Taking steps forward: ‘Touching Hearts, Building Futures… Changing Lives!’ fifth annual celebration
Best Foot Forward Foundation will celebrate its fifth year with the “Touching Hearts, Building Futures… Changing Lives!” cocktail reception, set to take place April 25 at 7 p.m. at Boca Grove Country Club.
The evening, sponsored by the Lisa J. Leder Family Foundation, Sun Capital Partners Foundation Inc., Gary Peters Family Foundation and Bloomingdale’s, will celebrate the organization’s growth and successes over the past five years while looking toward the future.
“As our major fundraising event of the year, the evening promises to be one filled with laughter, tears and joy,” said Donna Biase, co-founder of Best Foot Forward. “This year’s theme is a reflection of our mission and the impact we hope to have on every foster child who walks through our doors.”
Guests will enjoy an evening of cocktails and dinner-by-the-bite, while participating in live and silent auctions hosted by professional auctioneer Neil Saffer. Other highlights include comic impressionist Ken Block, success stories from children who participated in the program and performances by “The Voice” finalist Michaela Paige and St. Andrews Chorus. Event co-chairwomen Kathy Feinerman and Cheryl Cherney will be recognized as this year’s Volunteers of the Year for their dedication to raising awareness about Best Foot Forward.
“When we started Best Foot Forward five years ago, we only had 11 children in our program, and this year we have more than 49 students participating in our program,” said Debbie Ellman, co-founder of Best Foot Forward. “I am proud to say that we have graduated 100 percent of our high school seniors, while the national rate of graduation for foster care youth is 46 percent. We could not have done it without the help of the community and our loyal volunteers.”
Best Foot Forward’s programs support and guide foster youth so they have a successful academic experience that leads to high school graduation and more. Students in the program receive assistance with their academics through mentoring, tutoring, college placement and motivation. Participants are referred to Best Foot Forward by case managers, school principals, judges, attorneys, guidance counselors and others.
Other programs offered by Best Foot Forward include Grant-a-Graduation, which funds the many expenses associated with graduating such as cap and gown, yearbook, prom and more; Birthday Bucks, which will provide a youth with a cake, a card, a present and a birthday picture in a frame; Incentives to Inspire, which provide weekly incentives to reward students for their efforts and commitment to their education; and Stand By Me, which provides educational support and advocacy for a youth in foster care for a full school year.
Tickets are $125 and reservations are required. For more information, call 561-470-8300 or visit www.BestFoot.org.
Cheryl Cherney, left, Kathy Feinerman and Anita Kreilein