When the Village of Palmetto Bay conducted its 18th annual Mayor’s State of the Village Address on Thursday, Dec. 3, the virtual gathering required by the COVID-19 restrictions provided the opportunity to do more than recount the accomplishments of the past year.
After months of planning for both a hybrid and fully virtual event, it was decided that based on the latest figures provided by the CDC for Miami-Dade County on COVID-19 positivity rates, the Mayor’s State of the Village would pivot to a virtual event that was live streamed via both the Village Facebook Page and YouTube Channel so community members could view the event in the safety and comfort of their homes.
Conducted at Ludovici Park, Mayor Karyn Cunningham, along with village council members and the new village manager, Nick Marrano, gathered with several special guests in the community to celebrate and recognize many of the village’s talented citizens and businesses.
The event opened with three singers from the Children’s Voice singing One Voice live on stage as the rest of the chorus sang virtually, projected on a large LED panel backdrop. The new Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava gave a virtual welcome to the Palmetto Bay community and the highlights of the evening continued as both the emcee and former CBS4 News anchor/reporter Cynthia Demos and the mayor shared the stage recognizing some the best talent in Palmetto Bay.
Award recipients recognized during the evening included: The Pay it Forward Award to former Vice Mayor John DuBois for his eight years of service and contributions to the Village; Palmetto Bays Got Talent Award to Jamie Sutta, founder and artistic director of the Children’s Voice, and Kelly Craig, village’s former PIO; Xavier Cortada Power of Art Award presented by Xavier Cortada to artist Helen Sandow; Gus Barreiro Champion for Children Award to Police Officer Peter Judge; Small Business Award to Clarin Eye Care, Dr. Adam Clarin, and The Florida Villager, Debbie Berman and Daniel Bastien and, finally, the Rosemary Fuller Award for Education and Community Service parented by Former District 9 School Board Member Dr. Larry Feldman to Harry Nerenberg.
Mayor Cunningham also presented a special awards to former interim village manager Gregory H. Truitt for his dedication in public service and leadership in managing the village for the past several months, and to the former public information officer Kelly Craig for her contributions with village communications. Mayor Cunningham also welcomed the new village manager, Nick Marrano, and his wife to the Palmetto Bay family.
Event sponsors included The Corradino Group, Florida Power & Light, Palmer Trinity School, Transport Workers Union, Eric’s Outboard Marine Services Inc., Christina’s Party Rental, Dr. Larry Feldman, Clarin Eye Care, Police Benevolent Association, Stantec, Vault Valet, SFM Services, Kimley-Horn, All-Star Event Photography, St. Lutheran Catholic Church, Sushi Maki, and Center State Bank.
Because the village had to pivot to a virtual event, 200 boxed appetizers were donated to the Salvation Army Shelter and 13 orchid centerpieces were donated to The EDGE Charitable Foundation.
The Village of Palmetto Bay Policing, Miami-Dade Police Department Color Guard, Rabbi Zalman Gansburg of Chabad of Palmetto Bay and Deering Bay, and all village departments involved were recognized.