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Boca honors the guys who give their all to help others

Help kids with special needs. Feed the hungry. Break the poverty cycle. Start and support scholarships.

Nineteen men who give their time freely for good causes were nominated by their respective charities at the 18th annual Men with Caring Hearts.

“Together they make our community stronger, safer and happier,” Ellyn Okrent, Florence Fuller Child Development Centers CEO said about this year’s honorees. The agency presents the luncheon.

Boca Raton Resort & Club president John C. Tolbert and Boca Helping Hands president Gary Peters were cited for their longtime efforts.

And higher education advocate Aubrey Strul was named Outstanding Male Volunteer at the finale of Friday’s event at Boca West Country Club.

Strul and his wife Sally support first-generation college students. Their scholarship fund with FAU president John and Carolyn Kelly will allow 20 to go to college debt-free this year. “Give every child the chance to compete on a level playing field,” he said when he was named.

Former Lifetime Achievement honoree Jay DiPietro, left, congratulates Aubrey Strul, Outsranding Male Volunteer 2019.

Tolbert, the Biggest Heart honoree, danced in Boca’s Ballroom Battle for George Snow Scholarship Fund. He marshaled money, food and medicine when Puerto Rico was hit by Hurricane Maria.

“John is even a volunteer therapy dog trainer,” said Stacey Packer, Florence Fuller board chair.

“John’s approach is ‘how can we do better. He has a hard time saying ‘no,’ ” added board v.p. Amy Kazma.

Lifetime achievement honoree Gary Peters helped jump start Boca Helping Hands’ growth as board president. He’s been honored by Place of Hope, Rotary Club of Boca Raton and many other nonprofits.

“Boca’s is known for its volunteerism and generosity,” Peters said. “It’s unequaled.”

Saks Fifth Avenue v.p. Heather Shaw and PurePoint Financial’s Scott Van Wyngarden were co-chairs. Auctioner Neil Saffer and Neil Meany shared master of ceremony duties.

Here’s the rest of the honorees:

Dr. David Cano, David Clark, Stuart Ganslaw, Doug Giordano, Evan Golden, Gary Hildebrand and Jerry Lankford.

Dr. David Lubetkin, Judge James Martz, Joe Mir, Joe Olympio, Eliot Popper, Andrew Powell, Dominick Stokes.

Derek Vander Ploeg, Christopher Warren, Adam Ziffer and Tony Zmistowski.

Toskany Castille, Jose LaPuerta, Jean Max Maradieu Jr. and Noah Rubin were the outstanding male youth volunteers this year.

By Marci Shatzman

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