By: Dale King Contributing Writer
Boca Raton’s Rosemary Krieger has supported a score of local and area charities and nonprofits with financial donations, leadership for fundraising events and sustenance for facilities in their networks.
Only Rosemary herself seemed surprised when the Junior League of Boca Raton honored her with a Lifetime Achievement Award at its 29th Annual Woman Volunteer of the Year Luncheon & Fashion Show Nov. 18 at the Boca Raton Resort & Club.
The choked-up, teary-eyed benefactor tried hard to compose herself as she from the podium, thanking the nearly 1,000 people gathered for one of season’s most anticipated events.
Many in the audience were themselves in tears as they stood and applauded Rosemary, whose beneficence has helped dozens of nonprofits, from AVDA (Aid to Victims of Domestic Abuse), the YMCA, March of Dimes, George Snow Scholarship Fund, Wayne Barton Center, St. Jude Church, Boca Helping Hands and Florence Fuller Child Development Center, to name a few.
AVDA Executive Director Pam O’Brien nominated her for the award. “Rosemary is a true giver who thinks of others before herself,” said O’Brien. “She wants to make sure that women and children in need have a safe place to go.”
In the crowd were Rosemary’s husband, Ben, and all three of her children who flew in from various parts of the country to be there: sons Kenneth, from New York and Gregory, from Delaware, and daughter, Catherine Krieger-Nelson, from Dallas.
“This is the first event like this that I have been able to attend,” said Kenneth. “I could not be more proud of my mother.”
Rosemary was one of five nominated for the Lifetime Achievement Award. Others were Joan Englert (BIG Children’s Foundation), Donna Goray (Farmworker Children’s Center, Inc.), Mary Perper (Florence Fuller Child Development Center) and Anne Bright, Lupus Foundation of America, Florida chapter.
The Junior League also chose Susan Whelchel as Volunteer of the Year. Former Boca Raton mayor and City Councilwoman and ex-member of the Palm Beach County School Board, she has been a Junior League member since 1978. She has served on and assisted many organizations, including Palm Beach County Business Development and the Spirit of Giving. She received a Boca Raton Rotary Club OPAL Accolade and a Walk of Recognition honor from the Boca Raton Historical Society.
Whelchel was one of 35 nominated for volunteer accolades. Sarah Doyle chaired the event and Kathy Adkins was honorary chair. Suzanne Boyd from Channel 12 News was mistress of ceremonies.
“Today’s event provides us the opportunity to honor the nominees, and all volunteers, who make our community a better place,” said Kirsten Stanley, Junior League president 2015-2017. “Each of the amazing 40 women being recognized today embodies the Junior League vision, ‘Women Building Better Communities.’”
In a letter to the Junior League, Mayor Susan Haynie offered “warmest congratulations to the extraordinary women who have been nominated. Each and every nominee has demonstrated her devotion to a worthy cause and, through her voluntarism, has made our community a stronger and better place.”
The luncheon included a Saks Fifth Avenue Boca Raton fall trends fashion show highlighted by Ramy Brook holiday, resort and pre-spring collections.
By: Dale King Contributing Writer