By Michele Dargan, Special to the Civic Association -- Dr. Mehmet C. Oz, renowned heart surgeon and host of The Dr. Oz Show, joined the ranks of distinguished directors of the Palm Beach Civic Association Monday during the Annual Meeting at the Henry Morrison Flagler Museum.
“I love the power of everyday citizens showing up in force to voice their passion for improving our communities,” Dr. Oz said. “I’m very proud to be a new director of the Palm Beach Civic Association."
Image: Civic Association Chairman Bob Wright & Civic Association Director Dr. Mehmet Oz
Dr. Oz, Alfred P. “Skip” Aldridge, C. Edward Carter, Geri M. Emmett, Suzanne Frisbie, and Richard Kleid were nominated and approved as new Civic Association Directors. [Click Here to See Bios]
More than 350 people attended the Annual Meeting followed by an End of Season Celebration.
Some of the highlights included Mayor Gail Coniglio’s eighth “State of Palm Beach” address, a “Year in Review” video of the association’s events, the presentation of the Town Beautification Award, and Raymond J. Kunkel Awards.
Civic Association Chairman and CEO Bob Wright welcomed everyone and led the Pledge of Allegiance. Erin Manning, executive director of the Flagler Museum, also welcomed everyone.
Mayor Coniglio and Civic Association President Ned Barnes recognized Palm Beach Town Council members and other town officials as well as Palm Beach County elected officials, and those running for office.
The entire season has been dedicated to the memory of former Civic Association Chairman Stanley M. Rumbough Jr., who passed away on September 27. Thanks to the generosity of the Rumbough family, the Civic Association has established the Stanley M. Rumbough, Jr. Legacy Society with gift commitments totaling over $1 million. Mr. Wright thanked his widow, Janne Rumbough, who was in attendance.
Mr. Wright asked new director and former Town Councilman Richard Kleid to stand and be honored for his tremendous service to the town; and, expressed sympathy to him on the recent death of his wife, Rhoda. Mr. Kleid received a long standing ovation from the crowd.
Civic Association Video: Annual Meeting Overview & Reactions [5:23]
Civic Association Year in Review Video [6;45]
Town Beautification Award
Each year at the annual meeting, the Palm Beach Civic Association presents the Town Beautification Award to an individual or group that has significantly enhanced the beauty of the Town of Palm Beach.
The newly restored Royal Poinciana Plaza is the 2018 recipient of the award.
John Corey, co-chair of the Beautification Committee, spoke about the project.
“This year, we are pleased to recognize the stunning restoration of the John-Volk designed, Palm Beach landmark,” Mr. Corey said. “Originally opened in 1957, it has been transformed from a tired, worn out plaza into a vibrant, eye-catching premier shopping district with extensive landscaping and attractive store fronts. The reinvigorated plaza has become a wonderful gateway into our town.”
This multi-million-dollar project was brought to fruition by Samantha David and her Up Markets team, who had the vision and the commitment to accomplish the remarkable renovations to the 180,000-square-feet of retail space on 12 acres of land, Mr. Corey said.
The project included restoration to the buildings and fountains, a new traffic pattern with wider entrance and exit lanes, improvements to the courtyard with curved paths and seating areas and all-new lush landscaping.
“The extensive plaza improvements and beautification efforts will be a lasting legacy to the Town of Palm Beach and enjoyed and cherished for generations to come,” Mr. Corey said.
Ms. David thanked the Civic Association for the award and thanked her team for making the award possible.
“The Beautification Award for Palm Beach is no small thing,” Ms. David said. “Everything on the island is beautiful … What had started as a crazy, silly impossible dream has now become a reality before my eyes. You all challenged us to something extraordinary and not to be average and you said if we deliver, you would be there. And you have all been there for us. I’m overwhelmed with gratitude to the people who’ve gotten us here … This is just the beginning of our journey. We have much, much more yet to do and we stand here committed to making you proud for many years to come.”
Raymond J. Kunkel Awards
Palm Beach Publix Manager Andy DeLong and Palm Beach Police Officers Ryan Burgoon and Anthony DeJesse are the 2018 recipients of Raymond J. Kunkel Awards.
Mr. DeLong received a plaque and a check for $3,000. Officers Burgoon and DeJesse each received a plaque and a $2,000 check.
The Raymond J. Kunkel Award was created in 1976 to honor the memory of former Civic Association director and chairman Raymond J. Kunkel. It is awarded each year to individuals or organizations that render heroic or meritorious service to the Town of Palm Beach.
“This year, we have three Kunkel Award recipients: an individual who ensured that supplies were available to first responders and residents before and after Hurricane Irma and two police officers who risked their lives to save two swimmers in distress,” said William Matthews, chairman of the Kunkel Award Committee.
Paul Leone and Cathy Flagg, Kunkel Committee members, helped present the award.
Palm Beach Publix Manager Andy DeLong
“Today, the Civic Association recognizes Palm Beach Publix Manager Andy DeLong for his efforts in providing food to first responders and stocking the store with food and supplies for residents before and after Hurricane Irma,” Mr. Leone said. “Andy is also at the forefront of helping to distribute reusable grocery bags, provided by the Civic Association, in support of the town’s initiative to reduce the number of plastic bags used in Palm Beach. Deputy Town Manager Jay Boodheshwar said that during major storms he considers Andy and the Palm Beach Publix team as part of the town’s Emergency Management Team.
“Andy, in recognition of your tireless efforts to ensure food and supplies were available to the Palm Beach community before and after Hurricane Irma, and for your exceptionally friendly, upbeat, “can-do” community spirit, the Civic Association would like to present you with the 2018 Raymond J. Kunkel Award for meritorious service to the Town of Palm Beach,” Mr. Leone said.
Mr. DeLong thanked the Civic Association for the award. He also recognized his wife, Virginia, and three outstanding Publix employees who attended.
“It is a true honor,” Mr. DeLong said.
Mr. DeLong said he enjoyed working with the Civic Association and Oxbridge Academy students in distributing 5,000 reusable bags to Publix customers over two days.
He also thanked the first responders for serving the town during Hurricane Irma.
Palm Beach Police Officers Ryan Burgoon and Anthony DeJesse
“The Civic Association is proud to honor Officers Ryan Burgoon and Anthony DeJesse for their heroism in rescuing two swimmers who, most likely, would have drowned without the brave actions of the two officers,” Ms. Flagg said.
Ms. Flagg described the rescue.
The two officers received a call on the afternoon of May 16, 2017 that two male swimmers were in distress near Clarke Beach. A fast-moving storm had rolled in with rain and high winds, creating rip tides. The officers arrived less than three minutes after the call was dispatched, dove into the water with floatation devices and pulled the men to safety. Unfortunately, one of the men went into cardiac arrest during the rescue and, ultimately, died. The other man made a complete recovery.
Deputy Chief Ann-Marie Taylor praised both men for their actions that day, saying, “Their calm demeanor and quick response were in complete disregard for their own personal safety and their actions saved the men from drowning.”
“Officer Ryan Burgoon and Officer Anthony DeJesse, for your heroic efforts in rescuing two individuals who were drowning, the Civic Association is proud to present you with the 2018 Raymond J. Kunkel Award for meritorious service to the Town of Palm Beach,” Ms. Flagg said.
Officer Burgoon thanked the Palm Beach Civic Association saying, “it’s such a great organization in this town and makes it easy for us to serve.”
Mayor Gail Coniglio State-of the-Town Address
Mayor Gail Coniglio was the keynote speaker with her eighth State-of-the Town Address. She focused on how the town would meet its financial commitments, hiring and retaining employees, safety and security, the new town docks proposal, the new recreation center, undergrounding, shore protection, and traffic. Click Here to See the in-depth Civic Association news story on the Mayor’s speech [Including Speech Video].
A champagne and mimosa celebration with passed hors d'oeuvres was held in the Grand Hall following the meeting.
SPECIAL THANKS TO OUR CIVIC ASSOCIATION
2017 – 2018
Boca Nursing Services Inc.
Campazzi Concierge Medical Services
First Republic Bank
The Frisbie Group
Good Samaritan Medical Center
Holistic Integrative Health (HIH)
Linda R. Olsson, Inc. - Realtor
Palm Beach Island Hospice Foundation
Scripps Research Institute, Florida
Tideline Resort & Spa
Tiffany & Co.
2018 Annual Meeting & Toast to the Town Celebration