Key Biscayne

Key Biscayne women raise money for children throughout Miami-Dade County

The women of the Key Biscayne Women's Giving Circle. From left to right: Joanne Goldfarb, Joan McCaughn, Frances Gaynes, Barbara Thrasher, Harriet Stein, Marilyn Levin, Iris Fisher, Julie Flik and Paula Festa.
The women of the Key Biscayne Women's Giving Circle. From left to right: Joanne Goldfarb, Joan McCaughn, Frances Gaynes, Barbara Thrasher, Harriet Stein, Marilyn Levin, Iris Fisher, Julie Flik and Paula Festa. Photo provided by the Key Biscayne Women's Giving Circle

The women of the Key Biscayne Women’s Giving Circle — who have raised over $150,000 for local charities — will celebrate 10 years of philanthropy at a luncheon event on March 2.

The event also will honor Key Biscayne Police Chief Charles Press for his work helping children in Liberty City, and for his role in Key Biscayne being named the safest city in Florida recently.

“We are very fortunate and to be able to give back is something very special,” said Marilyn Levin, one of the founders of the group.

Most of the women live in other cities for the majority of the year and come to Key Biscayne during the winter months. “Many of us are snowbirds and we didn’t feel that you could live here for three or six months and not give back to the community,” said Harriet Stein, a member of the circle.

The women said they’ve raised over $20,000 so far this year and expect to raise more. The money will be divided among 10 organizations in honor of the group’s 10th anniversary.

The charities they’re donating to all focus on helping women and children.

“We think that they’re the most in need,” Stein said. “There are women who are supporting families by themselves, women that are homeless and children who are really struggling. We find that when we give to an organization that’s supporting children, we’re really almost guaranteeing that this child is going to have a life after that.”

The organizations that they’re donating to this year are Communities In Schools of Miami, EducateTomorrow, City Theatre, Greater Miami and South Florida Youth and Community, Guitars over Guns, Marjory Stoneman Douglas Biscayne Nature Center, Miami Children’s Initiative, Miami Music Project and Seraphic Fire Youth Initiative.

Rather than giving money directly to the nonprofits, the women use the money they receive from ticket sales to the luncheon and other donations to buy items the charities need. Each charity sends them a wish list and they purchase items on it based on how much they raise that year.

“We don’t give money to organizations because we don’t want it to go to administrative costs,” Stein said. “We check on every organization and see how much of their budget is going to administrative costs. If that number is too high, then that would eliminate them.”

Some of the items they’ve donated in the past include musical instruments, sports equipment, and school and art supplies.

There will be a video at the luncheon featuring interviews with the three founders of the circle, and representatives from the nonprofit will speak about what their organizations do. There will also be performances by children from the Miami Music Project and actors from City Theatre.

“It’s good to have people actually visualize what we’re doing,” said Frances Gaynes, a member of the group.

The women also said having the children perform boosts their confidence.

“We’re trying to give children in underserved areas something to feel proud about,” said Stein. “Something to build their self-esteem, something to keep them in school.”

If you go

▪ What: Key Biscayne Women’s Giving Circle luncheon

▪ When: 2 to 4 p.m. Thursday

▪ Where: The Ocean Club, 795 Crandon Blvd., Key Biscayne.

▪ Tickets: Available until Feb. 27 for $150 each.

For more information, contact info@keybiscaynefoundation.org or 305-361-2770.

  Comments