Published On: Wed, Oct 18th, 2023

Community Foundation for Palm Beach and Martin Counties Hosts Annual Donor Luncheon 

L-R James Ballerano, Ty Barnes & John Lacy

Guest Speakers from UCF, FSU and BeWellPBC Led a Discussion on the Issue of Mental Health
and What the Community Foundation’s Nonprofit Partners Are Doing to Help

West Palm Beach, FL – The Community Foundation for Palm Beach and Martin Counties hosted its annual Donor Luncheon on Wednesday, October 4 at the Center for Philanthropy in West Palm Beach. The Community Foundation is a not-for-profit organization that leads partnerships with donors, nonprofits and community members to solve the region’s chronic and emerging civic and social issues. The Donor Luncheon is held annually to honor the Community Foundation’s donors’ investments in the community. There were more than 80 attendees this year.

This year’s luncheon focused on mental health causes in Palm Beach and Martin Counties, what the Community Foundation’s nonprofit partners are doing to help, and how the Foundation is shaping what’s next for the community’s mental health. The Community Foundation’s Board Chair Jeff Stoops opened the event by sharing details on how mental health is effecting the local community and beyond. Last year, over 22,000 people in Palm Beach and Martin Counties called 211 in crisis; over 800 of which were related to suicide. Stoops recognized how much has been accomplished so far but said there is still a growing need for community mental health. “The gap between what we have done and what is still needed is growing, unfortunately,” he said. “This is why we are compelled to keep this issue at the forefront, particularly with individuals who understand the importance of addressing mental health issues in our community.”

The event’s speakers included: Ms. Barbara (Basia) Andraka-Christou from the University of Central Florida, Ms. Ellen Piekalkiewicz from Florida State University, and Ms. Lauren Zuchman from BeWellPBC. Community Foundation President & CEO Danita DeHaney moderated the discussion, which focused on the state of mental health in Palm Beach and Martin Counties and why the panelists are optimistic about the future of this issue.

About the Community Foundation for Palm Beach and Martin Counties
The Community Foundation for Palm Beach and Martin Counties is a nonprofit organization that leads philanthropy locally. The foundation provides charitable expertise and vehicles to increase the investment options on behalf of individuals, family foundations, and corporations. Since 1972, the foundation has distributed over $200 million in grants and scholarships aimed at closing the area’s opportunity gaps. With its vast network of donors and nonprofit partners, the foundation supports initiatives that improve youth and education, economic opportunity, thriving communities, and crisis preparation and response. Learn more at

Photo: Tracey Benson Photography

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