Thursday, December 9, 2021

Sunrise Rotary Installation & Awards Banquet


The Rotary Club of Marco Island Sunrise recently held its installation and awards banquet at Hideaway Beach Club. The evening was a celebration installing Debra Shanahan as President and recognizing those contributing to the Club’s accomplishments under President Eugenio Cardenas.

Incoming Rotary District Governor Pete Doragh installed President Shanahan along with her incoming board and officers consisting of President Elect Neil Snyder, President Elect nominee Erik Condee, Secretary Wanda Day, Treasurer Erik Condee, Assistant Treasurer Tom Wagor, Directors Kathleen Beaufait, Bill Morris, Stan Niemczyk, Dick Shanahan, Bob Thomas and Stuart Unsworth. Before looking to the future of the new board, the Club shared accomplishments and recognized some of the Rotarians who made significant contributions during the past year.

Bob Thomas was awarded Rotarian of the Year by last year’s recipient, Erik Condee. Thomas is the first Club member to be awarded Rotarian of the Year for the second time (1998 was his first award). Bob Blow, Stan Niemczyk and Dick Shanahan all presented their wives with a Paul Harris Fellow. The Paul Harris Fellow recognition acknowledges contribution of $1,000.00 to the Rotary Foundation of Rotary International. It is honorary recognition and is often bestowed upon non-Rotarians by contribution of funds to the Rotary Foundation so the recipient can be recognized for good work.

President Cardenas addressed many of the Clubs accomplishments during the past year. Those included, playing a leadership role in Meals of Hope packaging 240,000 meals, awarding $30,000 in college scholarships to local students and the 7th Annual Seafood Festival. President Cardenas was particularly enthusiastic about 3 new programs started by the Club during the past year. The Club was a major participant in the First Marco Island Academy Interact Golf Ball Drop event. The Kindness On Patrol Services (KOPS) program under which Marco Island police are authorized to meet needs of community members was created and funded with matching grants from Islanders Bill Morris and Keith Dameron. The Club also started an Unsung Hero Program to recognized members of the community who unselfishly provides service above self and who have not been generally recognized or rewarded for those services.

Closing highlight of the evening was the address by incoming President Debra Shanahan. Shanahan praised Club members for their past accomplishments and challenged them to do more. Shanahan emphasized three main points:

  1. There are many in need on Marco Island. She noted that there are school children on the Island who do not even have underwear or socks.
  2. Importance of recruiting new members. As noted by Shanahan “New members bring new ideas.”
  3. Need to continue developing leadership for the future.

Shanahan’s speech was warmly received with a standing ovation.

The Rotary Club of Marco Island Sunrise meets at Bistro Soleil in the Olde Marco Inn on Tuesday mornings at 7:30 A.M. For more information about the Club and its activities please contact Bill Morris at 239-642-6020 or via email at or visit the Rotary Club of Marco Island Sunrise website at


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