The Noontime Rotary Club of Marco Island presented three additional 2016 Spirit of Marco Island awards recently to Dr. George and Mary Baron and Ben Farnsworth.

The Barons were both caught by surprise with their selection at a recent Marco Island Center for the Arts advisory council meeting, when Linda Sandlin of the Noontime club, joined by several other members, made the announcement and presentation.

The Barons were recognized for numerous contributions of their time, talent and treasure. They are actively involved with the center for the arts, having served as board members and chairman of the advisory committee.

Additional volunteer positions include president of the American Cancer Society, founder of Collier Senior Resources, vice chair of the Children’s Museum, Shelter for Abused Women and Children and the Guadeloupe Center to name a few.

Sandlin commented that George and Mary Baron’s contributions to the community have been extraordinary and they are very deserving of the Spirit of Marco Island Award.

In addition to the Barons, the Noontime club also made a second presentation to Ben Farnsworth, who was surprised in front of nearly 100 persons attending a Knights of Columbus social at the San Marco Catholic Church hall.

Lynne Minozzi

Lynne Minozzi, Noontime Rotary Club president, made the announcement to the applause of all those in attendance. Minozzi was accompanied by fellow club members at the podium, as she listed many of Farnsworth’s contributions to the community.

Farnsworth is twice a past Grand Knight, past Faithful Navigator and district deputy for the Knights of Columbus. In addition, he has volunteered for Meals on Wheels, and as a bread runner for families in need. He is on the city’s waterway advisory committee and serves as the president of the board of his condominium association.

The Barons and Farnsworth, along with previously announced winners Ron and Pat Rutledge and Tom and Lori Wagor, will be formally presented with their awards at a gala awards dinner and silent auction on Sunday, Feb. 21, at the Bistro Soleil Restaurant in Old Marco.

The proceeds from the gala and silent auction are used to support local charities and scholarships.

More information

Contact Al Diaz at 438-5285 or by email at

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