Five hundred rockers, most clad in leather and lace, celebrated the history of rock-and-roll at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Déjà Vu Rock Republic: A Tribute to Hard Rock, presented by Publix Super Markets Charities. Déjà Vu, featuring former Journey frontman Steve Augeri, raised $346,285 –up $40,000 from last year’s gala – all benefiting Big Brothers Big Sisters of Broward County.
“We’re just thrilled with the success of our signature Déjà Vu event, thanks to our fabulous community partners and committed supporters,” said Ana Cedeño, CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Broward County. “We were sold out with 500 guests, plus we sold every item in our action, a total of 118 items, as well as 47 guitars signed by Steve Augeri, who played an amazing set of Journey songs.”
Augeri rocked the night at “A Night of Journey” including hits “Don’t Stop Believin’,” “Any Way You Want It,” “Wheel in the Sky,” and “Lights.” In addition to the iconic music of Journey, the Déjà Vu featured the ever-popular Shane Duncan/All Access Band, who played the top rock hits from the 80s to today.
The hard-hitting rock music was set against a backdrop of colorful lights, table-top guitar displays, a black-lit auction area with sporadic live entertainment, and creatively costumed guests – from Slash and Jimi Hendrix to John Lennon and Lady Gaga.
The event also featured Nerissa Street, Bethune Elementary School of the Arts’ Drama Director, who was a Little Sister as a child. She shared her compelling experience as a “Little” and brought the audience of 500 to their feet in celebration. Plus, Déjà Vu recognized a group of honorees who continually show support and commitment to the Big Brothers Big Sisters organization and its mission of providing kids facing adversity with lifechanging mentoring relationships. They included:
Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, Visionary Corporation of the Year: Hard Rock’s support of Big Brothers Big Sisters illustrates its mission to “do well by doing good” in its local and global communities. As of 2014, Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood had supported hundreds of charities and community organizations contributing nearly $16 million in sponsorships and donations.
Chad Van Horn, Child Advocate of the Year: Attorney Chad Van Horn has mentored Little Brother Desmond, 17, for the past six years as part of the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Broward program. Van Horn has served on Big Brothers Big Sisters’ board of directors for five years, was named 2017 State of Florida Big of the Year and has provided significant financial and volunteer support to the organization. Van Horn is the founding partner of Van Horn Law Group, P.A., which helps individuals and businesses effectively navigate through bankruptcy and deal with the pressures of debt, foreclosure and loss.
Malena Mendez-Dorn, Champion for Children: Mendez-Dorn, director of corporate partnerships at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts and a longtime supporter of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Broward, is a charter member of Big Brothers Big Sisters’ Women on the Verge support group. She captured the title “Woman on the Verge” at the LittleBig GlamSlam Fashion Show this summer for being the top model fundraiser at the event. She also is involved in Leadership Broward, the Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance, the Fort Lauderdale Chamber of Commerce and Hispanic Unity of South Florida. She was named a Hispanic Women of Distinction and March of Dimes Woman of Distinction, was recognized by the 100 Women of Broward, and received the Diamante Award of Broward.
Financial supporters of the event, in addition to Title sponsor Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino and Presenting sponsor Publix Super Markets Charities included Diamond sponsors Sixth Star Entertainment, iHeart Media, JM Family Enterprises and Publix. PCA came in as a Platinum sponsor and Gold sponsors included Apotex, Bank of America, Boost Creative Marketing, Comcast, Crowe Horwath, Gables Engineering, Marketing Matters, Ultimate Software, Van Horn Law Group, Wells Fargo and WSVN.