Published On: Sun, Nov 12th, 2023

Big Turnout, 2 Winners At Junior League’s Volunteer Tribute

Big Turnout, 2 Winners At Junior League’s Volunteer Tribute 

By Marci Shatzman

Junior League of Boca Raton’s annual homage to women nominated by their nonprofit as a superstar drew 900 supporters to the 36th Annual Woman Volunteer of the Year luncheon at The Boca Raton.

“Volunteerism is a pillar of our mission. These are busy people who are making things better,” event chair Nancy Dockerty said to start the proceedings.

Forty-nine nominees were introduced and walked two runways in the packed ballroom. The big announcements are always saved for the finale.  

Lee Williams, board chair of 211 Palm Beach/Treasure Coast, was named 2023 Woman Volunteer of the Year by the judges.

Betsy Owen, a past Rotary International district governor nominated by the Rotary Club of Delray Beach, received the 2023 Lifetime Achievement Award.

“I’m in absolute shock. There’s no way I won with all these champions,” said Williams, a lifelong volunteer since she was a teenager.    

“We’ve been to 38 countries,” to help alleviate housing shortages and prevent polio,” Owen told the audience, adding the award will help spread Rotary’s missions.

Mayor Scott Singer escorted each woman to the stage to receive her award and a large bouquet. The winners were announced by the event’s award sponsor, Boca Raton Regional Hospital Foundation president Mark Larkin, and the hospital’s Christine E. Lynn Health & Wellness Institute vice president Maureen Mann.

Dockerty introduced the luncheon honorary chair Margaret L. Blume, a benefactor of The Blume Literacy Center of Palm Beach County, The Blume Tropical Wetland Garden at Mounts Botanical Gardens of Palm Beach County, and the renovation of the Cornell Museum at Old School Square in Delray Beach, among other philanthropic projects.

This year’s fashion show was produced by The Boca Raton and their vendors, announced Justin Ely, executive director of membership. A small boy model got the biggest hand.

All the nominees had tables of supporters and their respective nonprofit executives and staff, and many Junior League former presidents and members attended to support the League’s biggest annual fundraiser. At the fabulous Dockerty family table were Dr. Sean Patrick Ragone and all her siblings who turned out en masse to celebrate their sister, even the Texas contingent.  

Here’s the other 47 Woman Volunteer of the Year nominees honored:

Bonnie S. Kaye, Pamela Polani, Andrea Virgin, Danielle Rosse, Jackie Reeves, Bonnie Schweiger, Amy Adaniel, Isabel (Izzy) Parrado, Lynn Travis Stender, Wendy Hasselman, Lynne Ogren, Zoe Lanham, Nicole Flier, Ashley Bacon, Marianne Forrest, Ana Marie Restrepo, Ellen Gorringe, Claudia Rodney, Missy Tschappat, Nancy Chanin, Katie Miller Busch, Claudia Nichols, Janet Kranich, Tarra Pressey Moten and Joanne Greiser.

Also, Kristen Ross-Majhess, Mara Benjamin, Elaine Abrams, Christine Turner, Victoria Matthews, Rebecca Lourido, Ellen Leibovitch, Sharon Hill, Pamela Coffey, Judi Asselta, Vicki Pugh, Mary Donnell, Kim Champion, Susan Diener, Cristina Lewis, Dre Garcia, Amy Aronowitz, Aubrey McCutchen Zeigler, Donna Glenn, Kathryn Leonard, Julie Payton and Fernanda Macedo.

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