At the Big Brothers Big Sisters Chocolate, Champagne & Chefs event last Monday evening, Vero’s philanthropic season kicked into high gear with a delicious dinner, decadent desserts and deserving honorees, Dale and Matilde Sorensen.
“Well, we’re still here after 11 years of overdosing on chocolate,” said event creator Joanna Meyers, welcoming the large crowd. “Over the years, your generous support has helped Big Brothers Big Sisters to defend the potential of over 5,000 children in Indian River County. That is a lot of children that now have a much better chance to live a life of success and happiness.”
Stacey Watson-Mesley, Big Brothers Big Sisters CEO, explained that they like to think of mentors as defenders of children’s potential.
She asked the roomful of successful individuals to consider where they would be had they not had a mentor – such a parent, teacher, friend or colleague – who at some point hadn’t said to them, ‘I’ll show you the way.’ “And then, I ask you to think about this. When we imagine that person who protected our own potential, can you be that for someone else.”
Watson-Mesley said that at Big Brothers Big Sisters they work to “ignite, inspire and defend the power and promise of youth.” She said this past year, almost 600 children were served in Indian River County alone; 1,700 overall in the tri-county area that includes St. Lucie and Okeechobee counties.
Georgann Schreiber, chair of the IRC advisory board, introduced honorees Dale and Matilde Sorensen, owners of Dale Sorensen Real Estate, noting that they are as well known in the community for their business acumen as for their philanthropy.
“Even their company cultivates a culture of giving; donating hundreds of volunteer hours and hundreds of thousands of dollars,” said Schreiber. “They’ve been very generous to Big Brothers Big Sisters over the years and we’re extremely grateful for that.”
“Matilde and I are very humbled by this honor and we are very privileged to be able to support a wonderful organization such as this,” said Sorensen in thanks.
After a superb dinner by Quail Valley Executive Chef Joe Faria, attorney John Moore introduced the talented chefs who had donated the sinfully delicious, chocolaty desserts as well as raffle items. This year’s treats were prepared by Chefs Tim Blouin, Grand Harbor Club; Adrienne Drew, Catering by Adrienne Drew; Roteshia Joseph, Sugar Lumpz; Gerard Torre, Quail Valley River Club; Lori Young, Sweet Creations by LS Young; and Scott Varricchio, Citrus.
Moore sweetened the deal by presiding over a live auction, which concluded with an impassioned plea by board chairman Brad Lorimer for contributions toward shiny new bicycles and helmets.
“These kids come from poverty and what we try to do is bring some joy to their lives,” said Lorimer.
“You can help change a kid’s life just with the confidence that comes with having their own bicycle,” added Moore.