WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (March 9, 2017) – More than 350 parents, students, local business leaders and supporters attended the second annual Palm Beach Philanthropy Tank event last night at the Maltz Jupiter Theatre. Nine highly innovative, student-designed program / project ideas were selected from over 65 applications to advance to this final round, and were “live-pitched” to the event’s four philanthropist-investors. A total of $100,000 in prize money was awarded to the finalists to implement their programs over the next year. Each student also receives a year of mentoring from their Philanthropist-Investor(s). Sally Lou Loveman was the evening’s emcee, and kept the energy upbeat throughout the night including during the Philanthropist-Investors deliberation break when the $10,000 donation goal from the audience was surpassed, with the program collecting nearly $15,000 from the enthusiastic, supportive crowd. Loveman is the former audience producer for “The Oprah Winfrey Show” and “Oprah’s Lifeclass” for OWN.
“The student-finalists exemplify our vision to develop and execute out-of-the-box community betterment projects, to achieve a practical solution to societal issues we face in our community. In just six short weeks, the student-finalists practiced delivering their speech and learned stage presence from the team at the Maltz Jupiter Theatre and we could not be more proud of them,” said Evan C. Deoul, AB Bernstein’s Senior Managing Director, co-founder of Palm Beach Philanthropy Tank with Michael L. Kohner, Managing Director of Andersen Tax. “The audience instantly connected with each student pitch, and many wanted to personally contribute to the realization of the ideas. We are overjoyed with the amount of financial support from the audience, too! Raising $15,000 in the 20-minute break for the Philanthropist-Investors deliberation was a delightful, heart-warming surprise. We look forward to continuing this program and watching these students make an impact in our community,” said Kohner.
The four judges who also serve as the Philanthropist-Investors and mentors were comprised of Julie Fisher Cummings, William (“Bill”) Meyer, and Christine Stiller of Palm Beach; and Avy Stein of Jupiter. Together, they agreed to fund up to $15,000 to each idea and one year of mentoring to support the ideas that will combat issues we face in Palm Beach County. The students that received funding will now work closely with their investor — or in some cases, multiple investors — to develop a business plan and strategy for success.
To be considered for a spot in the finals, applicants were required to submit a description of their project that addressed community impact, program feasibility, solution creativity, sustainability and team strengths. The 2017 finalists, listed in alphabetical order by team name, received the following funding towards their projects:
- Boundless Dreams
Team: Ava Goldstone
Pine Crest School
Pitch: Working with The Miracle League of Palm Beach County to develop an unrestricted, boundless, and inclusive playground and garden area.
Amount Awarded: $15,000
Team: Princesse De Rossignol, Willmar Escalante, Jehan Hussein and Jorian Rivera
John I. Leonard High School
Pitch: Creating a program to teach high school students CPR, first aid and basic medical treatment in case of an emergency.
Amount Awarded: $12,500
- Horses That Help-Pathfinders
Team: Holly Moritz
Pitch: Expanding the existing Horses that Help program, which uses horses to break through physical, mental, spiritual, emotional, and cultural barriers to “at risk” youth.
Amount Awarded: $14,000
- Hydroponic Harvest for Healthy Living
Team: Julian Lichtenfeld
Spanish River Community High School
Pitch: Providing fresh produce to food-insecure individuals and families in Palm Beach County.
Amount Awarded: $10,000
- Palm Beach Visionaries
Team: Raveena Pandhare
Atlantic Community High School
Pitch: Providing gently used or new eyeglasses, eye examinations and eye care kits for uninsured and underserved youth to improve academic success.
Amount Awarded: $10,000
- Princesses Against Cancer
Team: Natalie Gonzalez, Lauryn Mejia and Elizabeth Pino
Forest Hill Community High School
Pitch: Providing hospitalized children with a visit from their favorite characters along with care packages to help make hard times a little easier.
Amount Awarded: $10,000
- The Ray Band
Team: Jordan Borenstein and Seth Rodgers
Jupiter Community High School
Pitch: Installing sunscreen dispensers in Palm Beach County parks, and later in public schools, to empower peers and members of the community to make critical sun-safe choices for healthy living.
Amount Awarded: $8,500
- Y Not Read?
Team: Liz Cloninger, Miranda Green, Liana Stoll and Peyvie Wexler
Palm Beach Day Academy
Pitch: Partnering with the YMCA to purchase iPads for use at afterschool programs to improve reading skills.
Amount Awarded: $9,000
- The Youth Empowerment Project
Team: Alexis Fisher, Baron Fisher and Bricen Fisher
Atlantic Community High School and Carver Middle School
Pitch: Engaging, connecting, and empowering middle school students to reach their full potential through mentorship and tutoring by high school students in the Delray Beach community.
Amount Awarded: $11,000
Palm Beach Philanthropy Tank was developed by Advisors for Philanthropic Impact (API), a group comprised of trust and estate attorneys, CPAs, financial advisors, life insurance professionals, and non-profit leaders, all who are Chartered Advisors in Philanthropy (CAP©). Applicants were required to submit a description of their project that included community impact, program feasibility, solution creativity, sustainability and team strength. The type of social issues addressed by the selected students hunger, homelessness, medical care, education for underprivileged students, education for emotionally and/or physically challenged youth, and public health and welfare.
Annual Sponsors for Palm Beach Philanthropy Tank include AB Bernstein, Braman Motorcars, Gunster, Lennar Foundation, Otis Elevator, Publix Super Market Charities and Quantum Foundation. Event Sponsors include Andersen Tax, Colonnade Properties LLC, D.E. Swirnow Family Trust (Beth & David Swirnow), Michael and Annie Falk Foundation and Ronnie & Susan Pertnoy. Partners of the program include API, the Community Foundation for Palm Beach and Martin Counties, the Education Foundation of Palm Beach County and the Maltz Jupiter Theatre.
For more information and to follow the finalists’ journeys, visit philanthropytank.org.