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Boca Raton News

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Date ArticleType
12/7/2022 General
The Boca Raton Historical Society

The Boca Raton Historical Society Welcomes 100+ to
WALK OF RECOGNITION Ceremony at The Addison

(Boca Raton, FL – December 6, 2022) The Boca Raton Historical Society welcomed more than 100 supporters and dignitaries to the 2022 Walk of Recognition ceremony and reception at The Addison on November 26. Co-chaired by Marta Batmasian and Joyce DeVita, the annual event honors individuals and organizations that have “served for the interest of our community and have enriched the lives of the citizens of the Boca Raton.”

The 2022 Walk of Recognition inductees included:
+ Steven Abrams, who served on the Boca Raton City Council beginning in 1989 and was elected Mayor of Boca Raton three times (2001, 2003, 2005), later serving as the first Mayor of Palm Beach County, Chairman of the Palm Beach County Board of County Commissioners and Executive Director of the South Florida Regional Transportation Authority. During his seven years as Mayor of Boca Raton—the longest of anyone since 1950—Abrams was widely praised for his deft handling of the Anthrax attack post-9/11, spearheading the annexation of the Town Center area to shore up the city’s tax base, and successfully lowering taxes and attracting new business. According to Boca’s current Mayor Scott Singer, who introduced him at the Walk of Recognition ceremony, Abrams “set the gold standard by which future mayors will be judged through his leadership, outreach, advocacy, and mentorship.”

+ Arline & John McNally, selfless philanthropists that have been major supporters of the Boca Raton Regional Hospital’s Keeping the Promise Campaign, which is funding the largest campus expansion program in the hospital’s history, and The Eugene M. and Christine E. Lynn Cancer Institute’s Tree of Hope and League of Ribbons programs. Arline and John McNally have also been generous backers of Boca Helping Hands, American Association of Caregiving Youth, Sweet Dream Makers, JM Lexus Charities, St. Ambrose Catholic Church, The Boys and Girls Club, and more. The couple were introduced at the ceremony by Mark Larkin, Foundation President of the Boca Raton Regional Hospital , who hailed them as “philanthropists who give unconditionally, looking only to make a difference or to improve the lives of others.”

+ Lynn Russell, who has lived in Boca Raton since 1980, has played a major role in the development and success of local community gardens, serving as manager and teacher for the Junior League Community Garden at the Library. After helping to launch Allen’s Place, a community garden across from Ebenezer Baptist Church, Russell managed this vibrant new project, where she set up a permaculture area of young fruit trees and vegetable gardens for residents of Pearl City. She was introduced at the Walk of Recognition ceremony by 2009 honoree Marjorie O’Sullivan.

In addition, Olivia Hollaus, Board Chair of the Boca Raton Historical Society, presented a Special Historic Preservation Award to The Addison. Designed by famed architect, Addison Mizner in 1926, this exquisite Boca Raton historic venue is considered one of the most important pieces of architecture in South Florida. Initially created as the focal point of real estate operations for the Mizner Development Corporation, Mizner designed The Addison to serve as a visual example for his prospective clients and to house his sales offices, drafting rooms, a small apartment for himself, and a restaurant. Modeled after Spanish painter El Greco’s home in Toledo, Spain, The Addison was known to have been one of his favorite buildings. Today The Addison building is on the National Register of Historic places, and—under the leadership of Vice President Zoe Lanham—has been fully restored as South Florida’s historic venue, and premier wedding and event setting. Most importantly, The Addison hosts and actively supports numerous community nonprofit organizations, including the Boca Raton Historical Society and The Schmidt Boca Raton History Museum, Boca Helping Hands, Festival of the Arts BOCA, Tri-County Animal Rescue, American Cancer Society, Sofia’s Hope, and many others.

Stars honoring the annual Walk of Recognition inductees can be found around the beautiful Mizner Tower in Royal Palm Place, on the corner of Federal Highway and SE Mizner Boulevard in Boca Raton. 

The Schmidt Boca Raton History Museum is the home of the Boca Raton Historical Society, whose mission 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 education and advocacy of historic preservation in the community. Now open to the public Wednesday through Saturday, 10 am to 4 pm, the museum is located in historic Town Hall at 71 N. Federal Highway (33432). For more information, please call 561.395.6766 or visit www.BocaHistory.org.