Boca Festival Days Ends, Money Raised Benefits Nonprofits

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By: Dale King Contributing Writer

The 2018 edition of Boca Festival Days has, like all good things must, come to an end. This year, Festival Days — sponsored each August by the Greater Boca Raton Chamber of Commerce — offered an eclectic mix of 24 events — games, competitions, foodie happenings, tours and special segments emphasizing talent, education, comedy, lip syncing, actual singing, a back-to-school supplies distribution and an afternoon of Bowling for Bread.

For decades, the Chamber has linked its for-profit members with charitable organizations to raise money in a fun atmosphere.

While on-site activities are over, an afterglow continues. Festival’s kickoff event, the Cheribundi Boca Bowl Idol contest, ended with the selection of Adrianna Foster to sing the National Anthem at the Boca Bowl intercollegiate football game Dec. 18 in the Florida Atlantic University football stadium. She was picked from among eight finalists for the pre-game vocal duty later this year.

Money raised that night supported the Spirit of Giving’s 10th annual “Back to School Bash” held at the Delray Beach Village Academy, where students selected backpacks, grade-appropriate supplies, uniforms and shoes.

Former City Councilman Robert Weinroth and his wife Pam, were present at many events and offered their observations afterward. They said the 7th annual FondueRaiser at the Melting Pot on North Federal Highway was a stirring success. The restaurant donated 50 percent of all food and drink sales to the Lynn Cancer Institute’s League of Ribbons.

Visitors could also “feel their funny bone” at the Pavilion Grille on Yamato Road, which raised money for programs and services of Ruth & Norman Rales Jewish Family Services. “Care-a-o-ke for a Cause” gave folks a chance to sing their hearts out at a benefit for Caregiving Youth.

“Boca’s Got Talent” returned with a show Aug. 13 at the Hyatt Place Boca Raton, featuring local residents who sang, danced and performed other unique stage acts. Money raised supports the Faulk Center for Counseling.

Also playing out this summer were: “Back the Blue,” benefiting the Boca Raton Police Foundation; “Battle of the Bartenders,” at the Boca Raton Marriott and the nautical-themed art auction and wine extravaganza, “Hook, Wine & Sinker” Aug. 23 at the Mizner Park Cultural Arts Center. The cork-popping, paint-dropping extravaganza allowed guests to mingle and socialize with community members and local artists while enjoying hors d’oeuvres paired with exceptional wines. All proceeds benefit Twin Palms Center for the Disabled.

The Boca Chamber took its seasonal bow when it packed the Great Hall at the Boca Raton Resort & Club for its signature Wine & All That Jazz party. Visitors enjoyed more than 100 varieties of wine and dinner-by-the-bite items from top restaurants in the Boca area. Delectable goods were served at tables and from “wine quads” around the hall.  Several circumnavigations were required to see and taste everything.

Guests had a chance to soothe their tired feet by visiting the BB&T Bank lounge at the center of the action.

Boca Helping Hands held its 12th annual “Bowling for Bread” at Strikes@Boca Aug. 26. The lanes quickly filled with more than 200 low income kids and 100 adults who supported the event.

In all, 20 teams competed for trophies, but the real winners were the 14 local nonprofits that are sharing the proceeds from the event buoyed by the boundless largesse of local keglers.