65 Roses Evening the Ave benefits Cystic Fibrosis Foundation


Staff report

65 Roses Evening on the Ave is all about meshing art with fashion to raise money for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

The Florida-Palm Beach chapter is launching the new event at 6 p.m. on Nov. 15 at the Old School Square Fieldhouse.

The night is all about Delray as the event features local food, local fashion and is the brainchild of Delray resident Jessie Gardner and her husband Chris. Their son Reilly, 4, has cystic fibrosis.

Jessie Gardner said she moved her family to Delray nearly two years ago from Charlotte, NC, after a health care provider told her living close to the salty air would help prolong her son’s life.

Cystic Fibrosis is a complex, genetic disease that impacts the lungs and digestive system and progressively limits the ability to breathe.

After searching for a new home along the East coast, the family found Delray.

She said her son loves the beach and she finds herself taking him to breathe in that salty air at least twice a week.

Once she settled into Delray and found doctors for her son at St. Mary’s Medical, she learned about the West Palm Beach chapter of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

She said their events were lacking and knew there was an opportunity to put her public relations and event planning to work. She was involved with the chapter back in Charlotte and served on committees that hosted galas and events.

Her goal with this event is to target millennials.

“They want an event that’s not like their parents,” she said.

So, she got to work creating an event that is engaging, fun and raises money for a good cause.

The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation is the world’s leader in the search for a cure for cystic fibrosis. The Foundation funds more CF research than any other organization, and nearly every CF drug available today was made possible because of foundation support.

Justin Vallee, an artist from Wynwood, will be on hand to create live art and guests can bid on his works.

Three food stations will be supplied by Jimmy’s Bistro, La Cigale and an ice cream and sorbet bar by Proper Ice Cream. Local boutiques Periwinkle, Coco and Morley will have fashion on display. There will be live music and a live and silent auction.

“All the money raised is going back to research,” she said.

It is the research that is what helps keep her son healthy. She said he was diagnosed with the progressive, genetic disease at 21 days old thanks to newborn screen testing.

Because of the early testing, he was able to start taking medications right away.

“The first year, of course, was a whirlwind,” she said.

Looking at Reilly, you may not know something is medically wrong, she said.

“He is all boy,” she said. “He is vibrant. He is just like any other child, so I am grateful for that.”

But behind the scenes, he is taking 700 pills a month, nine different medications, going through treatment twice a day and having blood drawn every three months.

“It’s a progressive disease and we are trying to not let it progress,” she said. “He has good doctors and the foundation has done an amazing job.”

Chairmen for 65 Roses Evening on the Ave are Jessie Gardner and Heather Marineau and committee members include Kayla Caldwell, Lauren Donald, Chris Gardner, Veronica Hirsch, Alethea Hutchings, Julie Peyton, Amy Widis and Dennis Yarbrough. Presenting sponsor is CDS Group Holdings, LLC, and other sponsors include Bond Street/Under the Sun, Premier Estate Properties and RespirTech.

Tickets cost $175 per person. For tickets and information about 65 Roses Evening on the Ave, call 561.683.9965 or visit https://events.cff.org/65rosesontheave.