In the world of public relations, corporate social responsibility plays an important role in most business plans, and I am fortunate to know so many business leaders who want to give back to the community in whatever way they can. When it all comes together, it is a beautiful thing to be a part of — the feeling of doing good and doing right crosses all boundaries, brings people together, and elevates the moment beyond a typical business event. Just this past Saturday, for example, I attended the Survivor Breakfast hosted by our local affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure at Vi at Bentley Village in North Naples. It was a perfect Southwest Florida day, and more than 250 people attended.The team at Vi at Bentley Village was amazing. Besides the warm welcome, moving words and bountiful breakfast, the attention to detail was commensurate with their compassion and dedication to the cause. David Schini, Director of Food and Beverage, and John Maguire, Assistant Director of Dining Services, coordinated the wait staff to wear pink bowties. The impeccable table settings matched the theme, and so did the cuisine. Executive chef extraordinaire Ed Padden cooked up a fantastic breakfast menu, both healthy and delicious — and even the sticky buns were pink!
Adding to the sense of community spirit, meteorologist and local NBC-2 news celebrity Robert Van WInkle was a lively and compassionate master of ceremonies, creating an upbeat note to the event. NBC-2 has always been an avid Komen supporter and major sponsor, providing media coverage and public service announcements throughout the year.
Breakfast guests also had the opportunity to enter to win a Ford Fusion Hybrid — part of major sponsor Ford’s commitment to “Think Pink & Drive Green.” Our community’s own Sam Galloway Ford goes above and beyond their corporate commitment, not only with their support of Race for the Cure, but their donation of $20 for each entry up to $20,000.
In spite of the seriousness of the issue, the Survivor breakfast offered a sense of hope and optimism to those who attended, especially recognition of long term survivors — one more than 37 years past her breast cancer surgery.
More than anything, I felt gratitude to those in both the business and residential communities who supported this event in such a heartfelt and genuine way — it was a good day to be a Southwest Floridian.