FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Dr. Elizabeth King
FORT LAUDERDALE, FL (Nov. 7, 2014) – They say “It Takes a Village…” and that time-honored phrase is the inspiration for “John and Elizabeth’s 13th Annual Toy Drive and Fundraiser Cocktail Reception to benefit Big Mama’s Team of Life” scheduled to take place on Thursday, December 11, 2014 at the Hilton Fort Lauderdale Beach Resort. The lauded event has become an established holiday tradition. At the helm of that “village” is a group of local leaders who have come together to make it happen.
This initiative founded by philanthropists, John Weaver, highly regarded Fort Lauderdale real estate professional and president of the Central Beach Alliance, and his wife, Dr. Elizabeth King, internationally recognized health and wellness expert, author and business woman will benefit Essie Reed’s “Big Mama” Team of Life Inc., a 501c3 non-profit, grass-root organization.
Reed has selflessly volunteered her time and service to her community for over 30 years. She created Team of Life to help others in need with a selfless passion for excellence in education, social advancement, and community involvement.
Weaver and Dr. King have assisted Big Mama with the toy drive and fundraiser since its humble inception. The event began as a cocktail party in the benevolent couple’s own home in which they invited close friends and family and encouraged their guests to bring a toy to donate to the cause.
It continued to grow exponentially each year, with an ever-increasing number of influential leaders and dignitaries eager to get on board to help. It’s grown to the degree that they now have to enlist major venues to hold the group for the charitable evening as well as secure a location large enough to hold the impressive amount of donations.
Weaver and Dr. King are excited to see that the Holiday Toy Drive and Fundraiser has taken on such a high-profile and has attracted some major sponsors that have since joined them on their mission.
The Hilton Fort Lauderdale Beach Resort located at 505 N. Fort Lauderdale Beach Blvd, Fort Lauderdale is giving back to their community in a big way for the 3rd year in a row by sponsoring this entire event. Because of their generosity, 100 percent of the proceeds of this year’s event will be donated to Team of Life.
Other main sponsors include the Women’s International Holistic Council (WIHC), a 501 c(3) non-profit organization, Suits, Stiletto’s and Lipstick (SSL) and International Holistic Center, all three companies were founded by Dr. Elizabeth King.
The Las Olas Beach Club (LOBC) Condominium is another major sponsor that will house all of the toys collected from November 28th to December 15th in their grand
lobby under the holiday tree until they are ready for distribution. The residents of LOBC have opened their door and heart for the past 7 years.
Chris Chambers, Catch84, Rotary Club of Plantation and Condos for Kids
101.5 Lite FM has confirmed that they will for the second year support the cause by being a media partner. Local celebrity, Julie Guy from the Morning Show will be serving as the event emcee.
The cocktail reception will feature dancing to live music by well-known South Florida musicians Leo Casino and singer, Melissa “Moonchild” Stokes, a silent auction, open bar and refreshments for their guests.
Thirty years ago, when Big Mama started giving food and spiritual guidance to the kids in her neighborhood, she did it all alone. She and her three sons lived in the family’s fish market and slept on bare concrete floors, but even then, she helped others by sharing what little she had.
“I know firsthand what it’s like to have nothing while trying to raise your kids,” Big Mama said.
Last year’s party brought over 300 dignitaries, business leaders and community- minded individuals together to collect 4,000 toys and over $15,000. The money raised will help support Big Mama’s Team of Life community center and year-round programs for children and their families. Big Mama provides backpacks, school supplies, clothes and food for underprivileged families in Broward, Dade and Palm Beach counties.
This huge effort truly requires the help of “the village”. While there are several volunteers and sponsors lined up, additional support is needed to make it a total success and the organizers are seeking items for a silent auction as well.
Donations are being accepted through December 11th. Contributions of toys and money (make checks out to the Women’s International Holistic Council) can be dropped off at the International Holistic Center, 4640 N. Federal Highway, Suite F, Fort Lauderdale. To purchase a ticket and pre-register for the event, please go to www.WIHCwow.org.