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Society News  Pages 1  2  3

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Black Tie International:
Easter Seals Dinner With Friends Series



Couples raise more than $90,000 for area children
 with special needs

 (Standing L-R): Ray Celedinas, James & Betsy Meany, Eddy & John Taylor,
 (Standing L-R): Ray Celedinas, James & Betsy Meany, Eddy & John Taylor,
Julie & Amin Khoury, Brett Price (Seated L-R): Tommy Quick, Kim Celedinas, Diane & John Trimper
Photo by:  Lucien Capehart Photography





(HOBE SOUND, FL)  No ball rooms.  No black ties. No printing costs for thousands of invitations.  No receiving lines.  No dance floors and no auctions.  Jupiter Island residents Eddy and John Taylor devised a new benefit concept to raise funds for the children at Easter Seals, and they kicked off the series they called “Dinner with Friends” for 12 special benefactors in their home on Saturday, November 21.


The Taylors’ idea for the “Dinner with Friends” series was for a generous host to open their home for a dinner party with their close friends. The host underwrites the cost of the evening, and guests are made aware that their benefit “ticket” is a check for the children at Easter Seals.


“Over the last 12 years, John and I have supported the special children at the Easter Seals Igoe-Amar Child Development Center in West Palm Beach,” said chairwoman Eddy Taylor.  “We are very lucky to have been blessed with two beautiful and healthy daughters.  It has been our personal mission to give back to the children at Easter Seals who live with challenges such as cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, autism and other developmental delays.  We’re finding that our guests attending our kick off for the ‘Dinner with Friends’ series love the idea that their funds are directly benefiting these children.  And they love the idea of a simplified dinner in someone’s home.  Rather than another Gala benefit to add to their social season, this benefit becomes personal and intimate. Our kick off event was a tremendous success!”


The Taylors raised over $90,000 as a result of their recent dinner which included such guests as Kim and Ray Celedinas, Julie and Amin Khoury, Betsy and James Meany of Lydian Bank & Trust, Brett Price, Thomas C. Quick, and Diane and John Trimper.  Future dinners are already scheduled by other hosts, such as David Lambert of Palm Beach, and corporate benefactors like Northern Trust Bank, Braman Motorcars Palm Beach and the Gardens Mall, as well as private donors including Randi and John Bitove, Sabina and Peter Cowie, Diana and E. Llwyd Ecclestone, Marianne and Harvey P. Gold, Monika and John Preston, Missy and Dan Reedy, Mary and Dan Stanton,  Amanda and Charles Schumacher, have signed on to support the series.



“Already we’re finding hosts and even benefactors who are completely embracing this brilliant and novel idea,” said Marlo Massey, Vice President of Development for the West Palm Beach based Center for children of all needs.  “They are excited to share their contagious enthusiasm for Easter Seals with friends in the comfort of their own home or chosen location.  We’ve had benefactors offer to host intimate dinner parties like John and Eddy, as well as backyard barbecues and even a select VIP dinner at the Gardens Mall.  The idea is incredibly popular, and we are grateful for Eddy and John’s creative passion on behalf of our students!”


Easter Seals Igoe-Amar Child Development Center is the area’s only full-time center for children of ALL abilities.  Easter Seals helps children with disabling conditions due to birth, disease, accident or injury through pediatric speech, physical, occupational and behavioral therapies made available in a preschool setting.  These services help prepare children for success in school while affording parents an opportunity to continue their careers or education.


Located at 213 S. Congress Avenue, the Igoe-Amar Center for Easter Seals Florida accommodates 100 children in the 23,000 square foot center. It has eight classrooms, four therapy rooms, outdoor play areas, a conference room and administrative offices. The Igoe-Amar Center is also home to the county's first Boundless Playground, a recreation area structured for children with special needs. 


To inquire about hosting a “Dinner with Friends” to benefit the children at Easter Seals, please reach Massey at 561.471.1688, ext. 124.  To learn more about the program offerings at Easter Seals or other ways to benefit the Center’s students, please visit or call Massey to inquire about a tour.


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