Rotary Club ‘Celebration’ to honor Ed Burr

New mid-April date for annual fundraiser


Put away the tuxedos, evening gowns, even the casual Saturday night sweaters and slacks. This spring Ponte Vedra Beach Rotarians will be celebrating and fund-raising in 1960s psychedelic style… all for a worthy cause, of course.

“Peace Love & Rotary” is the theme of the Rotary Club’s annual “Mineral City Celebration.” In announcing the annual charitable event, Will Montoya, president of the 115-member service club, also said that the Celebration’s principle beneficiary this year will be the Monique Burr Foundation for Children, Inc. Numerous other area charitable causes also will benefit.

The fun and the fund-raising are set for Saturday, April 16, in — and all around — the Ponte Vedra Concert Hall. The evening begins at 6:30 p.m.

The Mineral City Celebration’s festivities will include dinner, dancing, silent and live auctions, plus a special tribute to the evening’s honoree: Ed Burr. A long-time Northeast Florida civic leader, Burr is the founder of the foundation that supports children and promotes better lives for young persons and their families. The Foundation was launched in 1997 to honor the memory of Burr’s late wife, a devoted child advocate.

The evening’s emcee will be Brian Sexton, long-time voice of the Jacksonville Jaguars and now the senior correspondent on the NFL team’s website.

Tickets to the event are now available at $125 from Club members, and at the Club’s dedicated website,

Corporate and personal sponsorship opportunities at various levels are available, too, said Michael Bruce, Rotary Club president-elect and Mineral City Celebration Chair. Fellow Rotarians Jack Parker and Steve Carn are heading the sponsorship effort.

“Our Club’s annual charitable event has enjoyed success and support for two decades, and this year’s Celebration extends that tradition,” Bruce said. “Having the evening in mid-April will make it an even greater and more memorable event. To borrow an idea from an old TV commercial, it’s not your father’s Rotary Gala.

“Our April 16 date will enable us to take full advantage of the outdoor opportunities the Ponte Vedra Concert Hall offers,” Bruce added.

That means plenty of music from the up-tempo 1960s era, he said, plus an outdoor reception complemented by ’60s decorations, and an expanded silent auction that will feature up to 100 items.

“Think of the evening as one big fun-filled community block party for a great cause,” Bruce said. He expects many of this year’s anticipated 500 attendees to be dressed appropriately, too, hinting that he even may have a reward or two ready to bestow.

“We’ll just wait and see,” Bruce observed with a sly grin.

Also benefitting from the Mineral City Celebration will be the Seamark Ranch, which also serves children, and a host of charities the Rotary Club has supported in the 20 years it has hosted an annual fund-raiser. Organizations the Club contributes to include BEAM, Mission House, Beaches Habitat, Ponte Vedra Cultural Center, daniel and Second Harvest Food Bank.

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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 each Thursday morning at Marsh Landing Country Club.