Presidents Message

Penny Morey
President 2017 – 2018

The Rotary Club Downtown Boca Raton —focused on Health and Wellness— is comprised of community leaders who genuinely want to make a positive difference, locally, nationally, and internationally. Our two major events, the Boca Raton Mayors Ball and Honor Your Doctor Luncheon, raise money for local charities and medical and nursing student scholarships. We have also sent financial aid to places in the U.S. struck by natural disasters.

In 2016 —thanks to Bob Hildreth and Joe Pores— we had a highly successful Dr. Ira J. Gelb Health & Wellness Golf Invitational, enabling us to give funds to Florida Atlantic University Medical School.  We are very proud to have Dr. Gelb as a member of our Club.

Lewis Fogel was President of Rotary Club Downtown Boca Raton for the last half of 2016 and the first half of 2017; and “on his watch”, our Club was recognized in 2016 – 2017 by Rotary District 6930 with five awards, including two certificates of excellence–for vocational services and literacy. Also, our Club was recognized by the Rotary Foundation with “Appreciation for Financial Support to ‘End Polio Now’”.  From the District Governor, we received the Citation for “All Star” service —per capita giving; and by Zone 34 with a Public Image Award. Rotary International awarded us the coveted Presidential Citation Significant Achievement Award —which made us one of only 92 clubs of the 36,000+ clubs worldwide for our Honor Your Doctor annual event, started by Helen Babione twenty years ago, and Co-Chaired by Alan Kaye and Janice Williams. We are one of the few 100% Paul Harris Fellow clubs and are now reaching out to obtain a Global Grant to assist with educational endeavors in Namibia.

We are very proud to have the new District 6930 Governor as a member of our Club. Dave Freudenberg’s year of service to District 6930 started July 1, 2017; he oversees 46 clubs ranging from Titusville to Boca Raton, and as far west as Okeechobee. Dave is a steadfast positive influence and role model to our Club and to all Rotarians.

While the accomplishments of our members are too many to list, just a few include involvement in Rotary Youth Leadership Awards —thanks to Michael Walstrom. Fred Schilling, another one of our prestigious members, is a leader in Plumbers Without Borders —did you know that the World Health Organization said in 2017 that “Plumbers save more lives than doctors worldwide?”  We also proudly boast Michelle McLean-Bailey among our members, a former Miss Universe, and Constance Scott the former Deputy Mayor of Boca Raton, now working with FAU . . .  and too many other all-stars to list.

Rotary International has six primary areas of concentration:

  • Promoting Peace
  • Providing Clean Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene
  • Fighting Disease
  • Saving Mothers and Children
  • Supporting Education
  • Growing Economies

The Rotary Club Downtown Boca Raton supports these areas of focus throughout the year.

Our Mayors Ball Co-Chairs this year are Constance Scott and Kim Champion with Jon Kaye acting as our Event Producer.  And we are pleased that past Inaugural Co-Chair, Kari Oeltjen of Habitat For Humanity continues to actively support this initiative, as well.

If you have ever wondered if Rotary is a great way to contribute to the world around you, come to a meeting of the Rotary Club Downtown Boca Raton.  We meet on Fridays for lunch at Via Mizner Golf & Country Club in Boca Raton.  You will be welcomed warmly if you visit our young Club—five years old this year—and you may find the exact right mix of camaraderie, enthusiasm, and selflessness that appeals to you.

Yours in Rotary,

Penny Morey
President 2017 – 2018
Rotary Club Downtown Boca Raton