Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Spirit Awards Event Raises $87,000 for Local Students, Charities

The Joy of Giving received the Spirit of Marco Island award.

The Noontime Rotary Club of Marco Island recently held its 11th Annual Spirit of Marco Island Awards Dinner at the Bistro Soleil Restaurant.

The honorees included Paul Tateo, the Joy of Giving Organization, Jim Richards and Joe Swaja.

The gala raised a total of $87,000; $27,000.00 of which was raised through Sponsorships and a Silent Auction generously provided for by Rotarians and local businesses. This money is dedicated for local students, schools and local charitable causes. In addition, a cash appeal toward the Mission of Freeing the World of Clubfoot Disability raised $30,000 directly from the attendees which will be matched in grant money from the Clubfoot Rotary Action Group in Iowa for a total of $60,000.

The Spirit of Marco Island awards are presented each year 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 four honorees were presented with their official award by President Pat Rutledge, in front of a crowd of nearly 180 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 generates funds for local students, schools and charitable causes. In addition to raising funds for local charities, the noontime Rotary Club partnered with the International Club Foot Rotary Action Group to make an appeal for funds to provide foot braces for children around the world that were born with Club Foot. A short heartfelt video depicting the need was shown, followed by a request for pledges of support to sponsor a child for $100.00. This amount reflects the amount required to fund (6-7) foot braces that each child would need to correct their Club Foot over a several year time period.

The response was overwhelming, with many guests pledging from $100 to $1,000. Capping off the appeal were two generous anonymous donations. Over 600 children in Nigeria will receive the braces they need to successfully correct their clubfoot condition thanks to these generous donors.

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 honorees for their incredible contributions to our island paradise! 

Members meet each Thursday for their luncheon meetings at DaVinci’s restaurant at noon. Anyone interested in joining or more information may contact Al Diaz at 239-438-5285 or manager@royalmarcoway.com.

The Noontime Rotary Club of Marco Island wishes to thank all of the sponsors for this event: Title Event Sponsors: Alan & Linda Sandlin of the Sandlin Team at RE/MAX Affinity Plus; Diamond Sponsors: The Greater Marco Island YMCA and the Marco Island Charter Middle School; Platinum Sponsors: Condee Cooling & Electric, Marco Office Supply, Tom Menaker, Lynne Minozzi, Jim and Allyson Richards, Dr. Richard Siegel of Siegel Dental; Gold Sponsors: Marco Island Mattress, Furniture & Design Co.; Silver Sponsors: Centennial Bank, Coastal Breeze News, Joy this Way- Durell Buzzini, Al and Myrna Diaz, Gwyn Steiner and Craig Blume, Marco Island Florist, Mutual of Omaha Bank, Ron and Pat Rutledge, Michael and Rosemary Wick, Bill and Karen Young; Bronze Sponsors: ARA Insurance, Prem and Jeanne Advani, Al Bismonte, George Benson, Gene and Ann D’Onofrio, Pat Ettensohn, First Florida Integrity Bank, Sue & Wayne Haviland, Larry and Lisa Honig, L.C.E.C., Marco Island Center for the Arts, Napoli on the Bay Pizza & Italian Deli, Summit Broadband, Joe and Kathi Swaja, Jennifer and Derek Tenney; Spirit Sponsor: Empire Bagel. 

Pat Rutledge and honoree, Joe Swaja.



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