Ki­wa­nis hon­ors home­less ad­vo­cates at 15th an­nual ball

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The Ki­wa­nis Club of Laud­erdale Lakes will honor two ad­vo­cates for the home­less, Den­nise Wil­son and Dr. Celia Earle, at the 15th an­nual “Grand Char­ity Ball” tak­ing place Sept.14 at Hy­att Re­gency Pier Sixty-Six in Fort Laud­erdale.

Wil­son is the ex­ec­u­tive chef at LifeNet4Fam­i­lies, a so­cial ser­vice agency that pro­vides food, coun­sel­ing, cloth­ing, food stamps, show­ers, a mail room and other ser­vices to in­di­vid­u­als and fam­i­lies in need. Each morn­ing, Wil­son and her team pre­pares hot nu­tri­tious meals in a com­mu­nity kitchen that feeds more than 200 in­di­vid­u­als daily be­tween 9 and 11 a.m.

Earle is an en­vi­ron­men­tal en­gi­neer who cre­ated the “Christ­mas in July” event in 2002 to sup­ply un­der­wear, shoes and cloth­ing to home­less chil­dren in Broward County. At the time of the in­au­gu­ral event, Earle served as lieu­tenant gover­nor of Florida Ki­wa­nis Di­vi­sion 23, a group of 16 Ki­wa­nis Clubs in north­ern Broward County. Af­ter 14 years, the event has out­grown its hum­ble be­gin­nings and is now hosted by the Broward County Com­mis­sion­ers each year at the BB&T Cen­ter in Sun­rise where more than 1,000 chil­dren ex­pe­ri­ence a day of care­free fun and re­ceive a back­pack filled with good­ies.

On the night of the Ful­fill­ing Dreams Through Ser­vice themed event, 400 guests will party to the sounds of Ja­maican band Fab Five. The ball­rooms will be dec­o­rated in a mas­quer­ade theme so guests are en­cour­aged to don their masks for a night of rev­elry.

The an­nual “Grand Char­ity Ball” is the pre­mier un­der­tak­ing of the Ki­wa­nis Club of Laud­erdale Lakes and since 1999 has dis­trib­uted more than $500,000 to var­i­ous char­i­ties in­clud­ing SOS Chil­dren’s Vil­lage of Florida; Su­san B An­thony Home & Re­cov­ery Cen­ter; Caribbean Heart Men­ders’ As­so­ci­a­tion; schol­ar­ships to high school se­niors; and other com­mu­nity ser­vice do­na­tions to or­ga­ni­za­tions such as LifeNet4Fam­i­lies and Christ­mas in July Inc.

“This is our op­por­tu­nity to re­ally give back to the com­mu­nity and needy fam­i­lies with funds raised at the event,” said event chair­woman Michelle Cyrus-Brown.

The Ki­wa­nis Club of Laud­erdale Lakes was founded in 1998 by in­di­vid­u­als with fam­ily and busi­ness in­ter­ests in the city of Laud­erdale Lakes. The cur­rent pres­i­dent is Dennis Freck­le­ton and the club now has 64 mem­bers. The lo­cal club is one of more than 9,000 clubs world­wide that com­prise Ki­wa­nis In­ter­na­tional.

For more in­for­ma­tion, visit

Don Dou­glas, back left, An­nemarie Shel­ton-Da­ley, Barry Nu­gent, Michelle Cyrus-Brown and Rox­anna Brown; Michael Facey, front left, Pauline Jones, Colin Betty, Giles Ste­wart and Dr. Celia Earle

Re­nee Pol­lack, left, Judge Giselle Pol­lack, Tony Spadac­cia and John Al­bert

Eric Cyrus, left, Maria Pa­zos and Allen Whet­sell

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