Foundation Salute Raises More Than $100,000

Maureen Gross, Maggie Zeller, Allyson Samiljan, Hope Barron and Julie Tannehill.

The Wellington Community Foundation held its fourth annual Red, White & Blue Jeans “A SALUTE TO OUR HEROES” event on Friday, Nov. 8 at the Wellington National Golf Club. This patriotic event is held in honor of the men and women who fought for the freedoms we enjoy every day. The foundation’s board of directors, along with community partners and members of the community, came together for dinner, dancing and a special ceremony honoring prisoners of war and veterans missing in action. The event began with 94-year-old Max Houss, a highly decorated World War II veteran, leading the Pledge of Allegiance and a beautiful rendition of the national anthem by Central Palm Beach County Chamber of Commerce CEO Mary Lou Bedford.

The night was all about breaking records, with more than 220 guests in attendance and over $100,000 raised, all of which will be used to serve residents of Wellington, particularly seniors, children and veterans, by supporting and improving their quality of life.

This year’s sponsors included: DIAMOND SPONSOR Lesser, Lesser, Landy & Smith; RUBY SPONSOR Wellington Regional Medical Center; and SAPPHIRE SPONSORS Regis and Thomas Wenham. This year’s table sponsors included Jim & Paula Sackett, Dr. & Mrs. Gordon Johnson, Palm Beach Urology Associates, Barron & Kogan CPAs, First Bank of the Palm Beaches, Barry & Phyllis Manning, Medicare Maggie, Dr. Humberto J. Caldera and Fyzical Therapy & Balance Centers. Event sponsors included Wellington The Magazine, the Town-Crier newspaper, Wellington National Golf Club, Above & Beyond Party Décor and Kenny Mondo Productions.

The first in a series of surprises was kicked off by WCF Secretary Mickey Smith with the announcement of a $5,000 anonymous donation. Immediately following was a high-performance dance routine to get the party started by the dancers of Fred Astaire Dance Studios and a special 87th birthday celebration for the WCF Chair Thomas Wenham.

Another highlight of this year’s event was a $10,000 match challenge presented by CEO Mike Graves and Managing Partner Bruce White of Fyzical Therapy and Balance Centers. They offered to donate $10,000 to the foundation if it could be matched that evening. Donors wasted no time, and the challenge was met within minutes.

The foundation’s board thanked everyone for sponsoring, donating and supporting its efforts toward “Building A Stronger Community.” For more information about the foundation, visit