Friday, October 7, 2022

Spirit Awards Event Raises $50,000

Funds to be Used for Scholarships, Local Charities & Wheelchairs

The Noontime Rotary Club of Marco Island recently held its 10th Annual Spirit of Marco Island Awards Dinner at Bistro Soleil.

Honorees included Rene and Tish Champagne, Dianna Dohm, Gary Landis, Philip Penzo, Carl Titgemeier, and Lee County Electric Coop. In addition, the event raised $20,000 for college scholarships and local charitable causes and another $30,000 for wheelchairs for disabled individuals locally and internationally.

The Spirit of Marco Island awards are presented to individuals, businesses and organizations that are civically involved through their contribution of time, talent and financial support of community causes.

The Spirit Award recipients were nominated by local residents and other civic organizations and were ultimately selected by a committee of Rotary Club of Marco Island members.

Each of the seven honorees were presented with their award in front of a crowd of more than 160 persons that included local dignitaries, family, friends and business leaders all of whom enjoyed a plated dinner, cash bar, and silent auction.

Each year the event raises funds for charitable causes and college scholarships, however this year, in addition to raising funds for college scholarships and charities, the noontime Rotary Club partnered with the Wheelchair Foundation to make an appeal for funds to supply wheelchairs for individuals locally and around the world, whose families do not have the means to afford one. A short heartfelt video depicting the need was shown, followed by a request for pledges of support to purchase wheelchairs at a cost of $100 each. The response was overwhelming, with many guests pledging from $100 to $1,000. Capping off the appeal was a generous $10,000 donation from Jim and Allyson Richards to purchase 100 wheelchairs! The tremendous outpouring of generosity was awe-inspiring and reflected the evening’s theme of “Spirit of Marco.”

The Noontime Rotary Club of Marco Island is a community and international service organization that takes great pride in acknowledging this year’s winners for their incredible contributions to our island paradise. Members meet each Thursday for their luncheon meetings at DaVinci’s restaurant at noon.

For more information contact Al Diaz at 239-438-5285 or

Philip Penzo accepts the Spirit of Marco Island Award from Rotary Noontime Club President Tarik Ayasun.

Rotary Noontime Club President Tarik Ayasun presents the Spirit of Marco Island Award to Tricia Dorn of LCEC, Lee County Electric Cooperative.

Tarik Ayasun presents the Spirit of Marco Island Awards to Dianna Dohm, executive director of the Marco Island Chamber of Commerce.

Steve Agius, the Rotary District Chair for the Wheelchair Foundation, makes an appeal for support of funding wheelchairs.

The event raised $30,000 for the Wheelchair Foundation.

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