Hosted by the Treasure Coast Music Teachers Association, the students represented Martin and St. Lucie, counties. The Treasure Coast Mall visitors were entertained throughout the day by pianists, vocalists, flutists, violinists, a choir and other music combinations.
Each year, the Treasure Coast Music Teachers Association provides a donation to a local nonprofit organization. Helping People Succeed, a 501(c) 3 nonprofit, was the local charity selected this year. More than $84,000 has been raised to benefit local charities since the Music-Thon kicked off in 1991.
Helping People Succeed’s Pinot & Picasso evening of fine wine and art presented the 2016 Art for Living Calendars for signing by 13 artists featured in the calendar and their latest art from beach scenes, birds and Florida citrus to a turn of the century downtown hotel location, all presented at The Floridian country club in Palm City.
Thanks to the support of host Bill Lichtenberger, who coordinated the evening for the second year, more than 150 guests were on hand to view the art work, bid on silent and LIVE auction items from additional art works from the artists and specialty items such as a trip to NASA and lunch with an astronaut, to a foursome with noted Florida PGA champion Larry Laoretti of Palm City and a Day on the Floridian full day fishing charter.
Most Martin County residents and others around the State of Florida know Suzy Hutcheson for her 40 years dedicated to the programs and services of Helping People Succeed, a non-profit organization that serves more than 4,500 children and families in Martin, St. Lucie and Okeechobee counties.
Others know Hutcheson for her dedicated club work with Kiwanis of Stuart and this year as Club President raising funds for an extension to Kiwanis Park at Woodlawn in downtown Stuart, dedicating other funds for K-Kid Clubs, Builder’s Clubs and Key Clubs for students involved with Kiwanis projects and attending Kiwanis state and international conventions.
For the second year, Village Bootery in Cedar Pointe Plaza in Stuart, donated women’s shoes to Helping People Succeed recipients. This year’s donation was a surprise visit from Tim O’Brien delivering 110 pairs of women’s shoes of all types.
O’Brien, General Manager of the Stuart shoe store, said this has been a project of Village Bootery for 33 years, dating back to its Lake Park founding store. Besides the Stuart location, Village Bootery has a store in Tequesta. Village Bootery has been in business for 53 years with the Stuart store opening 50 years ago.
“Who would most benefit from the shoes?” said O’Brien, who asked the question. “We have considered homeless families, young people with autism spectrum disorder and adults with disabilities. We’re always looking for the right fit for the right customer and that includes local non-profit organizations that can assist with distributing the shoes to the families it serves. Helping People Succeed was exactly that match.”
“We are humbled to be the recipients of this generous contribution,” said Glenna Parris, Gift Planning Officer for Helping People Succeed. “Some of the clients we serve have never had the fortune to buy a new pair of shoes. This gift has truly made a difference in the lives of many.”
As Helping People Succeed begins its 51st year, the local non-profit organization welcomes new Operating Board chair, Phyllis Gillespie, attorney with the firm of Laws-Scott & Gillespie PLLC in Stuart.
On the non-profit organization’s board for the last four years and two years as Vice Chair, Gillespie has been active in Helping People Succeed programs, as well as board committees and community projects throughout Martin County. She is a member of the National Bar Association, the Virgil Hawkins Bar Association, the Florida Association of Women Lawyers, The Florida Bar Association and the Tennessee Bar Association.
Helping People Succeed is the recipient of United Way of Martin County’s Agency Spirit Award, recognizing the non-profit organization’s community activities to benefit United Way and local businesses.
“When it comes to United Way, Suzy Hutcheson and her staff always bring a high level of spirit,” said United Way Executive Director Jim Vojcsik. “Not only did Helping People Succeed run a terrific workplace campaign, but the dedicated staff also helped coordinate the annual Merrill Lynch Bull Run, volunteered during Day of Caring, and even helped with workplace presentations at local businesses.”