Tim Stepien/The Coastal Star
By Rich Pollack
Until a few years ago, Alan Rose had never heard of the Caridad Center in Boynton Beach, which provides health-related services to uninsured, working-poor families of Palm Beach County.
Then one day in 2014, Rose saw an announcement about the center’s “Come Celebrate 25 Years with Caridad” gala.
Without knowing anyone else attending, Rose and a date — along with another couple — went to the gala, where they soon discovered the outstanding work done by the nonprofit organization.
Since then Rose, of Delray Beach, has become a strong supporter of the Caridad Center, making financial contributions and even hosting a party earlier this year that raised several thousand dollars for the organization and introduced more than 80 guests to its mission.
“They’re doing really good things at the center,” Rose said. “The Caridad Center provides free health-care services for those in need. There’s nothing better in life than to have your health.”
As Rose quickly learned after meeting representatives of the center, Caridad also provides a wide variety of other services to those in need, including college scholarships, baby supplies, crisis intervention services and back-to-school supplies.
But it is the medical, dental and vision services largely provided by volunteer doctors, dentists and other health-care professionals that attract thousands of patients who visit the center each year. It is the largest free health-care clinic of its kind in Florida.
This month, Rose will once again be supporting the center, one of several organizations that benefit from the Boca West Community Charitable Foundation’s annual “Concert for the Children” on April 5 at Boca West Country Club.
Rose will be attending a concert featuring Patti LaBelle and encouraging other supporters of the Caridad Center to purchase tickets, which are $175 each.
Money raised from the concert — which will include the Atlantic City Boys — and from the foundation’s annual $200,000 golf challenge will benefit 21 organizations in south Palm Beach County that provide services to at-risk children, including Caridad.
For Rose, 59, supporting charitable organizations such as the Caridad Center is something he’s been doing for quite some time.
An entrepreneur at heart, Rose grew his family’s parking lot construction and rehabilitation business in the Chicago area into a nationwide company with more than 200 employees before selling it in 2014 and coming to South Florida.
While up North, Rose and his company supported several organizations, including the Asthma and COPD Center at the University of Chicago, to which he committed more than $1 million through financial support and volunteer services provided by employees over the course of several years.
Rose and the company also supported the South Suburban Cancer Center in Chicago along with numerous other nonprofits.
Now semi-retired and living in South Florida year- round, Rose is focusing his philanthropic efforts on local organizations.
Rose also supports Delray Citizens for Delray Police and is sponsoring an awards ceremony that will be held on April 19. “I have a soft spot in my heart for the police,” he said.
Rose is a strong believer in assisting others, such as those served by the Caridad Center, who just need a helping hand.
“I’ve been blessed with success,” he said. “I believe people who have been blessed with success should share at least a small portion of their wealth and give to charity.”
Looking forward, Rose said, he hopes to make the February party he hosted to benefit the Caridad Center an annual event, with a goal of raising more than $10,000 next year.
In recognition of his semi-retirement and move to Florida, Rose called the event the “Next Adventure” party.
“This is chapter two of my life,” he said.