Helping each other be good neighbors, leaders and global citizens is a mission of Rotary International through its many clubs around the world.
Started in 1905 by Chicago attorney Paul P. Harris, membership in Rotary Clubs is at 1.2 million members. The name “Rotary” came from the group’s early practice of rotating meetings among the offices of members.
South Florida is home to some very involved Rotary Clubs. Rotarians gather for service projects, scholarship fundraising and awards, breakfasts and luncheons, to hear speakers and to recognize deserving residents in our neighborhoods.
The goal is always to practice the Rotary Motto of “Service Above Self.” To find out more about a Rotary Club in your community, visit rotary.org.
Here is some news from two of our active clubs:
▪ Leadership Award
The Rotary Club of Perrine-Cutler Ridge/Palmetto Bay recently presented Palmetto Bay Police Commander Greg Truitt with the South Dade Leadership Award.
The award recognizes an individual who, through “outstanding and professional conduct, as well as community service, has most benefited South Miami-Dade County.” The Club has been giving this award for more than 40 years.
Truitt said he was honored to be nominated and receive the award.
“The Rotary Club and its members do so much for our community, and to be recognized for what I have done in the community is very special,” he said. “I share this award with my fellow officers and my family who have supported me throughout the years. And what makes it even more special is to have my father with me to accept this honor, since his commitment as a police officer provided me a great example to follow!”
For more on this Rotary Club, visit pcrpbrotary.com.
▪ Coconut Grove Rotary
Margaret Nee, vice president of development for Pointe Group Advisors, was recently installed as president of the Rotary Club of Coconut Grove. There were 35 Rotarians and friends at the luncheon ceremony held at the Coconut Grove Sailing Club. Members also honored outgoing President Don Kesler.
Nee’s community service involvement has included the National Parkinson’s Foundation South Florida Advisory Council, the Underline, Miami Center for Architecture and Design, the Kampong, Kristi House, Access Now, Junior League of Miami and Pet Rescue.
Nee also serves on the executive committee of the Coconut Grove Business Improvement District and is a past president of Commercial Real Estate Women (CREW) Miami.
Kesler said his two biggest accomplishments are increasing membership by 30 percent and “our club winning the Golden Coconut Award for best not-for-profit organization awarded by the Coconut Grove Chamber of Commerce.”
Over the years, the Rotary Club of Coconut Grove has donated $50,000 for equipment and educational mentoring to the local Titans Youth Football and Cheerleading teams and $35,000 to the Thelma Gibson Health Initiative, as well as numerous global causes.
Nee’s board of directors include Kesler, Anita Sandler, Phil Everingham, Steven Arch, Lori Hottendorf, Randy Lakel and Donna Sweeny.
“I want to raise more money and identify a cause or project that we can adopt, cherish and maintain continuity with for years to come in the Grove,” Nee said.
Next Galaxy founder to speak
Another local group, this one for independent and emerging authors, is the South Florida Writers Association. Meetings are held 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. the first Saturday of each month at Pinecrest Library, 5835 SW 111th St.
The next meeting is Aug. 1 with speaker Mary Spio, founder of Miami Beach-based Next Galaxy, a developer of innovative virtual reality content and tools. Check it out at nextgalaxycorp.com.
Spio also is an accomplished author and a contributor to The New York Times bestselling series, Chicken Soup for the Soul. She also wrote the novel A Song for Carmine and It’s Not Rocket Science: 7 Game-Changing Traits for Uncommon Success.
The event is free and open to the public. To learn more visit southfloridawritersassn.org.
If you have news for this column, please send it to Christina Mayo at firstname.lastname@example.org.