Focus on food and fitness: Rotarians enjoy 'taste' of the Y

Chef Michael Passero serves up some of his healthy creations during the visit to the Y by members of the Marco Island Rotary Club Noontime.

Haute cuisine of the healthy kind – think shrimp rolls and broccoli ceviche – caught the attention and palates of a group of Marco Rotarians during a recent visit to the YMCA of South Collier (Marco Island).

More:Marco seniors brush up on their smart phone smarts

The visit was part of an off-season initiative by the Marco Island Rotary Club Noontime to link up with island businesses and organizations to see how they tick.

During the Y visit, they enjoyed the delicious creations of Chef Michael Passero, and subjected themselves to a fitness and flexibility assessment session.

By way of a tour, they also had a look-see at the Y's Youth Development Center, the pool, the tennis and pickle ball courts, the fitness center, and also the "partnership area" – housing representatives from the David Lawrence Center as well as Core Health Partners.

The Rotarians pose with Y staffers (dressed in the colorful t-shirts).

The latter organization – in line with Y's own philosophy - promotes "optimal wellbeing for individuals and communities through health and wellbeing programs, consulting and wellness education."

Noontime Rotary immediate past president Pat Rutledge found the fitness assessment session eye opening.

"We had different stations, testing flexibility, endurance, mobility and strength," Rutledge said. "All was good for me with the exception of flexibility."

Mike Richards concurred.

Rotarians Patricia Rutledge and George Abounader exhibit different emotions as they do the weights session.
Rotarian Alan Sandlin does the "50-foot dash" as part of the participants’ fitness assessment.

"I guess I'm not in as good shape as I thought," he said with a chuckle.

Rutledge said her club had decided to visit assorted businesses and organizations during the slower summer season.

So far, she said, members had enjoyed visits to the JW Marriott, Our Daily Bread (providing food to lesser privileged families) and also Sunshine Stitchers, which provides embroidery, screen printing and banners.

Cindy Love-Abounader the Y's CEO and also a Rotarian, suggested the visit. At the close, she provided the Rotarians with assorted promotional literature and encouraged those who weren't Y members to join.

The Noontime Rotary Club website is For more on the Y's wide variety of programs and activities for adults and children, visit or call 394-YMCA (9622). Follow on Twitter at ymcamarco; on Facebook @marcoymca, and Instagram at ymcamarco.