Friday, November 15, 2019

Foundation Salute Raises More Than $100,000

Foundation Salute Raises More Than $100,000



By Denise Fleischman - November 15, 2019

The Wellington Community Foundation held its fourth annual Red, White & Blue Jeans “A SALUTE TO OUR HEROES” event on Friday, Nov. 8 at the Wellington National Golf Club. This patriotic event is held in honor of the men and women who fought for the freedoms we enjoy every day. The foundation’s board of directors, along with community partners and members of the community, came together for dinner, dancing and a special ceremony honoring prisoners of war and veterans missing in action. The event began with 94-year-old Max Houss, a highly decorated World War II veteran, leading the Pledge of Allegiance and a beautiful rendition of the national anthem by Central Palm Beach County Chamber of Commerce CEO Mary Lou Bedford.
The night was all about breaking records, with more than 220 guests in attendance and over $100,000 raised, all of which will be used to serve residents of Wellington, particularly seniors, children and veterans, by supporting and improving their quality of life.
This year’s sponsors included: DIAMOND SPONSOR Lesser, Lesser, Landy & Smith; RUBY SPONSOR Wellington Regional Medical Center; and SAPPHIRE SPONSORS Regis and Thomas Wenham. This year’s table sponsors included Jim & Paula Sackett, Dr. & Mrs. Gordon Johnson, Palm Beach Urology Associates, Barron & Kogan CPAs, First Bank of the Palm Beaches, Barry & Phyllis Manning, Medicare Maggie, Dr. Humberto J. Caldera and Fyzical Therapy & Balance Centers. Event sponsors included Wellington The Magazine, the Town-Crier newspaper, Wellington National Golf Club, Above & Beyond Party Décor and Kenny Mondo Productions.
The first in a series of surprises was kicked off by WCF Secretary Mickey Smith with the announcement of a $5,000 anonymous donation. Immediately following was a high-performance dance routine to get the party started by the dancers of Fred Astaire Dance Studios and a special 87th birthday celebration for the WCF Chair Thomas Wenham.
Another highlight of this year’s event was a $10,000 match challenge presented by CEO Mike Graves and Managing Partner Bruce White of Fyzical Therapy and Balance Centers. They offered to donate $10,000 to the foundation if it could be matched that evening. Donors wasted no time, and the challenge was met within minutes.
The foundation’s board thanked everyone for sponsoring, donating and supporting its efforts toward “Building A Stronger Community.” For more information about the foundation, visit www.wellingtoncommunityfoundation.org.

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Foundation’s Red, White & Blue Jeans Fundraiser Returns On Nov. 8

Foundation’s Red, White & Blue Jeans Fundraiser Returns On Nov. 8 


By Callie Sharkey - October 4, 2019

The Wellington Community Foundation’s Salute to Our Heroes: Red, White & Blue Jeans event is returning next month for the fourth straight year. The celebration will take place on Friday, Nov. 8 from 6:30 to 10 p.m. at the Wellington National Golf Club, located at 400 Binks Forest Drive.
The event, while close to Veterans Day, is an occasion to celebrate all our heroes, including firefighters, emergency workers and law enforcement, along with active and retired members of the military. This unique fundraiser gives guests a chance to enjoy great food and music in a more casual atmosphere.
Former Wellington Mayor Tom Wenham chairs the Wellington Community Foundation and loves the concept of dressing down in blue jeans and wearing comfortable shoes for a fundraiser designed to support the local community.
“That would be the best part, because it is so much easier to go out if you don’t have to be all dressed up. To be casual is something everybody enjoys,” Wenham said. “Everybody feels more relaxed and can just enjoy themselves.”
The purpose behind the party is raising money for the many special programs run by the Wellington Community Foundation.
“The foundation focuses on helping children, seniors and veterans,” WCF Secretary Mickey Smith explained. “We are a small organization, and it is very personal — truly neighbor helping neighbor.”
Smith agrees with Wenham’s outlook on the concept.
“The casual dress and atmosphere are definitely a plus, but I am struck by the small-town atmosphere of this incredible event,” he said. “The community comes together and determines the resources that the foundation will have to do its work for the following year. But make no mistake, we have a lot of fun doing it.”
The Red, White & Blue Jeans event gives people a chance to express their patriotism outside of Independence Day, and attendees are encouraged to really embrace the colors in the theme of their attire.
WCF Vice Chair Maria Becker finds that the event’s timing, both near Veterans Day and some years just after election time, creates a unique atmosphere.
“I love the timing. Early November kicks off the start of the season in Wellington,” Becker said. “It’s an opportunity for us not just to love our community, but to love our country and those who serve. Since it is after election time, it is a great way for us to come together as one community and one America.”
This event was the first major fundraiser put together by the foundation when it was recreated as an independent nonprofit organization four years ago. Its success sets the tone for the rest of the year.
“The highlight of this event is to get funding to help us to work with seniors, veterans and children,” Wenham said. “I’m a veteran myself, and we like to have the veterans there, too We’ve had a good turnout, and I hope to see that this year as well.”
Becker finds that the foundation’s variety of programs fill important gaps in people’s lives. Even small gestures make a big impact.
“My very favorite program is Celebrating Seniors, and we’ve been doing it since the first year,” Becker said. “For seniors in the community, especially those on a fixed budget, we’ll send them a birthday basket with a flower bouquet, movie tickets and food gift certificates. Sometimes it’s just about making a difference in the life of one person at a time in our community.”
The evening includes speakers and a Salute to Our Heroes in addition to food and music, and Smith enjoys the chance to honor those who have worked to make a difference in the community.
“Honoring Ken Adams last year was definitely a highlight for me. Mr. Adams is truly a Wellington legend, and it’s fitting that the foundation has a scholarship program honoring him and his beloved wife, Arle,” Smith said.
While the event has quickly gained popularity, Wenham hopes they will break the record for attendance this year. He urged people to secure their tickets in advance.
Tickets to the event are $85 per person, with table sponsorships and event sponsorship opportunities available.
For more information about the event, or to RSVP, call the Wellington Community Foundation at (561) 333-9843 or visit www.wellingtoncommunityfoundation.org.

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

WCF Distributes 600 Backpacks, 300 School Uniforms To Local Students

WCF Distributes 600 Backpacks, 300 School Uniforms To Local Students


By Denise Fleischman - August 16, 2019

The Wellington Community Foundation recently partnered with the Village of Wellington and the local nonprofit organization Back to Basics to help Wellington students be prepared for a successful school year.
Hundreds of students attended Wellington’s annual event Back to School Bash held at the Wellington Community Center on Saturday, July 27. At that event, 250 of the backpacks, filled with school supplies, were given away, along with hundreds of new school uniforms that were purchased by the foundation through funding from supporters, donors and grants received throughout the year.
WCF Chair Tom Wenham, along with board members Mickey Smith, Maria Becker, James Seder, Pam Tahan and Maggie Zeller were happy to see the many smiles on students’ faces first-hand as they picked their favorite color backpack.
Foundation board members were back in action on Tuesday, Aug. 6 when they joined Back to Basics to distribute school uniforms. The Wellington Community Foundation sponsored uniforms for three Wellington elementary schools: Elbridge Gale, New Horizons and Binks Forest.
“Because of our donors’ generous donations, we were able to help kids right here in the Village of Wellington,” Wenham said. “The Wellington Community Foundation will continue to be an integral part of the Wellington community, helping seniors, children and veterans, and together continue ‘Building a Stronger Community.’ We want to thank everyone for their involvement.”
Zeller was pleased at how the project came together. “Working with Wellington’s staff was such a pleasure,” she said. “The attention to detail helped ensure all students received these much-needed items, and we look forward to participating again next year.”
Smith thanked the foundation’s many supporters for making it all happen. “Contributors to the Wellington Community Foundation have every reason to feel proud,” he noted. “Their generosity is helping deserving students here in our community by providing them the tools they need to succeed.”
For more information, call (561) 333-9843 or visit www.wellingtoncommunityfoundation.org.

Monday, August 12, 2019

WCF Sponsors 25 Campers At Local Boys & Girls Club

WCF Sponsors 25 Campers At Local Boys & Girls Club


By Denise Fleischman - August 9, 2019

The Wellington Community Foundation recently sponsored a full summer camp program for 25 local children this season at the Neil S. Hirsch Family Boys & Girls Club.
This is the foundation’s fourth year providing camp sponsorships, and Wenham noted that his organization is proud to work closely with the local Boys & Girls Club, even expanding the program from 20 to 25 campers this year.
“Our board believes that this program is a great benefit for the kids,” Wenham said. “Our foundation supports seniors, veterans and kids, and this is a wonderful way to support local children, while also introducing them to the Boys & Girls Club and the many amazing programs available there.”
To learn more about the Wellington Community Foundation, visit www.wellingtoncommunityfoundation.org.

Monday, June 24, 2019

Foundation Thanks Sponsors, Donors And Volunteers

Foundation Thanks Sponsors, Donors And Volunteers


By Denise Fleischman - June 7, 2019

The Wellington Community Foundation thanked its sponsors, donors and volunteers at a “Thank You Soirée” held on Thursday, May 30 at the Trophy Room in Wellington.
The event was designed as a way for the foundation to thank all of the people who have contributed to the success of the foundation over the past several years, Wellington Community Foundation Vice Chair Maria Becker explained.
“The board has been discussing a special annual get-together to thank everyone involved for some time and thought this would be the perfect timing, just as we are winding down from the season and before Wellington residents begin their summer travel,” Becker said.
The event allowed for easy conversation and a chance for friends to catch up and form new relationships over cocktails and small bites at the local establishment.
During the event, WCF Chair Tom Wenham thanked everyone for attending and let all of the foundation’s supporters know that “this is your foundation, and this is our way of saying thank you for all of your support in helping the foundation continue to build a stronger community.”
Wenham went on to announce the two inaugural Arle and Ken Adams Scholarship winners, Francesca Herman and Sebastian Suarez, who were honored during the event. Both recipients will receive a one-time scholarship in the amount of $2,500. “The foundation knows they will go on to do great things, and we are happy to be a small part of their successful future,” Wenham said.

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Wellington Community Foundation Raises The Flag At Home Of Veteran

Wellington Community Foundation Raises The Flag At Home Of Veteran


By Town-Crier Editor - May 10, 2019

A ceremony and flag raising in Wellington on Friday, May 3 marked a brighter future for a home in the community that has now been brought up to code and freshly painted, courtesy of the Wellington Community Foundation.
The home of Ottis Moore, a U.S. Navy veteran, and his wife Velma was in need of sprucing up with fresh paint, but the work was beyond the capabilities and means of the couple. The Wellington Community Foundation stepped in to foot the bill for the project with a cost approaching $2,000 in value.
“We are here today to continue what our Wellington Village Council started, and that is building a stronger community,” said Tom Wenham, chair of the Wellington Community Foundation.
Wenham explained that the Moore’s home needed some sprucing up, and the foundation was contacted about it by Wellington’s Community Services Department. The foundation then met with the homeowners. “We assured them that the foundation will take care of the situation,” he said.
Wenham noted that the couple agreed that they would like an American flag positioned at the front of their home. A flag was obtained that had been flown above the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C.
“Well, here we are today,” Wenham continued “The house has been painted, and we are almost ready to place the flag. But before we do, there are those we need to recognize and thank for their contributions and efforts to make this moment happen.”
Wenham acknowledged the Wellington Village Council, board members of the Wellington Community Foundation, staff of the Wellington’s Community Services Department, Congresswoman Lois Frankel (D-District 21) and WCF Board Member Mickey Smith for securing the flag, Mark Candreva for installing the flagpole and Cullen Painting for helping with the painting project.
The Wellington Community Foundation works to help veterans, seniors and children in the Wellington community. For more information, call (561) 333-9843.

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Foundation Awards More Than $5,000 In Grants To Middle Schools

Foundation Awards More Than $5,000 In Grants To Middle Schools


By Town-Crier Editor - February 8, 2019

On Thursday, Jan. 31, Wellington Community Foundation board members Tom Wenham, Mickey Smith, Maria Becker and James Seder visited three local middle schools to deliver checks as part of the foundation’s annual “Our Schools” grant program.
Checks totaling more than $5,000 were presented to Principal Dr. Eugina Smith Feaman of Emerald Cove Middle School, Principal Michael Aronson of Polo Park Middle School and Principal Blake Bennett of Wellington Landings Middle School.
Each of the schools invited to participate in the grant program complete and submit an application that includes the needs at their school for underserved Wellington students. The WCF board reviews all applications and looks for information that will directly impact those students who attend each school that either have been or will face a hardship during the current school year. These hardships may be as simple as needing school supplies or as extreme as attending school while being homeless.
This year, all three Wellington-area middle schools submitted grant applications and were approved to receive funds to cover expenses such as laptop computers and pay for a teacher to provide computer lab access before or after school for students who do not have computer or internet access at home so they can utilize academic programs. Approximately 100 students over the course of the school year will access the computer labs, as well as much-needed arts and craft supplies.
The Wellington Community Foundation Inc. is a nonprofit charitable organization committed to benefiting the seniors, children and veterans in Wellington by supporting and improving their quality of life.
For information about becoming involved in the foundation, or to make a donation, call (561) 333-9843 or visit www.wellingtoncommunityfoundation.org.