Vanessa introduced the guests:
- Alan Hines – FAU Foundation
- District Governor Donna Gaiser, 6930
- PDG 6930 & Current District Foundation Chair, Jim Sisserson
- Norman Matus, President-Elect, RC Boca Sunrise
- Robert Yudkin, President, RC Addison, TX
Julie Vianale did the invocation.
Pat McCarthy gave the Rotary Minute. She shared that she was introduced to Rotary when managing catering for Ft. Lauderdale Westin and Rotary was meeting there. She joined in 2003 and one day asked a fellow employee from Haiti about his family after a hurricane hit the island. When he responded that he didn’t know where his parents were or if they were alive, she was vowed to support The Rotary Foundation to help make a difference and has been consistently giving every since.
Vanessa announced the following Paul Harris Fellows (PHF):
- Special PHF Award: gift to Jan Savarick for working so hard to help the club consistently beat fundraising records like OPAL
- Bob Buruchian and Art Polacheck new PHFs.
- Abby Ehrman-Klayman plus 1
- Donn Londeree plus 1
- John Phillips plus 3
- Ken Davis plus 3
- Vanessa Havener plus 3
- Ben Krieger plus 4
Vanessa gave the floor to RI Director Suzi Howe, a member of Space Center Rotary in Houston. Suzi honored Myron & Elaine Yudkin for becoming Major Donors to The Rotary Foundation.
Vanessa recognized the Club Board for their teamwork over the past year. She gave each of them a nice golf style polo shirt with embroidery of the Club logo.
She then gave a number of Service above Self Awards for those she felt deserved special recognition for the service to the Club:
- Dilma Higgins, Adam Palmer’s partner – for her initiative after hurricane Dorian to fundraise for ShelterBox
- Monica Speer –for expanding our club’s social media presence on Facebook and Instagram that increased the club’s visibility and helped recruit new members
- Gerry Purdy – for keeping all members informed about club meetings with his weekly writeups
- Scott Van Wyngarden– for sponsoring the Pirate Run & organizing the Boca Helping Hands Food Drive
Vanessa than gave three Presidential Citation Awards:
- Jeff Tromberg – for serving on the Board and his creativity and flexibility doing Craft talks
- Neil Saffer – for his vision of a new scholarship program to include vocational programs and smashing all previous OPAL fundraising records
- Pia Giannone – for her stewardship of the relationship with FAU & PBSC which resulted in negotiating lower fees and the new vocational programs well as her continued commitment to all of our mentees
She then gave three special recognition awards:
- The Four Way Test Award to Diane Shawcross – for quietly but strategically making things happen for OPAL, using her extensive knowledge and background of non-profit management to offer solutions, & finally, her recent work on the Foundation Committee.
- Rookie of the Year to Bernardo Wolfson – for jumping in with both feet after not even been inducted in person by joining the Foundation Committee and working with Diane to position the club to have a greater impact
- Rotarian of the Year to Bob Buruchian – for stepping up and doing all the video & sound for our most successful OPAL, being flexible and using his technology to make it possible to hold the Four Way Test Student Awards and also Future Stars.
Vanessa provided special thanks to Bill Riddick – for being Chair of the Fund Board and helping her prepare for her Presidency.
She then handed the floor over to Gary Hildebrand who provided the gavel award plaque (shown above) – for doing more than just Rotary by volunteering at her church, her knowledge of Rotary International and the most successful OPAL ever.
Gary closed by saying that the Club would continue to meet via Zoom while under the pandemic. But then said he was producing a special Pirate Happy Hour on July 9 (with payment of $10 Happy Dollars).