Building Hope Gala Donors to Continue Legacy of Giving

COCONUT CREEK, Fla. (Jan. 19, 2018)  Over 23 years, generous donors at Food For The Poor's Building Hope Gala in Boca Raton have changed lives and provided safe shelter for hundreds of destitute families in Haiti and Jamaica.

More than 1,500 housing units have been built in the two countries.

As the gala's name implies, attendees at this year's 23rd Annual Building Hope Gala on Feb. 3 at the Royal Palm Yacht & Country Club will be invited to continue that legacy of compassion by pledging to build homes to benefit the people of Boen, Haiti. A sell-out crowd of more than 350 guests is expected.

The area of Boen, Haiti, is in Ganthier on flat dirt plain, where 90 percent of the residents survive on less than $1 per day. The need in the rural community is dire as there is no access to clean water, electricity, sanitation and a sewage system.

"Many families live in disintegrating mud huts that allow rain to pour inside, quickly turning dirt floors into mud," said Food For The Poor President/CEO Robin Mahfood. "Imagine being afraid of the very structure that serves as your home. No one can fight poverty alone. Together, we can continue to improve the conditions of endangered communities, one family at a time."

The charity is honoring Adam Stewart, CD, Deputy Chairman and CEO of Sandals Resorts International and the ATL Group, with the Ambassador For The Poor Award, for his efforts to help the poor in Jamaica and the wider Caribbean through many educational and community initiatives.

Because of the generosity of Stewart and the Sandals Foundation, children at Seville Golden Pre-School are learning in new spacious classrooms and in a new building with bathrooms, kitchen and a resource center. When schools across the island faced a dire shortage of furniture, Sandals Foundation responded by donating 1,100 student desks and chairs.

The Foundation also has supported Food For The Poor-Jamaica's Christmas For The Classroom event, which raised funds to purchase additional student desks and chairs. And it has been an enthusiastic supporter of the charity's 5K Run/Walk in Jamaica since its inception in 2015 by being the first team to register and bring more than 50 participants.

Other partnerships between the two nonprofits include: Provision of furniture for Kings' Primary School and Flanker Resource Centre, and partnership on the Village Academy Agriculture School.

Stewart, who was born and raised in Jamaica, graduated from Florida International University's Hospitality Management Program in Miami. In 2009, he founded the Sandals Foundation, a nonprofit organization aimed at fulfilling the promise of the Caribbean community by improving lives and preserving its natural surroundings through investments in sustainable regional projects and programs in education, community and the environment. He is President of the Foundation's Board of Directors.

The gala will be a reunion for high school friends Stewart and Paige Kornblue, who is the gala's master of ceremonies for the second consecutive year. Both Stewart and Kornblue attended St. Andrew's School in Boca Raton.

Kornblue is a former anchor and reporter at WPTV Ch. 5, the NBC affiliate in West Palm Beach. She lives in Boca Raton with her husband Andrew N. Hunter and their three young children. In the past, she has enjoyed her role as an event emcee and volunteer for numerous organizations including The American Heart Association, American Cancer Society, Junior League of Boca Raton, Boca Raton Community Hospital and the Boca Raton Community Historical Society.

The 23rd Annual Building Hope Gala will begin with cocktails and a silent auction at 6:30 p.m., followed by dinner at 8. At the event, attendees will be able to bid on additional silent auction prizes, such as a ride on the Goodyear Blimp, electronics, jewelry, vacations, and golf and dining packages.

Committee members include: Noelle Kahan, chairwoman; Rene Mahfood and Anastasia Taglienti, executive committee; and Elena Del Alamo, Dawn DeMarco-Book, Marlene Ross Khouri, Ann Mahfood, Julie Mahfood, Kara Seelye, Renee Stetler, Joan Marie Veesaert and Patricia Wallace, host committee.

The Boca Raton Observer is the exclusive magazine sponsor.

Other Gala sponsors include: Aetna, American Nicaraguan Foundation, ARC Jamaica, Big Green Egg, CBIZ MHM, LLC, Coral Springs Auto Mall, Crowley Liner Services, Dennis Charley & Associates, Dixie Clamp & Scaffold, Downtown Photo, Goodyear Blimp, Carosa Furniture-Heleng International Co. Ltd., Infogroup Nonprofit Solutions, J. McLaughlin, J.R. Dunn Jewelers, Kelly Bean, Kendra Scott, MCFFE Group, LLC, Pinnacle Housing Group, Regal Products International Inc., RepowerIT, Russ Reid, Salem Media Group, The Sandals Foundation, Sandals Resorts International, Seaboard Marine, Signature Flight, The Harcourt M. and Virginia W. Sylvester Foundation, Tank Weld Metals, TD Bank, TeemLink, Two Brothers, The Calmark Group, Valerie Tyson Band, Victoria L. Burrier and WATA.

For additional information regarding the Building Hope Gala, including sponsorship opportunities, and tickets, available at $300 per person, please call Special Events Manager Marni Wyman at 954-427-2222 ext. 6854 or email at Or, please visit

Food For The Poor, one of the largest international relief and development organizations in the nation, does much more than feed millions of the hungry poor primarily in 17 countries of the Caribbean and Latin America. This interdenominational Christian ministry provides emergency relief assistance, clean water, medicines, educational materials, homes, support for orphans and the aged, skills training and micro-enterprise development assistance. Over the last 10 years, fundraising and other administrative costs averaged less than 5% of our expenses; more than 95% of all donations went directly to programs that help the poor. For more information, please visit

Michael Turnbell

Public Relations
954-427-2222 x 6054