Published On: Wed, Oct 23rd, 2019

We Bid a Sad Farewell to our Benevolent Friend, ‘Mady’ Savarick

Madelyn Savarick makes a guest appearance at the 2018 Madrigal Dinner sponsored by the Music Department at Florida Atlantic University. (Photo courtesy of FAU)

Boca Raton, FL – Once you’ve been around Boca Raton for a while, you get to know the true philanthropists. And if you’re lucky, you’ll become friends with them.

My wife and I were very fortunate to have known several. We loved Henrietta, Countess de Hoernle, though we never met her husband who passed away before we arrived. We remember visiting her, waiting for her in the lobby of an apartment complex, watching as she came flying out of the elevator on her motorized cart. She was a hoot, and a real joy to know. She contributed millions in a lifetime of 104 years.

Florence “Flossy” Keesely was another. Her generosity tended to support the arts. She produced variety shows, joined the Boca Raton Rotary Club where she was the oldest member and enjoyed hosting events at her penthouse in Highland Beach. Proudly, my wife and I wrote the memoir on her life, and we still get comments about the lovely lady who passed away just before her 102nd birthday.

Just recently, we learned that Madelyn Savarick, another woman who supported the arts – the Boca Raton Symphonia, the Boca Ballet, the annual Madrigal Dinner at Florida Atlantic University and many other cultural events – had passed away.

The patron of the arts, theatre and music died Sept. 12, a few days shy of her 97th birthday. Her beloved dog, Mozart, was at her side.

We didn’t know that much about Madelyn. She didn’t talk a lot about herself. Her obituary said she was raised in New York, “the youngest of four children [who] immersed herself in all things musical from the time she was a child. She was a most remarkable woman, naturally endowed with beauty, elegance and grace. Resilient, inimitable, flame-thrower to life, creator of dreams, executor of excellence, passionate soul and truly one in a billion. Her contributions in cultural enhancement in Boca Raton and South Florida were extraordinary, impactful and earnestly undertaken. No board, committee or organization was complete without Madelyn’s tireless energy, intelligence, and guiding wisdom.”

We’d be the first to swear that all this was true.

Like many of us in the media, we ran into Mady frequently. A few years ago, when we enjoyed the Boca Raton Historical Society’s trolley ride around Boca and Delray, we found ourselves on the vehicle that she sponsored. We’d see her now and then at various cultural events, though lately health problems slowed her somewhat.

It was something of a coincidence that when we discovered that Mady had passed away, we were at the Dubliner Restaurant in Mizner Park. From where we were sitting, we could clearly see the Michael and Madelyn Savarick Tower in front of the Count de Hoernle Amphitheater.  In front of that tower stands Flossy’s Fountain, a landmark crafted by Boca Raton artist Yaacov Heller that show’s a young Flossy reaching for the stars – something she did throughout life as she succeeded at many endeavors.

Adjacent to the amphitheater stage are statues of the Count and Countess de Hoernle, also crafted by Heller and placed there around the time of the Countess’s 100th birthday – an event that was celebrated with great glee in all corners of the city.

A celebration of Madelyn’s life was held Saturday, Oct. 12 at St. Gregory’s Church – the same spot where we said farewell to the countess and to our wonderful friend from the Boca Raton News, Norman “Skip” Sheffield. 

In lieu of flowers, Mady has asked that contributions be made to Symphony of the Americas, Fort Lauderdale; the Florida Atlantic University Music Department or the Boca Raton Historical Society and Museum.

Another chance to tailgate for Boca Bowl

If you didn’t make it to the Palm Beach Outlets in West Palm Beach last week for the Tailgate Party in preparation for the upcoming Boca Bowl, you’re in luck. Another similar lead-in event for the sixth annual Cheribundi Boca Raton Bowl will be held Tuesday, Nov. 5 from 6 to 8:30 p.m. at the Renaissance Boca Raton Hotel, 2000 NW 19th St. in Boca Raton. Tickets are $50 to $60 — $50 in advance, $60 at the door.

The Outlets party, sponsored by FPL, featured food, football, fundraising and community spirit. There were plenty of creative tailgate-inspired tastings on the leaderboard as well as meet-and-greet opportunities with ESPN on-air personalities. Money was raised to support the Spirit of Giving’s Annual Holiday Gift Drive that benefits more than 4,000 in Palm Beach County.

The tailgate restaurants competed for top honors, and here are the tallies:

  • Judges’ Choice / Grand Champion: Bolay
  • People’s Choice: Caesar’s Famous Ribs
  • Most Spirited: CWS Kitchen + Bar
  • Best Twist on a Taco: Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill + Bar.
  • Best Sweet and Savory Dish: Bolay. Pistachio
  • Best Dessert: Caribou Coffee
  • Best BBQ Dish: Caesar’s Famous Ribs
  • Best Burger: CW Kitchen and Bar
  • Best New Concept: Drive Shack
  • Best Handheld: Garden Grille at Hilton Garden Inn
  • Best in a Bowl: LIME Fresh Mexican Grill 
  • Best Sandwich: Lynora’s 
  • Best Slider: Morton’s The Steakhouse
  • Best Seafood Dish: Outside the Box Food Truck and Catering
  • Most Creative Cuisine: Palm Beach Gardens Marriott
  • Best International Dish: Tucker Duke’s Lunchbox
  • Worth the Extra Napkins: Twin Peaks
  • Best Chicken Dish: Wyndham Grand Jupiter

Wear your favorite college sweatshirt to the upcoming festivities at the Renaissance. We’ll see you there.

By Dale King

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