Published On: Sat, Oct 21st, 2017

Mayors Ball Raises $125,000 for Boca Nonprofits

From left: Constance Scott, Michael Kaufman, Mayor Susan Haynie, Kim Champion

By: Bryanna Basilio

Returning as the official gala season opener for Boca Raton, more than 400 guests dined and danced the night away at the third annual Boca Raton Mayors Ball presented by the Rotary Club Downtown Boca Raton in celebration of the City’s long, rich history. In addition to honoring the elected officials who exemplify Rotary International’s motto, ‘Service Above Self’ and recognize the City’s visionaries who have elevated the community, the evening raised more than $125,000 for the Club’s “Service Above Self” Grant Program that supports the health and wellness needs of the nonprofits serving Boca Raton and Rotary International’s program to eradicate polio. “Chance to Win proceeds will be donated to Hurricane Ima relief. This year’s coveted George Long Prism Awards were presented to philanthropist Bobby Campbell, Florida Atlantic University and Kaufman Lynn Construction. Upon receiving his George Long Award, philanthropist Bobby Campbell, was so moved by the warm hometown camaraderie and spirit in the room that he pledged a generous donation of $50,000 to the Rotary Club Downtown Boca Raton grant program during his acceptance speech.

Due to increasing demand, the black-tie event with red carpet arrival, was fittingly held at the historic Boca Raton Resort & Club, the 2016 George Long Award Business Visionary recipient. Once again the event drew a ‘full house’ of Boca Raton’s ‘Who’s Who’ of civic, business, tourism, community and philanthropic stakeholders and visionaries – past and present – spanning more than five decades of commitment and contributions. The high-energy Steve Chase Band rocked the room for a perpetually filled dance floor.

“The onsite positive feedback was overwhelming, many going LIVE on Facebook from the event to viral shares of selfies and professional photos,” noted Constance Scott, former Deputy Mayor and Rotarian who served as co-chair of the Mayors Ball with Kim Champion. “From the honoree selections, raves about the food and the Steve Chase Band to the entire program and guest list…the ‘who’s who’ all in the room at the same time celebrating Boca Raton made for a memorable, iconic evening.”

Champion added that “many shared that while they have been to decades of black-tie events in Palm Beach County, this event has its own signature warmth, an energy-packed night with a guest list that spanned generations of community leaders reconnecting, renewing and strengthening relationships as everyone in the room beamed with City pride.”

The evening opened with a bountiful reception of themed drinks sponsored by Brito Vodka, Toast, Afro Head Rum and a showcase of luxury cars by JM Lexus, the evening’s valet sponsor, displayed in the Royal Palm Ballroom. The ballroom featured City-themed environs and historical table décor nods to award recipients Kaufman Lynn Construction, Florida Atlantic University and Bobby Campbell. Kaufman Lynn Construction sponsored the room decor, with memorabilia provided by the Boca Raton Historical Society & Museum and centerpieces by Dalsimer Atlas Floral & Event Decorators.

The dinner/dance program opened with a formal mayor’s processional, the presentation of colors by Boca Raton Fire Rescue and Police Honor Guards, national anthem sung by Boca Raton’s very own Future Star and recording artist Kendra Erica, a video commemorating the achievements and missions of the Rotary Club Downtown Boca Raton’s 5th year, followed by dancing and the highlight of the evening, the presentation of the 2017 George E. Long Awards – named for the City’s first appointed mayor in 1924 sponsored by Sklar Furnishings and designed by Tiffany & Co.  

Presenting the George Long Awards to those who have long championed the tradition of bringing visionary ideas and transformation to Boca Raton were event Honorary Chair and former City Mayor Susan Whelchel; Boca Raton Mayors Ball Founding Co-Chair and 2017 event producer Jon A. Kaye and Boca Raton Mayor Susan Haynie.

From left: Constance Scott, President John Kelly, Jon Kaye, Kim Champion

From left: Gloria Hosh, Shaheer Hosh, Joni Goldberg, Jon Kaye, Kim Champion, Constance

About the Author

- Bryanna Basilio is a staff writer, reporter, and social media strategist for the Boca Raton Tribune. She attends Palm Beach State College majoring in Journalism.

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