The entire community has
seen him out in action; usually, in
the company of city manager Jim
Scholl and with a sandwich in his
hand to fuel his abundant energy.

We’re talking about Ron Demes,
executive director for Naval Air Station
Key West, a civilian if you will,
and Sunrise Rotarian of the year!
“I’ve never seen a community
that is so giving on a per capita
basis. The numbers are mindboggling.

I’ve lived in New Jersey
and Pennsylvania, and I’ve done a
number of service projects. I just
shake my head because I can’t believe,
here in Key West what people
do who are gainfully employed
and they provide a service to make
other people’s lives better.”

One of those “gainfully employed”
person’s being Ron himself.
“I have to tell you, I easily work
55 – 60 hours a week. Really, an
excess of 60 hours, and I‘m on the
Waterfront Advisory board, the
Local Development Authority, and
County Planning Commission.”

Plus, he has his wife Mary in
the mix. She isn’t loafing around
at the beach either, and works as a
property appraiser for Ervin Higgs.

The whirlwind of activity hasn’t
deterred Demes from leading the
Sunrise Rotarians through at least
one service project per month.
The Chambersburg Pennsylvania
native spearheaded service
through (we’re just going to name
a few) Salvation Army bell-ringing,
the MARC House pumpkin patch,
MARC House Christmas tree sale,
Habitat for Humanity sweat hours,
and Demes favorite—the dictionary
project. Nearly 600 dictionaries
were distributed to grade students
throughout Monroe County.

“Meeting all these students you
get to meet them and see how
excited they are about getting
their own dictionary. The students
helping Youth Act is fun itself.

Here we’re working with leaders of
tomorrow giving them a gift that
they can use for a lifetime.”

This year Ron’s again looking
forward to the Pumpkin Patch
and he graciously gave part of his
Fourth of July weekend to prep the
track at Sigsbee school with Scholl
for this weekend’s re-pavement

“People really have no idea how
much work Jim puts into the city
through volunteering. We edged
the track for the project to get
ready for the Rotarians. Work is
required before people even
show up!”

Ron’s goal is the same as all
Rotarians: to foster and encourage
the ideal of service as a basis

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