It’s almost the season for giving, and the American Association of Caregiving Youth (AACY) seized a prime opportunity this past week with their Hearts & “Soles” gala. With a spacious ballroom and ample courtyard, the Quail Ridge Country Club was a natural choice for hosting the long-awaited in person fundraiser.
Indeed, two years of pandemic woes kept Hearts & “Soles” on the backburner. Thanks to plunging COVID-19 rates and widely available vaccines, Hearts & “Soles” made a grand return, in lavish Western style. With Honorary Chair, the former US Ambassador to the Dominican Republic, Robin Bernstein, singer Laura Angelini, and Texas based Cariloop as a top-tier sponsor, Hearts & “Soles” affirmed the need for awareness of caregiving issues.
Cariloop is a network that seeks to pair families with professional caregivers that suit their needs, thus making the partnership nothing short of ideal. Always on the lookout for a great cause to support, participants flocked to Boynton Beach to take part in a shindig they were told would be unforgettable. With a mechanical bull, line dance instruction, and a scrumptious array of culinary delights, Hearts & “Soles” remained true to form.
As such, a gala requires a charismatic master-of-ceremonies, and Frank McKinney graciously lent his time as a special guest emcee. A 7x best-selling author, real estate ‘artist’, and ‘philanthro-capitalist’, McKinney dazzled the crowd. Always keen to emphasize the work being done to uplift Caregiving Youth, AACY sponsored a Show-and-Tell contest.
The Caregiving Youth who participated in the contest were asked to submit photos of themselves doing their caregiving responsibilities and a one-page essay about their role as a caregiver. The winner and runner-up, David Rogozan and Jaliah Williams, respectively, were awarded seats to the gala, in addition to cash awards and community service hours. Speaking about his experience as a Caregiving Youth, David expressed a desire to enlist in the Marine Corps to great applause. Jaliah impressed the crowd with her ambition to become a pediatrician.
A night of music, dancing, and merriment could only be concluded with a “Bid from the Heart” that encouraged attendees to donate in support of Caregiving Youth. It was a night for revelry, but it struck a philanthropic chord with those who attended. Among attendees were County Mayor Robert Weinroth, Dr. Betsy Olson of UNC Chapel Hill, Alicia Rootes of FAU Schmidt College of Medicine and Julie Belkowitz, MD of UM Miller School of Medicine, are just a few of the heroes who helped make the gala a success. Sponsors of AACY’s Hearts & “Soles” include Cariloop, Avalon Bay Communities, Granite, Cross Country Healthcare, Toshiba, Gerstle, Rosen, & Goldberg PA, and Lesser, Lesser, Landy & Smith Law firm.