It’s inspiring to see young entrepreneurs and professionals in South Florida, and even more inspiring seeing them give back to the community. Lais Pontes, founder of the Pontes Group and Chase Kulp, Associate for Jones Lang LaSalle, do just that. Take, for instance, the Hearts & Spades happy hour to benefit the South Florida Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Chapter. Both Pontes and Kulp will be hosting it at Vibe in Las Olas this Thursday.
“I truly believe in a life of reciprocity. Life is not about what others can do for you, but what you can do for others, your community and those around you,” said Pontes. “So in accepting my nomination as a Fort Lauderdale’s Finest Honoree and learning more about cystic fibrosis, the difficulty of living with it, and the remarkable progress the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation has made, I knew I had to help. This is a disease that children would not live to see the first day of kindergarten and now the median life expectancy is in the mid-30s thanks to the Foundation. There is promising research in progress and each dollar is one step closer to finding a cure.”
In fact, Pontes was so inspired to assist in this mission that she developed the #65for65Roses campaign. The name of the campaign is titled 65 Roses due to the nickname young children give to cystic fibrosis, as it is much easier for them to pronounce. Her goal was to secure 65 donations of $65, but she exceeded it by reaching 70 donations for a total of $4,600. Kulp has raised $2200 to date.
"It is truly inspiring to work with such a great group of young professionals who are active in our community that have joined together for a wonderful cause,” said Kulp. “The CFF mission of finding a cure and raising awareness have been represented through the fundraising efforts this group has accomplished. It also shows that the future of our community is in good hands as the next generation of leaders in Fort Lauderdale are determined to make a difference.”
Guests at the Hearts & Spades happy hour will enjoy food, music, and the chance to win a slew of raffle prizes. Food at the event will be provided by YOLO and includes their szehuan calamari made in garlic chili sauce with peanuts and sesame seeds, bowtie pasta in a mushroom cream sauce topped with fresh parmesan, and an array of seasonal fruit and cheeses. In addition, each guest will also receive a complimentary cocktail of choice.
In regards to raffle prizes, the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino have sponsored and donated prizes for the “Deck Raffle”, which includes a 1-night stay at their hotel and a $150 gift certificate to KURO, their new Japanese restaurant that features contemporary artisanal dishes. Guests can also purchase an actual card from a deck for $15 each. There is also a regular raffle featuring gift basket prizes from GBS, JM Lexus, the Capital Grille, gift cards from S3, Beauty & the Feast and more.
The dress code for the evening is red and black. When asked about the color choice for attire, Pontes explained, “We wanted to do something around the red theme to tie-back in with 65 Roses, what young children suffering from the disease often call it. So we decided on a black and red color scheme which led into the Hearts & Spades concept. There are lots of happy hour fundraisers; this is our way of adding a little something extra to keep it interesting.”
Needless to say, employees of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation in South Florida are more than just pleased with the efforts. “I’m so excited at how involved and inspired this year’s honorees have been,” said Stephanie Wilson, Development Director. “With events such as Hearts & Spades, our honorees are blowing their fundraising goals out of the water!” With that positive attitude and May being Cystic Fibrosis Month, how can you not show support?
Hearts & Spades fundraiser. 6 :30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. Thursday, May 21 at Vibe. 301 E Las Olas Blvd, Fort Lauderdale. Admission can be pre-purchased online on EventBrite.com for $25 or at the door for $30. Raffle tickets can also be purchased online for the Deck Raffle. Visit Facebook.