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Palm Beach  Society News  Pages 1 
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Black Tie International:
Opportunity, Inc. 75th Anniversary

Millie Dayton & Eric Levine.  Photo by:  Lucien Capehart Photography

Millie Dayton & Eric Levine.  Photo by:  Lucien Capehart Photography

Opportunity, Inc. 75th Anniversary


West Palm Beach, FL – The Venetian room at The Breakers filled as friends, supporters and friends of friends arrived for an enchanting celebration amidst the white hinterland shell themed décor to honor and pay tribute to Opportunity, Inc., Early Learning Center as it culminated its 75th Anniversary season celebration of Community Service on Friday, March 28th, 2014.  Themed “bringing generations together by honoring the past and creating the future” captured the spirit of the evening which began with a cocktail hour featuring a Historical Exhibit designed by Bruce Stuka of the original shell pieces designed and built by the early founders, a business built in 1939 to create income for at risk families in the community.  Four hundred and thirty of Palm Beaches’ elite joined Opportunity with a celebratory champagne toast during a “call to action” which raised $176,000.00 for the programs and children at Opportunity.  “We filled the room” says chair-woman Millie Dayton with good cheer and an evening of fun, friendship, friend-raising and dancing with The Soul Survivors band.  Our guests rated the event “the best party” of the season.  “Such a spectacular evening and I am so proud to be a part of this great organization”, said Meredith Michener, Grand Benefactor for the evening.  A naming in the James Patterson Middle School Series and one year annual membership certificate created the donor competition needed to make the “call to action” such a success. 

Emcee for the evening was Steve Weagle who led the most successful call to action.  The event was chaired by Tara Gronberg, Millie Dayton and Emanuela Marcello.  “This is a special occasion and we are proud to be associated with this great organization, a true center of excellence” was echoed by Tara Gronberg & Emanuela Marcello.  Honorary Chair was Carole Lembo. Meredith Michener was the Grand Benefactor.    The 75th Anniversary Gala corporate sponsors were PNC Bank, The Breakers, Atlantic Trust, Braman BMW, Florida Community Bank, Fox Rothschild, LLC, Wells Fargo and TD Bank. 

Opportunity, Inc. serves low income, working families with programs designed to “break the cycle” of poverty through a “Five Star” Early Childhood Education at the Mary Alice Fortin Center in Westgate.  Our mission is to empower children of low income, working families to achieve future academic and life success by providing the best early childhood educational programming and support services, and by assisting their families with strategies to achieve self-sufficiency.  Accredited by the National Accreditation Commission, recognized as a Five Star Gold Seal School of Excellence by the Florida Department of Children and Families, the Opportunity Early Childhood Center programs are made possible through the generosity of donors and foundations who believe in the spirit of hope. 

The Mayor of the City of Riviera Beach, Thomas Masters, sign a proclamation announcing March 28th, 2014 as Opportunity, Inc. day, in commemoration of the 75th Anniversary of Opportunity, Inc. and of the organizational contribution to the community which started in Riviera Beach in 1939. The cities of Palm Beach and West Palm Beach also joined Opportunity, Inc. in celebrating this important milestone, and the legacy of dedication to serving those at-risk.  Opportunity, Inc. day was proclaimed by the Town of Palm Beach on October 17th, 2013 and by The Town of West Palm Beach on January 21, 2014.  To view the proclamations online, please visit

The Board of Directors thanks our friends, donors, benefactors and foundations for their continued support and pledge to continue this great tradition of quality while we consider expansion to serve more and do more in the community.

For information on the gala, visit us at or call us at


joyce brooks, gerard mckeon.  photo by:  rose billings

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