Quail Valley hosts another successful Charity Cup Week

The Quail Valley Charity Cup Week culminated with a Grand Gala Cocktail Buffet, Auction and Awards Night that brought together supporters, participants, and representatives from each of the 21 non-profit organizations that the event will benefit.  Despite the Grand Gala designation, the atmosphere was relaxed and congenial, as guests reminisced about the various competitions and mingled with friends.

The original Quail Valley Charity Cup began as just a Golf Tournament.  It has since become a week-long event with a Tennis Tournament, Guest Chefs Dinner, 5K Run/Walk and Bridge Tournament, all aimed at involving as many people as possible.  Participation has always been open to non-club members, but this year there was a conscious effort to emphasize that point.

Event chair Wanda Lincoln, Kevin Given and the other committee people gave most of the credit for the event’s success to Martha Redner, Quail Valley Charity’s Executive Director.  “She’s the glue that holds the whole thing together,” said Lincoln.  “She’s incredibly thorough and can make things happen.” Committee member Joanna Meyers was also quick to praise the staff.  “The committee could never do this without the staff’s participation.  The department heads really take the responsibility to coordinate each event; they work really hard.”

Lincoln agreed adding, “Chef Joe Faria and his team do all the food at each of the events, including breakfast and lunch for tennis and golf, the runners had a huge buffet, and they did the Chefs Dinner, the Bridge Lunch and the Grand Gala.”

Trudie Rainone presided over a most impressive assortment of Silent and Live Auction items as well as the Ritzy Chances for Children bags raffled off at the Guest Chef Dinner.  When asked how she accumulated so many amazing items, she too credited Redner saying, “With her wonderful smile, when she asks Club members for donations it’s very difficult to say no.”

Despite the cold, rainy weather at the start of the week, 104 of the 170 registered participants made it out to the 5K Run/Walk, including an 88 year-old runner.  “A kid from the UK who was vacationing here won the race.  He didn’t think it was all that cold,” Lincoln said with a laugh.  On the other end of the spectrum, it turned out to be the best weather to date for the Golf Tournament.  “It’s been terrible every Golf Tournament.  One year it was so bad they didn’t even finish the game.”

Duplicate Bridge was added to the mix last year, chaired both times by Debbie Brower.  “Vero has one of the largest sanctioned Duplicate Bridge Clubs in the United States,” said Brower, referencing the Vero Beach Bridge Center.  “There’s a growing contingent at Quail Valley.  Jamie Portell, a bridge instructor and game director, started teaching lessons at Quail and the Club decided to offer bridge as one of the seasonal events.”  The tournament was so popular they overshot their initial goal of 100 players.

And, while donating the use of the golf course, tennis courts and clubhouses to the Charity Week may inconvenience the members somewhat, Kevin Given maintains it’s still a win-win situation.  “We like where we are now.  We want to get more member involvement and hope to reach out more to the community for additional participation.  We keep it focused on children because so many don’t have a voice or an advocate to stick up for them.”

The committee reviews proposals and hears oral presentations to determine which programs will be funded; all support children and education.  Each non-profit being supported provides a volunteer at an event and sells raffle tickets and tee signs.  “We value the organizations’ participation and want whoever we partner with that year to feel a part of it.  There’s no better way to feel a part of it than to work on the event,” said Lincoln.

Looking tired but happy toward the end of the evening, Steve Mulvey, Quail Valley Chief Executive Officer said he thought the event overall was spectacular.  “It’s a credit to the people of Vero Beach that they can support a charity of this magnitude.”

The frenetic pace of the activities this past week will all be worth it, as the numbers are tallied up in preparation for the check presentation in early March.  “The most rewarding thing is the check presentation; there’s just no doubt,” says Lincoln.  “In that little envelope is the money that’s going effect the kids in the county.” {igallery 134}

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