Physician Vito Quatela, a leader in the field of facial plastic surgery and founder of the HUGS Foundation Inc., will be the 83rd recipient of the Rochester Rotary Award, the oldest and most prestigious civic award in Rochester.
Rochester Rotary is honoring Quatela for his work with the HUGS Foundation, which has the simple goal of changing the lives of children using a team of skilled surgeons to correct congenital facial deformities. The foundation supports yearly medical trips for children deprived of a healthy and joyful life due to their deformity and lack of medical care. Since the foundation’s inception in 2003, its medical mission teams, along with Quatela, have gone on 35 mission trips in developing countries such as Vietnam, Guatemala and Ecuador and have performed more than 1,800 surgical procedures.
The Rochester Rotary Award recognizes community members who personify Rotary’s “Service Above Self” motto and who demonstrate exceptional community spirit, touch the lives of many citizens, serve as a positive role model, and share wisdom and knowledge to empower others.
Previous honorees include B. Thomas Golisano, Al Sigl, Joseph Wilson, Marion Folsom, Ritter Shumway, Constance Mitchell, Burton August, Don Alhart, physician Walter Cooper, R. Carlos Carballada, Joan and Harold Feinbloom, physician Ralph Pennino, James Isaac, Andrew and Karen Gallina, David Flaum, Victor Salerno and Paul DeCarolis.
Rochester Rotary presented the award during a reception Sept. 23 at the George Eastman Museum. Proceeds from the event benefit Rochester Rotary Sunshine Camp and the HUGS Foundation.