When it comes to raising money for charities, the honoring of popular individuals is a tried and true formula. But my favorite honorees are the ones chosen from within – a volunteer whose dedication may be witnessed only by their fellow supporters and volunteers.
Such was the case a couple of weeks ago when Tools For Tomorrow honored JennieInch, first Chairman of their VISIONARIES program which has raised over $300,000 in just 2 1/2 years.
The event covered all the bases: It was held in the breathtaking Bougainvillea room at Spencer’s where unlimited trays of those famous Spencer’s baby hot dogs were passed for hours, followed by the equally famous Spencer’s custom sliced prime rib sliders with homemade fries and potato chips. The theme was Musical Memories, featuring the band The Carmens, which had even the non-dancers on the floor, taking lessons from memorable dance fads like the Twist, Stroll and Hand Jive.
Alaina Bixon-DeMartini and Suzanne Fromkin were the CoChairs of the event and the fast-paced program featured words of praise for Jennie by Chairman Judith Antonio. Inch’s other quiet accomplishments for TFT include honoring Donna MacMillan and Harold Matzner at their first two lunches.
She also served as publicist and Ways & Means Major Gifts chair for The McCallum Muses for six years and has lent her skills to several other charities and nonprofits. Jennie and her husband Bob danced briefly to “Truly by Lionel Richey” , the same first-dance song from their wedding, 32 1/2 years ago.
Jennie spoke of her and Bob’s awesome family which includes 5 of their siblings, a blended family of 5 children, 12 grandchildren, 2 great grandchildren….many of whom were present!
Speaker Judith Antonio reminded the crowd of Jennie’s earlier accomplishments before moving to the desert, including her career as a professional dancer on stage and TV from the age of 3, and a successful PR agency owner in Orange County.
Jennie thanked Claire Smith, Founder of the VISIONARIES and Judith Antonio for their work on the event and in the TFT auxiliary.
The founder of Tools For Tomorrow, RachelDruten was present and reminded those at her table that the very first Tools For Tomorrow fundraiser was held at Spencer’s, some 17 years ago.
TFT sponsors professional teachers who conduct after-school programs in 15 local schools with 18 programs designed to bring out the artistic and cultural talents of children, especially those in at-risk situations.
The next TFT fundraiser will be its March 21 Future Awards Luncheon honoring Charlie Pasarell. $125. Phone 760-601-3954 or visit www.Toolsfortomorrow.org.