On The Scene

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Indian River Land
Trust Benefit
Nov. 9, 2023
Rock City Gardens
Vero Beach
Photos by Kerry Firth

Indian River Land Trust held its annual benefit to celebrate land conservation in Indian River County. The magical evening took place at the beautifully lit Rock City Gardens and beneath the twinkling stars of a clear fall night. Guests enjoyed an evening of cocktails, dinner and live music by EST [Eastern Standard Time]. A series of paintings for Land Trust properties by celebrated artist Rick Kelley was featured in a garden pavilion. All proceeds benefit conservation efforts by the Indian River Land Trust.

Community Leader’s Celebration
United Way of Martin County
Oct. 20, 2023
Sailfish Point Country Club
Stuart
Photos by Liz McKinley

United Way of Martin County celebrated the kickoff of its annual campaign with the Community Leaders’ Celebration luncheon held at Sailfish Point Country Club. The event served as a platform to honor the achievements of the past year while highlighting the organization’s goals for the future. At the luncheon, which was attended by nearly 200 people, United Way thanked the dozens of organizations and thousands of individuals who raise millions of dollars every year to help Martin County residents meet their basic needs and build better, more stable lives.

Director’s Society and Chairman’s
Club Dinner
Nov. 20, 2023
Vero Beach Museum of Art
Vero Beach
Photos by Kerry Firth

Vero Beach Museum of Art launched its 2023-2024 season with its annual Director’s Society and Chairman’s Club dinner. More than 200 art aficionados gathered for cocktails, hors d’oeuvres and lively conversation as they viewed the M.C. Escher: Infinite Variations exhibition. An elegant dinner catered by Elizabeth Kennedy & Company was served and guests were treated to an informative talk by guest speaker Paul Goldberger, a world renowned architecture critic. 

Celebrity Bartenders
Nov. 8, 2023
Cobb's Landing
Fort Pierce
Photos by MaryAnn Ketcham

Four local celebrities competed in a whirlwind bartending competition to determine who would bring in the most ‘Tips for Turkeys!’ to benefit Family Meals, Inc. Anthony Burruano of Treasure Coast Lexus and Jarett Perlmutter of Treasure Coast Toyota of Stuart, together with Kyla Wickard from Boozgeois Saloon and Linda Hall of Seacoast Bank, mixed, stirred and served up tasty libations for the avid crowd. The trophy went to Hall. All event proceeds help local families in need by providing them a ‘family meal’ to prepare together. 

Adventures in Poetry
with Billy Collins
Nov. 22, 2023
Quail Valley River Club
Vero Beach
Photos by Kerry Firth

The Laura Riding Jackson Foundation welcomed famed poet Billy Collins as its keynote speaker at the organization’s 30th luncheon at Quail Valley River Club. The literary group invited student writers from area high schools, including Rachel Estillore, who recited her original poem prior to the readings by Collins. All proceeds from the luncheon benefited the Laura Riding Jackson Foundation which nurtures aspiring writers.

The Big Splash
Oct. 10, 2023
500 Orange Event center
Fort Pierce
Photos by Liz McKinley

Florida Faith Alliance hosted The Big Splash in October to raise awareness about child sex trafficking. The fundraiser was its inaugural event, held at the historic 500 Orange Event Center in Fort Pierce. The guest speaker for the evening was author Christine McDonald, a survivor of child trafficking. The event was attended by local law enforcement members, pastors of churches in the area, child service providers, and a special additional guest speaker, Florida State Rep. Toby Overdorf.

Hibiscus Children's Center
Candlelight Ball
Dec. 2, 2023
Oak Harbor Club
Vero Beach
Photos by Kerry Firth

The Hibiscus Children’s Center Candlelight Ball was held at Oak Harbor Club. Guests enjoyed cocktails and hors d’oeuvres, followed by a three-course dinner at the elegant black-tie event. After dinner, attendees danced to The New York Connection Show Band. Event proceeds benefited the abused, neglected and abandoned youth living at the Hibiscus Village in Vero Beach.

Hibiscus Children's Center
Candlelight Ball
Dec. 2, 2023
Oak Harbor Club
Vero Beach
Photos by Kerry Firth

The Hibiscus Children’s Center Candlelight Ball was held at Oak Harbor Club. Guests enjoyed cocktails and hors d’oeuvres, followed by a three-course dinner at the elegant black-tie event. After dinner, attendees danced to The New York Connection Show Band. Event proceeds benefited the abused, neglected and abandoned youth living at the Hibiscus Village in Vero Beach.

Yappy Hour Halloween Party
Oct. 27, 2023
The Pointe at Ocean Boulevard
Stuart
Photos by Cindy Ekonomou

Four-legged goblins, ghosts and pirates paraded through the Bistro at The Pointe for a Halloween “pawty” to raise funds for the Kane Center’s “Paws for Cause” which assists Martin County seniors struggling to take care of their pets. Live entertainment was provided by The Brothers Band. Other events included a doggie costume parade, raffles and prizes. 

Private Reception for Pianist
Uriel Natero
Nov. 18, 2023
Suzanne Hallstrom residence
Fort Pierce
Photos by Kerry Firth

After a public performance at the Pineapple Playhouse in Fort Pierce, famed pianist Uriel Natero joined a small gathering for an intimate mingle and dinner performance at the home of Suzanne Hallstrom. Natero established himself as a world-class pianist playing in remarkable venues in Switzerland, Sweden, Italy, France, Germany, Austria and Monte Carlo. He has played private events for Prince Rainier, Prince Albert and Princess Stephanie and played at the Monte Carlo Red Cross Gala alongside the Orquestre Philharmonique de Monte Carlo Guidance programs.

Denim and Diamonds Hope Gala
Dec. 1, 2023
Magnolia Manor
Vero Beach
Photos by Kerry Firth

The American Cancer Society invited rhinestone cowboys and cowgirls to Magnolia Manor to help raise funds in support of cancer research. The evening began with a champagne meet and greet and fireside cocktails with Kurt Stevens. Dinner was served under a Florida pole barn illuminated with thousands of twinkling lights. The featured speaker was Vero’s own Marni Parent-Howder, a brain cancer survivor who shared her journey of hope and recovery. Guests then kicked up their heels on the dance floor in a celebration of life with live music by the Riptide Band.

Molly’s Secret Garden
Oct. 7, 2023
Molly's House
Stuart
Photos by Liz McKinley

Molly’s Secret Garden guests enjoyed a magical setting, complete with music and a garden-themed art auction. The special evening celebrated Molly’s 50th birthday and her vision that inspired the community to build Molly’s House. In addition to bidding on work by local artists, guests donated night stays for the patients and their families who come to our area for care and make Molly’s House their temporary home.

United Against Poverty St. Lucie
Hand Up Luncheon
Sept. 27, 2023
Clover Park
Port St. Lucie
Photos by MaryAnn Ketcham

Community members networked and bid on various unique silent auction items in the Mets Clubhouse before enjoying a delightful buffet luncheon. While the event raises funds, it also allows attendees to learn about the organization’s many programs and how, through empowerment rather than entitlement, its clients successfully break the cycle of poverty.

Indian River County
Cattlewomen, Inc.
Fundraiser Hoedown
Oct. 9, 2023
Marsh Landing Restaurant
Fellsmere
Photos by Kerry Firth

Cowgirls and cowboys dressed in western hats and boots arrived at Marsh Landing Restaurant for a roaring good time at the Indian River County Cattlewomen’s Fundraiser Hoedown. Guests were treated to a wild game dinner, drinks, appetizers, desserts, raffles and country western dancing to live music by Whiskey Trip. The cattlewomen’s mission is to educate the public about Florida’s ranching history, heritage and the impact that ranches have on a healthy environment. Funds raised from the hoedown go toward student scholarships.

15th Annual
Swinging Fore the ARC
Sept. 29, 2023
Harbor Ridge Yacht & Country Club
Palm City
Photos by MaryAnn Ketcham

Joined by eight-time PGA Tour Winner Fred Funk, guests sipped and mingled, formulated their strategies for winning the next day’s big golf tournament, and viewed and bid on a wide array of silent auction items. Event proceeds assist and support children and adults with developmental and intellectual disabilities and their families.

The Source – Hidden Faces
Oct. 19, 2023
Heritage Center
Vero Beach
Photos by Kerry Firth

The Source, a non-profit organization that works closely with the needy and homeless in Indian River County, held a special event highlighting what goes on behind the scenes at their facility and honoring those who make it happen. An uplifting video was shown featuring the human side of homelessness with testimonials from people whose lives were changed with the help of The Source. The food was prepared and served by students in The Source’s own Dignity Catering and Dignity Culinary Training programs. Guests were also invited to tour the Dignity Bus parked outside which provides a safe, comfortable place for the homeless to sleep.

Busch Family Foundation
Wild Game Dinner
Oct. 6, 2023
St. Lucie County fairgrounds
Fort Pierce
Photos by MaryAnn Ketcham

This stag-only event drew hundreds of participants who relished tasty, fresh-cooked meats, treats, and cocktails. They also enjoyed multiple chances to take home spectacular prizes and giveaways. It is one of the largest events of its type in the country.

The Busch Family Foundation uses 100 percent of the proceeds to support local nonprofits.

Tropical Night Luau
Oct. 23, 2023
Quail Valley River Club
Vero Beach
Photos by Kerry Firth

Youth Guidance returned to Quail Valley River Club to celebrate its 46th annual Tropical Night Luau. Guests convened poolside to indulge in decadent appetizers and tropical libations in the glow of a crimson sunset. After perusing the massive silent auction and bidding on their favorite items, all eyes were focused on the beautiful Hiti Mahana Polynesian dancing girls and the dare devil fire dancer. The party moved inside to enjoy dinner, dancing, a live auction for exotic trips and a special presentation by the Youth Guidance children. All proceeds from the luau support Youth Guidance programs.

Big Taste of Martin County
Oct. 10, 2023
Atlantic Aviation
Stuart
Photos by Liz McKinley

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Palm Beach and Martin Counties held its annual Big Taste of Martin County at Atlantic Aviation to kick off the Martin County social season. The event is considered one of the premier food and drink tasting events on the Treasure Coast and this year had more than 700 guests, breaking the previous attendance record. Guests were treated to tasty bites from popular restaurants and beverage companies located throughout Martin County. The event raises money and awareness for mentoring programs.

'50s On The Farm:
Sock Hop & Field Frisbees
Oct. 14, 2023
Kai Kai Farm
Indiantown
Photos by Liz McKinley

The Epilepsy Alliance Florida held a ‘50s On The Farm: Sock Hop & Field Frisbees fundraiser at Kai Kai Farm in Indiantown to benefit those impacted by epilepsy and seizures. The sold-out event attracted 150 attendees and raised more than $80,000 for the Epilepsy Alliance Florida, the principal agency for epilepsy programs and services sponsored by the State of Florida. The ‘50s On the Farm event was hosted by four Martin County residents in honor of their child living with seizures: Epilepsy Alliance Florida board member Beth Alcalde; Beth’s husband, Gerald Alcalde; and Mary Rose and Rich Bressman.

Hometown Hollywood Black-Tie Gala
April 2023
Elliott Museum
Stuart
Photos by Liz McKinley

The glitter and glamor of Old Hollywood took center stage at the gala in support of the Martin County Healthy Start Coalition and its newest program, Madison’s Miracles. This program provides support to families stricken with the loss of a baby throughout pregnancy or during or after birth. Guests were treated to a glimmering gold setting with a red-carpet entrance, great food, a live and silent auction, and spirited dance music by Charles Jones Trio.

Sunset at Bay Tree Lodge
April 11, 2023
Bay Tree Lodge
Sewall’s Point
Photos by Liz McKinley

Sunset at Bay Tree Lodge introduced Friends of the Everglades to the Sewall’s Point community. Hosted by Ann and Knight Kiplinger, family owners of the lodge since 1952, the fundraising event highlighted the 54-year environmental legacy of Friends of the Everglades and its founder, Marjory Stoneman Douglas, one of the leading voices in environmental history.

St. Lucie County
Business Leader Luncheon
April 27, 2023
The Pelican Yacht Club
Fort Pierce
Photos by MaryAnn Ketcham

As service is the heart of the Rotary Organization, the Fort Pierce Rotary Club provided local business and nonprofit leaders an opportunity to network, foster camaraderie, and promote the message of service and goodwill toward others through fellowship.

Atlantic Classical Orchestra
Closes 33rd Season
April 14, 2023
Lyric Theatre
Stuart
Photos by Heidi E. Bent

The Atlantic Classical Orchestra held its final performance of the season at the Lyric Theatre with its best turnout since before COVID. Guests were treated to Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5, and a new harp concerto, Recife, performed by harpist Bridget Kibbey.

A Literary Affair
March 31, 2023
Hutchinson Shores Resort & Spa
Jensen Beach
Photos by Liz McKinley

The Library Foundation of Martin County held its biggest fundraiser of the year — A Literary Affair which includes BookMania! authors gathering with patrons for an evening of libations, fine dining and literary conversation. BookMania! is a free, public event, however, the funds raised at A Literary Affair help underwrite the event’s expenses, as well as other community literacy programs.

Robert F. Novins Memorial Golf Reception/Tournament
May 5-6, 2023
Carsons Tavern/Yacht & Country Club
Stuart
Photos by Robert Holland

The 22nd Robert F. Novins Memorial Golf Tournament and Reception raised more than $180,000 for the Volunteers in Medicine Clinic. The proceeds help ensure that the VIM Clinic can further its mission of providing free health care to uninsured, low-income adults in Martin County.

Sage Awards
March 22, 2023
Piper’s Landing Yacht and Country Club
Palm City
Photos by Liz McKinley

The Council on Aging of Martin County showcased the contributions of seven seniors at its Sage Awards celebration. This year’s honorees were Dr. Douglas Jewett, Dr. Francis Kleeman, Lt. Gen. Frank Libutti, Alfred Miller Jr., Judie Price, the Albert M. Covelli Foundation, and the late Alice Luckhardt. The event raised $100,000 for the council.

National Purple Heart Day Brunch
Aug. 7, 2023
Veteran’s Club Vero Beach
Vero Beach
Photos by Kerry Firth

Twenty brave men and women from Indian River County who were wounded on the battlefield or gave the ultimate sacrifice with their lives while serving their country were honored during the Purple Heart Brunch held at the Veteran’s Club Vero Beach. Families and friends joined the honorees for a buffet lunch followed by a presentation of recognition to the recipients in attendance. The Purple Heart is the oldest military decoration for the U.S. Army and the first ever made available to the enlisted man.

Impact100 Martin Grant Awards Celebration
March 29, 2023
Temple Beit HaYam
Stuart
Photos by Liz McKinley

Impact100 Martin members awarded three $100,000 grants at the event. Since it was founded in 2017, Impact100 Martin has awarded $1.4 million in funds to local nonprofits for initiatives that create positive, lasting change in the community. 

Bring a Friend Closing Luncheon
April 4, 2023
Stuart Yacht and Country Club
Stuart
Photos by Liz McKinley

The Stuart Friends, the local support organization of The Atlantic Classical Orchestra, met at the Stuart Yacht and Country Club for its annual closing luncheon. Nearly 60 friends gathered to celebrate the finale of the 33rd season of the orchestra playing in Stuart. Entertainment was provided by award-winning 14-year-old piano virtuoso Lucas Huang of Fort Pierce. Huang is the 2022 Florida state winner of the national Opus competition.

Vero Beach Museum of Art
Athena Society Dinner
April 21, 2023
Vero Beach Museum of Art
Photos by Kerry Firth

Vero Beach Museum of Art’s Athena Society was established in 2003 to fund and select significant art acquisitions for the museum’s permanent collection. At their annual Athena Society Dinner about 150 attendees voted on which piece of art would soon call this museum home. This year’s winner is a three piece AI data painting by Turkish-American artist Refik Anadol on a 16 minute video loop depicting the movement of the ocean in a hallucinatory, fantasy manner to create an alternate understanding of the world we see.

Tea in the Gardens
March 26, 2023
Heathcote Botanical Gardens
Fort Pierce
Photos by MaryAnn Ketcham

A dedicated sold-out crowd enjoyed a laid-back Sunday afternoon sipping various teas and champagne, sampling finger sandwiches and desserts amid the beauty of the mostly shaded verdant property at Heathcote Botanical Gardens. Patrons bid on the many silent auction items and raised their paddles as St. Lucie County Commissioner Chris Dzadovsky auctioned off several lovely pieces, including a mosaic mirror fashioned by local artist Anita Prentice.

A Night to Remember
Jan. 23, 2023
Oak Harbor
Vero Beach
Photos by Kerry Firth

Gifford Youth Achievement Center celebrated 25 years of changing lives and changing futures for Indian River County residents. The annual gala raised funds for the center’s youth programs including after-school care, summer camps, job fairs and health fair. GYAC also serves the adult community with a twice-monthly, mobile food pantry and a variety of educational, social, recreational and cultural activities.

The 18th Annual Night of Hope
Feb. 6, 2023
Emerson Center
Vero Beach
Photos by Kerry Firth

The Source partnered with Cindy O’Dare and Richard Boga of One Sothebys’ International Realty for its annual fundraiser. More than 250 guests enjoyed an evening of inspirational music delivered by world-renowned vocalist Wintley Phipps. The welcome reception was catered by The Sources’s own Dignity Catering, featuring a wide array of hot and cold hors d’oeuvres and desserts. Guests had the opportunity to tour one of the two Dignity buses in the parking lot. The evening closed with a moving video describing the many success stories achieved by The Source and future plans for the Dignity Village.

50th Anniversary
Spring Celebration Gala
March 14, 2023
Riverside Theatre
Vero Beach
Photos by Kerry Firth

More than 600 patrons gathered for the theater’s 50th anniversary gala where they enjoyed a cocktail while mingling on the patio, enjoying a lavish feast and a solo performance by Grammy nominee and Broadway star Kelli O’Hara. The event, hosted by The Friends Committee, was the most successful gala in Riverside’s history raising more than $1 million. All money raised goes toward the theater’s operating budget and enhancing the artistic quality on the stage.

2023 Kiplinger Literacy Award
Luncheon
Jan. 23, 2023
Harbour Ridge Yacht & Country Club
Palm City
Photos by Liz McKinley

Noreen Fisher was honored by The Library Foundation of Martin County as the 2023 Kiplinger Literacy Award Recipient during its luncheon attended by another sold-out crowd. Knight Kiplinger, who was the keynote speaker, shared his insight on the economic outlook for 2023. The Library Foundation of Martin County Inc. was incorporated in 1992 as an independent, tax-exempt, not-for-profit Florida corporation for the purpose of actively soliciting contributions from individuals and businesses in Martin County. Its mission is to acquire and administer funds to enrich library services and facilities not met by public funding and to endow the library system for future generations.

Fashion Meets Art
Feb. 22, 2023
Vero Beach Museum of Art
Vero Beach
Photos by Kerry Firth

Fashion designers Mark Badgley and James Mischka, hailed by Vogue as two of the Top 10 American designers and the darlings of the Hollywood set, wowed a sold-out crowd at the museum’s annual event. The audience of primarily glamorous women in their finest attire enjoyed a meet-and-greet with the designers followed by a presentation showcasing their timeless, elegant designs in their latest collection.

Laura Riding Jackson Foundation
Jan. 19, 2023
The Community Church of Vero Beach 
Vero Beach
Photos by Kerry Firth

Florida satirical writer Carl Hiaasen entertained a full house with his quick wit and twisted humor at Laura Riding Jackson Foundation’s 30th Anniversary celebration. After sharing some of his favorite “only in Florida stories,” Hiaasen answered questions from the audience. A VIP reception followed where Hiaasen autographed books. All proceeds from the event benefited the foundation’s writing programs and the preservation of the Jacksons’ historical home and gardens.

Diamonds and Crystals Gala
Feb. 23, 2023
Quail Valley River Club 
Vero Beach
Photos by Kerry Firth

The Gifford Youth Orchestra celebrated 20 years of beautiful music with an elegant dinner at Quail Valley River Club where guests socialized while bidding on an extensive array of gifts and entertainment packages before enjoying a gourmet dinner. Guests were treated to a musical performance by the Gifford Youth Orchestra and an uplifting speech by Winston Scott, former NASA astronaut. All proceeds benefit the Gifford Youth Orchestra.

The Valentine Ball
Feb. 23, 2023
Oak Harbor Club
Vero Beach
Photos by Kerry Firth

Guests arrived in their finest red and pink attire for the Valentine Ball. They enjoyed cocktails, dinner and dancing while supporting United Against Poverty of Indian River County in its mission to provide those in poverty access to nutritional food, crisis care and employment training. UP Indian River County serves 650 individuals each day and since its Workforce Development Program’s inception in 2015, 250 participants have improved their economic status. Its Member Share Grocery Program also saved users $5.1 million for grocery and personal care products.

Treasure Coast History Festival
Jan. 14, 2023
Downtown Fort Pierce

History lovers descended on downtown Fort Pierce Jan. 14 for the annual Treasure Coast History Festival presented by Indian River Magazine and sponsored by St. Lucie Battery & Tire. The festival included three presentations inside the Sunrise Theatre. Outside the Sunrise, on Second Street, the festival featured historical re-enactors, historical exhibitions and a genuine Summerlin family fish fry.

Dancing Around the World Gala
Jan. 28, 2023
Willoughby Golf Club
Stuart
Photos by Liz McKinley

Guests arrived in internationally themed attire or evening wear for a wonderful night of celebration and reflection on the mission of the Volunteers in Medicine Clinic. They were entertained by flamenco and Moroccan dancers, live music and delectable dining from around the world. 

More than $350,000 was raised for the clinic’s operating budget to continue providing free health care to eligible Martin County residents. The clinic, which has been serving Martin County since 1995, has an annual operating budget of $1 million and provides more than $9 million in free medical care.

Dashboard Dreams: The Florida Highwaymen and the American Road
Jan. 13, 2023
A.E. Backus Museum and Gallery
Fort Pierce
Photos by MaryAnn Ketcham

More than 50 original Highwayman paintings adorned the walls during the opening reception for the museum’s most recent exhibit. Newcomers and devotees packed the event that featured the works of the African American painters who honed their craft depicting Florida landscapes. They then sold their paintings along the highways during the days of segregation. Surprise visitors included Roy McLendon Jr., along with original Highwaymen Roy McLendon Sr. and Jimmy Stoval. Author Catherine Enns Grigas also attended and signed copies of her book Journey of the Highwaymen.

H.A.L.O.'s Masquerade Fur Ball
Dec. 9, 2022
Cobalt - Vero Beach Hotel and Spa
Vero Beach
Photos by Kerry Firth

Furry, four-legged receptionists welcomed guests in formal attire and ornate masks to the annual Masquerade Fur Ball benefiting H.A.L.O. No Kill Rescue. The sold out gala celebrated H.A.L.O.’s 16th year of rescues and 20,000 lives saved. Attendees enjoyed the evening interacting with adoptable animals, feasting on a four-course meal and bidding on exciting silent and live auction items. H.A.L.O. No Kill Rescue was created in 2006 with a mission to create a safe haven for abused and abandoned animals in Indian River County.

Poinsettia Power
Dec. 7, 2022
The Kane Center
Stuart
Photos by MaryAnn Ketcham

The lush pastel vibes set a new, more tropical tone for attendees at the Martin County Council on Aging annual fundraiser for Meals on Wheels. With vendors galore, holiday shopping became easy and fun. A lively fashion show, a colorful hat parade and dozens of raffle items to choose from also entertained the crowd. Meals on Wheels not only provides vital nutrition to area seniors in need, but it also decreases the feeling of isolation for seniors living alone.

Vero Beach Museum of Art Gala
Jan. 27, 2023
Vero Beach Museum of Art
Vero Beach
Photos by Kerry Firth

More than 500 art aficionados enjoyed cocktails and hors d’oeuvres as they previewed the Art in Motion – Rolling Sculpture exhibit during the museum’s annual gala. The exhibit celebrates the modernity and motion of design featuring a stunning collection of rare automobiles and motorcycles from the 20th century that convey how auto designers translated the concept of aerodynamic efficiency into exciting machinery. After an hour of mingling and viewing, guests indulged in an exquisite dinner catered by Elizabeth D. Kennedy and Co. in the Buck Atrium and Holmes Great Hall, followed by dancing in the Post Rotunda. 

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.