Palm Beach, Florida (February 16, 2014) – There was a lot of love at The Breakers this past Valentines Day as the Everglades Foundation celebrated their 10th annual ForEverglades Benefit in Palm Beach. The sold out event featured host Bryant Gumbel, comedian Susie Essman, and special musical guest Steven Tyler with his backing Nashville based band, Loving Mary who rocked the crowd of 800 Everglades supporters.
The evening was kicked off with cocktails for the rocker chic dressed guests followed by a sit down dinner in the Ponce de Leon ballroom featuring tablescapes reminiscent of America’s Everglades. Once seated, guests were greeted by Everglades Foundation Board Chairman Marshall Field V and then enlightened about the Everglades from multi Emmy award winning broadcaster Bryant Gumbel.
Post dinner, longtime Everglades Foundation supporter Carl Hiaasen and his son, Quinn, took to the stage to focus on a short video that explained the dire situation currently occurring on both coasts of Florida. Polluted water from Lake Okeechobee is being dumped down the Caloosahatchee and St. Lucie Rivers setting up the potential of another lost summer.
“We need to purchase land south of Lake Okeechobee and use those lands for water storage. Buying the land to store water allows for natural filtration of nutrients and pollution and protects the drinking water for nearly 8 million Floridians,” said Hiassen. Together, Carl and Quinn led a “call to action” asking everyone in the room to make a pledge for the foundation. That call to action generated over $500,000 in just minutes.
Steven Tyler and his band Loving Mary then played an hour long set including such favorites as Sweet Emotion, Walk This Way, Dream On and I Don’t Want To Miss A Thing.
Chairmen for the 10th Annual ForEverglades Benefit included: Mary Barley, Claudia and Carlos de la Cruz, Jr., Eva and Glenn Dubin, Jamee and Marshall Field V, Beryl Lacoste Hamilton and Rex Hamilton, Fenia and Carl Hiaasen, Sonia and Paul Tudor Jones II, Elaine and Ken Langone, Kathy and Paul Leone, Michele Henry and Garrison duP. Lickle, Mary Morse, Thalia and Tommy Mottola, Barbara and Jack Nicklaus, Ashley and Mike Ramos, Lia Reed, Alita and Nathaniel Reed, Diana Barrett and Robert Vila, and Toni and Andrew Wilshire.
Notables in attendance included: U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy; U.S. Representative Lois Frankel, state Senator Wilton Simpson, state Representatives Jamie Grant, Mark Pafford and Jose Javier Rodriquez.
Co-chairs included Brooks Bishop, Jennifer and Joseph Duke, Tucker Frederickson, Mercedes and Steve Gotwald, Judy and John Keller, Judy and Jarrett Kling, Kristi and Kevin Law, Lyn and Robert Parks, and Ramona and Thomas Bean, The Borislow Family Katherine Carpenter, Bill Davenport and Bruce Wiltsie, Susan and John Dougherty, Mia Celano and Skip Dunn, Sarah and David Fiszel, Suzanne and Ramsey, Frank Gina and Scott Gordon, Carrie and Paul Hanna, Kerry and Sean Healey, Debbie and Nick Iarossi, Martha and Gilbert Lamphere, Sasha Lickle, Tina and Steve McPherson, Melissa and Howard Parker, Sara Groff and Piper Quinn, Shannon and Peter Reed, Maura and Brandon Ross, Lauriston and Richard Segerson, Linda and Jared Soper, Amanda Van Voorhees, Peter Vasconcelos, Jodi and Rick Wentley, and Paula and Paul Wittmann.
The ForEverglades Benefit raises over $2 million annually to support restoration science to protect and restore this fragile ecosystem that provides fresh water for nearly 8 million Floridians. The Everglades Foundation board of directors supports all of the Foundation’s administrative and fundraising expenses, allowing 100 percent of the funds raised at the benefit to directly support these programs. The evening was generously sponsored by LACOSTE.
About Florida’s Relationship with the Everglades More than seven million people live in the Everglades watershed and depend on its natural systems for their livelihood, food and drinking water. Florida’s agricultural, boating, tourism, real estate, recreational and commercial fishing industries all depend on a healthy Everglades ecosystem, supporting tens of thousands of jobs and contributing billions to our economy. Its waters flow through the Everglades National Park, Big Cypress National Preserve, Ten Thousand Islands, National Wildlife Refuge, Biscayne National Park and John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park. Together, these parks draw several million visitors each year contributing hundreds of millions of dollars to Florida’s tourism economy.
About the Everglades Foundation The Everglades Foundation, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit, charitable organization dedicated to protecting and restoring one of the world’s unique natural ecosystems that provides economic, recreational and life-sustaining benefits to the millions of people who depend on its future health. Since 1993, the Everglades Foundation has played a leadership role in advancing Everglades restoration through the advancement of scientifically sound and achievable solutions. The Foundation seeks to reverse the damage inflicted on the ecosystem and provides policymakers and the public with honest and credible resource to help guide decision-making on complex restoration issues. For more information, please visit evergladesfoundation.org.
About LACOSTE: Symbol of relaxed elegance since 1933, the LACOSTE brand, backed by its authentic roots in sports, offers a unique and original universe through the medium of a large range of products for men, women and children. In the 114 countries where the brand is present with a selective distribution network, every second two LACOSTE products are sold: apparel including the famous L.12.12 polo shirt, leather goods, fragrances, footwear, eyewear, watches. In 2013, the LACOSTE brand garnered 1,8 Billion euros turnover. All activities of LACOSTE (design, production, distribution and communication) is controlled by the French company Devanlay, with nearly 10,000 employees worldwide. For more information: www.lacoste.com. Photos Courtesy of Lucien Capehart Photography and Julie Skarratt Photography, Inc.