Sunrise Rotary awards Unsung Hero to Ray McChesney

William Morris
Special to the Eagle
On Jan. 31, the Rotary Club of Marco Island Sunrise presented its Unsung Hero Award for the fourth quarter to Ray McChesney.

On Jan. 31, the Rotary Club of Marco Island Sunrise presented its Unsung Hero Award for the fourth quarter to Ray McChesney.

McChesney is recognized for his service to the Marco Island community and placing “service above self” consistent with Rotary’s aspirations.

McChesney is “compassionate, patient, loyal, committed, positive, humble and consistent.” These are words that describe McChesney, a person who is the definition of an unsung hero.

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Ray and his wife Marie Lynn arrived on Marco Island over 15 years ago and both their efforts helped change the Island for the better. Ray has been a driving volunteer force since he arrived. Ray has served on a number of boards including Kiwanis Club of Marco Island, City of Marco Island's Beach and Coastal Advisory Committee, Marco Island Police Foundation and the Marco Island Civic Association Board.

If Kiwanis had a fundraiser, Ray was there to help. His involvement in Kiwanis included Reading is Fundamental (Book Distribution) at both Manatee and Tommy Barfield Elementary. He was instrumental with the Annual Kiwanis Christmas Gift distribution program at Manatee Elementary School.

Ray also volunteered at the 5K Run-Reading for Kids, along with the Texas Hold'em fundraisers. Ray played a very important role with the Marco Island Civic Association, not only as a board member for numerous terms, but also served as chair of the beach committee and worked the ever-popular 4th of July Beach parties as patrol and judging the sand castle building contest. His love of kids was evident in all of Ray's volunteer activities including working the City's Spooktacular and Spring Jubilee events. He was always collecting for the Women's and Children's Abused Shelter and the Kids Back to School Backpack program.

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Ray is a big supporter of Marco Island's Police Department. He has served many terms on the Police Foundation's Board of Directors, chairing the Pig Roast and BBQ Fundraiser and also the Foundation's Golf Tournament. Whenever the Police Foundation and/or the Police Department needed a volunteer Ray, was there.

As Sunrise Rotary’s Unsung Hero, Ray was awarded a plaque commemorating the recognition. In addition, the Club donated $100 to Ray’s chosen charity, Marco Police Foundation, and 20 polio vaccines in her name as part of Rotary International’s effort to eradicate polio. The Unsung Hero award recognizes a member of the Marco Island community who unselfishly helps others and who has not generally been recognized for such service.

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Sunrise Rotary continues its search for Unsung Heroes and asks that anyone wishing to nominate an Unsung Hero please contact Chairman Bill Morris at or visit the Rotary Club of Marco Island Sunrise website at