District governor Joe Schumacher welcomes incoming president Mike Puto. CONTRIBUTED

On June 29, the Marathon Rotary Club took time ahead of its largest annual fundraiser to honor the contributions of several of its outstanding members and install new leadership for the coming year. Outgoing president Duane Webster passed the gavel to 2022-2023 president Mike Puto, while Rotarians Sam Williams, John Johnson and Cara O’Neill were named the Rotarian of the Year, Humanitarian of the Year and Rookie of the Year, respectively. This year was a record-setting one for the club, as it reached a whopping $100,000 in donations for its annual Fourth of July celebration on the night of the induction.

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Alex Rickert made the perfectly natural career progression from dolphin trainer to newspaper editor in 2021 after freelancing for Keys Weekly while working full time at Dolphin Research Center. A resident of Marathon since 2015, he fell in love with the Florida Keys community by helping multiple organizations and friends rebuild in the wake of Hurricane Irma. An avid runner, actor, and spearfisherman, he spends as much of his time outside of work on or under the sea having civil disagreements with sharks.