Story by Mike May | Photo by Frank Koester
Mickey and Lizz Smith have been living in Wellington for more than three decades and truly enjoy living, working and volunteering here. While one of their favorite things to do is to travel to destinations on all seven continents, they always enjoy coming back to their Wellington home, where they plan to stay for the rest of their lives.
Among the reasons why Wellington is such a great place to live is because of the community spirit that the Smiths bring to their adopted hometown.
A personal injury attorney, Mickey remains busy as a partner in the firm Lesser, Lesser, Landy and Smith. Lizz, meanwhile, is a retired educator. She worked for 32 years as a special education teacher at local schools, such as Osceola Creek, Emerald Cove and Wellington Landings middle schools. She now stays busy as an avid volunteer.
Despite the demands of being a full-time attorney, Mickey also finds time to get involved in the community.
“When I volunteer to support local charities, I seem to get back 10 times more than I give,” Mickey said. “It’s a source of great enjoyment.”
“I’m blessed that I have the time and ability to volunteer to help local groups,” Lizz added.
The Smiths are longtime supporters of the Neil S. Hirsch Family Boys & Girls Club and the Wellington Community Foundation. Mickey served on the board of the Boys & Girls Club for 10 years and was a founding member of the Wellington Community Foundation’s board. He also serves on the board of the Central Palm Beach County Chamber and is a member of the Wellington Rotary. While Lizz is not a Rotarian, she helps as a volunteer when they support local causes.
Both enjoy supporting the Wellington Community Foundation, which would have ended when it spun off from the village had it not been for the leadership of the late Tom Wenham, Mickey said. “It was an honor to help Tom with the Wellington Community Foundation,” he said. “He and his wife Regis are the gold standard for volunteering in Wellington. Both have been inspirations to us all.”
Lizz particularly enjoyed helping the Wellington Rotary distribute food during the pandemic. “The food drive lasted for a year and helped feed many families in need,” she recalled, adding that she takes pride in supporting groups that showcase the village’s family-friendly image. “Wellington is great for families, as there is always so much to see and do.”
Another area of satisfaction is the beautification of Stribling Way, their adopted street, which has a sign with their names on it. “We set aside at least four Saturdays a year to go pick up trash along Stribling Way,” Mickey said. “We want to help keep Wellington beautiful.”
In their free time, they are huge fans of the Miami Dolphins, and also enjoy watching games involving Mickey’s two alma maters — Virginia Tech and Duke University. “When Virginia Tech plays Duke in football, I root for Virginia Tech,” Mickey said. “When they play one another in basketball, I cheer for Duke.”
In her free time, Lizz stays healthy and fit by playing tennis at the Wellington Tennis Center, which she calls “a real jewel of the community.”
The couple met at Virginia Tech. Lizz was there on a swimming scholarship while pursuing a degree in education. She was a high school state champion swimmer in Florida in 1975. At Virginia Tech, Mickey pursued a degree in industrial engineering. He then headed to Duke for his law degree, which he earned in 1985. He has practiced in Florida since then.
Moving forward, the Smiths encourage others who enjoy living in Wellington to find ways to volunteer, and in doing so, develop a stronger connection to the community.