Boca Raton Historical Society's 24th Annual Walk of Recognition
The Boca Raton Historical Society & Museum will be honoring Teresa "Terry" Fedele, the late Jay H. Van Vechten, and the Boca Ballet Theatre, at the 24th annual Walk of Recognition ceremony on Wednesday, November 4, 2020, at 6:00 p.m.
These individuals, and this organization, have truly served in the interest of the community and have enriched the lives of the citizens of Boca Raton. This year's ceremony will adhere to CDC guidelines, and will include face masks and social distancing, due to COVID-19. Additionally, this year's videotaped ceremony will be accessible on the BRHS&M website.
Instituted in 1997, the Walk of Recognition award ceremony will highlight each inductee’s name--which will be inscribed on a granite plaque on the "Walk" or on the Wall of Honor (for those who are deceased)--which will be set into a commemorative monument, featuring the mission of the program, beneath the Mizner statue in Royal Palm Place in Boca Raton. The plaques are underwritten by Marta Batmasian, as part of her commitment to her community.
BRHS&M Executive Director Mary Csar states, "The Walk of Recognition is my favorite event becaause we have the opportunity to honor the outstanding individuals and organizations who have built our community. We are proud to recognize people from all walks of life, along with a wide range of institutions and organizations, who have made a positive impact on the quality of life here."
2020 WALK OF RECOGNITION WINNERS
TERESA "TERRY" FEDELE
Boca Raton resident Teresa "Terry" Fedele is an extraordinarily dedicated volunteer, whose boundless optimism and "can-do" spirit, have made a significant impact on the community. Since moving to Boca Raton with her husband Jerry Fedele, from their native Pittsburgh in 2008, she has channeled her strong passion for health care and children to volunteer and lead numerous organizations. It is no surprise that her impressive CV boasts a long list of boards, committees, events, and organizations, where she has made a definitive mark by contributing her time and her talent.
Her noteworthy accomplishments include serving on many committees for the Boca Raton Regional Hospital, including the Go Pink Luncheon and the Hospital Ball, and acting as the coordinator for the Boca Raton Championship -- The Christine E. Lynn Women's Health & Wellness Pro-Am. She is currently the Board Chair of FAU's Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing Advisory Board; Board President of the Caring Heart's Auxiliary of FAU's Louis and Anne Green Memory and Wellness Center (she has co-chaired their yearly Keep Memories Alive Walk since 2012); Board Member of the Lynn University Conservatory of Music; Board member of the YMCA of Boca Raton; committee member of the George Snow Scholarship Fund's Boca's Ballroom Battle (she was a dancer in 2017 and the top female fundraiser that year) and co-chairwoman of their Caribbean Cowboy Ball in 2014; member of the Soroptomist Club (she has co-chaired their Women of Distinction event for the past few years, was honored as a Woman of Distinction in 2015, and served as the event's Honorary Chairperson in 2016); and member of Impact 100 of Palm Beach County.
Prior to moving to Boca Raton, Fedele forged an impressive career in health care in Pittsburgh. While she began her career as a registered nurse, she went on to hold various executive positions, including executive vice president of hospital operations for some of PIttsburgh's leading hospitals. When she is not volunteering, she enjoys spending time with her family, reading, and playing golf.
JAY H. VAN VECHTEN
While the late Jay H. Van Vechten was known for his larger-than-life personality, his positive spirit, his world travels, his lavish Christmas parties, and his expertise in public relations, he was also distinguished by his true passion for helping people with disabilities. He was appreciated for transforming a beach picnic, for the disabled, into an extremely popular community event which attracted thousands of people each year. He chaired the American Disabilities Foundation, Inc. and he served as the executive director of his annual Boating & Beach Bash for People with Disabilities.
Van Vechten launched The Bash--which has been known as the nation's largest free event for people with physical disabilities and/or intellectual challenges--in 2009. What was previously a smaller event, for people living in group homes, grew to include wounded soldiers and Purple Heart recipients. The Bash regularly draws over 5000 people, each year, who enjoy a day-long BBQ and rides on boats and yachts, along with a wide range of children's activities. As an advocate for the disabled, he worked tirelessly to make Boca Raton a welcoming place for people with disabilities. He campaigned for handicapped parking and beach access, for the disabled, and he enjoyed celebrating individuals who had overcome handicaps and had accomplished milestones. He considered himself disabled, after suffering a fall in 2001.
Van Vechten had previously operated an award-winning New York City public relations firm--Van Vechten and Co.--specializing in medical, pharmaceutical, and health care clients for several decades. He relocated to Boca Raton, in the 1990s, and became a vital part of the philanthropic community along with his wife, Lowell.
BOCA BALLET THEATRE
Now in its 30th year, Boca Ballet Theatre's vision can be described as inspiration through exposure. This Boca Raton organization was launched, in 1990, by a group of dedicated families. Two years later, Co-Artistic Directors, Dan Guin and Jane Tyree, joined them. Under their inspired leadership, the Company has blossomed while providing dance training curriculum, a wide range of outreach programs in the community, and professional performances. The Company is comprised of the performing arts entity--the Boca Ballet Theatre--and the School of Boca Ballet.
BBT joins world-class guest artists with well-trained aspiring youth dancers, on stage, to enhance the dancers' training beyond the physicality of teaching ballet steps. Each season, BBT presents professional performances of The Nutcracker, including free performances for public school children; a full-length story ballet; and a reportory collection. BBT's production, of The Nutcracker, is the longest running in Palm Beach County. The School of BBT prides itself on providing high-quality instruction, in a safe and nurturing environment, with a stair-step approach for successful training and workshops for all ages. They have also created a nationwide workshop--The Artistic Directors' Intensive Performance Workshop--to join artistic directors, from prominent professional ballet companies, with advanced dancers who are ready to be hired. Additionally, they have created the College Dance Fair, an annual nationwide event, which joins dancers--who are seeking a college experience--with nine top dance universities. BBT's many outreach programs include free after-school introductory dance programs; scholarship programs for students who wish to continue training; and a certified dance program, of free classes, using effective dance movements to address Parkinson's disease symptoms.
BOCA RATON HISTORICAL SOCIETY & MUSEUM
The mission and the purpose of the Boca Raton Historical Society & Museum is to collect, preserve, and present information and artifacts, relevant to the past and evolving history of Boca Raton, and to maintain a visible role in the education and advocacy of historic preservation in our community.
The BRHS&M is currently undergoing an extensive renovation, to historic Town Hall, in preparation for new immersive exhibits. The new exhibits will document both the development and growth of Boca Raton, from its origins as a small farming community, to the thriving residential and business community--with over 100,000 residents--that it is today. The Museum is slated to reopen to the public by the end of 2020. All funds that are raised, from the Walk of Recognition, will enable the Museum to provide ongoing programs and new and exciting exhibits for the community. The dynamic new design will allow for both permanent and changing exhibits, enhanced educational opportunities for adults and children, and a more rewarding visitor experience.
This year's honorees will also be celebrated, at the 2021 Walk of Recognition ceremony and reception, that will be held at The Addison in Boca Raton. For additional information, please go to www.bocahistory.org.