By Amy Woods
Florence Fuller Child Development Centers had to cancel its Men with Caring Hearts Awards Celebration last year because of the pandemic.
This year, the event returns for its 19th installment — although to an outdoor venue and with a new format.
“This year, we’re in a holding pattern so we created an in-between model,” CEO Ellyn Okrent said, noting that in previous years more than 300 guests would gather for a nice luncheon at a beautiful ballroom. “What we’re trying to do is have a socially distanced event where we could be together still.”
The festivities, with a theme of “Drive-In Tailgate,” will take place May 15 at Boca West Country Club and feature a food truck, live entertainment and the awards presentation.
Guests can eat, drink and be merry in and around their vehicles while watching the ceremony on a large screen set up outside.
“We think it’s going to be really fun,” Okrent said. “Even though it is different, we feel that this is going to be exciting.”
The Men with Caring Hearts Awards Celebration shines a spotlight on male philanthropists in Palm Beach County — each nominated by the nonprofit with which he is affiliated.
The 16 on the list this year are Aitor de Achurra, Bob Buruchian, Phillip DiPonio, Thomas Groendyke, Dr. Donald Janower, Alan Kaye, retired Army Maj. Gen. Bernard “Burn” Loeffke, Harry Meran, Doug Mosley, Mark Moza, Dan Paulus, Robert Robes, Ramon Robinson, Marty Rosenzweig, Dr. David Snyder, Thomas Tift and Eddie Ventrice.
Additionally, two Outstanding Youth in Philanthropy will be lauded: Ethan Foreman and Alexander Kaye.
“We sometimes forget the men,” Okrent said. “We just don’t tend to acknowledge them. They are usually behind the scenes more often, but they’re doing big things in the community, and they’re making a difference.”
Cliff Viner, who started the Eda & Cliff Viner Community Scholars Foundation in 2015, will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award.
“Cliff is one of those outstanding supporters of so many things in the community,” Okrent said. “There are probably a million things he’s done that I’m not aware of.”
If You Go
What: Men with Caring Hearts Awards Celebration
When: 6:30 p.m. May 15
Where: Boca West Country Club, Boca Raton
Information: 561-391-7274, Ext. 134, or www.ffcdc.org/special-events/men-with-caring-hearts