Wellington, Florida – Over 650 guests attended the annual JustWorld International fundraiser held Friday, January 21, 2011, in Wellington, Florida, to help raise $238,565 for the not-for-profit, humanitarian organization working as a catalyst for positive change in the developing world through education and nutrition programs for impoverished children.
Olympic gold medalists joined local dignitaries and foreign guests at this year’s fundraising event held at Maria Newman’s Belle Herbe Farm. Managed by Dazzle Creative Events and entitled “A Night in Paris,” the event took place in the presence of the Consul General of France in Miami and Mrs. Gael de Maisonneuve. Event sponsor Whole Foods created sumptuous Parisian-inspired cuisine while Delray Wine Cellars provided the beverages which, of course, included champagne. A Parisian dance troupe performed numerous routines to the delight of the guests while official photographer Sportfot documented the evening’s special moments.
Jessica Newman, Executive Director of JustWorld International, welcomed guests to the event, and spoke about the progress JustWorld has achieved thanks to the strong support of the equestrian industry. Special guest, Juan Pablo Romero Fuentes of the Los Patojos project site in Guatemala, traveled to the U.S. – his first trip ever outside his home country, to speak to the enormous impact that JustWorld’s support has had on the lives of hundreds of children benefiting from the programs offered. Akaash Maharaj, Chief Executive Officer of Equine Canada, explained the important partnership between Canada’s national federation for equestrian sport and JustWorld, and encouraged others to follow Canada’s lead.
When the live auction got underway, the bidding was fierce on several unique items, including a one-week vacation stay in the exclusive Ile Saint-Louis in Paris which fetched $8,000, a signature barbeque dinner for 20 prepared by Olympic Gold Medalist Will Simpson which went to Alexis Stein for $7,000, and a VIP table at the 2011 Hampton Classic Horse Show that went to lucky bidder Barbara Borg for $6,100. The silent auction featured a wide variety of goods and services, including a June Harrah Lord antique won by Michael Smith for $4,500; a three-strand pearl necklace won by Barbara Curico; Voltaire custom riding boots won by Stephanie Tidball, and a three-course dinner catered by Chez Gourmet won by two-time Olympic Gold Medalist McLain Ward.
“I am overwhelmed by the outcome of the fundraiser,” said Newman, a former competitor who gave up her grand prix show jumping career to devote herself to JustWorld International. “We have an amazing team of staff, volunteers and ambassadors who all worked so hard to pull it together. To see so many wonderful people come together for a cause they believe in, and take personal responsibility to ensure its success, reminds me why we do this. To know how many thousands of children will live better lives thanks to the money raised at our event is most fulfilling emotion I could ever experience.”
The $238,565 in funds raised will support JustWorld’s activities and awareness for its project sites in Brazil, Cambodia, Guatemala, Honduras, and Senegal.
JustWorld would like to recognize and thank the following sponsors for their support of the 2011 event, including Gold sponsors Cloud Hill Farm, Jessica Newman, Maria Newman, The Jesse & Caryl Philips Foundation and Horseware Ireland. Bronze sponsors included The Bancalari Family, Georgina Bloomberg, Bur Oak, LLC & Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital, The Intracoastal Family Office at Capital Guardian, LLC, FTI Consulting, Ernest and Joan Kalman, The Kessler Family, The Morrissey Family, Rose Hill Farm and Warm Wind Farm. Thank you also goes to sponsor TripleCrown.
Founded in 2002, JustWorld International raises awareness and funds in the equestrian community to support humanitarian projects that benefit impoverished communities and children in the developing world. Cooperating with local partners, JustWorld International implements sustainable, culturally sensitive education, health, and vocational projects. For more information on JustWorld International, please visit www.justworldinternational.org.
Photos: Jessica Newman, Executive Director of JustWorld International, and Akaash Maharaj, Chief Executive Officer of Equine Canada, at the 2011 JustWorld fundraising event held January 21 in Wellington, FL.
Dancers perform at “A Night in Paris,” the 2011 JustWorld International fundraising event.
Photo Credits – Sportfot.com