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celebrate | wellington

(Clockwise from top) Rotarians support the Feeding South Florida food distribution program; a third-grade student enjoys her dictionary provided by the Wellington Rotary Club; the club continues its longtime support for Back to Basics; a Buddy Bench is installed at Panther Run Elementary School; Mickey Smith receives the club’s Frank T. Gladney Community Service Award; and Maggie Zeller and Gail Williams with dictionaries destined for third-grade students.

Wellington Rotary Club Emphasizes The Importance Of Service Above Self BY M. DENNIS TAYLOR

The importance of giving can never be overemphasized, and there’s always joy in acts of giving. This timeless bit of wisdom is taken to heart by the Wellington Rotary Club, which has been continually serving the community for 40 years. Rotary International — of which the Wellington club is a local affiliate — is a service organization that spans the globe promoting peace and health. “It has promoted everything from polio vaccines to infrastructure and equipment for indigenes in South America,” said David Berns, the current president of the Wellington club. The local branch is active in a range of activities, from helping hand out

free food to those hardest-hit in the area by the COVID-19 pandemic, to supporting shelters for those less fortunate. Ask any Rotarian, and you’ll get a litany of reasons to get involved with the group, but most of the explanations could easily fall into the category of bettering oneself by improving the local and worldwide communities. The group has spent most of the past year partnering with the Village of Wellington, Feeding South Florida and others to provide weekly food boxes to some 900 local families. “We provide six to 10 people each week to supply helping hands at the distribution point,” Berns said.

Every Tuesday morning, hundreds of cars line up at the Mall at Wellington Green for an efficient distribution of a week’s worth of supplies that have meant a great deal of difference in the lives of locals hard-hit by the present circumstances. Another on-going project has been to get a “Buddy Bench” in each of the elementary schools in the village, with a program of peer “ambassadors” trained and set up to support anyone who feels isolated or bullied. Such a child is encouraged to merely sit on the designated, colorful bench and is soon met by another student to talk with them. The popular and successful program is being expanded. wellington the magazine | april 2021 61

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WELLINGTON THE MAGAZINE – April 2021  

April 2021 | ON THE COVER Professional show jumper and equestrian business owner Hannah Selleck. Photo by Ashley Neuhof | A Deep Love For Ho...

WELLINGTON THE MAGAZINE – April 2021  

April 2021 | ON THE COVER Professional show jumper and equestrian business owner Hannah Selleck. Photo by Ashley Neuhof | A Deep Love For Ho...