The Rotary Club of Ponte Vedra Beach was honored for its charitable giving. The community service organization received several top honors at the Rotary Foundation District Seminar on Aug. 12, at the Thrasher Horne Center in Orange Park.
The seminar recognized local Rotary clubs that donated thousands of dollars to the International Rotary Foundation. The Rotary Club of Ponte Vedra Beach was honored as the No. 1 club out of 64 clubs in the district for charitable giving to Rotary’s signature Polio Plus campaign during 2016-2017. Since the 1970s – when Rotary clubs around the world took up the challenge to eradicate the disease worldwide – the number of annual cases of polio has dropped from 350,000 to approximately 35 last year.
“We are so close to eradicating only the second disease in history, and we are excited and committed to helping see that mission through,” said Michael Bruce, who served as club president during 2016-17.
The Ponte Vedra Beach Rotary Club was also one of the few local clubs to receive an award for being a 100 percent Paul Harris Fellow Club. Named for Rotary’s founder, the Paul Harris Fellow recognizes Rotarians who have contributed $1,000 or more to the Rotary Foundation to support its charitable and humanitarian work around the world. By the end of 2016, each of the Ponte Vedra Beach Rotary Club’s 125 members had contributed that amount, earning the club the 100 percent recognition.
“Special credit for this remarkable achievement goes to club members, Dr. Christine Ng, who led the drive to become a 100 percent club for the third time in our history, and Don Blackburn, who provided matching assistance to help us reach this goal,” Bruce said.
Rounding out the Ponte Vedra Beach club’s honors were awards recognizing the club for being among the top three clubs in the district for both total annual giving and per capita giving for the year. Club president Billy Wagner praised Bruce for his leadership and the club’s entire membership for their commitment to Rotary’s motto, “Service Above Self.”
“As we celebrate the 100th anniversary of The Rotary Foundation, it’s gratifying to see how our local Rotarians continue to lead the way as people of action, giving of their time, talents and treasure to make our world a better place,” Wagner said.