Published On: Sat, Apr 28th, 2018

20th Annual “Honor Your Doctor” Luncheon Raised $90,000 for Medical / Nursing Student Scholarships  



Raising funds of more than $90,000 for medical, nursing and health related scholarships, this year’s 20th Annual Honor Your Luncheon (HYDL) presented by the Rotary Club Downtown Boca Raton (RCDBR) recognized more than 160 physicians and medical professionals. Attended by 300 healthcare, community and civic leaders, the HYDL each year funds the Helen M. Babione Medical Scholarship that benefits medical, nursing and health related students attending four local universities: Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine at FAU, Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing at FAU, Lynn University and Palm Beach State College.


6930 District Governor Dave Freudenberg, Co-Chair Janice Williams, Helen Babione, Rotary Club Downtown Boca Raton President Terri Wescott, Past President & Co- Chair Alan Kaye, Past President Jon Kaye

While each nominated physician and medical professional received an appreciation award, Dermatologist Dr. Eli Cohen was recognized as the 2018 HYD Doctor of Distinction for generating the most nomination votes from patients and the community-at-large. He was presented a brass and wood clock with an engraved plaque as City of Boca Raton Mayor Susan Haynie proclaimed March 28, 2018 as Dr. Eli Cohen Day in the city.

Special recognition was given to the doctors of two Broward Health Hospitals who cared for those injured in the tragic shooting on February 14, 2018 at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland. Dr. Ivan Puente who accepted on behalf of Broward Health stated, “We hope that there will never be another event like the one that occurred at Stoneman Douglas, but we know that if it does occur, we are prepared to handle it.”

RCDTB President Terri Wescott, President Elect Michael Walstrom, HYD Co-Chair Janice Williams, 2018 Doctor of Distinction Dr. Ira Cohen, Mayor Susan Haynie, Helen Babione, Past President and HYD Co-Chair Alan Kaye

The program featured remarks from four medical and nursing student scholarship recipients:
Florence Xiong first year medical student from FAU Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine; Rivka Averbuhk, Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing; Barbara Wisinski, a senior at Lynn University; Patricia Louis, first-year medical student at Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine.

This year’s HYDL was co-chaired by Alan Kaye and Janice Williams.  Honorary Chair was Helen Babione and the Honorary Physician Advisor was Dr. Jeffrey Stein who was the 2017 Doctor of Distinction.  This years “Honor Your Doctor” luncheon committee included; Deborah Freudenberg, Ingrid Fulmer, Gary Hickory, Gloria Hosh, Dr. Allen Konis, Lori-Ann Konis, Brian Long, Michelle McLean-Bailey, Bill Miller, Lynda Palmer, Linda Petrakis, Dr. Ron Rubin, Jeff Weber, Dr. Linsey Willis, and Marilyn Wilson.

“We are so pleased that the Rotary Club Downtown Boca Raton has again raised the bar for this very special event. The “Honor Your Doctor Luncheon” has become an annual tradition to celebrate many of Boca Raton’s community leaders, medical community and philanthropists” said Event Co-Chair, Alan Kaye.  “It is so gratifying to see the wonderful physicians and medical professionals in our community recognized by their patients and peers.”  The public was invited to nominate their favorite doctor via an online and mail-in nomination form. All nominees were invited to a champagne pre-luncheon reception and the luncheon as a guest of the Rotary Club Downtown Boca Raton.

Christine E. Lynn Elaine Wold, 2018 Doctor of Distinction Dr. Ira Cohen, Helen Babione, Mayor Susan Haynie

“This event was the brainchild of Helen Babione 20 years ago when she was President of the GFWC Boca Raton Woman’s Club. The luncheon raises funds for deserving students to attend our local universities, and at the same time, recognize the efforts of our growing medical community and encourages these students to remain in practice here in Boca Raton by engaging them from the very beginning in the community”, said event Co-Chair Janice Williams. “We are so fortunate to have such a long roster of revered and respected healthcare professionals in our community who enhance and save lives every day of the year.” Janice Williams has served as HYDL chair, co-chair and advisor for 18 years.

“The Honor Your Doctor Luncheon has become an inspiring annual tradition in the Boca Raton community that furthers our Rotary Club’s health and wellness mission,” noted Rotary Club Downtown Boca Raton President Terri Wescott.  “Our club is so proud to be entrusted with the stewardship of this program.”


The Award Winning Rotary Club Downtown Boca Raton founded July, 2012 (District 6930 2014-2015 Club of the year) is dedicated to impacting the Boca Raton community through the blended efforts that support the Rotary International’s philosophy of “Service Above Self” and the Club’s main mission of health and wellness. For more information about the Club, including how to become a member, visit or contact [email protected]

Rotary International is a global network of community volunteers. The 1.3 million Rotary members are business, professional, and community leaders who provide humanitarian service, encourage high ethical standards, and help build goodwill and peace in the world. There are over 34,000 Rotary clubs in more than 200 countries and geographical areas that initiate service projects to address today’s challenges, including illiteracy, disease, hunger, poverty, lack of clean water, and environmental concerns. For more information about Rotary International visit


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