West Palm Beach, FL
11/21/2016 01:15 PM

Nearly 300 community leaders, sponsors, program participants and employees gathered Saturday, Nov. 12, at the Cohen Pavilion at the Kravis Center in celebration of Gulfstream Goodwill Industries’ 50th anniversary.


The anniversary gala began with a cocktail reception, during which guests mingled and marveled at a photo exhibit of archival images from the 1960s through today. Many took their turn for a photo in front of the event’s official backdrop.


Guests entered an elegantly appointed, blue uplit ballroom as images from throughout Gulfstream Goodwill’s 50-year history scrolled across two large screens. The Dee Dee Wilde Band played a cover of "We Are Family" by Sister Sledge as the video rolled on.


The song, as explained by Gulfstream Goodwill Industries president and CEO Marvin Tanck in his remarks later in the evening, was chosen by the non-profit organization’s Adult Day Training (ADT) Program participants as the theme song for their annual talent show. “It has become somewhat of an unofficial theme song for the entire organization,” Tanck said.


As guests enjoyed a three-course sit-down dinner, catered by The Breakers, they heard from several speakers.


Among those who have been helped by Gulfstream Goodwill’s programs and services is assistant administrator of St. Mary’s Medical Center and the Palm Beach Children's Hospital Don Chester.


“Goodwill is one of those organizations that is synonymous with quality of service to people,” Chester said. “Being asked to speak at the 50th anniversary of Gulfstream Goodwill Industries is truly one of the great honors of my life. I have the highest regard for the Goodwill staff and its volunteer leadership.” In his remarks, Chester noted he is “so very grateful” for the help he received from Gulfstream Goodwill after the 2004 accident that left him critically injured.


Following his personal story of being the first person who is blind to graduate with a master’s in business administration at Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration (Cambridge, Massachusetts) and difficulties finding work as a blind person, president and CEO of Goodwill Industries International Jim Gibbons spoke about Goodwill’s ability to help people reach their highest levels of personal and economic independence.


“You tell your kids to go clean their stuff out of the basement. You drop it off at Goodwill,” said Gibbons. “All of a sudden, that act that helps you helps others. Goodwill takes that and they turn it into value. They turn it into value for your community through direct employment of 1,200 people, and through services, more than 10,000 people, and they do it in a way that offers stability and sustainability in an extraordinarily powerful way.”


“Think about every time you drop something off,” he continued.” Think of that as an investment. Think differently. Are you just cleaning out your closets and dropping stuff off? Are you donating? Are you investing? Am I a donor? Or am I an investor of Goodwill? When you’re an investor you’re a part of the solution.”


Among those who also made remarks was Gulfstream Goodwill Industries board chairperson Denise McDonald, RN, CLNC. McDonald spoke of her interaction with Goodwill first as a nurse, and later as the mother of a student enrolled in the organization’s charter school for students with disabilities.


Tanck, who recently celebrated 42 years of service with the Goodwill family, 26 of which have been with Gulfstream Goodwill, was honored by Gibbons with an American flag made by workers with disabilities at Goodwill of South Florida for his many years of success at Goodwill.


Chester also presented Tanck with a “Making a Difference” keychain.


Tanck closed the program by calling guests to the dance floor to sing and dance to “We Are Family,” and they danced the night away.


The night was a heartwarming celebration of 50 years of providing opportunity, purpose and hope to our community by integrating people of diverse backgrounds and abilities.


Gulfstream Goodwill’s Deaf Services staff provided interpretation services for the Deaf and hard of hearing in attendance.


Gulfstream Goodwill Industries would like to thank event chairpersons Richard Rampell and Carol Roberts, and committee members Margaret Donnelley, Vincent Elhilow, Mark Foley, Dennis Grady, Denise McDonald, Bert Premuroso, Sophia Stone and Bonnie Weaver.



About Gulfstream Goodwill Industries:

For 50 years, Gulfstream Goodwill Industries has been a leading non-profit organization that assists people with disabilities and other barriers to employment to become self-sufficient, working members of our community. We provide more than two dozen health, human and social service programs for individuals in Palm Beach, Martin, St. Lucie, Indian River and Okeechobee Counties.
Jessica Winter
(561) 848-7200, ext. 3221
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