Wee Dream supporters knew their auction bids and donations would go straight to help 900 kids. Even if they didn’t know them.
Cliff Viner said it best at Florence Fuller Child Development Center’s major fundraiser. “These are our kids. What’s so amazing is everybody here is generous to do the right thing,” said the honorary co-chair with his wife Eda.
CEO Ellyn Okrent has to raise $2.4 million a year to help pre-school educate and feed kids served on two Boca campuses. It will take time to tally up the generosity, she said after Saturday’s gala presented again by Neiman Marcus. Public relations manager Lauren Johnson is on the Fuller board.
Okrent helped direct guests into two rooms packed with silent auction items, from merchandise to golf, restaurant and hotel stays.
This was the first year for mobile bidding and the sponsor was Pinnacle Advertising CEO Peter Gary.
Auctioneer Neil Saffer increased the tally with a live auction that included trips and a year membership at the Boca Raton Resort & Club. President and managing director John Tolbert, a Fuller board member, attended. Dr. Tina Westine, a Fuller alumni as a child, modeled the diamond earrings up for bid.
Board president Stacey Packer and Wee Dream co-chairs gave a tribute to Fuller’s late past president Bernie Finkelstein. They presented his friend and former board member Mark Tabor with their first Bernie Award.
Once all the fundraising was over, curtains were pulled aside and cue the music. Spangled costumed dancers invited guests to a dessert buffet and dancing.
Among Fuller board members there were Kathy Adkins, Amy Kazma, Terry Fedele, and Yvette Drucker.
By Marci Shatzman