More than 1,000 supporters altogether attended a patrons’ reception and luncheon to support the Shelter for Abused Women and Children in Naples through its annual “Mending Broken Hearts with Hope Luncheon,” bringing the shelter much-needed revenue of close to $600,000.
“This 10th anniversary event has exceeded our expectations,” said a happy shelter executive director Linda Oberhaus, “and is clearly a result of more than two decades of meeting the needs of family violence victims in Collier County.”
This year, the Feb. 26 luncheon was at the Ritz-Carlton, Naples, and the patrons reception was hosted by Simone and Scott Lutgert at their home on the eve of the luncheon. Passed hors d’oeuvres and expansive buffets fueled spirited bidding on three live-auction items — an Asian cruise donated by Silversea and Preferred Travel, a yachting experience in Florida waters for three couples aboard a private 80-foot vessel and a diamond necklace valued at $14,000.
The $300-per-ticket luncheon drew 835 supporters who enjoyed shopping at the traditional Designer Boutique and bidding on nearly 150 silent auction items before a simple, two-course luncheon in the main ballroom. Favors were watches donated by Marissa Collections and gift bags from Chicos.
Chico’s, recognized as the shelter’s founding signature sponsor, donated a year-long “glamor” package valued at $15,000 that brought $14,000 at auction conducted by auctioneer Shirlene Elkins, assisted by Kellie Burns, NBC-2 anchor.
Co-chairs Lacey King and Bill O’Meara presided over the program, which included presentation of the Beau Venturi Peace Award; remarks by Cinny Murray, Chico’s Brand president; and a raffle drawing for items donated by DuFrane Jewelers and Robb & Stucky.
O’Meara joked “Fortunately Lacey’s a work horse.” But Lacey declared, “How wonderful it’s been to have a male perspective on what was formerly known as a women’s event. ”
Featured speaker was Victor Rivas Rivers, national spokesperson of the National Network to End Domestic Violence. The actor, author and former NFL offensive guard for the Miami Dolphins described his personal story of triumph over horrific child abuse and witnessing domestic violence on the level of torture by his father.
The luncheon and reception benefit the shelter’s comprehensive programs and services.