United Way of Broward County’s Night of Caring, presented by JM Family Enterprises, Inc. and Southeast Toyota Distributors, LLC, was held on Thursday, May 31 at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino. More than 350 donors attended to honor Chancellor Ray Ferrero, Jr. of Nova Southeastern University and Publix Super Markets, Inc., as well as hear about the significant impact United Way of Broward County is making in the community.
“The Night of Caring is our way of honoring those in our community who display leadership, initiative and a love for our community,” said Kathleen Cannon, LCSW, President and CEO of United Way of Broward County. “For more than 70 years, United Way has served Broward County as the largest private funder of health and human services, an accomplishment that can only be achieved with the help of individuals and organizations like Chancellor Ferrero and Publix.”
Emceed by WPLG’s Calvin Hughes, Chancellor Ray Ferrero, Jr. was presented the Lifetime of Caring Award for his heartfelt commitment to Broward County. Chancellor Ferrero has been a United Way donor, advocate and volunteer for nearly two decades, and a member of the Tocqueville Society for eight years. He has been an extraordinary leader for United Way and instrumental in convening key players in the community to identify and tackle Broward’s most critical and complex issues. He served on United Way of Broward County’s board of directors from 2004-2007 and then in 2008 became one of the trailblazers in creating United Way of Broward County’s board of ambassadors.
Publix Super Markets, Inc. was presented the Leader in Caring Award for its tremendous support of the community. Over the past 33 years, Publix associates have given more than $385 million to United Way. This past year alone, Publix workplace campaigns raised more than $2.5 million in Broward County and $45 million nationwide. As part of its mission, Publix focuses much of its philanthropic efforts on the areas of youth, education, literacy and the plight of the homeless and hungry. Locally, Publix has shown overwhelming support of United Way’s initiatives related to these issues by donating a truckload of items during the annual Day of Action school supply drive in 2011 which supported local teachers as well as its in-store promotion to support the Project Lifeline food distribution program. On behalf of Publix Super Markets, Inc., District Manager Diane Schlachter accepted the Leader in Caring Award at the event.
Key speakers included: United Way of Broward County President and CEO Kathleen Cannon, LCSW, First Southern Bank President and CEO and United Way of Broward County Board Chair Lynne Wines, JM Family Enterprises, Inc. President and CEO Colin Brown, Nova Southeastern University President and CEO George Hanbury II, Ph.D., Nova Southeastern University’s Chancellor Ray Ferrero, Jr., Publix Super Markets, Inc. District Manager Diane Schlachter, and US Imaging Solutions CEO Britt Sikes.
The entertainment for the evening included a group of 11 teens from the Plantation High School Step Team who performed an expressive, comical routine which illustrated the work of United Way of Broward County as well as the honorees.
Among the highlights of the evening, one lucky attendee, Ed Davis of ANF Group, was announced the winner of the event’s 50/50 raffle fundraiser. As a message of support of United Way, Ed donated back his winnings of more than $1,000 back to United Way of Broward County. In addition, nearly 50 guitars were hand-painted by various local artists who spent hours creating beautiful artwork to serve as the evening’s centerpieces. Guests had the opportunity to purchase these guitars for $250.
The proceeds from the evening will benefit United Way of Broward County’s Community Investment Fund, which assist those in desperate need of help, and will be directly invested in programs that treat root causes of issues facing Broward County.
Event sponsors included: JM Family Enterprises, Inc., Southeast Toyota Distributors, LLC, Consolidated Credit Counseling Services, Inc., Publix Super Markets Charities, Broward Health, Maroone an AutoNation Company, Memorial Healthcare System, Broward College, Nova Southeastern University, Balfour Beatty, Patriot National Insurance Group, Berger Singerman, South Florida Business Journal, Enterprise Holdings, Inc., Broward County AFL-CIO, Katz Barron Squitero Faust, ANF Group, FPL, Royal Caribbean International, Museum of Art l Fort Lauderdale, Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, and Comcast.
If you are interested in supporting future United Way of Broward County events, please call (954) 462-4850 ext. 125 or visit www.unitedwaybroward.org.