Palmetto Bay resident Norman Gelvan was presented with the Rotarian of the Year Award during the June 28 installation banquet of the Rotary Club of Perrine- Cutler Ridge/Palmetto Bay (RCPCRPB). He has been a member of the group since 2000.
As an active member, he has participated in the club’s annual Thanksgiving food and holiday toy drives and is a math and reading tutor for elementary school children at West Perrine Park. He has lived in Palmetto Bay with his wife, Gail, for almost 30 years, and has two daughters and three grandsons.
“I’m very, very thrilled,” Gelvan said. “The award was started by one of our previous members who has since passed away, named Arch Duvall.”
Gelvan grew up in South Miami-Dade County, graduated from the University of Miami and was chief medical technologist at Fifth Avenue Hospital in Huntsville, AL, where he supervised all departments of the clinical laboratory. Gelvan supervised the blood bank at Coral Reef Hospital and established its protocol and procedures. He is a retired medical technologist and works one day a week at CHI.
A retired military man, he served eight years active duty in the Air Force and 22 years as a Naval Reserve medic.
“We’re very much an altruistic organization,” Gelvan said of Rotary. “We try to help people, organizations, countries, that are in need. Our initial objective that we had was to try to help in the effort to cure polio. At this time we’re down to one percent of the world population, in fighting it throughout the world. We also had other organizations helping us.
“We have built homes in Haiti, provided wheelchairs for invalids, donated a fire truck to a country in South America that was in need of one and we built water systems for schools in Israel and a project in Palestine as well.” Susan M. Ludovici, the past president of the RCPCRPB, said in an interview on July 24 that Gelvan truly deserved the honor.
“Rotary has a slogan, ‘Service Above Self,’” Ludovici said. “Norm is the one member who takes this slogan to heart. We started a new community service project — working at West Perrine Park — afterschool homework help three days per week. Norm showed up every week. Most members volunteered one time per month.
“Anytime we had an additional project, pizza parties for the students, Thanksgiving food giveaways, Norm and his wife, Gayle, are there to help. And they don’t just stand around smiling, they are in the kitchen pouring the drinks, handing out the pizza or moving boxes of turkeys. He is truly the best volunteer I have seen in my years of Rotary. I am very proud to call him a fellow Rotarian.”
For information on how you can get involved with the Rotary Club of Perrine- Cutler Ridge/Palmetto Bay, contact Susan Ludovici at 305-235-2161, or visit the website at pcrpbrotary.com.