Civic association names Al Bismonte Humanitarian of Year

Special to the Sun Times

Dianna Dohm, Marco Island Civic Association vice president, announced that Dr. Albino Bismonte is the organization's Humanitarian of the Year.

She said the MICA award was developed in 1998 to honor the unsung heroes of Marco Island, the people who do so much for so many.

The award was presented at Marco Island Residents' Beach before a crowd of about 1,000 people.

Excerpts from Dohm's remarks:

"Our Humanitarian Award is presented every year at MICA's Annual Meeting in January, however, our 2015 Humanitarian was out of the country performing selfless actions at that time! So we scrambled, hoping he would miraculously arrive back in the U.S. in time. It was not to be, but he is here with us today. And where was our Humanitarian in January?

"He was in his birth country of the Phillipines administering medical aid to the underpriviledged children of the area. I am speaking of Dr. Albino Bismonte!

"Al Bismonte is a retired pediatrician. Al still practices medicine and travels to Chicago for a couple of weeks each year to cover while his former partner takes a vacation. He prefers to get paid in the form of medicine so he can take it to his Mission in the Phillipines where he spends three weeks every year opening a day clinic at his sister's home in a rural part of the country.

"Over the three weeks, Al sees approximately 50-60 children per day and gives them the compassionate medical care they need. For those children that he does not have the proper medication, Al gives them a voucher to go to the only drugstore in the area to get what they need. Al then pays for all of the medicines.

"Al Bismonte is active in our Marco Island community as well. He is a member of the Knights of Columbus, where he has served as Grand Knight for the Council and Faithful Navigator of the Assembly. He also serves as District Deputy responsible for all the Councils in Southern Collier County.

"Al is a Eucharistic Minister for San Marco Catholic Church. He is a member of the Noontime Rotary Club. He is a driver for St. Vincent DePaul, delivering meals to the elderly and poor workers at the 6L Farms. He also drives the elderly to their doctor visits or for their weekly chemotherapy treatments for those who cannot drive and need assistance. And Al is now a member of the Board of Directors of the Marco Island Civic Association! We are proud to have him on board!

"Al Bismonte is an outstanding, caring role model."

Previous winners

• Mimi Torbush, the first Humanitarian

• Shirlee and Brian Barcic

• Ward Bradeen

• D'Ann and David Brandt

• Dr. Sam and Mary Ann Durso

• Judy Barney; Arturo Perez

• Maury Dailey

• Art Segal

• Stevi Walthour

• Luise Romano

• Jane Williams

• Karen Saeks

• Nicki Davis

• Jann and Bert Brewer

• Maria Elena Pujol

• Howard Jordan

• Jack Simmen

• Cheryl and Mike Mueller