI, Broward College, and the James Randi Foundation. Each event draws about 300 to 400 people. We have recently created a new organization called CASE (Coalition for the Advancement of Science
Education) to handle these specific events and any other events related to science education. We need to keep the idea that science is important, foremost in the public mind. If we do not, we know that superstition has, and will, fill the gap.
In the fall of 2011, we hosted the Regional Atheist Meet-up co-sponsored by American Atheists from December 16th to the 18th.
We will hold our annual summer and winter solstices again this year.
We sponsored a great debate, along with the student CFI group at Broward College Central campus. 300 people attended to watch our Lance against an apologist from Calvary Chapel! We ROMPED! This year we have 2 more planned, IF WE CAN FIND AN APOLOGIST!
OTHER ACTIVITIES AND COSTS:
We are affiliated with American Atheists and the Humanists of Florida Association which have dues.
We have corporate meetings which require materials and supplies, and rental of space.
For our Sagan Day 2009, as a prize we donated a $600.00 telescope to a middle school science class and we funded most of the activities for that day. We would like to continue to donate to science based organizations.
We have a website which requires fees to be spent.
We print out, mostly on our computers, informational brochures. We would like to have the money for
printing large runs for dissemination at conferences and elsewhere. We would greatly improve our membership if we could afford mass mailings, bill boards, radio time, etc. In the past, Ken Loukinen, our founder and past president, had been subsidizing many of these efforts. He has moved on to a position on the board of directors of American Atheists. We have expanded and now need to create a monetary base from which we can draw our resources and become a more professional organization.
We participate in picketing and letter writing when the occasion demands. (Pickets cost money!).
Our post office box costs a yearly fee.
Some of our Future objectives:
1. To start a Religious Recovery meet up.
2. To put Recordings of Robert Ingersoll’s speeches on pod cast/you tube…
3. Fundie debates… we’ll debate ‘em any time anywhere!
4. Neighborhood cleanup group.
5. Discount coupon booklet for our members, from local merchants.
6. Sponsoring another regional meet up.
7. Money for students to come to the atheist conventions.
8. Skiing, biking, running, scuba, motorcycling, book reviews, chess? Any activity that we might want to get involved in, as a group or part of our group is to be encouraged.
9. On our website, we’d like an atheists’ employment page.
10. Create a perpetual scholarship for local students who are involved in a Secular Student Alliance
11. Create a fundraising program to fund grant monies for Atheist/ Secular Studies.
AND NOW, A BRIEF Flash History:
Meet up website started: 2/04
First meet up begins at Ye Olde Falcon Pub: 08/04
New meet up started at Deerfield
New meet up started at Aventura (Now, closed).
New meet up started at Palm Beach.
FLASH Parents begins and eventually evolves to South Florida Atheist Families ( a separate group)
Meet up grows from 4 people to over 400 in ‘08: over 500 in ‘11.
New meet up started in Miami 3/16
Constitution Day, In conjunction with CFI: ‘07, ‘08
Darwin Day w/CFI, JREF, Broward College: ‘07, ‘08, ‘09, ‘10, ’11, ‘12
Roadside Cleanup: ‘07, ‘08, ‘09
Summer Solstice beach picnics : ‘07, ‘08, ‘09, ’10, ’11, ’12
Winter Solstice campfire picnic: ‘07, ‘08, ‘09, ‘10, ’11, ‘12
Astronomy Nights: ‘07, ‘08, ‘09,
Religilous group outing: ‘08
Cosmos: (at Ken’s house): ‘08
Bill Maher Concert (group outing): ‘09
Relay for Life (raised over $1,000.00): ‘09
Bowling Nights: ‘08
Outing to see the Broadway show "The Book of Mormon" Dec. '14
Outreach at Broward Swap Shop March '15
FLASH on Ice April - July '15
J.W. Bush visit to Dade county college: ‘07
National Day of Prayer protests at the Broward Public Safety Bldg. (has been moved to a church (WIN!) : ‘09, ‘10, ‘11, '14
Westboro Baptist’s protest (they never showed up): 2/26/11
Ken addresses the Southwest Ranches town council for rescinding the tax breaks to local churches: ‘10
State Science Curriculum Hearings: Participated in the coalition to prevent “ID” from entering science curriculum. Thirteen members spoke against inclusion of “Intelligent Design“in Florida’s science curriculums: ‘08,
Ken Loukinen participates in the "Freedom Walk" Walk W/Ellen Johnson, President of American Atheists: ‘08
American Atheist Convention: ‘09, ‘10, 01/28/11, 04/11, '15
American Atheists’ Affiliate of the year: ‘09
Humanists Convention: ‘09, 12, 13
First atheist billboard in Florida: ‘09, 11, 12
Sponsoring speakers such as , Sean Faircloth, Herb Silverman and others
Regional Atheist Meet up in conjunction with American Atheists: Nov. ‘11
Rapture Party: June ‘11
Great Debate, “Is God Good for Society?”: Feb. ‘12
Summer Solstice: (approximately 70 members participated) 6/13
Partnered with American Atheists to install the first atheist monument at Starke, FL, 6/29/13
Partnering with American Atheist to install a monument at Holiday Park, Ft. Laud.:ongoing, keep apprised!
Private lunch with Richard Dawkins Dec. '14
Lecture on Robert Ingersol Feb. '15
Produced Commercials to be aired on AtheistTV July '15
Participated in Openly Secular Campaign July '15
Lectures at two venues by David Silverman (President, American Atheists) 93 persons attended. May '16
Reason Rally 6/16
FLorida Atheists and Secular Humanists