On Sunday, Sept. 24, more than 300 people sat in tented shade to witness the Rotary Club of Wellington’s annual peace ceremony.
The ceremony takes place at the Rotary Peace Park on Royal Fern Drive. The park was established in cooperation with the Village of Wellington and provides the backdrop for thoughts of conflict resolution and multicultural understanding.
Throughout the year, Rotary volunteers visit all local area schools to promote competitions in the creation of posters, poems and essays on these two concepts. The student winners from all schools are then presented with certificates of achievement and reward checks. Contact is also made to local places of worship and to local businesses and organizations.
The ceremony started with the presentation of the colors by the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office Honor Guard. Speeches by members of Rotary and the Wellington Village Council, including Mayor Anne Gerwig, were then followed by the presentation of the prizes to student winners.
Annually recognition is given to a student as part of the club’s student mediator award. This year it was presented to Jayme DeRamus from Palm Beach Central High School. Also presented was the Rotary Community Peace Award, which went to Kathy Foster, Wellington’s first mayor and founder of the Wellington Cares charitable organization.
The attendees were also entertained by the Traditions Choir from Palm Beach Central High School with renditions of “We are the World” and “Let There be Peace on Earth.” Village residents spoke the words “May Peace Prevail on Earth” in eight separate languages. As is usual, the ceremony concluded with the release of white peace doves.
Larry Kemp, chairman of the Rotary Peace Initiative, brought the ceremony to a close by thanking all students, teachers and parents, the council and the many Rotary Club volunteers who made the initiative and ceremony a success.
For more information on the peace initiative, or information on the activities of the Rotary Club of Wellington, e-mail Kemp at firstname.lastname@example.org.