The Rotary Club of Royal Palm Beach will host its 28th annual Awards Dinner and Induction of Officers on Friday, June 8 at 6 p.m. at the Royal Palm Beach Commons Park Pavilion.
Chartered in May 1990, the Royal Palm Beach Rotary has a rich and vibrant history of community service. The club awards scholarships to deserving students in Royal Palm Beach, provides books to schools and helps deserving citizens in many constructive ways.
An annual highlight is the Rotary’s sponsorship of the “Citizen of the Year” award dinner. Recent honorees have included PBSO Chief Deputy Mike Gauger, late Royal Palm Beach Mayor Matty Mattioli and local philanthropist Jess Santamaria. Proceeds of the event are used for numerous charitable endeavors.
Officers to be inducted June 8 include President Jeff Hmara. Hmara is no stranger to community service. His contributions to the country over the last 50 years mirror the motto of Rotary International, “Service Above Self.”
Hmara, a native of New Jersey is a graduate of the Citadel, was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant in the United States Army and served in Vietnam. Now a retired Army Colonel, he served on active duty for 26 years, including tours of duty in Vietnam, Korea and Germany. After leaving the Army, he held senior-level management positions in Washington, D.C. with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Federal Aviation Administration, and locally with the Transportation Security Administration.
Also a member of the Royal Palm Beach Village Council, Hmara and his wife Carolyn moved to Madison Green in Royal Palm Beach in 2003. Married since 1969, they have two children and four grandchildren. As an adjunct professor of management and leadership at Palm Beach Atlantic University, Hmara has taught locally since 2007.
Prior to being elected to the council, Hmara was involved in community affairs through his voluntary participation on the 2010 Crestwood Redevelopment Task Force. He has also served in official positions on several Madison Green Homeowners’ Association boards and is currently serving as a member of the Central Palm Beach County Chamber of Commerce Economic Development Committee. He is also active in the League of Cities.
Other officers and leaders being inducted at the ceremony will be President-Elect Daniel Morales, Vice President Scott Snyder, Secretary Joan Scherer, Treasurer John Spillane and Sergeant at Arms Steve Epstein. Evelyn Flores, the outgoing president, will assume the role of immediate past president.
At the induction, Hmara will lay out his goals for 2018-19 and introduce the new officers and the committee chairs he is appointing. Heading the drive for new members is Lorna Kernizan. Longtime Rotarian Lynn Balch will chair the Club Services Committee. Dwayne St. Hill will chair the Youth Services Committee, and Dr. Sarda Bhandary will lead the Foundation Committee. Dan Splain will chair the public image effort for the club.
The Rotary Club of Royal Palm Beach is chartered by Rotary International, founded in Chicago in 1905 as an international service organization whose stated purpose is to bring together business and professional leaders to provide humanitarian services, encourage high ethical standards in all vocations, and to advance goodwill and peace around the world. It is a non-political and non-sectarian organization open to all. There are now 34,282 member clubs worldwide, and 1.2 million individuals have joined.
Rotarians usually gather weekly for breakfast, lunch or dinner to fulfill their first guiding principle to develop friendships as an opportunity for service.
The Rotary Club of Royal Palm Beach meets every Thursday morning at 7:30 a.m. at the Pirate’s Well at the corner of Southern and Crestwood boulevards. Any interested citizen is welcome to attend as a guest and learn more about the organization.