Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Spirit of Marco Island

On April 15th the Noontime Rotary Club hosted its 10th Annual Spirit of Marco Island Awards event, recognizing seven great citizens and corporate partners.

Recognized for their incredible dedication to community service were Rene & Tish Champagne, Dianna Dohm, Gary Landis Philip Penzo, and Carl Titgemeier. In addition, Lee County Electric Cooperative was recognized for the great job that their team did in restoring power to our island after Hurricane Irma and for their Corporate support of many island organizations and events.

It was an honor for our club to publicly recognize all of the honorees.

In addition to the presentation of the Spirit of Marco Island Awards, this year our club in conjunction with the Wheelchair Foundation made an appeal for support to fund wheelchairs for disabled individuals, whose families simply cannot afford to purchase one.

The Wheelchair Foundation was established to meet this need and through their purchasing power a wheelchair that would normally cost $500.00, they are able to secure for $100.00. The Foundation is mainly funded through donations.

A short heartfelt video was presented depicting how disabled individuals around the world and their families are dramatically impacted by the inability to afford a wheelchair. After the video presentation an appeal for pledges was made and the response was overwhelming, with many guests pledging from $100.00-$1,000.00. We had several guests who had initially pledged $500.00 when paying for their pledge were so moved that they increased their pledge
to $1.000.00.

Capping off the appeal was a generous pledge of $10,000.00 from Jim & Allyson Richards to purchase 100 wheelchairs! In total nearly $30,000.00 was raised for this cause.

This tremendous outpouring of spontaneous support was awe inspiring and truly reflected the theme of our event which was the “Spirit of Marco Island.”

Having lived on this island for nearly 30 years, it never ceases to amaze me how many generous and charitable people we have in our community, who truly care about others. This was on full display that evening and of us in attendance were moved and inspired by what we witnessed.

On behalf of the Noontime Rotary Club we want to thank all those who supported the Wheelchair Foundation that evening for making a difference. We are privileged to share this island with all of you!

Al Diaz
Noontime Rotary Club of Marco Island

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