Co-chairs Frances Peter, Christina Macfarland and Caroline Rafferty brought a whole new energy to the Community Foundation’s annual gala at the Breakers this year, raising over $400,000 to support its local leadership work.

Over 300 guests attended ‘Make Your Mark’ on January 29th at the Breakers – an edgy, street-art themed gala. Guests came dressed in their wildest neons and enjoyed live art by Wynwood muralist Luis Valle as he painted throughout the night. The 6’ x 9’ wood paneled piece auctioned for $10,200 at the end of the night with proceeds benefiting the Foundation. Celebrity DJ Sam French kept guests dancing long into the night.

“We wanted to surprise our guests and wow the crowd,” said co-chair Frances Peter. “I don’t think anyone was expecting floor-to-ceiling neon ribbons and a live muralist at the Breakers! We had a great time with our street-art theme.”

Debra and Anson Beard Jr., Carol and Peter Matwiczykand Tara Kelleher and Roy J. Zuckerberg were honorary chairs. Co-chairs included Frances and Todd Peter; Christina and Benjamin Macfarland; and Caroline and Nick Rafferty. Vice chairs included Tony Cummings, Blair and Stuart Kirwan, Maura Smith, Josephine and Jason Kalismanand Kristen and Chris Vila.

The highlight of the evening was a special presentation of the inaugural Gala Giving Circle. This year, gala chairs decided to participate in the Community Foundation’s grant making and create a giving circle – a form of participatory philanthropy where members donate to a pooled fund and decide where to make an impactful grant. Giving Circle members presented an incredible $23,000 grant to the Center for Creative Education.

“After speaking with the staff at the Foundation as well as local philanthropists, we decided that forming a giving circle would be the best way to demonstrate how the Community Foundation connect donors with causes that are important to them,” said Caroline Rafferty. “The dialogue was passionate and engaging, and most importantly we were working together to create positive change. These conversations and connections enable us to be focused and effective donors, while providing an unparalleled service to local nonprofits.”

Guests included Jean and Will Matthews; Julie and Peter Cummings; Carrie and J.B. Murray; Kevin Clark and James Berwind; Susan Stautberg; Sherry and Tom Barrat; Kenn Karakul; Juliana Gendelman and Christopher Goldberg; Elizabeth and Ben Gordon; Missy and Todd Savage; Danielle Hickox Moore; Joe Webster; Allison Ridder; George Elmore and Marti LaTour.

Special thanks to major Make Your Mark sponsors Anson and Debra Beard; Marjorie S. Fisher; Tara Kelleher and Roy J. Zuckerberg; and Jean and William M. Matthews.

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