The Coastal Star

Philanthropy Notes: Trolley ride to benefit Boca Raton Historical Society & Museum

Getting ready to celebrate: (l-r) Mary Csar, Dawn Zook, Hank Jawhari, Kathy Qualman, Violette Fairman and Michelle Essaye make a toast in front of one of the trolleys at the Boca Raton Resort & Club. Photo provided

By Amy Woods

Toasts, Tastes & Trolleys — where attendees visit various restaurants for dinner-by-the-bite — will take place from 6-11 p.m. Oct. 4, beginning and ending at the Boca Raton Resort & Club.

The moveable feast benefits education programs at the Boca Raton Historical Society & Museum while highlighting local dining establishments.

“We started this event to show off our beautiful and historic city,” Boca Raton Historical Society & Museum Executive Director Mary Csar said. “Not only is Toasts, Tastes & Trolleys a fun way to experience some of Boca Raton’s history, it’s a wonderful opportunity to learn about the future of our city by visiting a variety of destinations, including several restaurants, the Boca Raton Resort & Club and other local businesses.”

Tickets cost $125. For more information, call 395-6766 or visit

Mounts benefit a success

More than 200 friends and supporters raised in excess of $145,000 for Mounts Botanical Garden of Palm Beach County during its biggest annual fundraiser — the Spring Benefit.

Proceeds will be used to enhance and expand the welcome center and gift shop.

The event featured an open bar, hors d’oeuvres and a silent auction offering an array of rare and exotic plants.

Co-chairs were Polly Reed and Sandy Smith, and sponsors included Randell and Rebecca Doane, Peter and Linda Grauer and Raymond Tollman.

Poetry Festival receives $10,000 grant from NEA

The National Endowment for the Arts has awarded an Art Works grant in the amount of $10,000 to the Palm Beach Poetry Festival in support of the 16th annual affair, set for Jan. 20-25, 2020, at Old School Square in Delray Beach.

The festival will feature top poets at public events that include discussions, interviews, readings, talks and workshops.

“Organizations such as the Palm Beach Poetry Festival are giving people in their community the opportunity to learn, create and be inspired,” said Mary Anne Carter, chairwoman of the NEA.

Added Susan Williamson, director of the festival: “We look forward to working with the arts endowment to finalize the grant paperwork and are appreciative of the agency’s support for this project.”

New board members at Take Stock in Children

Take Stock in Children Palm Beach, a nonprofit that helps low-income, underserved youths escape the cycle of poverty, has two new faces on its board: Keith Oswald and Jessica Shapiro.

Oswald is the deputy superintendent and chief of schools in Palm Beach County, and Shapiro practices real-estate law at Gunster.

“Keith has been a longtime supporter of our program and was instrumental in assisting us initiate the Glades climate-change program and create a collaborative agreement among the Johnson Scholarship Foundation and the School Board of Palm Beach County,” said Nancy Stellway, the charity’s executive director. “Jessica will be an incredible asset to our organization with her experience in representing financial institutions and corporate clients.”

Both will help Take Stock in Children Palm Beach expand the number of students served and improve college-completion rates.

Italian Society says ‘until next time’

Il Circolo, The Italian Cultural Society, celebrated the close of its 43rd season during an event called Alla Prossima, which means “until next time.”

Members capped another successful year of opera performances, regional and specialty dinners, the first outdoor Italian Festival and its anniversary gala — the primary fundraiser supporting the society’s programs and scholarships.

Alla Prossima offered tastings of traditional dishes from Sardinia, fresh cheeses, a trio of desserts and wine. Live music and dancing wrapped up the evening at Sardinia Ristorante in Delray Beach.

The mission of the organization is to promote study in — and preserve the culture of — Italy.

Send news and notes to Amy Woods at

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