Published On: Sun, May 12th, 2019

South Palm Beach County Social Scene

By: Pamela J Weinroth

Where were you this past week?

On Sunday evening the 26th annual Nicholas R Chiera Dinner/Auction and Golf Classic was held at Polo Club Boca Raton. N.I.C.K’S Fiesta has been a labor of love for the Chiera family for 26 years.

What started as a tribute to their father, Nicholas Chiera, has now turned into one of the largest fundraising efforts designed to help Kids and young adults who are battling cancer. 

Through their partnership with Camp Boggy Creek, the Chiera Family Foundation is now able to help send 150 kids for five days to a special summer camp in Eustis, FL.

In addition to helping Kids attend summer camp the Foundation is also sending young adults who have beaten cancer to college, as well as teaching kids who are currently undergoing treatments the game of golf and other life lessons.

Some of the same kids that were sent to camp over ten to fifteen years ago have now graduated from Florida colleges and Universities.

What is even more amazing is that these survivors are now Doctors, Oncologists, Artists and Social Workers helping kids with the same cancer they once battled.

The mission of the Chiera Family Foundation has always been the same, their resolve has never wavered.

The Foundation is here to help and enrich the lives of children and young adults who continue to battle this horrible disease.

The Foundation supports three programs they call N.I.C.K.’S CAMP, N.I.C.K.’S Scholarships, and N.I.C.K.’S GOLF.

The acronym N.I.C.K. stands for Nothing Is Impossible for Cancer Kids.  (Pictured: Lou Chiera and camper)

On Tuesday, Retreat, a respected provider of substance abuse and mental health treatment services, joined forces with Horses Healing Hearts to host a dynamic, educational experience displaying the benefits of equine therapy at their Delray Beach-based equine facility. In addition, they raised dollars for their Children Prevention Program, which works with children affected by loved ones with substance abuse disorder. To donate visit:  

Horses Healing Hearts helps children who have been affected by a family member with addiction to heal emotionally, build self-esteem, and learn life-coping skills by working with horses. The only one of its kind in the nation, their program is unique and made strong by the commitment of the volunteers, host barns and magnificence of the horses that help these vulnerable kids open their hearts to trust again. Some of the children have lost a parent recently to suicide, overdose and murder. They are crying out for help and guidance.

Equine therapy is an immersive form of patient engagement that involves interacting with and caring for horses, thereby enabling patients to resolve entrenched struggles and personal challenges through tranquil reflection and introspection. (Pictured: Liz Olszewski)

There’s something about the outside of a horse that’s good for the inside of a man.”  … Winston Churchill

As the saying goes, it’s all about location, location, location. And, The Gardens of Boca Raton boasts both a great address and well-appointed venue.

Together with members of the Boca Raton City Council, members of the Greater Boca Raton Chamber, including its president, Troy McLellan, and friends, family, clergy and business partners, we joined in the celebration, on Wednesday, at the grand opening of the cemetery’s newest facilities.

The Gardens is truly a well-appointed facility being run with the utmost compassion by Garrett Jacobs and his brother Marshall.

(Pictured: Troy McLellan, Garrett Jacobs, Sheldon Maschler, Robert Weinroth, Wendy and Matt Maschler)


Wednesday afternoon the Faulk Center for Counseling observed Mental Health Awareness Month with a Butterfly Release and Networking Event.

Early detection and treatment of mental health problems is essential to an individual’s overall health and well-being. Like the transformation of a butterfly representing change, rebirth and renewal, individuals who seek help from the Faulk Center for Counseling learn to think differently, feel healthier and live happier.

Many cultures equate the butterfly with the endurance and hope of the human soul. It can likewise symbolize change.

The mission of the Faulk Center for Counseling is to promote emotional well-being through a variety of free and low-cost programs for counseling, therapy, and support.

The Faulk Center provides a warm, accepting and confidential environment where people who are dealing with life’s problems are helped to make changes or to cope more effectively with things that they cannot change.

Since 1973 the Center has provided a variety of counseling services to people of all ages at its facility on Boca Rio Road and at outreach locations throughout Palm Beach and Broward counties.

Mental health services are provided by graduate students pursuing master’s degrees ordoctoral degrees in psychology, social work or mental health counseling, as well as clinical volunteers who hold advanced degrees in a mental health field. All graduate students and volunteers are trained and supervised by the Center’s staff of licensed psychologists.

(Pictured: Monica Mayotte, Holly Katz, Robert Weinroth, Vicki Katz and Stacey Udine)

From Thursday through Saturday we celebrated the power of empowered women leaders who joined together to raise funds and actually build and revitalize homes for hard-working families in our own backyard.  Collectively creating the “Houses That Women Built” to transform their community with an inspiring ​”hand up, not a hand out.”

​Women Build 2019 Co-Chairs were Mother-Daughter Women Builders, Robyn Raphael-Dynan, Vice President of Operations, RCC Associates and Beverly Raphael Altman, CEO, RCC Associates.

​Habitat for Humanity of South Palm Beach County “Women Build” is a hands-on fundraising event in which individual empowered Women Builders each raise or contribute $1,000 toward much needed funds to build a home for a hard-working, low income family in our community who is in need of simple, decent, affordable housing.  Women Builders invited their friends and colleagues to also become Women Builders (each with her own $1,000 fundraising or giving commitment) to join up as a named Team.

Women Builders participated in one half day of building that works best with her schedule. Women Builders earn their “Pink Hard Hats” and are invited to events throughout the year where they are recognized for being a member of the “Sisterhood of the Pink Hard Hats.” Awards and recognition will be given to the Women Builders who raise the most funds toward the home at the wrap up reception on May 22ndat Oceans 234. (Pictured: Robyn Raphael-Dynan, Alisa Cohen and Beverly Raphael Altman)

Friday morning the annual ceremony to honor fallen police officers was held in the plaza of Boca Raton’s police department. The tradition reminds us of the risks that come with the profession.

Boca Police Chief, Dan Alexander, noted that we cite statistics every year at these events, and we also remember every number represents a fallen officer and the many lives impacted by these losses.

Fortunately, Boca’s police department hasn’t had any officers killed in the line of duty in more than 40 years. That officer, Lt. William Emerson, had a heart attack during a SWAT training scenario.

God bless and keep safe our men and women who have sworn to protect and serve our community.  (Pictured: Robert Weinroth and Chief Dan Alexander)

That evening KidSafe held its 10-year tribute Under the Stars, Shine the Light Gala, at the Polo Club of Boca Raton. Congressman Ted Deutch was awarded with KidSafe Foundation’s Florida Child Advocate of the Year and Keyon Dooling, former NBA Superstar and Survivor, was honored as the 2019 National Child Advocate.

Founded in 2009, KidSafe Foundation is a nonprofit with a mission to protect children from child sexual abuse, bullying and internet exploitation through comprehensive education to children, parents, educators, and other professionals. KidSafe programs empowers children by giving them a strong voice with which to defend themselves, and teaches the parents, teachers, and the professionals in their lives how to keep them safe. KidSafe’s educational programs create a first line of defense to prevent child sexual abuse and exploitation. Cofounders, Sally Berenzweig, and Cherie Benjoseph, developed the KidSafe curriculum.  Both are recognized child safety experts, mental health professionals, educators, authors, public speakers, and moms with over 50 years of combined experience. KidSafe’s educational philosophy is backed by years of safety instruction, best practices and up to date research. (Pictured: Cherie Benjoseph, Robert Weinroth and Sally Berenzweig) 

Coming up:

The Milagro Center’s Blueprint Gallery Presents Calling All Superheroes

On Friday, May 17th from 6:30 -8:30PM join in the celebration of the Superheroes on the screen, in our community, in our lives, and inside of ourselves.

This youth art exhibition will showcase what is means to be a superhero for ourselves and others. Dressing as your favorite Superhero is encouraged. All proceeds benefit Milagro Center Cultural Arts Programming. Light Bites & Sips, Music, Artist meet and greet, Youth spoken word performance. Admission is free.

Boca Raton Memorial Day Activities:

From 9 – 10AM at the Boca Raton Cemetery (449 SW 4th Ave Boca Raton FL), the annual program will feature veteran groups, elected officials, music by the Fort Lauderdale Highlanders, drills by Boca Raton Community High School NJROTC, and the Boca Raton Police and Fire Honor Guard.

From 7 – 9PM at the Mizner Park Amphitheater (590 Plaza Real – off of Federal Hwy, south of Glades Rd), enjoy a free concert under the stars featuring the Indian River POPS Orchestra.

For both events, the City of Boca Raton is once again teaming up with Forgotten Soldiers Outreach, a local non-profit, to offer an area where attendees can write a letter to a soldier and where goods may be donated to create “We Care” packages to be sent to deployed soldiers. Needed items include foil tuna packs, individual packs nuts/dried fruits, individual packs of drink mixes, ramen noodles, trail mix, snack/breakfast bars, oatmeal/grits packs, crackers, hot chocolate, microwaveable ravioli, mac & cheese, snack storage bags, gallon storage bags, scotch tape refills, Q-tips, tissues, baby wipes, lip balm/chapstick, baby/foot powder, insect repellent wipes, tampons, bar soap, mouthwash, toothpaste, toothbrushes, dental floss, hand sanitizer, disposable razors, and shave cream packets. For more information, please call 561.367.7073. 

Start planning:

Tuesday, June 11th at M.E.A.T. Eatery and Taproom: Join Jason “Twinkle Toes” Hagensick for his kick-off fundraiser supporting the George Snow Scholarship Fund and the 2019 Boca’s Ballroom Battle. Jason is one of 8 prominent community leaders that have accepted an invitation to compete in a ballroom dance and fundraising competition.  Paired with professional dancers from Fred Astaire Dance Studios, all of the community dancers will be given a series of dance lessons to perfect a routine and compete for the grand prize on September 20, 2019.

Since its inception the Fund has awarded over 12.1 million dollars in educational grants. In the year 2018 alone, the Scholarship Fund awarded over $1,250,000 in scholarships and scholars support services to 167 Snow Scholars. This level of support places the Fund as one of Palm Beach County’s largest sources of educational grants.

Known as experts in scholarship administration, the George Snow Scholarship Fund has developed a reputation for creating innovative programs which address the educational needs of those in our community.Ail reception and dance. To purchase tickets or donate to Jason’s fundraising efforts, please visit:

Here’s the complete list of dancers for this year’s Boca’s Ballroom Battle:

Margaret L. Blume, philanthropist

Jason Hagensick, president and CEO, YMCA of South Palm Beach County

Fran Nachlas, OR RN at Boca Raton Outpatient Surgery and Laser Center; president, The SafeSun Foundation

Tim Quinn, celebrity make-up artist, Giorgio Armani Beauty

Diana Riser, president, Pace Advertising

Jody M. Saffert, director for Organizational Development & Effectiveness, Boca Raton Regional Hospital

Dr. Minelle M. Tendler, owner Tendler Orthodontics

Eddie Ventrice, managing director, BV Group-UBS Private Wealth Management

Kite Flying Fun for Everyone

There are hundreds of kinds of kites in Japan, with each region of the country having its own specific style of traditional kites.

Join the Morikami Museum on June 16thfor the tradition by flying your own kite or making your own to fly in one of the workshops.
Family Kite-Making Workshop Sat & Sun 10am-12pm
Adult/Youth Kite-Making Workshop Saturday 1:30pm-4:30pm
Kite Flying Sunday 1:30pm-4:30pm (FREE w/ Registration –
(In the event of inclement weather kite instructor, Mr. Toki Mikio, will present a lecture about Japanese kites in the theater.)

For more events, visit my website at

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