Wellington, FL – March 25, 2013 – The sun setting over the International Polo Club, appeasing live music, sought after auction items and good company set the perfect stage for “An Evening of Great Expectations” Friday night. The fundraising event garnered tremendous support for Grandma’s Place, an emergency foster shelter for children, and the mission and outreach program of St. David’s in the Pines Episcopal Church.

Members of St. David’s Church, the equestrian community and those involved with Grandma’s Place sold out the inaugural event. Generous contributions and sponsorship support, coupled with lively bidding during the silent and live auctions, helped both organizations exceed their fundraising goals for the evening.

“It’s outstanding to see this kind of support for these organizations and for a first year event,” event manager Maureen Gross, of Phelps Media Group, expressed. “We raised a record amount of money, and everyone seemed to have a great time. It was fabulous.”


Grandma’s Place Board Member Michele, Honorary Committee Member Victoria McCullough and Event Manager Maureen Gross

The evening was originally the brainchild of Leo Conroy, and through the hard work of committee members from both St. David’s and Grandma’s Place it came to fruition in the relaxed, tropical-style event.

Guests enjoyed the musical stylings of South Florida duo, Tom and Bonnie Colombo, while placing their bids on the silent auction items and throughout the evening as they took to the dance floor. In addition to the silent auction, the live auction gave attendees the opportunity to bid on numerous valuable packages and opportunities, including three, one-week stays at a beautiful home in the mountains of North Carolina, donated by Michele Poole; a day at the races for the Florida Derby, donated by Caroline Moran; a VIP table at the Alltech National Horse Show, generously contributed by the show; and others.


Jennifer and Roger Smith, Ashley Taylor and Randi Golding


As guests dined, Gross and the committee took the time to recognize the three women in the audience who truly represent the heart of Grandma’s Place – Bessie Gordon, Jackie Alvarez and Louise Taggart. Gordon, or “Grandma,” as she is affectionately dubbed, is the namesake and founder of Grandma’s Place, and Alvarez and Taggart are the ones who keep the shelter running on a day-to-day basis.


Michele Poole and “Grandma” Bessie Gordon

Grandma’s Place is a non-profit, emergency shelter working to stop child abuse in Palm Beach County.  Grandma’s Place provides shelter and loving care to children who have suffered abuse and/or neglect and have been removed from their own homes by the court system. The shelter takes both boys and girls from birth to 12 years old.  They accept all children including those with disabilities such as autism, cerebral palsy, Down’s syndrome and other disabilities.


Father Thomas (third from right) and members of St. David’s in the Pines

In addition to Grandma’s Place, the event proceeds will benefit the mission and outreach programs of St. David’s in the Pines Episcopal Church located in Wellington.  St. David’s in the Pines provides meals at two of the area’s community soup kitchens and they organize blood drives, school supply drives and toiletry drives for the homeless.  In addition, they provide Thanksgiving dinners and Christmas presents to children whose parents are incarcerated.  Other outreach programs of the church include the delivery of meals to the sick and bereaved, and hosting nine weekly meetings for people trying to reform their lives through a recovery program.


For further information about Grandma’s Place visit www.grandmasplacepb.org  or call (561)753-2226.

Carla Neumann, Ana Baez, Mary Liguori and Andrea Enterlein. All Photos By: Emily Riden. These photographs may only be used in relation to this press release.