National Philanthropy Day Luncheon

The Association of Fundraising Professionals - Palm Beach County Chapter will recognize leaders in the categories of Outstanding Philanthropist, Outstanding Philanthropic Private Foundation, Outstanding Philanthropic Corporation, Outstanding Philanthropic Corporate Foundation, Outstanding Volunteer Fundraiser and Outstanding Planned Giving/Legacy Honoree. 

When: 11:45 a.m. Nov. 15

Where: The Kravis Center, 701 Okeechobee Blvd., West Palm Beach

Tickets: $100 for individual tickets

Reservations, information: Email Brian Edwards at bedwards@gulstreamgoodwill.com or (561) 848-7200, Ext. 3250, or see www.afppbc.org


7960413259?profile=originalSheila O'Boyle and Barbara Whittaker

Bethesda Hospital Foundation’s
13th annual Women of Grace luncheon

Susan Duane is serving as chairman and Suzanne Boyd, anchor of WPEC-News 12 will be the emcee. 

Honorees: Laurie Gildan, Literacy Coalition of Palm Beach County; Rosemary Krieger, Soroptomist International of Boca Raton/Deerfield Beach; Sheila O’ Boyle, Lupus Foundation of America, Southeast Florida Chapter; Mary Pittman, Habitat for Humanity; and Barbara Whittaker, Christians Reaching Out to Society (C.R.O.S. Ministries)

When: 10:30 a.m. Nov 14

Where: The Ritz-Carlton, 100 South Ocean Blvd., Manalapan

Tickets: $100 per person or $1,250 for a VIP table of 10.

Reservations, information: www.bethesdahospitalfoundation.org

By Mary Thurwachter

Four Gulf Stream residents who are generous with their time and money will be recognized this month. 

Barbara Whittaker and Sheila O’Boyle are Women of Grace nominees who will be spotlighted during Bethesda Hospital Foundation’s annual Women of Grace luncheon  Nov. 14. 

Deborah and Harry Sargeant III will be receiving the Outstanding Philanthropist award on Nov.15 during the National Philanthropy Day Luncheon sponsored by the Palm Beach County chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals. 

The Sargeants have given more than $1 million to organizations in need. This year, they chaired the 57th annual Bethesda Ball, of which the net proceeds benefited the Foundation’s Caring for Our Community Campaign. The campaign supports technology advancements at Bethesda Memorial Hospital’s Centers of Excellence — including the Center for Minimally Invasive Robotic Surgery, which included a surgical robot and a first-in-the state simulator needed for in-house training. 

With the Sargeants’ leadership and outreach to like-minded donors, they set a record raising $1 million net through the event. In addition, the couple made a major effort to personally underwrite event expenses. 

They have supported the Literacy Coalition of Palm Beach County, the Junior League of Boca Raton, the Delray Beach Public Library and the Delray Beach Historical Society, in which they were not only significant sponsors, but Deborah Sargeant also served as a co-chair of the society’s annual antiques show and sale for many years. 

“The majority of my volunteer work during the last three years has been for the Bethesda Hospital Foundation,” Deborah Sargeant said. “I serve as vice chair of the Foundation Board and the executive committee.” She also does volunteer work for Gulf Stream School.

“I feel very fortunate to have the time and assets to share and give back to this community,” she said.  “It allows me to be productive and learn something new.  I know the community benefits from the time I give. I believe every community needs volunteers.”

Barbara Whittaker volunteers with several organizations, including the Caring Kitchen. 

“I help with the food preparation, cooking and serving for 225 people/guests for lunch,” Whittaker said. “I’ve driven the van for pickups from Publix/Costco and do anything that’s needed at the Health Department. I’ve also been involved in fundraising.”

Whittaker also volunteers at Paul’s Place After School Program, where she started a vegetable garden for the children. 

“We plant everything from seed with the children and they help take care of weeding and harvesting the garden,” she said. “We try to grow what they would like to eat for dinner, which is prepared for them five nights a week.” She is also involved in fundraising at St. Paul’s.

Whittaker also volunteers with C.R.O.S. Ministries and the Florida Coalition for Preservation. She is vice president of both the Delray Beach Historical Society and the Gulf Stream Civic Association and is on the board of directors of the Grass River Garden Club.

“Volunteering is important to me because I feel that it is necessary to give back to your community, especially in Palm Beach County, where one in four children live in poverty,” Whittaker said. “I would hope to make this community a better place to live and make a difference in someone’s personal life.”

Sheila O’Boyle says its easy to get involved and there are so many worthwhile causes being addressed by organizations like the Lupus Foundation of America, Southeast Florida, a nonprofit she has been volunteering with for 18 years. She has served on the board of directors and been a leader in advancing the mission to help those living with lupus as well as to raise awareness about the disease. 

A strong supporter of LFA, O’Boyle has been instrumental in fundraising for the group. She served as chairman of the Butterfly Ball for numerous years, and in recent years started new events to benefit the organization: the Closet Couture Luncheon and the Great Holiday Tea Party. 

“About 18 years ago I was asked to attend a meeting with the Lupus Foundation,” O’Boyle said.  “At the time I knew nothing about lupus; but being a volunteer and invited to join a meeting for the Lupus Foundation, I went to the meeting — which was to plan a fundraiser. I learned a lot that day about lupus and how it affects so many women.”

Then she discovered that most of the people at the meeting were suffering from it or had mothers who died from lupus.  

“Volunteering makes me feel connected to the community that I live in,” O’Boyle said.  “It makes me feel good to contribute back to the community.”                           

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