Sold-Out Inaugural Boca Raton Mayors Ball Presented By Rotary Club Downtown Boca Raton Delivered A Memorable Iconic Evening To Benefit The Health And Wellness Needs Of Boca’s Nonprofits
More Than 400 Boca Stakeholders And Visionaries – Past and Present –
Were On Hand For All The Pomp and Circumstance,
A Stephen Sondheim ‘Mayor’s Surprise’ And Presentation of The First George Long Prism Awards
The Inaugural Boca Raton Mayors Ball presented by the Rotary Club Downtown Boca Raton has made its indelible mark as the newest coveted annual social season opener. In the esteemed Mayors Ball tradition of other iconic cities, complete with a red carpet arrival and on-the-spot Entertainment Tonight-style interviews, the event was a sell-out drawing more than 400 of Boca Raton’s ‘Who’s Who’ civic, business, tourism, community and philanthropic stakeholders and visionaries – past and present – spanning more than five decades of commitment and contributions. Celebrating the City’s long, rich history, attendees at the black-tie dinner/dance at Broken Sound Club (BSC) toasted to ‘all that is great’ in Boca Raton and danced the night away as the evening honored the elected officials who exemplify Rotary International’s motto, ‘Service Above Self’ and recognized the City’s visionaries who have elevated the community. The event raised start-up monies to launch the Rotary Club Downtown Boca Raton’s new grant program that will fund health and wellness needs of Boca Raton nonprofits.
Perfectly set amidst a City-themed environs with the ballroom divided into Camino Real and Yamato Road sections, historical décor nods were provided throughout by the Boca Raton Historical Society & Museum with centerpieces provided by Dalsimer Atlas Florists and Event Decorators. BSC Chef Joe Longo served up the Distinguished Platinum Club’s epicurean experience and the high-energy Steve Chase Band rocked the room with a perpetually filled dance floor, often more than 200 guests ‘on their feet’ per set. The evening opened with a bountiful reception sponsored by E. M. Lynn Foundation with themed drinks by Premier Beverage and Afrohead Rum, and a full outdoor patio-side showcase of luxury cars by JM Lexus, the evening’s valet sponsor.
The program opened with a rare Presentation of Colors by Boca Raton Fire Rescue and Police Honor Guards and the Boca Raton Fire Rescue Pipes and Drums Band. The national anthem sung by Kendra Erica, a formal mayors processional and ‘first dance’ culminating in the presentation of the inaugural 2015 George Long Awards – named for the City’s first appointed mayor in 1924 and designed by Tiffany & Co. For championing the tradition of bringing visionary ideas and transformation to Boca Raton, the first-time awards were introduced by Mayor Bill Smith, and presented by former Mayors Steve Abrams and Susan Whelchel, and current Mayor Susan Haynie. Honorees were the Marmot Boca Raton Bowl (for profit organization), American Association for Caregiving Youth (non-profit organization) and Barb Schmidt (an individual).
To start the night off ‘on the right foot’ Mayor Susan Haynie surprised guests with a special performance that showed that not only can she run a City, she can also work the dance floor. Mayor Haynie took to the dance floor with Scott Lappin of Dance for Life Studio to present an entertaining Broadway-style performance to Stephen Sondheim’s ‘Boca Raton’ (music and lyrics) from the stage play ‘Road Show’ that follows the adventures of brothers Addison and Wilson Mizner across America, from the beginning of the 20th century Alaskan gold rush to the Florida real estate boom of the 1920s. Haynie and Lappin’s dance whimsically shared the ‘razzle dazzle’ marketing plans that the Mizner brothers created to bring folks to Boca Raton that drove up land desirability and prices and began the development of the communities we know today.
“The positive feedback has been overwhelming, especially shared via emails and on Facebook,” noted Jon Kaye, President and a Charter Member of Rotary Club Downtown Boca Raton and Co-Chair of the Mayors Ball with Kari Olejten. “Many have commented that they have been to decades of black-tie events in Palm Beach County, but this one was ‘the happiest, most fun’ gala they had ever been to. It was an intimate, energy-packed night with a guest list that spanned generations of community leaders making warm reconnections and renewing and strengthening relationships as everyone in the room beamed with City pride.”
Olejten added that because community health and wellness is the mission of the Rotary Club Downtown Boca Raton, monies raised by the Boca Raton Mayors Ball will fund grants for nonprofits requesting underwriting for health and wellness-related needs, education and programs for those they serve. She reported that grants requested can include funding for physician and dental appointments and treatments, first aid training manuals and sessions, wheelchairs and other assistance equipment for special needs youth and adults, group counseling/support for nonprofit staff and other caregivers, etc.
Sponsors include E. M. Lynn Foundation; Premier Beverage, Fluid, Afrohead Rum; Boca Raton Airport; GrayRobinson Attorneys At Law; JM Lexus; Boca Raton Bowl (ESPN); Kaye Communications PR & Marketing; Broken Sound Club; Eda & Cliff Viner Community Scholars Foundation, Inc.; Kaufman Lynn Construction; Research Park at Florida Atlantic University; Dazskal Bolton, LLP; Daniel Man, M.D., P.A.; Delray Recovery Center; Kari Oeltjen & Dr. Jeff Berman; Lewis Fogel – Sandler Training; Ingrid & Fred Fulmer; Image360; Sklar Furnishings; Sun Capital Partners Foundation, Inc.; Harold and Evelyn Tai – Uncle Tai’s Hunan Yuan; Wyndham Hotel, Boca Raton; and Red Carpet Sponsor Stanley Steemer of South Florida, Inc.
Table sponsors include ADT, Ronnie & Debralyn Belletieri, Bonny & Bill T. Smith, Jr., Esq., Boca Raton Firefighter & Paramedic Benevolent, Boca Raton’s Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 35, Boca Raton Regional Hospital, Boca Walk to End Alzheimers/Women’s Executive Club, Broken Sound Club, Coldwell Banker Residential, Compson, Dunay, Miskel, and Backman, LLP, FAU Foundation – Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine, Marleen Forkas, Investments Limited, Mordis Group at Merrill Lynch, Lynda Palmer, Penn-Florida Companies, Robin Trompeter & Scott Roberts Associates, Schmidt Family Foundation, TD Bank, Whelchel Partners / Rosemurgy Properties.
Mayors Ball committee members include Penny Morey, Lewis Fogel, Carole Boucard, Frank Feiler, Gary Flaks, Marleen Forkas, Dave Freudenberg, Deborah Freudenberg, Ingrid Fulmer, Gary Hickory, Rick Howard, Alan Kaye, Ken Kaylor, Brian Long, Linda Petrakis, Joseph Pores, Dr. Ron Rubin, Howard Tai, Robin Trompeter, Michael Walstrom and Janice Williams. Boca Raton Mayor Susan Haynie served as honorary chair.
Honorable Steve Abrams, former Mayor and Palm Beach County Commissioner; Deputy Mayor Robert Weinroth; Constance Scott, former Deputy Mayor; Council Member Michael Mullaugh; Council Member Jeremy Rodgers; and Council Member Scott Singer.
For more information about the Rotary Club Downtown Boca Raton visit
The host committee included: Helen Babione; Patricia Carpenter; John Crean; Mary Csar; Jerry Fedele; Andrea Garcia; June Gelb; Glenn Gromann, Esq.; Florida State Representative Bill Hager; Rick Hayduk; Arlene Herson; Gloria Hosh; Bonnie Kaye; Dr. John Kelly; Karen Krumholtz; Christine E. Lynn; Debbie Leising; John Mulhall, Esq.; Troy McLellan; Bonnie Miskel, Esq.; Randy Nobles; Richard Pollack; Douglas Rolfe, DDS; Jan Savarick; Steve Schmidt; Coach Howard Schnellenberger; Tim Snow; Pat Thomas; Bob Tucker and Pamela Weinroth.
About Rotary Club Downtown Boca Raton
Recently named the 2014-2015 District 6930 ‘Rotary Club of the Year’, the Rotary Club Downtown Boca Raton is dedicated to impacting the Boca Raton community through Rotary International’s mission of “Service Above Self”. The award-winning 501(c)3 nonprofit’s purpose is to make a difference in its community by enhancing the lives of many in an environment embraces and promotes integrity, friendship, camaraderie and trust. While the Mayor’s Ball will fund the Club’s grant program, the Club also presents the “Annual Honor Your Doctor Luncheon” (March 31, 2016) founded by Helen M. Babione which for 18 years has recognized physician leadership and excellence in healthcare while raising scholarship monies for medical and nursing students at the Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing at Florida Atlantic University, Lynn University, Palm Beach State College and at the Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine at Florida Atlantic University. The Rotary Club Downtown Boca Raton is one of Rotary International’s 34,000 clubs in more than 200 countries that connect 1.2 million Rotarians with diverse cross-sections of thought and action leaders and stakeholders, link diverse perspectives and build lasting relationships to take action in communities at home and around the globe.