The Coastal Star

Philanthropy Notes: Place of Hope leader assists governor on health care

Place of Hope CEO Charles Bender III was named to the advisory committee on health and wellness for new Gov. Ron DeSantis and Lt. Gov. Jeanette Nuñez.

Bender, who has more than 25 years of professional experience protecting children and families in Palm Beach County and beyond, was picked to guide the new administration via his skills in the areas of health care and social services.

“This is, personally and professionally, an important appointment for me because it provides me an opportunity to share everything we’ve learned as an organization about how to best help Florida’s children,” he said. “At Place of Hope, the children we help, place in foster care, get adopted and see grow into productive people are just a small percentage of the children we can help statewide.”
With locations in Boca Raton, West Palm Beach and Palm Beach Gardens, as well as the Treasure Coast, Place of Hope serves more than 900 annually.

New facility debuts for job training, needs
Boca Helping Hands has opened the Justin D. Webb Training Center offering free job-assistance programs.

The new facility houses the Leah and Samuel Hochman Health and Wellness Classroom, a second classroom dedicated in memory of Henry Weitz, an administrative office dedicated in memory of Dr. Herbert Watchtel, and a smaller interview room for professional-development sessions. The building is at 1500 NW First Court in Boca Raton.

Additional no-cost classes include English as a Second Language; The Reading Project, an adult-literacy program; and Living Well, which provides talks about health and wellness, early detection and healthy eating.

Boca Helping Hands also purchased the neighboring Warehouse Pub property, and the city has approved zoning changes to convert it into parking for staff members and volunteers.

Clinics Can Help supplies $1.4 million in equipment
Clinics Can Help is celebrating its life-saving achievements since being founded 13 years ago.

During that time, the nonprofit has served more than 10,000 adults and children in need of medical equipment and supplies in Palm Beach County, totaling more than $1.4 million.

“What we have here now is an organization that was started in a closet by a hospice nurse with a huge heart and has helped thousands of children and families have the best quality of life as possible,” said Bryant Sims, who played an integral role in the formation of the West Palm Beach-based organization. “I think we have a model here for something that can be done across the country.”

Poetry festival fellowships, scholarship winners named
The five winners of fellowships and scholarships to the Palm Beach Poetry Festival are as follows:

• The Langston Hughes Fellowship for African-American poets was awarded to Tyree Daye, of Youngsville, N.C.

• The Kundiman Fellowship for Asian-American poets was awarded to Shelley Wong, of San Francisco.

• The CantoMundo Fellowship for Latin-American poets was awarded to Denice Frohman, of New York.

• The Thomas Lux Scholarship was awarded to Cate Lycurgus, of San Francisco.

• The Sarah Lawrence Scholarship was awarded to Amanda Volel, of New York.

The 15th annual affair wrapped up Jan. 26 at Old School Square in Delray Beach. The three Poetry Festival Fellowships cover full tuition and lodging for the recipients.

“These fellowships represent a substantial investment in education focused on the craft of writing poetry,” said Miles Coon, festival founder and president. “We have been working toward opening the doors widely to the festival workshops and offer participants the opportunity to work together with these exceptionally talented fellows who were selected from the largest applicant pool in our 15-year history.”

Send news and notes to Amy Woods at

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