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Rotary Presents Eleventh Citizen of the Year

By Karla Ortiz

On March 6 at the Posada de la Aldea Hotel, the Rotary Club of San Miguel de Allende named their 11th Citizen of the Year: Elizabeth “Betse” Davies.

This award is given only to individuals who contribute to society and “who best represent the ideals of the Rotarian,” despite not being part of the Rotary Community. Many award recipients are in fact prominent members of other nongovernmental organizations in town.

All living past recipients, except those who no longer live in San Miguel, attended the ceremony. This included Saul and Linda Whynman of Audubon (2007), Patricia Palacios of the Children’s Center San Pablo (2012), Olivia Muñiz of Feed the Hungry (2013), and Mario Arturo Peña from El Charco del Ingenio (2015).

Also in attendance were Liaison to NGOs Director Teri Kavanagh and members of the Rotary Club Joe Whitmore, Nory Contractor, Fred Collins, and John Doherty, who presented the award along with speeches that paid tribute to Davies: Nory Contractor read excerpts from letters sent by Robin Loving and Kathleen Devine; John Doherty gave the introduction of honor; while Club President Fred Collins and Rotary member Joe Witmore presented the award. Betse Davies then gave a speech of thanks.

During the award ceremony, a basket was passed around for special donations to the Betse Davies Special Stars Fund and Rotary Community projects. El Coro de San Miguel and students from the Special Education School also gave a performance.

Davies, 91 years old, has lived in San Miguel for over 28 years. After retiring as a history teacher, she moved to San Miguel to “catch the magic” her parents discovered after many winters spent in San Miguel in the 1950s. She has volunteered with many organizations that help children, particularly intelligent and motivated young children who need financial support to achieve their goals.


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