The Community Foundation hosted more than 150 women at the inaugural Women and Philanthropy: A Powerful Force in the World on Tuesday, November 15, 2016 ...

The Community Foundation for Palm Beach and Martin Counties (CFPBMC) hosted more than 150 women at the inaugural Women and Philanthropy: A Powerful Force in the World on Tuesday, November 15, 2016, a cocktail party at the Flagler Museum with special keynote speaker Melanie R. Sabelhaus.

Keynote speaker Melanie R. Sabelhaus spoke about the importance of women in philanthropy and society. Her inspiring presentation detailed the journey and history of charitable women and the excitement of work yet to be done.

“If your dreams do not scare you, they are not big enough,” said Sabelhaus.

Guests also enjoyed hearing from Mrs. Geneva B. Boynton, an original member of The Charmettes. The Charmettes, Incorporated is a nationally recognized women's community service organization, known for getting results and making a difference in the lives of African Americans and their communities. A young member of PACE Center for Girls, Akereya Wilson also shared her story of triumph from single motherhood at age 14 to now graduating with her college degree. PACE provides girls and young women an opportunity for a better future through education, counseling, training and advocacy.

Women and Philanthropy was generously hosted by Susan Stautberg, a member of the Board of Directors at CFPBMC.

“We were thrilled to host the first Women and Philanthropy event at the Flagler Museum through the generosity of board member Susan Stautberg. What better way to bring together a powerful troupe of charitable women (and some men) to forge connections, develop new relationships and make a difference together in our community,” said Bradley Hurlburt, President and CEO at the Community Foundation.

Melanie R. Sabelhaus has more than 30 years of successful small business, corporate, and federal government experience. She founded and served as chief executive officer of Exclusive Interim Properties (EIP) from 1986 to 1997. Most recently, Sabelhaus was Deputy Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). Sabelhaus is the former Vice Chair of the National Board of the American Red Cross and is the Honorary Chair of the Red Cross Philanthropic Board. She twice co-chaired the National United Way's Summit on Women in Philanthropy and co-founded the National Women's Leadership Council. She is the cofounding national chair of the Tiffany Circle, a society of women leaders in the USA and Internationally for the American Red Cross. She is a member of the Belizean Grove, an international women's leadership organization and twice chaired the Nantucket Boston Pops with over 8,000 in attendance to benefit the Nantucket Cottage Hospital where she currently serves as a Trustee.

For more information on the Community Foundation for Palm Beach and Martin Counties, please visit

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ABOUT THE COMMUNITY FOUNDATION: The Community Foundation for Palm Beach and Martin Counties is one of Florida’s largest community foundations. The nonprofit organization has provided more than $128 million in grants and scholarships over its 44-year history. At its core, the Community Foundation is an organization created with gifts from generous people committed to local causes. For donors, the Foundation serves as a philanthropic advisor. For the community, the Foundation serves as a grant maker and a civic leader. Through the support of its donors and fund holders, the Foundation has been able to address some of the community’s most pressing needs, including hunger, housing and education.