On The Scene

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The parties presented on this page were held before social distancing recommendations and stay-at-home orders were in effect.

Candlelight Ball
Dec. 3, 2022
Oak Harbor Club
Vero Beach
Photos by MaryAnn Ketcham

An atmosphere of warm elegance and charm created an enchanting experience for attendees. This black-tie optional fundraiser for Hibiscus Children’s Center included cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, fine dining and dancing. 

 Attendees eagerly bid on high-end auction items to help raise funds to eliminate child abuse, neglect and abandonment and help the center maintain a safe shelter for its kids and teens.

Third Annual Elegant Affair
Rising Up From Silence Foundation
Nov. 26, 2022
Port St. Lucie
Photos by MaryAnn Ketcham

Dressed to the nines, attendees enjoyed a sumptuous dinner, a celebratory cake and refreshments to help support victims and survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault on the Treasure Coast. 

All ears were tuned in to keynote speaker Dr. Raj Kumar as he shared his riveting story of survival. A victim of a violent assault, Kumar told the audience how he has soldiered on and reclaimed his life.

Additional special guests included Miss Florida USA 2023, Breanna Henry, and Vallery Valentine and her All-Stars, who provided lively entertainment at the event held at the MIDFLORIDA Credit Union Event Center.

Viva Las Vegas Casino Night
Nov. 18, 2022
Mariner Sands Country Club
Photos by MaryAnn Ketcham

Greeted by showgirls in full regalia, guests entered the Mariner Sands Country Club for an evening of high-stakes excitement. Various gaming tables, including craps, blackjack, roulette, and more, delicious cuisine and cocktails, exclusive raffle items and dancing kept attendees on their toes during a fundraiser for Hibiscus Children’s Center. Hibiscus provides safe haven, mental health counseling, educational and literacy services, love and support for the children who need it most in St. Lucie, Martin, Indian River and Okeechobee counties.

17th Annual National Philanthropy Day
Nov. 15, 2022
Vero Beach Theatre Guild
Vero Beach
Photos by Kerry Firth

Community leaders gathered for a lunch al fresco and awards ceremony at the newly renovated Vero Beach Theatre Guild to honor outstanding individuals for their philanthropic endeavors.

The honorees included Don Drikard, United Against Poverty; Pat Harris, Youth Sailing Foundation of IRC; Judi Miller, Treasure Coast Community Health; Susan Ogleby, Senior Resource Association; Deanna Pucclarelli, Substance Awareness Center of IRC; and Robert Bauchman, Boys & Girls Club of IRC.

Also honored were Kerry Bartlett, IRC Healthy Start Coalition; Dr. Nancy Baker, We Care Foundation; Bill and Jean Borduin, The Buggy Bunch; Richard Bradley, Youth Guidance Mentoring Academy; Sam Block, Gifford Youth Achievement Center; Dr. William P. Cooney, The Hope for Families Center and, in memoriam, Thomas Segura, United Way of IRC. 

Impact 100 Martin Kickoff
Nov. 02, 2022
Elliot Museum
Stuart
Photos by Liz McKinley

At the Impact100 Martin kickoff held at the Elliott Museum, the collective giving organization announced a big bold vision for the group’s sixth year, a race-themed Drive for 500 members. Reaching this goal will allow Impact100 Martin the ability to award five $100,000 grants to area nonprofits in March. The philanthropic group has funded grants totaling $1,034,000 since it was founded in 2018.

The 42nd Annual
Bohemian Knights Auction
Nov. 05, 2022
Hobe Sound
Photos by Liz McKinley

Held in The Pine School’s new Arts and Athletics Center on its campus in Hobe Sound, the annual Bohemian Knights auction raised funds for student financial assistance and faculty professional development.

Homegrown Harvest
Nov. 19, 2022
Adams Ranch
Fort Pierce
Photos by MaryAnn Ketcham

Soft music, the great outdoors, locally sourced cuisine and camaraderie brought people together to share a culinary experience and help others at the same time. United Way of St. Lucie and Okeechobee’s new signature event dazzled and wowed guests as they enjoyed samples of Adams Ranch Beef and small dishes prepared by several renowned local restaurants and caterers. 

 While dining, attendees received an introduction to ALICE, United Way’s Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed program, and how their contributions help its many families who are just one crisis away from poverty.

12th Annual Flamingo
Jam Jake Owen Foundation
Dec. 03, 2022
Vero Beach
Photos by Kerry Firth

Vero’s hometown country music star Jake Owen rallied his talented friends to join him at Corporate Air’s hangar for his 12th Annual Flamingo Jam benefiting the Jake Owen Foundation. 

The sold-out event, featuring country stars Tracy Lawrence, Travis Jenning and the legendary Randy Owen, was the highlight of Owen’s Flamingo weekend, which also included a star-studded golf tournament with a player’s cocktail reception, a fishing tournament, and a songwriter series introducing up and coming country singers.

 Proceeds support the foundation, which has raised nearly $4 million for charities since its inception in 2010.

Chocolate, Champagne and Chefs
Oct. 24, 2022
Vero Beach
Photos by Kerry Firth

A healthy crowd with hearty appetites arrived at Quail Valley River Club ready to feast on a delicious plated dinner, sip champagne and sample decadent chocolate desserts by local chefs from the Vero Beach area. During dinner, Vero Beach residents John and Lee Moore were honored by Big Brothers Big Sisters of Indian River County for their continuous dedication to the children. Guests scored raffle tickets for a chance to win dozens of donated gifts and a live auction featured exotic trips to Africa, Italy and Thailand; along with private dining experiences and the opportunity to purchase bikes for the children. Proceeds from the event will help support the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Indian River County’s mentoring programs.

Treasure Coast Food Bank
Out Laugh Hunger
Sept. 10, 2022
Indian river state College, Fort Pierce
Photos by MaryAnn Ketcham

While hunger is no laughing matter, raising funds to alleviate hunger can be hilarious. A troupe of three comedians, headlined by funny-man Devin Siebold, provided laughs a-plenty in a family-friendly atmosphere. Covering St. Lucie, Martin, Indian River and Okeechobee counties, the Treasure Coast Food Bank is the largest hunger relief organization on the Treasure Coast. 

14th annual Swinging Fore the ARC Golf Tournament
Sept. 24, 2022
Palm City
Photos by Liz McKinley

 Although rain and lightning threatened to shut down play, golfers weathered the storm for the 14th annual Swinging Fore the ARC Golf Tournament. All the events were at the Harbour Ridge Yacht & Country Club and proceeds go to ARC of Martin County and Arc of St. Lucie County. 

 First place went to The Haigh Group, EXP Realty Team, The Boar’s Head Team took second place and third place bragging rights went to the REVIVE Therapy & Wellness Team. Kathy DeWindt won the Longest Drive Award for women.

Advocates for the Rights of the Challenged is dedicated to assisting and supporting children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities to achieve their fullest potential through residential, vocational, behavioral and other related healthcare services.

Boos and Booze Halloween Costume Casino Night
Oct. 8, 2022
Palm City
Photos by Liz McKinley

More than 300 attendees played Vegas-style casino games and enjoyed the fabulous food from Michaelina’s during a fun-filled night at Rockin’ H Ranch that benefited Elev8Hope and Ms. Rina’s House of Blessings. Eva Rivera-Allmacher and husband, Jerry, were the real deal that night. The owners of Bin Deals donated $50,000 to bring the total raised close to $200,000. The mission of Elev8Hope is to provide support and hope to struggling families with children. It  works to positively impact the community of Martin County by connecting with individuals and families struggling to meet the most basic requirements of daily living. Ms. Rina’s House of Blessings, founded by Rinamarie Shpiruk and her four children, provides transitional housing for students and their families in crisis in Martin County.

Wild Gamette, Bling Bag & Boots
Oct. 7, 2022
Causeway Cove Marina, Fort Pierce
Photos by MaryAnn Ketcham

For the second year running, this women-only, 21-and-over event delivered a full house of adventure seekers looking to let loose, party, enjoy the music, dance, and bid on high-end raffle items. There was a variety of vendors selling wares while event-goers raised the roof and a lot of funds for the Busch Family Foundation. VIPs enjoyed free bull rides, a private bar area, and lots of other perks and gifts. 

45th Annual Tropical Night Luau
Oct. 7, 2022
The Boulevard Tennis Club, Vero Beach
Photos by Kerry Firth

Guests donned their brightest tropical attire to attend an extravagant luau benefiting Youth Guidance Mentoring Academy. Upon arrival they were greeted by a young hula dancer swaying to the sounds of the steel drums and handed Hawaiian leis before mingling on the deck with cocktails in hand. Everyone enjoyed, and some even participated, in a mesmerizing performance by the Hiti Mahana Polynesia dancers before feasting on a lavish island inspired buffet. Bidding was brisk on live auction items including wine, golf and vacation packages, exquisite jewelry and a coveted autographed guitar from Vero’s own Jake Owen. All proceeds benefited Youth Guidance programs that provide healthy meals and mentoring resources to children with limited resources in Indian River County.

Walk a Mile in Her Shoes
Sept. 30, 2022
 Vero Beach
Photos by Liz McKinley

Valiant men and women were called to action on Main Street in Vero Beach to demonstrate that walking a mile in women’s heels is not easy. The campaign creates awareness and conversation about the difficult subject of domestic violence. SafeSpace is the only state certified domestic violence center saving lives 24/7 and preventing domestic violence throughout the Treasure Coast. It empowers victims to become survivors by providing an array of programs and services, including legal assistance, financial literacy training, emotional and mental health counseling, advocacy and more.

The 8th annual Pack the House
Oct. 28, 2022
 Fort Pierce
Photos by MaryAnn Ketcham

Individuals and groups of volunteers arrived at the Treasure Coast Food Bank eager to accomplish the two-day goal of packing 15,000 boxes of Thanksgiving supplies for those in need this Thanksgiving holiday. The boxes, packed with fixings such as canned vegetables, rice, walnuts, and more, will be distributed with a protein such as a turkey, ham, or chicken. Approximately 1 in 4 families on the Treasure Coast are struggling with food insecurity.

Paranormal Evening with a Twist
Oct. 14, 2022
 The Vero Heritage Center
Photos by Kerry Firth

About 50 guests with a healthy curiosity for the supernatural gathered for a hauntingly fun paranormal investigation presented by Indian River Hauntings. After partaking on light bites and craft cocktails on the patio, groups of 10 were ushered into the Heritage Center for a briefing by lead paranormal investigator Lawrence Lawson where he told stories of hauntings in the building and displayed equipment used in the investigations. They then entered the Citrus Museum where most of the activity takes place and tried their luck contacting spirits with an audio recorder and brass dowsing rods. Some said Waldo Sexton made an appearance. Attendees topped off their other worldly evening with an ectoplasm martini in the secret saloon. All proceeds benefited the Vero Heritage Center.

Athena Society Dinner
April 22, 2022
Vero Beach Museum of Art
Vero Beach

A record number of 150 guests attended the annual dinner, which is one of the highlights of the museum’s calendar. The Athena Society supports the enhancement of the Museum’s collection through the purchase of significant works of art. This year, five artworks were displayed for more than a week and during the cocktail hour for consideration. After a presentation by senior curator Anke Van Wagenberg, guests enjoyed lively conservation over dinner and ballots were collected. This year, for the first time, there was a tie. Fortunately, both artworks were acquired. The new acquisitions are: Daisy Youngblood [American, 1945] Gorilla, 1996, Bronze, AP 1 of 1, edition of 4, 37 x 39 x 49 inches, and Wu Chi-Tsung [Taiwan, 1981], Cyano-Collage 121, 2021, 141 3/4 inches [diameter].

FAU Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute
50th Anniversary Celebration
May 25, 2022
The Elliott Museum, Stuart
Photos by MaryAnn Ketcham

The invitation-only premiere event highlighted the organization’s first public exhibition of the Johnson-Sea-Link II submersible and its rich history. Attendees heard noteworthy remarks from John Kelly, president of Florida Atlantic University; Jim Sullivan, FAU Harbor Branch executive director; Shirley Pomponi, FAU Harbor Branch research professor; and Don Liberatore, a former chief submersible pilot.

Top Chef 2022
House of Hope
June 6, 2022
Stuart
Photos by Liz McKinley

More than 180 people gathered at the District Table & Bar for the Fourth Annual Top Chef Martin County competition. Competing for the top honor were : Donna Forcella, Katie Ertz, [subbing for her mom, Donna Jenson], Julian Maiucci, Pete Morello, Marybeth Pena, and Joe Tomasiello. These culinary experts who love food, enjoy cooking and are passionate about the mission of House of Hope, competed for bragging rights to be called the Top Chef of Martin County. Forcella was awarded Top Fundraiser, Pena won Best Dish and Katie Ertz was named Top Chef. Proceeds support programs that offer people nutritious food, clothing, financial assistance and life-changing case management.

Original Florida
Highwaymen Museum
July 8, 2022
Fort Pierce
Photos by Ellen Gillette

A happy hour and open house was held to introduce the Original Florida Highwaymen Museum to the community. A diverse gathering of local artists and civic leaders mingled with business owners and community members, enjoying refreshments and beverages while getting a sneak peak at the museum. The work of the Florida Highwaymen, whose 60-year legacy of paintings are still in great demand, has been called the last great American art movement of the 20th century.

Greatest Appreciation
Feb. 26, 2021
Elliott Museum
Stuart
Photos by Liz McKinley

Stilt walkers, jugglers and even contortionists from Florida Aerial Dance & Circus Arts performed for donors and volunteers during the Habitat for Humanity of Martin County’s annual appreciation event. Donors and volunteers also enjoyed cocktails, hors d’oeuvres and tours of the Elliott Museum. Habitat’s mission is to provide entry level, affordable housing at a fair price and good value.

ArtsFest 2021
Feb. 20-21, 2021
Gazebo Park, Downtown Stuart
Photos by Liz McKinley

Hundreds enjoyed sweater weather and sunshine at ArtsFest 2021 in Gazebo Park. The annual weekend, sponsored by The Arts Foundation for Martin County and partnered with Martin County’s Art in Public Places Program, boasted food, art, crafts and a green market. It also featured multiple musical acts highlighting Bahamian, Irish, Cuban, West African and French cultures. Awards were given including Best of Show to mixed media artist Jean Yao.

Child Advocacy Center Kickoff
Guardians for New Futures
March 6, 2021
Port St. Lucie
Photos by MaryAnn Ketcham

A host of local stakeholders involved with child welfare came together to kick off the beginning of the Child Advocacy Center on South Commerce Centre Drive, Port St. Lucie. The facility will serve abused and neglected children from St. Lucie, Martin, Indian River and Okeechobee counties in Florida’s 19th Judicial Circuit. The center will provide maltreated children all necessary resources in one location rather than necessitating travel to multiple locations. Carrie Morgridge of the Morgridge Family Foundation headlined the event, stressing the importance of community participation.

Art in Bloom 2021
March 10-11, 2021
Vero Beach
Photos by Kerry Firth

This year’s Art In Bloom luncheon at the Vero Beach Museum of Art featured creations inspired by its exhibition Chul Hyun Ahn: New Light and artworks in the permanent collection. More than 200 guests attended in-person over the two days, with 55 guests livestreaming from the comfort of their homes. All guests enjoyed viewing and voting for the 11 interpretative floral designs, before making their way to lunch catered by Elizabeth Kennedy & Co. Guest presenter Shane Connolly, an international florist, livestreamed from the U.K. a planted arrangement of seasonal flowers.

27th Annual
Florida Sheriff’s Youth Ranches BBQ
March 3, 2021
Indian River County Sheriff’s Office Complex
Photos by Kerry Firth

Crowds of pre-pandemic proportions turned out for the Indian River County Sheriff’s Office 27th annual fundraising barbecue. Founded in 1957 by the Florida Sheriff’s Association, the nonprofit, residential child-care and family service organization, known as the Florida Sheriff’s Youth Ranches, primarily depends on the generous gifts and support of donors. Its mission is to prevent delinquency and develop lawful, resilient and productive citizens. Guests were treated to K-9 and SWAT demonstrations, tours of the jail and the 911 center along with dozens of vendors and delicious barbecue chicken and pork dinners.

Big Brothers Big Sisters Reunion
Seasons 52
March 2, 2021
Palm Beach Gardens
Photos by Liz McKinley

Thanks to the life-changing mentoring programs of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Palm Beach and Martin Counties, Jim Martz, the “big,” and Dr. Andrew Hope, the “little,” shared laughs and conversation over A&W Root Beer floats, while celebrating their 50-year friendship. What began with a match between a big brother and a little boy has grown to become a story of two men becoming the best of friends through the years.

Athena Society Dinner
Vero Beach Museum of Art
April 16, 2021
Photos by Kerry Firth

Members of Vero Beach Museum of Art Athena Society gathered for dinner and lecture after voting on their favorite works of art for the Museum’s permanent collection. The society supports the expansion of the permanent collection through the acquisition of major works of art. A significant portion of the art on view in the Museum was purchased by the Society.

Casino Night
March 12, 2021
Palm City
Photos by Liz McKinley

Elev8Hope hit the jackpot during a fundraiser at Rockin’ H Ranch as generous sponsors and supporters donated $370,000 toward Mrs. Rina’s House of Blessings, a transitional hospitality house for homeless students in Martin County. The sold-out event included faux gambling, Vegas casino games like roulette, craps, Texas hold ‘em and blackjack. Heavy hors d’oeuvres, open bar and a silent auction kept the good times rolling. Elev8Hope is an all-volunteer, all-student-run nonprofit that benefits families with children.

Bow-Wow-Meow Luau
March 6, 2021
Stuart
Liz McKinley

Island cocktails played into the theme of this year’s gala, which was held outdoors at the Marriott Hutchinson Island Beach Resort due to the pandemic. Guests at the Humane Society Paws & Claws fundraiser enjoyed tropical bites, a live auction and an authentic island show performed by entertainers from the Mai Kai Polynesian Restaurant. Afterward, some guests opted to take in a VIP experience, which featured a starlight cruise down the Intracoastal Waterway aboard The Island Princess. The event benefits the shelter and provides funds for life-saving care and essential services to more than 6,000 animals each year.

Fashion Meets Art
Feb. 24, 2021
Vero Beach
Photos by Kerry Firth

Super Model Kim Alexis, who has appeared on more than 500 magazine covers worldwide including Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Cosmopolitan, Glamour and Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition, gave a presentation at the Vero Beach Museum of Art on living your best life through a healthy diet, exercise, a clean beauty regimen and mind, body and spiritual wellness. VIP guests were treated to pre-presentation fashion show featuring models from Premiere Model Management.

Florida Beer-B-Q
March 19, 2021
Vero Beach
Photos by Kerry Firth

A lively crowd turned out for a fundraiser at Walking Tree Brewery hosted by the Treasure Coast Chapter of Coastal Conservation Association Florida. The event, catered by 14 Bones, featured a silent auction, which had hundreds of items selected to attract the recreational fishing bidders, a raffle, and a live auction with exotic vacations, fishing trips and gear. All proceeds went to the CCA to help with its mission to ensure the health and conservation of marine resources and anglers access to them.

Good Vibrations
March 20, 2021
Palm City
Photos by Liz McKinley

Martin County artists, Cheryl Cote and Sue Klahne hosted the opening reception for the art exhibit that included the works of 9 local artists at The Fox Club. A silent auction was held and the $6,375 raised was donated to New Horizons of the Treasure Coast, a mental health and substance abuse services provider. Sponsored by Emerald Medical, the exhibit is open to the public through the end of April.

Founding Friends of Treasure Coast Hospice
April 6, 2021
Harbour Ridge Yacht & Country Club
Palm City
Photos by MaryAnn Ketcham

The exquisite home of outgoing president Ginny Salamy served as the gathering place to introduce new board members and present a check to Treasure Coast Hospice CEO Jackie Kendrick. The yearlong fundraising effort by members of the Harbour Ridge community in Palm City yielded $125,000. Attendees also shared fond memories of long-time member Jody Brasskamp who died recently. Founded in 1982, Treasure Coast Hospice is a nonprofit organization of skilled professionals and dedicated volunteers who serve patients and families in Martin, St. Lucie and Okeechobee counties.