Peace, love and Ponte Vedra Beach: Rotary’s Mineral City Celebration rocks a 1960s theme


Love beads, tie-dye shirts, go-go boots, miniskirts….An explosion of color and psychedelic vibes graced the grounds of the Ponte Vedra Concert Hall for the Rotary Club of Ponte Vedra’s Mineral City Celebration event on April 16.

This year’s theme for the annual fundraising event was “Peace Love & Rotary” – a sort of “Woodstock for philanthropists” concept.

“The event was a tremendous success,” said event chair and Rotary Club President-elect Michael Bruce. More than 500 guests were in attendance, and Bruce said that the event has received rave reviews, with attendees sharing and talking about the celebration on a variety of social media platforms.

Attendees spanned the generations – from Rotarians who remembered the original Woodstock to high school students who belong to Interact, the Rotary high school club. Members of Rotaract – the service organization’s young professionals group – served as volunteers at the event.

Held both inside the Ponte Vedra Concert Hall and outside under huge white tents, the celebration included indoor entertainment by BeatleBeat, a Beatles tribute band that performed two sets – one dressed in matching black Ed Sullivan suits with mop-top hair and the next in full Sgt. Pepper’s colorful garb.

“They knocked the roof off the place,” Bruce said. “They were fantastically appropriate to the event and to the music and the style.”

Outside, DJ Philip Greene played the top hits from the 1960s. “He was very entertaining and he kept the outdoor portion of the event jumping,” Bruce said.

The night’s events included a silent auction and raffle, go-go dancers, a cigar bar, vintage 60s-era cars, a photo booth and food catered by Four Rivers. Brian Sexton, senior correspondent for the Jacksonville Jaguars, emceed the event and conducted the live auction. The raffle grand price – a trip to Hawaii – was won by Emily Rhodin.

There was also a hula hooping contest that drew participants young and old, in full 1960s attire. “The hula hooping was maybe the biggest surprise,” Bruce said. “We bought 10 multi-colored hula hoops. The youngest kids there started it off, and when they showed how much fun they were having, we had every generation trying their best to swivel their hips to the rock and roll.”

Rock of the Community Award

Beaches resident Ed Burr was the honoree of the evening, receiving the Ponte Vedra Beach Rotary Foundation “Rock of the Community Award” for his dedication to the First Coast. Burr founded the Monique Burr Foundation, a nonprofit child protection and child advocacy organization in 1997 to honor his late wife, Monique Burr. The foundation was the primary beneficiary of this year’s celebration.

A video of Burr’s accomplishments was shown ,which included recognition and thanks from Gov. Rick Scott, former state legislator and Florida State University President John Thrasher, Mayor Lenny Curry, friends and neighbors.

“Mr. Burr and his family were visibly moved by the presentation,” Bruce said.

In addition to the Monique Burr Foundation, the Mineral City Celebration benefited more than a dozen local charities, including Seamark Ranch. Past beneficiaries have included the Ponte Vedra Memory Care Center, BEAM, Mission House, YMCA, Daniel Kids Foundation, the Cultural Center at Ponte Vedra Beach and many more.

With more than 1.2 million members in 300 countries, Rotary is one of the largest service organization’s in the world.

Chartered in June 1983, the Rotary Club of Ponte Vedra Beach has raised more than $1 million for Beaches-area charitable organizations. Its 115 members promote and provide community service and enjoy active fellowship. The club meets Thursday mornings at the Marsh Landing Country Club.