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December 04, 2009 - "Tis the Season" with PINION for a "Holiday by Design"

Where: Baker, Knapp and Tubbs Furniture Showroom in the DCOTA

When: Friday, December 4, 2009

Beneficiary: PINION, Inc.

Gala Chairperson(s): Alice Harry & Mirtha Toledo-Hackley

Co-Chair(s): Valerie Kowanetz, Cuisine Chair

President(s): Terry Witcher

Catering: Chef Gregg Salman and the McFatter Culinary School

Entertainment: Topazz Entertainment

Sponsors: CHAMPION: Broward Health - TITANIUM: Birgit Fillingame & Roy F. Johns, Jr. Family Foundation - PLATINUM: Freshpoint South Florida & Robert O. Law Foundation - GOLD: Adorno & Yoss, LLP, John E. & Nellie J. Bastein Memorial Foundation, Ed Bestoso, Valerie and Charles Kowanetz, Schmidt Family Foundation, Wal-Mart Foundation - SILVER: Anthony Electric Services/Tony Barrow, Barbara Riggs Brown Foundation, Marian & Bobby DeLoach, Florida Gold Coast Electrical Contractors, Inc., Gibraltar Private Bank, Holland Sheltair Aviation Group/Lois and John Schmatz, Koutoulas & Relis, LLC, Kraeer/Becker Funeral Homes/Pam and Steve Nowatka, Lori Lincoln & Topazz Entertainment/Tony Rao


Board of Directors: PRESIDENT: Terry Witcher - PRESIDENT ELECT: Mirtha Toledo-Hackley - V.P. FUND DEVELOPMENT: Christine Hurlock & Marian McCray-DeLoach - V.P. MEMBERSHIP: Barbara Corrao - V.P. NEWSLETTER: Debra Lieberman - V.P. PUBLICITY: Lisa Scott-Founds - SECRETARY: Lori Lincoln - TREASURER: Sandy Clobus - PAST PRESIDENT: Linda Spaulding White - BOARD: Anne Allen, Sylvia Andis, Nancy Block, Jane Brand-Eagon, Janea Caldarone, Linda Danoff, Linda Eckert, Billie Sue Engel, Birgit Fillingame, Leslie Fischer, Alice Harry, Patricia Kearson, Valerie Kowanetz, Jacki Liszak-May, Sonja Mayo, Kitty McGowan, Pam Nowatka, Lee Sheffield, Arlette Spilotros-Spaniak & Wendy Walters - ADVISORY COUNCIL: Lynda Amorello, Grace Antonello, Kim Bentley, Teresa Plotkin, Laurie Sallarulo & Lois Schmatz

Blacktie Photos by: Jason Leidy, Go Riverwalk

The Blacktie Photo Gallery is sponsored by:


            FORT LAUDERDALE, BROWARD COUNTY, FLORIDA -- PINION, Inc benefiting Special Olympics Broward County and its Athletes, celebrated with over 250 guests at its annual holiday event themed Holidays by Design. The soiree, held at the Baker, Knapp and Tubbs Furniture Showroom in the DesignCenter of the Americas (DCOTA),  raised $70,000 for Special Olympics.

            The Showroom was beautifully decorated in “Design theme” with banks of poinsettias welcoming the guests to the elegantly appointed  Baker furniture Showroom. and towering arrangements of holly berry branches scattered through out enhancing the already beautiful showroom. Ellen Kann, Baker Showroom Manager, was thrilled with the response from the event and commented, “Baker Furniture, and our parent company, Kohler, believe in giving back to the community and through our involvement with this Pinion event and Special Olympics we had the ability to use what we know and love - beautifully crafted furniture to create an elegant setting and a memorable evening to support a fabulous cause.”  

The evening featured signature hors d'oeuvres and a delectable buffet with live culinary creations by Chef Gregg Salman and the McFatter Culinary School with foods donated by Freshpoint South Florida. Guests got into the holiday spirit as they shopped the bountiful silent auction which featured trips, sports tickets, memorabilia, luxury purses, amazing gift baskets and jewelry by Jon Paul Jewelers all while listening to the popular sounds of Topazz Entertainment.



            An event of this magnitude takes a powerful committee and many thanks go out to the efforts of Anne Ahrens, Nancy Block, Jane Brand-Eagon, Sandy Clobus, Barbara Corrao, Linda Danoff, Billie Sue Engle, Christine Hurlock, Patricia Kearson, Debra Lievberman, Jacki Liszak-May, Lori Lincoln, Sonja Mayo, Marian McCray-DeLoach, Linda Mills, Pam Nowatka, Sonja Mayo, Valerie Peru, Linda Spaulding-White, and Wendy Walters and President, Terry Witcher.

Co-Chair, Alice Harry, said,  “ this event was a different direction from our usual Holiday Party. We normally choose a private home for our location. We wanted to offer our guests something new and different.  The Baker showroom allowed our guests the new and the different while at the same time enjoying the comfort of being in a home. Everyone had a great time!"


Pinion, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) all volunteer organization formed to raise funds solely for SpecialOlympicsBrowardCounty through grants, corporate sponsorships and fundraising events.  Through Pinion’s efforts over $1,445,000 has been raised for SpecialOlympicsBrowardCounty since 1991.


            Major Sponsors included Broward Health, Birgit Fillingame, Roy F. Johns, Jr. Family Foundation, Freshpoint South Florida, and Robert O. Law Foundation. The event chairs Mirtha Toledo-Hackley and Alice Harry were complimented by the efforts of Cuisine Chair, Valerie Kowanetz and the PINION Board of Directors who helped create an amazing Silent Auction! Helpful assistance from local high school volunteers and Special Olympians made the event that more exceptional.

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