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Hundreds turn out for Boca Chamber Festival Days now… RU in?

Boca Chamber tried to drum up business in August with charity fundraisers decades ago. Now the major events draw hundreds.

Last year’s Battle of the Bartenders for Best Foot Forward packed the ballroom at the Marriott Boca Raton. KidSafe’s Margarita Mondays takes over Rocco’s Tacos at the Shops at Boca Center.

Tickets are on sale now for most of this year’s Boca Chamber Festival Days, 22 events from Aug. 1 to 28. [See the list below.]

They’re designed to be fun, for the people who pay to come and the volunteers who take part.

Fourteen locals will climb into costumes at Lip Sync Battle for music education through Nat King Cole Generation Hope. At Crazy Uncle Mike’s on Aug. 27, admission is $35 to $50 with one or two drink tickets.

The whole idea is to raise the profiles of local charities by pairing them with member for-profits, explained the chamber’s Alison Miuccio.

Some events are sponsored by the restaurant venues. Others by banks and even developers.

For instance, the finals for Boca Idol start the events off on Aug. 1. Tickets benefit Spirit of Giving’s Back to School Bash to outfit thousands of at-risk kids. “Crocker Partners was eager to be highly engaged again as a Bowl partner this year. They asked to host this year’s live National Anthem finalists’ night,” said Doug Mosley, executive director, Cheribundi Boca Raton Bowl.

Jon Sahn, who has chaired Festival Days for eight years, attributes the turnouts to good exposure and smart marketing. “The leadership of these organizations has done an excellent job cultivating new donors. They follow up on those who have shown interest,” he said.

Not to mention Chamber members’ support.

Last year, the Chamber clocked in at least 700 for Wine & All That Jazz. That was 200 more than the year before, said Miuccio, who organizes Festival Days.

The food and wine tasting benefits the Chamber’s Golden Bell Education Foundation for grants to Boca’s public schools. This year the party’s Saturday night Aug. 24 at Boca Raton Resort & Club. The chamber has discounts through this week with the early bird code wine19.

Dancers pose with Boca community leaders at last year’s Wine & All That Jazz.

Boca Chamber helps publicize Festival Days and the list is on its web site. But for tickets, go to each charity’s web site. Here’s the list:

·    Cheribundi Boca Bowl Idol, Aug. 1, Boca Raton Innovation Campus, Spirit of Giving

·    Boca’s Got Talent, Aug. 5, Crazy Uncle Mike’s, Faulk Center for Counseling

·    Eighth Annual FondueRaiser, Aug. 7, The Melting Pot, Lynn Cancer Institute

·    Soleil Warriors, Aug. 8, Wick Theatre & Costume Museum, Connected Warriors

·    Guided Tour of Historic Boca Raton Resort, Aug. 10, Boca Raton Historical Society & Museum

·    Back the Blue, Aug. 12, Prezzo, Boca Raton Police Foundation

·    Feed Your Funny Bone, Aug. 13, Sean Stein Pavilion, College of Business, Florida Atlantic University, Ruth and Norman Rales Jewish Family Services

·    Bingo for a Cause, Aug. 14, Strikes @ Boca, American Association of Caregiving Youth

·    Caribbean Dreamin’, Aug. 16. Boston’s on the Beach [Delray Beach], Be Like Brit Foundation

·    Big Fall Kickoff, Aug. 17, at Peter Blum Family YMCA, both venue and benefits

·    Beer & Bingo Bash, Aug. 18, Maggiano’s Little Italy, ChildNet

·    Margarita Monday, Aug. 19, Rocco’s Tacos Boca Raton, KidSafe Foundation

·    Midsummer Cosmos Party, Aug. 20, The Addison, Boca Raton Museum of Art

·    Cruise on Land, Aug. 22, ACTS Edgewater at Boca Pointe, both venue and benefits

·    Battle of the Bartenders, Aug. 23, Marriott Boca Raton, Best Foot Forward

·    Wine and All that Jazz, Aug. 24, Boca Raton Resort & Club, Boca Chamber’s Golden Bell Education Foundation

·    Guided Tour of Historic Boca Raton Resort, Aug. 24, Boca Raton Historical Society & Museum

·    Bowling for Bread, Aug. 25, Strikes@Boca, Boca Helping Hands

·    Sips & Sushi, Aug. 26, Benihana Boca Raton, Place of Hope Leighan and David Rinker Campus

·    Lip Sync Battle, Aug. 27, Crazy Uncle Mike ‘s, Nat King Cole Generation Hope

·    Taste of the City, Aug. 28, Center State Bank, suite 100 Atrium Financial Center, 1515 N. Federal Highway, Florida Atlantic University Center for Autism and Related Disabilities

By Marci Shatzman

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