Rotary Club of Miami Celebrates a Century of Service

More than 300 guests gather at the Rusty Pelican to salute the Rotary Club of Miami

With the breath-taking background of Miami’s skyline reflecting off Biscayne Bay, more than 300 guests gathered at the Rusty Pelican to salute the Rotary Club of Miami as they marked one hundred years of serving the community. Founded in 1917 by an influential group of early civic leaders, the Club’s milestone centennial gala celebrated their significant role in shaping South Florida into the metropolis it is today.

Arriving guests were welcomed by gala committee members and chairs Robin and Susan Shelley and Club President Oliver Ruiz and wife, Lissette. The check-in was decorated with an array of colorful Rotary flags from clubs across the globe and a stunning sculpture with the number 100 impressively chiseled out of gleaming ice. The outside cocktail reception included special entertainment and historical displays of early South Florida, spotlighting the dozens of organizations the Rotary Club of Miami founded and supported through the years. Inside the elegant ballroom, Eliott Rodriguez of CBS 4 served as emcee, introducing community leaders who honored the extraordinary service the Rotary Club of Miami has provided over the decades, including Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado and Miami-Dade Commissioner Bruno Barreiro, who both presented proclamations. U.S. Representative Illeana Ros-Lehtinen sent a video from Washington, D.C. of her reading a Rotary Club of Miami proclamation into the Congressional Record from the House floor.

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One illustrious VIP who received special homage was Dr. James Hutson, a former club member and grandson to the club’s founding president, Dr. James Jackson, namesake of Jackson Memorial Hospital. In attendance was Honorary Member Michael Nobel, from the Nobel family and guest of Robin and Susan Shelley. Representatives from the Rotary Club of Miami’s sister club in Paris, France, also made the trip to Miami. Receiving Lifetime Achievement Awards were Rotary Club of Miami Past Presidents Diane Landsberg and Norman C. Kassoff.

Between the presentations, Champagne toasts, 100th birthday cake and photo displays, the party-goers crowded the dance floor to the music of the Chase Band well into the night. Proceeds benefitted The Rotary Club of Miami, Florida Foundation, which funds the community service and international humanitarian service projects of the Rotary Club of Miami.

Thanks to the event’s major sponsors: the Goldsmith Family Foundation, University of Miami, Florida International University Wertheim College of Medicine, Bacardi, Malloy & Malloy, P.L, Tonkinson Financial, Sabadell Bank, Shutts & Bowen, Lubitz Financial Group, Jackson Health System, PSA Constructors, BB& T Bank, Van Orsdel Family Funeral Chapels, Northern Trust and R & C Management.

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