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Boca Raton's Visionaries and Stakeholders Revealed To Raise $125,000
2017 Coveted George Long Prism Awards Presented To Visionaries Bobby Campbell, Florida Atlantic University and Kaufman Lynn Construction
Returning as the official gala season opener for Boca Raton, more than 400 guests dined and danced the night away at the third annual Boca Raton Mayors Ball presented by the Rotary Club Downtown Boca Raton in celebration of the City's long, rich history. In addition to honoring the elected officials who exemplify Rotary International's motto, 'Service Above Self' and recognize the City's visionaries who have elevated the community, the evening raised more than $125,000 for the Club's "Service Above Self" Grant Program that supports the health and wellness needs of the nonprofits serving Boca Raton and Rotary International's program to eradicate polio. "Chance to Win proceeds will be donated to Hurricane Ima relief. This year's coveted George Long Prism Awards were presented to philanthropist Bobby Campbell, Florida Atlantic University and Kaufman Lynn Construction. Upon receiving his George Long Award, philanthropist Bobby Campbell, was so moved by the warm hometown camaraderie and spirit in the room that he pledged a generous donation of $50,000 to the Rotary Club Downtown Boca Raton grant program during his acceptance speech.
Due to increasing demand, the black-tie event with red carpet arrival, was fittingly held at the historic Boca Raton Resort & Club, the 2016 George Long Award Business Visionary recipient. Once again the event drew a 'full house' of Boca Raton's 'Who's Who' of civic, business, tourism, community and philanthropic stakeholders and visionaries – past and present – spanning more than five decades of commitment and contributions. The high-energy Steve Chase Band rocked the room for a perpetually filled dance floor.
"The onsite positive feedback was overwhelming, many going LIVE on Facebook from the event to viral shares of selfies and professional photos," noted Constance Scott, former Deputy Mayor and Rotarian who served as co-chair of the Mayors Ball with Kim Champion. "From the honoree selections, raves about the food and the Steve Chase Band to the entire program and guest list…the 'who's who' all in the room at the same time celebrating Boca Raton made for a memorable, iconic evening."
Champion added that "many shared that while they have been to decades of black-tie events in Palm Beach County, this event has its own signature warmth, an energy-packed night with a guest list that spanned generations of community leaders reconnecting, renewing and strengthening relationships as everyone in the room beamed with City pride."
The evening opened with a bountiful reception of themed drinks sponsored by Brito Vodka, Toast, Afro Head Rum and a showcase of luxury cars by JM Lexus, the evening's valet sponsor, displayed in the Royal Palm Ballroom. The ballroom featured City-themed environs and historical table décor nods to award recipients Kaufman Lynn Construction, Florida Atlantic University and Bobby Campbell. Kaufman Lynn Construction sponsored the room decor, with memorabilia provided by the Boca Raton Historical Society & Museum and centerpieces by Dalsimer Atlas Floral & Event Decorators.
The dinner/dance program opened with a formal mayor's processional, the presentation of colors by Boca Raton Fire Rescue and Police Honor Guards, national anthem sung by Boca Raton's very own Future Star and recording artist Kendra Erica, a video commemorating the achievements and missions of the Rotary Club Downtown Boca Raton's 5th year, followed by dancing and the highlight of the evening, the presentation of the 2017 George E. Long Awards – named for the City's first appointed mayor in 1924 sponsored by Sklar Furnishings and designed by Tiffany & Co.
Presenting the George Long Awards to those who have long championed the tradition of bringing visionary ideas and transformation to Boca Raton were event Honorary Chair and former City Mayor Susan Whelchel; Boca Raton Mayors Ball Founding Co-Chair and 2017 event producer Jon A. Kaye and Boca Raton Mayor Susan Haynie.
GEORGE LONG AWARD/INDIVIDUAL VISIONARY: BOBBY CAMPBELL
An impassioned, trailblazing captain of industry and philanthropy, Bobby Campbell has made an indelible imprint on the international footwear industry and his own hometown community of Boca Raton. Leading with a big heart, Campbell has been generous philanthropist, supporting capital campaigns, making endowed legacy gifts, donating to educational and children's missions and underwriting health and wellness organizations. Most recently, he and his wife Barbara donated $5 million for the building of the 12,000-square-
As an entrepreneurial founder, owner and Chairman of BBC International (since 1975) he has led the company into becoming one of the leading children's and athletic footwear design and sourcing companies in the world. Since beginning his industry career at age 16 in the stock room of a Kinney Shoe Store subsequently moving up to store manager and then buyer for the brand itself, Campbell has spent more than 60 years successfully innovating footwear design and merchandising while simultaneously "giving back" 'round the world and to those who call Boca Raton home. BBC's Heely's brand is now sold in more than 70 countries, and at all levels of retail sales from footwear chains, athletic and outdoor shops, sporting goods retailers, toy stores, small independent retailers and department stores to online at Nordstrom.com and Zappos.com.
GEORGE LONG AWARD/NONPROFIT VISIONARY: FLORIDA ATLANTIC UNIVERSITY
Accepted by the FAU President Dr. John Kelly who is recognized for the rapid, award-winning transformation of the university into one of the top growing universities in the country since his appointment just four years ago.
Florida Atlantic University, established in 1961, officially opened its doors in 1964 as the fifth public university in Florida. Today, the University, with an annual economic impact of $6.3 billion, serves more than 30,000 undergraduate and graduate students with 1,000 faculty members at sites throughout its six-county service region in southeast Florida. The university's student body, which ranks as the most ethnically and culturally diverse in Florida's State University System, includes many men and women of nontraditional age. Long known as an outstanding teaching institution, FAU is undergoing rapid development as a leader in entrepreneurship education and as a center of cutting-edge research, particularly in the biomedical arena. The research focus has been accelerated by the university's partnerships with three internationally known biomedical research organizations:
GEORGE LONG AWARD/BUSINESS VISIONARY: KAUFMAN LYNN CONSTRUCTION
Accepted by Kaufman Lynn Construction CEO & Founder Michael Kaufman
Since 1989 Kaufman Lynn Construction has built exceptionally high quality buildings and long-lasting client relationships throughout South Florida as a full-service commercial construction company, headquartered in Boca Raton with offices in Southeast and Southwest Florida, North Carolina and Texas The company has nearly three decades of extensive experience in the following market sectors: Education (K-12 and University), Healthcare, Government/Municipal, Multifamily Housing, Country Clubs, Retail/Office, Cultural, Automotive, Public Safety, Self Storage, Recreation and Faith Based/Non-Profit. It consistently ranks as one of the Top General Contractors in Florida and are among the 400 largest contractors nationwide.
For more information about the Rotary Club Downtown Boca Raton, including how to become a member, visit www.rotarydowntownbocaraton.org
Kaye Communications, Inc.
Jon A. Kaye