Published On: Sun, May 19th, 2019

South Palm Beach County Social Scene

By Pamela J Weinroth

Where were you last week?

On Tuesday evening the Opal Society event was hosted at the home of Roberta and Bobby Campbell. The evening was used as the “Kick Off” for the Boca Raton Rotary’s OPAL Awards evening which will be held on Saturday, January 18, 2020.

OPAL, an acronym for Outstanding People and Leaders, is an annual Gala held every year for the past 23 years by the Rotary Club of Boca Raton. Past events have honored citizens from our city who have demonstrated an on-going commitment to serve through philanthropic, professional leadership, education, civil, community and medical service endeavors.

Over the years OPAL has raised over $1.2 million and empowered over 300 high-achieving, disadvantaged local students with financial assistance through the Club’s scholarship program.  This is made possible as a result of the generosity of the honorees and guests.

Past OPAL Honorees have included community partners and leaders such as: Count and Countess de Hoernle, Eugene and Christine Lynn, Dr. Ira Gelb, Ben and Rosemary Krieger, Dr. Dennis Frisch, Dr. Geoff McKee, Jerry Fedele, Marta Batmasian, Flossy Keesley, Jay DiPietro, Rick Zimmer, Irving Gutin, Gary Peters, Howard and Karen Weiss, Ron Gallatan, Jay and Marilyn Weinberg, Dr. John Kelly, Dr. Kathy Schilling, Bill Allen, Arthur Adler, Peter and Carmel Baronoff, Frank and Laura Frione, Jerry and Joan Glassman, Bill and Bernie Marcus and Bill Mitchell.

The Rotarians believe that helping and giving is part of human nature. Their motto is “changing lives and building futures.” (Pictured: Jan Savarick, Bobby Campbell and Neil Saffer)

An evening highlighted by two unabashed defenders of Israel, Dennis Prager and Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, was hosted by the American Pro-Israel PAC. Prager and Boteach called out those who would marginalize and attempt to delegitimize the Jewish State of Israel.

For those who do not know, Prager is a nationally syndicated radio talk show host and writer. Born into an Orthodox Jewish family, his initial political work focused on the Soviet Jews who could not emigrated to Israel. He gradually began to broaden his commentary. He founded Prager University, a non-profit organization that producing videos on various political, economic, and philosophical topics.

Boteach is an Orthodox Jewish rabbi, author, TV host and public speaker. He has authored over 30 books, including  Kosher Sex: A Recipe for Passion and Intimacy. His outspokenness has earned him praise and criticism. He has been named him one of the 50 most influential rabbis in the United States three years in a row by Newsweek.

(Pictured: Dennis Prager)

Wednesday afternoon the Arts Garage in Delray Beach held a Ribbon Cutting Ceremony and Celebration for their new box office, bar, office and classroom built by Stuart & Shelby Development.

Marjorie Waldo, President and CEO, and former school principal, welcomed and thanked guests and contributors. Marjorie explained, “every expression of art represents a diversity of cultures and experiences. When we provide our community the opportunity and access to arts programming, we create a vehicle for transformation – for individuals, for communities, and for the globe.”

Arts Garage delivers innovative, diverse, meaningful and accessible visual and performing arts experiences to Delray Beach and the South Florida community.

Music: From Grammy Award-winning musicians to emerging, local artists, Arts Garage hosts performers representing a broad diversity of cultures.  While our venue is perhaps best known for our Jazz and Blues programming, we also have a vibrant calendar full of other genres including Rock, Soul, World, Alternative, Hip-Hop, and Country.

Visual Arts: The Grassroots Gallery at Arts Garage exhibits emerging visual artists from the Delray Beach area.  All artists have a reception drawing people to their exhibit; Arts Garage provides the artists with 70% of revenues earned from the sale of their work.  Arts Garage is also one of the galleries included in Delray Beach’s monthly Art Walk.

Arts Education: With both adult and children’s arts education programming, Arts Garage provides a variety of opportunities for locals to grow their talents and knowledge of the Visual & Performing Arts.  From musical theatre, drumline, chorus to photography and dance, Arts Garage provides meaningful instruction for all ages.

(Pictured: Marjorie Waldo, Pam and Chuck Halberg)

From the Arts Garage we headed south to Prosperity Brewers in Boca Raton to attend a Jewish National Fund event where former Member of the Knesset, Rabbi Dov Lipman spoke about Israel, the amazing work JNF is doing, and his time in and following the Knesset.

In December 2012, Yair Lapid named Lipman number 17 on the electoral list for Knesset of his new Yesh Atid party. The party won 19 seats in the January 2013 elections and Lipman was elected to Knesset, becoming its first American-born member in nearly 30 years.

He holds rabbinic ordination from Ner Israel Rabbinical College and a Master’s in Education from Johns Hopkins University. Former MK Lipman moved to Israel with his family through Nefesh B’Nefesh in July 2004 and is the author of seven books about Judaism and Israel. He is a sought-after lecturer about Israel as a columnist for the Jerusalem Post and Times of Israel, and political commentator for I24news and ILTV.  Dov served as a member of the Knesset for Yesh Atid between 2013 and 2015. (Pictured: Dan Kaskel, Dov Lipman and Robert Weinroth)

Early Thursday morning the Junior League of Boca Raton and the Boca Raton Chamber of Commerce co-hosted a Legislative Breakfast for local and state legislators to connect with their constituents and celebrate a successful Legislative Session. Stephanie Tunis, JLBR Public Affairs Chair welcomed everyone and discussed the successes we have made together as a community.  Cristy Stewart-Harfmann, President JLBR, spoke about how the Junior League impacts our community through advocacy.  Troy McLellan, President and CEO of the Boca Chamber reviewed the economic goals of the Chamber and results of the work over the past year.  To conclude the morning, the Junior League and the Boca Chamber presented each of the elected officials with a Certificate of Appreciation.

(Pictured: Christy Stewart-Harfmann and Troy McLellan with elected officials and/or their staff)

Thursday evening was the 33rd annual Teacher of the Year Award dinner which was held at Office Depot Headquarters. The event began in 1987 as a dream of Sunrise Rotarian and current Palm Beach County School Board chair Frank Barbieri. He felt the event had synergy with the Rotary’s mission of improving lives of children and supporting education.

The first Award dinner began with just four teachers from Spanish River High School, Loggers Run Middle School and Coral Sunset and Whispering Pines Elementary schools. Since that time over 500 teachers have been awarded this prestigious honor within the greater Boca Raton community.

This year the Rotary Club of Boca Raton Sunrise recognized outstanding teachers from the current twenty-two public schools in the greater Boca Raton area.

Each of the twenty-two teachers honored were presented with awards and a video recap of their accomplishments. They received $200 from Sunrise Rotary and $100 gift card from Office Depot.

The proceeds from the Award dinner is used for education scholarships and teachers’ continuing education.

(Pictured: Frank Barbieri and Pamela Weinroth)

Teachers of the Year 2019:

  • James Wade, Addison Mizner Elementary School
  • Jennifer O’Sullivan, A.D. Henderson University School
  • Theo Wiles, Boca Raton Elementary School
  • Mary Donnelly, Boca Raton Middle School
  • Sarah Call, Boca Raton Community High School
  • Scott Johnson, Calusa Elementary School
  • Mary Cavailoi, Coral Sunset Elementary School
  • Laura Cash, Del Prado Elementary School
  • Mary Beth Giddings, Don Estridge High Tech Middle School
  • Sunshine Grunstein, Eagles Landing Middle School
  • Kimberly Attias, Hammock Pointe Elementary School
  • Scott Fontaine, J.C. Mitchell Elementary School
  • Susan Kinderman, Loggers’ Run Middle School
  • Richard Andreacchio, Olympic Heights High School
  • Bogan Paraschivoiu, Omni Middle School
  • Kathleen Kaminsky, Sandpiper Shores Elementary School
  • Kevin McEnroe, Spanish River Community High School
  • Joann Tatham, Sunrise Park Elementary School
  • Annie Lombardo, Verde Elementary School
  • Catrina D’Annunzio, Waters Edge Elementary School
  • Jennifer Napuli, West Boca Community High School
  • Melissa Romero, Whispering Pines Elementary School

Later, on a beautiful South Florida evening at Benevuto’s, the Boynton Beach Food, Wine & Brew Fest, in partnership with the Greater Boynton Beach Chamber, City of Boynton Beach, Boynton Beach CRA, the Boynton Beach Chamber and the Boca Raton Chamber of Commerce, held its exclusive showcase of Boynton Beach cuisines.

The annual event (now embraced by members from Boca Raton and Boynton Beach) featured some of Boynton’s finest restaurants and lounges along with wine and craft beer tastings from local breweries.

This annual event is a paradise for all foodies, wine connoisseurs & beer lovers that strive to eat and drink local!

(Pictured: Sarah Pearson and Steven Grant)

If you walk into Boca Helping Hands on any given day and you will witness a flurry of activity. A small army of volunteers is in the kitchen cooking up a delicious meal that will feed countless hungry people while another set of troops is in the warehouse packing up bags of groceries, frozen meat and fresh produce to be handed out to needy families. This is just another typical day at Boca Helping Hands, but the question that is voiced most often is, “where does all of this food come from?”

To highlight and celebrate the donors of that food, Boca Helping Hands held a dinner on Friday evening to thank the local supermarkets, superstores and bakeries, they thanked civic organizations, upscale and fast-casual restaurant and the local business that held a food drive. Bill Harper, “Director of Food and Warehouse Operations, “we cannot do what we do without the support of you and our local community.”

The Addison’s General Manager, Zoe Lanham and Executive Chef, Patrick Duffy were recognized with the Community Partner award. They have been a partner since 2012 but they stepped up in 2018 and said, “we want to do more.” The restaurant provided over 350 Thanksgiving meals for the Boynton Beach location.  In addition, they regularly bring leftover food from their events.

Other community partners include:

  • Boca Raton Resort and Club
  • Costco
  • Bonefish Grill
  • Publix (multiple locations)
  • Chick-fil-A
  • Grand Lux Café
  • Little Caesar’s West Boca
  • Outback Steakhouse
  • Target (multiple locations)
  • Seasons 52
  • Fresh Market
  • Trader Joe’s Boca Raton
  • The Capital Grille
  • Walmart
  • Whole Foods
  • The Cheesecake Factory
  • Winn Dixie (multiple locations)

Greg Hazle, Executive Director, announced over 2 million pounds of food, this year, has been recovered and served to families at Boca Helping Hands.  Please patronize these establishments and thank them for the generosity.

(Pictured: Robert Weinroth, Lourdes Harman and Greg Hazle)

Athletic events coming up:

Red Sneakers Runner’s Edge Memorial Day 5K – Sunday May 27th at 7AM

Michael Gomez, age 9, along with Runner’s Edge is hosting a 5K and mile run at the YMCA of South Palm Beach County. The goal is to raise funds that will put food allergy awareness books, materials, and events into our schools and community. We have partnered with Michael’s family, along with The Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Connection Team, FAACT to help achieve this goal. If you are a business owner, please read more about the SPONSORSHIP OPPORTUNITIES. If you are a runner, SIGN-UP!! (There is even a virtual run and you will receive an awesome finisher medal). Many thanks to mom Sara Gomez for leading this event with her son.

to learn more or to sign up go to: 

8th Annual Run for the Ribbons 5K Run/Walk and 1 Mile – Sunday June 2nd at 7AM

The Boca Raton Regional Hospital’s Lynn Cancer Center is the starting point for the scenic 5K Run/walk. Accuchip timing, Awards Top 3 overall and 5-year age groups 10 & under, 11-14, 15-19… to 70+ and top 3 staff members/MD’s Male/Female. Scenic 5K course Through Old Floresta neighborhood in Boca Raton. Produced by Runner’s Edge Foundation. Accuchip timing & photo finishes. Call Darci McNally or 561-955-4501 for more information or Special awards top 3 male/female staff members of BRRH. All proceeds go to LCI League of Ribbons.

Gym competition: Largest team and fastest teams (consists of minimum 2 men and 2 women). Select your gym at registration and enter your code at checkout GYM2019

Price increase $5 after 5/29. Family registrations must be done in person at Runner’s Edge or by mail. Up to 5 immediate family members for $65. Packet pickup at Runner’s Edge (3195 N. Federal Hwy, Boca Raton) May 26th-June 2nd noon or race morning 6am-7am at race site. 

American Heart Association at CycleNation – Wednesday June 5th at 5PM

CycleNation is the American Heart Association’s nationwide movement aimed to empower a nation to use road bikes, stationary bikes, spin classes and more to help Americans get heart and brain healthy while raising funds to continue vital community programs that will forever change the course of heart disease and stroke.

About the event at CycleBar in Boca Raton:
We’re encouraging local companies to support by becoming a sponsor or sponsoring bikes to be used by employees to show support of the American Stroke Association’s mission and commitment to engage employees toward ideal heart health.

– Each bike can have up to 4 relay riders
– Teams are encouraged to raise funds to donate to the AHA to fund lifesaving stroke research

Co-chairing the inaugural event is:
Ed Tancer – Shareholder at Gunster
Tom Hunt – Executive Vice President and General Counsel at SBA Communications
Michael Mitchell – Shareholder at Gunster

Sponsorship inquiries and general event questions can be directed to Teresa Dabrowski at or 561.697.6617.

Maccabi Fun Run – Sunday June 23rd at 7:30AM

A fun run (5k run and walk) to benefit athletes attending the Maccabi European and Pan Am Games as part of Team USA this summer, including our very own Melissa Perlman, who is Chair and Captain of the Half Marathon Teams and support Maccabi USA. Our long-term goal is to set up an endowment for future South Florida athletes hoping to attend the Maccabi World and Regional Games; help us get there!

This will be one of the FIRST four Maccabi Fun Runs in the USA! Three other USA cities (DC, Raleigh and Philadelphia) and 20 cities in Europe and Africa will also be hosting FUN RUNS on the same day in their respective communities!

— 5K Run/Walk Start is at 7:30am
— Fun, food, beverages and prizes from 7:00am – 10:00am
— There will also be a post-FunRun After-Party, Athlete Send-Off for our Maccabi USA athletes,coaches and other team members heading to the Pan Am Games in Mexico City and European Maccabi Games in Budapest, Hungary this summer!  Learn more by visiting their website

This summer, Maccabi USA FLF (Future Leaders Forum) is excited to host a series of “Maccabi Fun Runs” across the country, in partnership with 20+ Maccabi Clubs in Europe, Israel and South Africa, as part of the Global Maccabi FLF Movement.

The Maccabi FunRun is the largest, international Jewish Sports, Community and Charity Day. This summer, Maccabi FunRuns will culminate with a celebration to send off Maccabi USA Athletes from South Florida who will be traveling to the European Maccabi Games in Budapest and the PanAm Maccabi Games in Mexico City, to represent Maccabi USA. 

Start marking your calendar for the upcoming season’s “must do” events:

  • August 1-31: Boca Raton Chamber Festival Days
  • August 5: White Coats for Care
  • August 24: Boca Raton Chamber’s Wine and all that Jazz
  • September 14: Brazilian Independence Day Gala Dinner
  • September 20: Boca Ballroom Battle for George Snow Scholarship Foundation
  • September 28: 2019 Golden Bell Battle of the Bands for Boca Chamber Foundation
  • October 4: Heart and “Soles” Gala for American Association of Caregiving Youth
  • October 16: Impact 100PBC Kick off
  • October 18: Boca Raton Regional Hospital’s Go Pink Luncheon
  • October 26: Boca Raton Chamber’s Ball
  • October 27: Making Strides for Breast Cancer
  • October 31: Halloween at The Addison
  • November 7: Faulk Center Community Impact Awards
  • November 8: Junior League Woman Volunteer of Year
  • November 9: Connected Warriors Gala
  • November 10: Walk to End Alzheimer’s
  • November 16: Downtown Boca Raton Rotary’s Mayor’s Ball
  • November 23: Boca Raton Holiday Tree Lighting
  • December 7: Jewish Family Services Gala
  • December 11: City of Boca Raton Holiday Street Parade
  • December 12: AJC Advocacy in Action Dinner
  • December 14: JAFCO Gala
  • December 21: City of Boca Raton Holiday Boat Parade
  • January 18 (2020): OPAL Awards for Boca Raton Rotary
  • February TBD: George Snow Foundation Cowboy Ball
  • February 22: Boca Raton Regional Hospital Gala
  • March 4: YMCA Inspirational Breakfast
  • March 8: JARC Gala
  • April 4: Child Rescue Coalition Gala
  • April 15: Impact 100PBC Grand Awards
  • April 25: Best Foot Forward Gala

That’s the list “to date.”  Updates will be made as organizations finalize their plans.

For a full description and a complete list of events, visit,






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