Rotary Peace Initiative Marks 10 Years

It was 10 years ago when Dr. Wes Boughner founded the Rotary Club of Wellington’s Peace Initiative project and initiated the annual Wellington Peace Ceremony.

This year’s ceremony will take place on Sunday, Sept. 25 at 3 p.m. at the Rotary Club’s Peace Park on Royal Fern Drive off Forest Hill Blvd., next to the Wellington library.

The ceremony, which runs for about an hour, will be led off by the Palm Beach Sheriff’s Office Ceremonial Drill Team and local scouts marching in to perform “Taps” and raising of the flags.

The national anthem will be sung by Jessica Wittenbrink, and Palm Beach Central High School’s Traditions Choir will also sing to the expected 300-plus attendees.

Earlier in the year, all local schools competed in competitions around the themes of conflict resolution and multicultural understanding.

The winners and their teachers will be presented with prize money and certificates during the ceremony. The scouts will receive Rotary Peace merit badges to wear on their uniforms.

Local dignitaries speaking will including Mayor Anne Gerwig and members of the Wellington Village Council, and the words “May Peace Prevail on Earth” will be spoken by native speakers in seven languages.

This year’s 10th anniversary ceremony will be filmed, including by a drone, for release later.

Larry Kemp, the current chairman of the Peace Initiative will welcome all prize winners and guests in the spirit of world peace and will introduce the club volunteers who helped again make the event all possible.

This year’s school’s competition winners are as follows:

• Elementary School Poster Competition — Binks Forest: Ave Grave de Peralta, overall winner; Elbridge Gale: Valerie Chandler; Panther Run: Emma Gordley; Equestrian Trails: Manit Chabria; and Wellington Elementary: Ewa Tryniszewski.

• Middle School Poetry Competition — Polo Park: Samantha Schube; and Emerald Cove: Teji Kari.

• High School Essay Competition — Palm Beach Central: Adam Jacquish; and Wellington: Brandon Schloss.

The Rotary Club would like to thank all of the more than 500 students who participated in this year’s competitions.

The subject of conflict resolution and multicultural understanding in terms of helping to bring about world peace is an important issue for the Rotary Club of Wellington, and especially in bringing the subject into the thinking of all local youth.

The ceremony will conclude with the release of peace doves to circle the park.

The Sept. 25 ceremony is open to everyone, and local residents are welcome to participate.

For more information, contact Kemp at