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By Don Mahon

The Rotonda West Association’s annual festivities to honor its volunteers has come and gone and a record number of 130 party-goers were in the hall.

Why the record-breaking number?

All one has to do is visit the new structure in Broadmoor Park…the 8,000 square foot utilitarian Community Center. It has opened up many new events and expanded others that were not possible with the old Community Center…the confined converted bowling alley on Cape Haze Drive.

And many new programs have required new committees…. and new committees have required more volunteers.
Spirits were high and recognition was the order of the evening at the Volunteer Appreciation Banquet at The Hills Restaurant on the evening of Sunday, March 3.

Banquet Chair Wayne Mengel opened the program by welcoming all and turned the program over to MC Scott Feldkamp, RWA Manager. Scott was in his third year at the event and mixed his presentations with light-hearted humor. After he introduced the 2018 Board members, he brought each committee chair to the microphone to highlight their contributions during 2018 and introduced their committee members. So, all volunteers had their few seconds of fame.

Five special guests selected by the Committee took a bow. They were Charlotte County Sheriff Bill Prummell, newspaper columnist Pattie Mihalik, newsletter designer Julie Gustad-Ruhr, volunteer extraordinaire Sue Kiray, and Broadmoor Park nature tour guide, Susy d.Hont.
The best was saved for last and Russ Kulp, President in 2017 and 2018, did the honors.

He first announced the first of two recipients of the “2018 Volunteer Recognition Award” that went to Sue Superak. The inscription on her plaque reads: ” for her contributions to the Association’s efforts coordinating major community events during the year. ” Name a Community Center event and if her name is not on it, it’s rare in her acceptance speech, she singled out her many volunteers who helped make the events a success. Included were the 2018 Christmas Parade, Sunday’s ROTONDO (bingo) that draws big crowds, and the successful Las Vegas Night.

The second recipient selected for the “2018 Volunteer Achievement Award” was (drum roll) Sue Killion. The inscription on her plaque reads… “for lifetime achievement for her many contributions and years of service which have made the community a better place to live.” Sue is a noted photographer, gardening expert, and knows her way around the kitchen with her baking of pies and cookies. Sue is a long-standing member of the Community Relations Committee and the Building & Grounds Committee.

A Special Award went to Pat Dix who was lauded for her great work with the Christmas decorations around the community. Unable to attend the Banquet, Pat will be recognized at a presentation to be made later.

Wayne’s Banquet committee consisted of Linda Bondeson, Earl Haas, Sue Killion, Sue Superak.and Don Mahon, with able assistance from Claudette Romano. Our thanks to our Johnny-On-The-Spot photographer Dave Pulaski. for his outstanding coverage of this event and countless others.

See you next year!!