Rotary Club Downtown Boca Raises $90,000 For Scholars During ‘Honor Your Doctor’ Luncheon At Boca West


By: Dale King Contributing Writer

This year’s 20th annual Honor Your Doctor luncheon sponsored and presented by the Rotary Club Downtown Boca Raton recognized more than 160 physicians and medical professionals and raised more than $90,000 for medical, nursing and health-related scholarships.

While each nominated physician and medical specialist received an appreciation award at the luncheon held at Boca West Country Club earlier this year, dermatologist Dr. Eli Cohen of Delray Beach was recognized as the 2018 Doctor of Distinction for generating the most nomination votes from patients and the general community. He received a brass and wood clock with an engraved plaque.

“We are so pleased that the Rotary Club Downtown Boca Raton has again raised the bar for this very special event,” said co-chair Alan Kaye.

“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.”

Attended by 300 healthcare, community and civic leaders, the annual get-together funds the Helen M. Babione Medical Scholarship that benefits medical, nursing and health-related students attending the Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine at Florida Atlantic University, the Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing at FAU, Lynn University and Palm Beach State College.

Special recognition was given this year to doctors from two Broward Health hospitals who tended to those injured in the tragic shooting Feb. 14 at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland.

Dr. Ivan Puente, who accepted on behalf of Broward Health, stated: “We hope 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.”

The program featured remarks from the four medical and nursing student scholarship recipients: Florence Xiong, a 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 and Patricia Louis, first-year medical student at Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine.

This year’s luncheon was co-chaired by Alan Kaye and Janice Williams. Honorary chair was Helen Babione and the honorary physician advisor was Dr. Jeffrey Stein, who received the 2017 Doctor of Distinction recognition.

The Honor Your Doctor Luncheon was founded by Helen Babione, a longtime resident and philanthropist in Boca Raton. The Rotary Club Downtown Boca Raton has produced the event for the last five years; previously, the GFWC Boca Raton Woman’s Club was event sponsor.