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Exchange Club of Indian River presented its most prestigious award, the Book of Golden Deeds, posthumously to Paul Dritenbas. His wife, Cathy Dritenbas, accepted the award on his behalf at a recent luncheon meeting of the club. The Book of Golden Deeds award, a National Exchange Club program since 1919, honors the quiet, good deeds of America's unsung heroes, exceptional individuals who provide exemplary volunteer service to the community at large. It is the organization's longest running award.

Paul Dritenbas was honored as that exceptional person whose volunteer and professional work made a significant and enduring impact upon this community. John Binkley, his business partner and friend since their college days, described some of Paul's professional, volunteer, and personal contributions. After serving four years in the United States Air Force during the Vietnam War, Paul attended the University of Miami School of Architecture. He joined the Vero Beach firm of Gregory Edlund (now Edlund Dritenbas Binkley PA) in 1982. He served two terms as president of the Treasure Coast chapter of American Institute of Architects (AIA) and as State Director of his chapter for seven years.

He was active in civic associations throughout his career. When he was a member of Exchange Club of Indian River, he helped start the club's Blue Water Open fishing tournament and was honored as the club's Exchangite of the Year in 1981. Later, as an active member of the Sunrise Rotary Club for thirty years, he served as its president and initiated and chaired its Florida Craft Beer and Wingfest in 2012. As a captain and fishing guide for many years, Paul recognized the damage occurring in the Indian River Lagoon and spearheaded Rotarian and community volunteer efforts to protect the Moorings Flat seagrass beds. He designed plastic mesh oyster shell mats to improve Lagoon water quality and coordinated their assembly and installation. He was a self-described active environmentalist, not an environmental activist. He received the Pelican Island Audubon Society Environmental Citizen and the Treasure Coast Coastal Conservation Association Conservationist of the Year Award for his efforts.

Other guests attending the award presentation were Mrs. Dritenbas, father Charlie Horn, her son Alan Dritenbas, Rev. Jack and Karen Diehl, Stephen Kepley, Will Schlitt, Aaron Bowles, and 2016 Book of Golden Deeds winner Todd Howder. Rev. Diehl talked about knowing Paul Dritenbas for nearly forty years and his love of fishing. Dr. Kepley told of his long-time friendship with his neighbor and fellow Rotarian.

Dritenbas, who died March 9 this year, is also survived by his sons Alan, Ben, and Logan and their wives and children.

Persons interested in learning more about membership in the Club, working for the prevention of child abuse, or donating to the Exchange Club of Indian River Foundation's Child Abuse Prevention Fund may contact 2016-2017 club president Joan Barcus at 772-321-2522 or or seek further information from any member of the club.



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