Philanthropy Notes: Keynote speaker shares abuse experience at luncheon

By Amy Woods

More than 400 members of the community gathered in late February for the Ferd & Gladys Alpert Jewish Family Service of Palm Beach County’s No Excuse for Abuse Luncheon, where they enjoyed boutique shopping from local vendors.
Keynote speaker was Linor Abargil, a lawyer and former Miss Israel and Miss World who is a survivor of sexual violence and now advocates for other victims. Abargil’s story was retold in an Emmy Award-nominated documentary.
The nonprofit’s Domestic Abuse Program assists in identifying abuse, creating personalized safety plans for victims and their children and providing direction to local and national resources.
In other news, the Ferd & Gladys Alpert Jewish Family Service of Palm Beach County is offering financial assistance for Jewish college students through the Thelma & Isador S. Segall College Scholarship Fund and the Jewish Educational Loan Fund.
The Segall fund will award scholarships up to $5,000, and the loan fund will provide interest-free allotments for college, graduate school and vocational programs. For information on eligibility requirements and to apply, visit and For questions, call 561-684-1991.

Gift puts Marleen Forkas’ name on FAU theater
Florida Atlantic University’s Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters has received a $1.125 million gift from benefactor Marleen Forkas to name the Marleen Forkas Studio One Theatre.
The theater serves as a training facility for production and performance students as well as a venue for public events.
“The arts bring beauty and expression to the world,” Forkas said. “My hope is that the Marleen Forkas Studio One Theatre will continue to be a place for students and the community to immerse themselves in the essence of theater and the arts and that they will carry that experience with them for the rest of their lives.”
College Dean Michael Horswell added, “It is vital that we have state-of-the-art facilities and equipment for our students to be well-prepared for future careers. This gift clearly shows Marleen’s love of the arts and especially of our students whose lives she continues to enrich through her generosity and her continued presence at our performances.”

Pre-COVID-19 gala raises funds for at-risk children
As the coronavirus cripples the economy and jeopardizes aid to at-risk children, Boca West Children’s Foundation is providing $800,000 to its 25 partner charities.
The foundation already has granted $315,500 to 11 local nonprofits that care for thousands of youths each day; it will distribute the remaining funds soon.
“In this trying time, Boca West Children’s Foundation now, more than ever, is embracing our granted charities and the at-risk children they serve,” said Arthur Adler, founder and chairman.
One of the difficulties the current crisis creates for these charities is they are being forced to cancel fundraising events planned to raise everyday-needed funds to care for kids.”
The money was raised during the 10th Anniversary Gala attended by 900 guests and featuring entertainment by stand-up comedian Jay Leno.

Community Foundation helps to combat dire times
Through money raised for its COVID-19 Response Fund and grants directed from Donor-Advised Funds, the Community Foundation for Palm Beach and Martin Counties will make a $2.3 million local impact.
As of early May, a total of $700,000 had been granted to local nonprofits on the front lines of the global pandemic.
“Community foundations are uniquely well-positioned to identify, activate and strategically connect people in the greatest need to lifesaving resources in these challenging times,” said Brad Hurlburt, the foundation’s president and CEO. “We are strengthening our trusted partnerships with multiple nonprofit agencies to quickly and proactively help the most vulnerable in our community with immediate basic needs such as payments for utilities, child care and rent.”
The foundation’s staff is working to quickly deploy grants to organizations providing food, housing assistance and access to health care. For information, call 561-659-6800 or visit www.

High-impact grants to be awarded May 28
The 10 finalists selected by Impact 100 Palm Beach County are another step closer to receiving one of five $100,000 high-impact grants.
The grants are designed to fund transformational community programs in southern Palm Beach County. The organization will announce the winners May 28.
“Each of the finalist programs have the potential to positively change different aspects of our community in an impactful way,” organization President Kathy Adkins said. “During this time of great uncertainty, it’s gratifying to know these grants will help improve and strengthen our community.”
The 10 finalists are Boca Helping Hands, Coastal Conservation Association, CityHouse, Community Greening Corporation, Compass, Florida Atlantic University Foundation, GIVT, Junior Achievement of the Palm Beaches & Treasure Coast, Roots and Wings, and Spady Cultural Heritage Museum.

Help for homebound, hungry amid coronavirus
The Addison is donating 700 hot meals weekly to Boca Helping Hands to help manage the needs of the nonprofit’s homebound and other hungry clients during the pandemic.
Volunteer drivers from the venue are making deliveries to 30 homebound residents three times a week. The balance of the meals are offered to people who rely on Boca Helping Hands for food.
“Since the COVID-19 crisis began, we have been preparing packaged hot meals for pickup each day,” Executive Director Greg Hazle said. “The need has doubled. In addition, we’re now giving out 300 pantry bags a day, up from 160.”
Another feeding program allows clients who are able to drive to Boca Helping Hands to be handed hot meals through their car windows. Hours are 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays along with 4:30 to 6 p.m. Thursdays.
In the interest of protecting the health of not only clients but also employees and volunteers, the food center will be closed until further notice. All job training, classes, mentoring sessions and in-person interviews are temporarily suspended.
For more information, call 561-417-0913, ext. 202 or visit

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