Women of Tomorrow Mentor & Scholarship Program Annual Gala
The Women of Tomorrow Mentor & Scholarship Program hosted its gala at the beautiful Mandarin Oriental with more than 500 of South Florida’s leading philanthropists, celebrities and politicians. Gala Chair Marisa Toccin Lucas along with founders Jennifer Valoppi and Don Browne and Co-Vice President, the Honorable Katherine Fernandez Rundle planned an unforgettable evening in celebration of Women of Tomorrow’s Annual Gala and its 17th year of mentoring at-risk young girls in South Florida. The gala had a record breaking year, bringing in over $900,000.
Gala Chair Marisa Toccin Lucas said, “This year’s gala was a tremendous success thanks to an unprecedented live auction and the remarkable support from our donors. The record-breaking funds raised will help change the lives of so many young women in our community and for that I could not be prouder.”
Honorees at the annual event included Honorary Chairmen Wayne & Cynthia Boich; Legacy Builder Honorees Bruce & Tracey Berkowitz, The Fairholme Foundation; Leadership Award Honoree Edie Lutnick; Champion Award Honoree Miami HEAT; Excellence Honorees Tara Solomon & Nick D’Annunzio, Tara Ink; and Mentor of the Year Robbin Newman.
James Rosenquist, one of America’s greatest living artists, donated an important art piece of his, which was one of the most anticipated items being auctioned off since it is a rare event for such an important piece of art to be auctioned off at a charity gala. “The Hole in the Wallpaper: Be Beautiful, 2009” piece was sold for an undisclosed amount, well in the 6 figures. THE COLLECTION auctioned off a 3 Year Lease on a Maserati Ghibli – and then awarded Honorary Chairs and expectant parents Wayne & Cynthia Boich their very own baby Ferrari walker. Pat Riley was also in attendance and in a surprise move, auctioned off a VIP Heat experience for a private dinner with him and his wife Chris, along with VIP seats to a game and signed memorabilia. A
Kaufman Franco Spring 2014 Collection Gown was auctioned off along with 2 tickets to their Fashion Week show at Lincoln Center in New York City. Other highlights of this year’s live auction included a $5,000 shopping spree courtesy of Neiman Marcus, Bal Harbour and a one of a kind Donna Karan Dress courtesy of Saks Fifth Avenue Bal Harbour and Donna Karan New York. The lavish cocktail reception featured hors d’oeuvre stations created by the Mandarin Oriental’s executive chef, complemented by a highly anticipated silent auction, including items from top luxury brands and vendors including Prada USA; Saint Laurent Bal Harbour; Britto Central; The St. Regis Bal Harbour Resort; Diane Walder, M.D., P.A.; Perry Ellis International and many more.
The Heat Championship Trophy was also available during the cocktail hour for guests to take photos in front of.
Following the reception, guests were escorted into the ballroom, where they were treated to a decadent four-course dinner and a live performance by South Florida’s own Soul Survivors.
Jennifer Valoppi, Founder & President, said “As our program continues to expand around the country, our gala continues to draw supporters from all over. They are people who see problems and are willing to take action to solve them. What better way to stop the cycles of violence, poverty and abuse than to uplift the lives of the young women who will raise the next generation.”
Edie Lutnick, Women of Tomorrow’s 2014 Leadership Award Honoree, is Founder & President of the Cantor Fitzgerald Relief Fund in New York. Lutnick, who is an avid supporter of Women of Tomorrow, said of its unique mentoring program which pairs highly accomplished women with small groups of at-risk young girls, “Women of Tomorrow does something extraordinary, they recognize
the wisdom of those women who have succeeded and they capitalize on what they have accomplished. The past and the future combine in one spectacular organization. The Cantor Fitzgerald Relief Fund is so proud to be able to support Women of Tomorrow.” The Cantor Relief Fund was started in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attack, in which Cantor suffered the single largest loss of life, including Lutnick’s brother.
Women of Tomorrow was conceived in 1997 by Television Journalist Jennifer Valoppi and co-founded with Don Browne, retired Telemundo Network President. The Women of Tomorrow Mentor & Scholarship Program is designed to inspire, motivate and empower at-risk young women to live up to their full potential through a unique mentoring program with highly accomplished professional women and scholarship opportunities. Women of Tomorrow currently mentors over 3,200 at-risk girls in 151 public high schools in approximately 62 cities in South Florida and Metropolitan Detroit with its network of over 450 Mentors. Research shows that Women of Tomorrow Mentees have increased self-esteem, a 92% high school graduation rate, and increased academic performance each year they are in the program, to a statistically significant degree. Women of Tomorrow has awarded over $4 million in college scholarships to over 1,400 mentees. For more information, call 305.371.3330 or visit www.womenoftomorrow.org.