Friday, May 25, 2018

WCF Kickoff Fundraiser Raises More Than $35,000

The Wellington Community Foundation hosted its 2018 Kickoff Fundraiser on Friday, May 18 at the Wellington Community Center. The event raised more than $35,000, which will be used to help Wellington seniors, children and veterans in need with various home improvement projects. In cooperation with the Village of Wellington, the foundation will continue “neighbor helping neighbor” efforts by identifying those in need and working to find solutions that help seniors age in place, families with children live in a safe environment, as well as finding ways for veterans to be more independent in their homes. For more info.,

Monday, February 5, 2018

Red, White & Blue Jeans Event Raises More Than $55K

November 17, 2017- Town-Crier Newspaper
Red, White & Blue Jeans Event Raises More Than $55K
The Wellington Community Foundation held its second annual event to honor veterans and local heroes on Friday, Nov. 10 at the Wellington National Golf Club. Red White & Blue Jeans: Celebrating Our Wellington Heroes was a patriotic event where veterans and local heroes, their families and members of the Wellington community came together for dinner, dancing and a special ceremony honoring prisoners of war and veterans missing in action. Also honored was recently named Village of Wellington Deputy of the Year Sandra Horne and Village of Wellington Firefighter/Paramedic of the Year Bradlee Doerzbacher. Mickey Smith, secretary of the foundation, told attendees that the event is the foundation’s largest fundraiser of the year, and all money raised — more than $55,000 — will be used to benefit residents of Wellington, particularly children and senior citizens, by supporting and improving their quality of life.
This year’s event sponsors included: TABLE SPONSORS Lesser, Lesser, Landy & Smith; Wellington Regional Medical Center; Regis and Tom Wenham; Jim & Paula Sackett; Dr. Gordon and Linda Johnson; Palm Beach Urology; Wellington The Magazine; and the Town-Crier newspaper, as well as PAY IT FORWARD SPONSORS MediValue, Above & Beyond Party D├ęcor and Kenny Mondo Productions.
For more information, visit

Wellington Community Foundation Fundraiser

August 11, 2017 - Town-Crier Newspaper

Wellington Community Foundation Fundraiser

The Wellington Community Foundation held a special fundraising event at the Palm Beach Point home of Dr. Edward and Maria Becker on Friday, Aug. 4. The foundation collected donations to help Wellington children with their back-to-school needs. For more information about the foundation, visit

Back-To-School Block Party Gets Wellington Kids Ready

August 11, 2017 - Town-Crier Newspaper
Back-To-School Block Party Gets Wellington Kids Ready
Wellington’s Community Services Department hosted its annual Back-to-School Community Block Party at Tiger Shark Cove Park on Saturday, Aug. 5. The Wellington Community Foundation, the Christopher Aguirre Memorial Foundation and Kiwanis of Wellington were among the groups that gave children new backpacks and shoes to start the upcoming school year. Many groups, including the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office and Palm Beach County Fire-Rescue participated.

Wellington Community Foundation Supports Camp Program

August 11, 2017 - Town-Crier Newspaper
Wellington Community Foundation Supports Camp Program
The Wellington Community Foundation recently awarded more than $8,000 to three Wellington elementary schools: Binks Forest, Elbridge Gale and Panther Run.
“The foundation solicited all elementary schools in Wellington to participate by completing an ‘Our Schools’ grant application that went before the board of directors in March,” Wellington Community Foundation Chair Tom Wenham said.
The board put together the new grant initiative to help principals meet the needs of students not already budgeted for during the 2017-18 school year.
Grant dollars funded by the Wellington Community Foundation were raised during various fundraisers the nonprofit held over the course of its first year in private existence. Board members were proud to present funds to cover items such as reading materials and practice workbooks for third-graders through fifth-graders in reading and math.
“We are very thankful to receive this grant, as it has provided much-needed materials for our struggling students,” Elbridge Gale Principal Gail Pasterczyk said. “We were able to purchase ‘Reading A to Z’ materials for 10 teachers. This program includes leveled take-home books for students to practice with after school. We also purchased standards-based practice workbooks for our third-graders through fifth-graders in reading and math. These books will allow students to have additional practice with standards that are taught and not mastered on the original assessments. We are grateful to have such supportive partners in educating our students.”
The grants are also designed to meet some of the needs of students who would like to attend off-campus trips and the fifth-grade safety patrol trip.
“Panther Run Elementary School was honored to receive an ‘Our Schools’ grant from the Wellington Community Foundation,” Principal Edilia De La Vega said. “The grant will provide much-needed financial help to Panther Run Elementary by enabling the school to purchase 10 phonics-based intervention kits to be used by pre-K through first-grade teachers in their classrooms. These resources will allow us to align our efforts in meeting one of Superintendent Dr. Robert Avossa’s strategic initiatives of having 75 percent of third-graders reading on grade level by 2021. The funds will also be utilized to assist families in need who would like to have their child attend the annual fourth-grade St. Augustine trip and our fifth-grade Washington, D.C. safety patrol trip.”
Additionally, the foundation also funded two new Chrome laptops so students can check them out to use at home if they do not have their own.
Binks Forest Elementary School Principal Michella Levy also thanked the foundation for its support.
“This grant will help Binks Forest Elementary School provide uniforms to children in need, and school supplies and backpacks as well,” Levy said. “This year we received laptops to assist families who do not have a home computer, so district computer programs and educational games can be utilized at home. Binks Forest is a strong community of parents, students and teachers, and everyone is very appreciative of the support provided.”
The foundation plans more outreach to schools.
“This is just the beginning,” Wellington Community Foundation Board Member Maggie Zeller said. “There are needs in our Wellington schools that are being overlooked, and our foundation intends to continue supporting area principals to meet those needs. All the grant recipient schools were also in need of back-to-school supplies, backpacks and school uniforms, all of which the board has agreed to provide again this year.”
“Nothing is more rewarding than helping kids,” added Mickey Smith, secretary of the foundation. “This grant project helps children right here in Wellington, and that is what this foundation is all about — helping our neighbors.”
The schools are already feeling the results of the work of the Wellington Community Foundation. Local students have benefited, and will continue to benefit from the efforts of the Wellington Community Foundation.
“Thank you again to the Wellington Community Foundation for helping our school community reach new heights,” De La Vega said.

The Wellington Community Foundation is a charitable organization committed to benefiting the residents of Wellington by supporting and improving their quality of life. For more information on how you can get involved, call (561) 333-9843 or

A Successful First Year For Wellington Community Foundation

May 12, 2017 - Town-Crier Newspaper
By Ron Bukley

Wellington Community Foundation Chairman Tom Wenham gave a presentation to the Wellington Village Council on Tuesday in recognition of the nonprofit organization’s one-year anniversary.
Wenham reported on a series of highly successful events that raised money for community projects that the village is otherwise restricted from contributing to directly.
Wenham said the past year was an exciting time for the foundation.
“June 2016 was a very busy month,” he said. “We had our very first fundraiser at the home of Dr. Ed and Maria Becker. We adopted Forest Hill Blvd. from Stribling Way to South Shore Blvd. as part of the village’s adopt-a-street program. We supported sending five children to the village’s summer camp program.”
The foundation is currently working with Wellington’s Community Services Department to support more children this year, he said.
“In August 2016, we purchased school backpacks and 200 school uniforms for Wellington schoolchildren,” he said. “In November 2016, we held our second fundraiser of the year, our Red, White & Blue Jeans Veterans Day event at the Wanderers Club that 180 people attended.”
In February, the foundation held its Dusty Art Paint & Fun event that raised additional funds for the foundation.
The foundation recently handed out a total of $8,287 to Binks Forest, Elbridge Gale and Panther Run elementary schools, providing much-needed laptop computers and supplies for struggling students, receiving kind comments from the schools’ principals, Wenham said.
“The foundation looks forward to continuing its ‘Our Schools’ grant program,” Wenham said.
In March, the foundation’s board decided to work with former Wellington Mayor Kathy Foster and her nonprofit organization Wellington Cares so its seniors receive birthday greetings, flowers and gift cards from local merchants. “We think that’s a great start, and we’re going to continue that,” said Wenham, who served with Foster on the inaugural Wellington Village Council.
The foundation also approved $6,000 to purchase more school uniforms for the 2017-18 school year.
Next week, the foundation has scheduled a strategic planning session to ensure that it is moving in the right direction and in keeping with its mission statement to benefit residents by supporting and improving their quality of life, Wenham said.
“We will be meeting with and are in contact with a grant writer to assist us in acquiring additional foundation funding,” he said. “This and all other funding will allow us to engage with other entities that need help and support in the Village of Wellington. Wellington Community Foundation members are pleased with what we have accomplished this year, but we ask, ‘What are the potential needs of our students and our seniors in Wellington?’”
Mayor Anne Gerwig commended foundation board members for the work they are doing, helping some of the village’s most vulnerable residents.
She noted that the foundation has come a long way since it was spun off from village control a year ago.
“This was difficult,” Gerwig said. “Some people may understand this was begun originally by the village council. It was determined along the way that it was difficult for elected officials to do fundraising, because of the optics involved in that and because of ordinances and rules that we have to live under. We are really proud of what this group has done. At first, we weren’t sure that it was going to make it, because it did have to be independent and completely removed from us, but you’ve just done an outstanding job.”
Councilman Michael Drahos said the key to the foundation’s success was putting it in the hands of talented residents who have a knack for organization and fundraising.
“I’ve been a big advocate of this charity, and I’m really excited about what you guys can accomplish, because you are superstars within this community,” Drahos said.
Councilwoman Tanya Siskind said she appreciated that the foundation is doing more than writing checks.
“The money is important to these people and organizations, but your organization has heart, and you’re out there hands-on in the community and identifying the needs,” Siskind said.
Vice Mayor John McGovern was also impressed with how far the foundation has come.
“I knew, the mayor knew and the village manager knew that with the right leadership and the right team, you all would come together and make this a success, and you have,” McGovern said. “You have people on your board who are lifetime servants of this village, and people who believe in this place and the greatness of this place.”
Foundation board members include Wenham, Robbin Lee, Jim Sackett, Mickey Smith, Maria Becker, Ken Adams, Karen Cavanagh, Maggie Zeller and Barry Manning.
For more information, call (561) 333-9843 or

ABOVE: Wellington Village Council members congratulate Wellington Community Foundation board members on a successful first year. (L-R) Councilman Michael Napoleone, Maria Becker, Councilwoman Tanya Siskind, Mayor Anne Gerwig, Ken Adams, Robbin Lee, Jim Sackett, Vice Mayor John McGovern, Tom Wenham, Mickey Smith and Councilman Michael Drahos.