Philanthropy Notes: Rotarians get good news from Delray Beach education coordinator

The Rotary Club of Delray Beach had Janet Meeks as guest speaker for its August meeting. Meeks, the city’s education coordinator, reported that students in public schools are receiving exceptional support, which is resulting in improved proficiency in reading. She also informed the club that her position was created to address the need for an instructional reading program in the community.
“It is in the best interests of all concerned that our students are served with quality, comprehensive instruction in quality schools, and that they perform well to acquire the skills necessary to succeed in school and in life,” Meeks said.

Palm Healthcare invests $2M in local nonprofits
Charities from Boca Raton to Jupiter received nearly $2 million to support their efforts to improve the health and well-being of Palm Beach County residents.
“Palm Healthcare Foundation has been committed to solving critical health care issues through creative and communitywide collaborations for the past 17 years,” said Patrick McNamara, the foundation’s president and CEO. The grants are aimed at behavioral health, diabetes, family caregiving, nursing advancement and special projects.

Community Foundation  supports nonprofits, scholarships
Impact funds from the Community Foundation for Palm Beach and Martin Counties were granted in the amount of nearly $1.6 million this year to nonprofits. They also facilitated gifts of nearly $7 million to organizations and $1.3 million in scholarships. Locally, as part of the Forever Nonprofit Endowment Challenge, the Boca Raton Museum of Art, CROS Ministries and the Delray Beach Public Library each was awarded $25,000. Additionally, Sandoway Discovery Center was awarded $62,679.        

Florida agency beneficiary of challenge grant by NFL team owner Robert Kraft
JARC Florida, a nonprofit, nonsectarian organization that provides programs and services to educate and empower individuals with intellectual and development disabilities, has debuted a $100,000 challenge grant in partnership with Robert Kraft, owner of the New England Patriots.
The grant will match every new donation until they reach  $100,000. Money raised will support the organization’s Community Works program, which provides clients with job training and employment opportunities, as well as its residential program, which provides group homes and apartments where clients can live independently.
“I learned about JARC through my sister, Elizabeth, a longtime supporter and leader at the organization,” Kraft said. “When she told me about the extent of discrimination and abuse that people with intellectual and development challenges continue to face, I was moved. In this day and age, to think that anyone is being denied basic rights is unconscionable. Seeing the impact on the individuals that JARC serves ­— people from all across the country — gives me hope for the future.”

YMCA nears fundraising goal
The YMCA of South Palm Beach County had its annual campaign event at Old School Square in Delray Beach, where it set a fundraising goal of $510,000. For this year’s “Change A Life” campaign, chairwoman Debbie Faris said the fundraising effort is off to a strong start with 33 percent already achieved through donations and pledges. The campaign runs through the end of the month. Last year, the financial support of donors raised $483,000. For information, visit

Project Holiday fundraiser planned
This year’s Best Bite For Vets restaurant competition, sponsored by Crane’s Beach House Boutique Hotel & Luxury Villas, will raise money for Project Holiday, which supports local families who have loved ones serving in the military, and the HOW Foundation of South Florida, which raises awareness and supplementary funds for hyperbaric-oxygen therapy. The event is scheduled for 6 to 9 p.m. Nov. 15. Visitors will enjoy drinks and jazz music, as well as tasty food prepared by competing restaurants. Contenders will compete through votes by the event’s visitors and by celebrity judges, including former Miami Dolphins wide receiver Mark Duper. Cost is $20, with $15 from each admission split between the two Delray Beach-based nonprofits. The locations is 82 Gleason St. in Delray Beach. For information, call 278-1700.

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