International College to Honor Watkins and Goetz as Humanitarians of the Year

During the 10th Anniversary of International College's Humanitarian of the Year Convocation, a husband and wife team will not only represent the very first couple to ever be jointly honored, but they are also the youngest of those ever selected by International College for their humanitarian contributions. Michael Watkins and Ellin Goetz will be distinguished during a luncheon ceremony planned for February 23, 2006, at the Ritz Carlton Beach Resort.

Both Michael and Ellin have been independently honored at venues recognizing their outstanding professionalism and/or citizenship (both have been named Outstanding Citizens by Naples Daily News), but this may be the first occasion where both will be honored at the same time, says International College Vice President Dr. Louis Traina.

"The Humanitarian of the Year Award recognizes human beings who are making a beneficial difference in the lives of other human beings. This year, our honorees are not only united in marriage, but they are also united in their compassion for people," adds Dr. Traina.

A son to Mary and the late Henry Watkins Jr., Michael Watkins is President of the Naples Beach Hotel and Golf Club. Purchased by his grandfather, Henry Watkins Sr., in the 1940s, the facility is not only recognized as one of the more famous fixtures in the local landscape, but is nationally known as one of America’s few family-owned vacation resorts.

Ellin is an award-winning landscape architect and partner in the firm of Goetz & Stropes. Since moving to Naples some 20 years ago, she has emerged as a champion in local land preservation initiatives and has also been distinguished for her leadership in organizations that serve a diverse range of professional and public interests.

Married since 1988, Michael and Ellin first met while attending college in New York.

"As marital partnerships go, few have made as penetrating an impact on our community," says Dr. Traina while listing a few of the charities which have been aided by Michael and Ellin - a list that includes Cancer Alliance of Naples, The Education Foundation of Collier County, The Naples Chamber of Commerce, Fun Time Nursery, The Conservancy of Southwest Florida, the von Liebig Art Center and the YMCA.

"Michael and Ellin have helped so many, and at so many times; we anticipate many will want to celebrate this special day with them," says Dr. Traina.

To that end, International College is currently seeking sponsors for the February 23, 2006, Humanitarian of the Year Ceremony.

Tickets to the event (beginning at 11:30 a.m. at Ritz Carlton Beach Resort) are $125 each.

To sponsor or reserve seats, contact International College at (239) 598-6159.
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