Rotary Club of Suntree helps local heroes

Debbie Williams, the treasurer of the Rotary Club of Suntree, gives out restaurant gift cards to a deserving healthcare worker.

The Rotary Club of Suntree, which is one of the sponsors of the annual Great Taste at Suntree, wants to reward local heroes who are helping to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.

In order to help local restaurants, which are struggling to make money with takeout and drive-through-only orders due to the shutdown throughout the state of Florida, the Rotary Club of Suntree has bought gift cards from local restaurants. The program has been named the R&R program.

The gift cards will be given to nurses and other healthcare professionals, and members of the fire department. Members of the sheriff’s department are not allowed to accept the gift cards, but Brevard County Sheriff Wayne Ivey said that he would distribute the gift cards to those in need throughout the county.

"This started in Suntree, where the club is based,’’ said Bill Slover, the president of the Rotary Club of Suntree. "When we told other business members, my company (Allen & Company) said that’s a great idea. We’ll match that. The program’s going to go further than that. Debbie’s (Williams) company (Buena Vida Estates) said, ‘we like that, too.’ We stayed initially with this (Suntree and Viera) area.’’

Williams, who also is the treasurer for the Rotary Club of Suntree, is enthusiastic about the program.

"We want to give back to the restaurants that have supported us in the Great Taste at Suntree. We want to thank our first responders, who have done a wonderful job every day. They’re special in this critical time. … People are so appreciative and they want to do something and let these people know, hey, you’re appreciated, not only today but always.