The ‘80s-themed “I Want My Déjà Vu” ball, hosted by Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, attracted 500 guests and raised $306,450 for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Broward County. The event celebrated the over-the-top style, funky eccentricities and pop music of the era, set against a dazzling array of neon and bright lights.
“Déjà Vu is known for its extravagant production, exceptional entertainment and a ridiculous amount of fun,” said Ana Cedeño, CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Broward County. “This year, thanks to Marquee Sponsor Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, Production/Entertainment Sponsor Sixth Star Entertainment, and Title Sponsor Wells Fargo, we outdid ourselves. It truly was ‘rad’ in every sense of the word.”
The centerpiece of the event was a performance by Starship’s Mickey Thomas with special guest Stephanie Calvert. Thomas’ legendary music, from “We Build this City” to ““Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now,” was complimented by a live ‘80s band rocking tunes like “I Love Rock and Roll” and “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun.”
The “bigness” of the decade was brought to life by larger-than-life details, including an elaborately outfitted woman positioned in a 30-foot dress that dripped alcoholic shooters for guests, acrobats dangling from the ceiling, and a Whitney Houston imitator belting out the diva’s famous songs. Rubik’s Cubes and Pac Men served as a backdrop for enthusiastic guests who attended as fingerless-gloved Madonna, striped-jacketed Beetlejuice, short-shorted Richard Simmons, top-hat-wearing Slash, and pastel-suited Miami Vice detectives, among many others.
While nostalgic fun ruled the evening, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Broward County showcased its mission of providing children with life-changing mentoring relationships. Organization leaders spoke to the need for additional funding and volunteer mentors and gave special recognition to outstanding members in the community who have gone above and beyond to support the nonprofit. Those recognized were:
Ana M. Valladares, Child Advocate of the Year: Entrepreneur, nonprofit leader and community activist, Valladares, developed and launched the one-of-a-kind mentoring program, “Mujers Latinas Impulsando Mujers Latinas” (Latin Women Empowering Latin Women), in partnership with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Broward. The successful program helps Latina girls become integral contributors to the U.S. socio-economic system, while retaining their values and cultural heritage through mentoring relationships with Professional Latina Women at Indian Ridge Middle School.
Valladares, a Weston resident, is a longtime advocate for children. She founded the ESOL parent advisory committee for Broward County Schools with the goal of improving the quality of program instruction and services. She also was appointed by two Florida governors to serve as a member of the Children’s Services Council of Broward County. A recipient of the Children’s Consortium of Broward’s Heart Award and honored as a Broward Hispanic Woman of Distinction, Valladares also serves on the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of Southern Florida’s Leadership Council, has served as the Broward Immigration Coalition’s co-chair, and has been involved with Broward’s Legislative Agenda through Broward Days.
David Greenberger, Champion for Children: Greenberger, CFO of SCG & Associates, has had a lifelong commitment to Big Brothers Big Sisters of Broward County. Over the last 28 years, Greenberger, a Plantation e resident, has been a Big Brother three times, spearheaded fundraising efforts for multiple events, including Taste of Fort Lauderdale, Bowl for Kids’ Sake and Swing for Kids’ Sake Golf Tournament, served for 16 years on the Big Brothers Big Sisters’ board of directors, including as board chair, and has made ongoing financial contributions both personally and through his company. He even met his wife, Dianne, while he was a volunteer and she worked for the agency. Greenberger was named a Points of Light award winner in 2006 for his outstanding volunteer efforts and had the opportunity to meet President George W. Bush.
Publix Super Markets Charities, 2016 Philanthropy Hall of Fame Award: Publix Super Markets Charities received the 2016 Philanthropy Hall of Fame Award for 50 years of philanthropic, community and volunteer investment in the South Florida community and beyond. The award celebrates the legacy and vision of George W. Jenkins, affectionately known as Mr. George, and his support of nonprofit organizations engaged in life-changing work, including organizations that offer programs and assistance to low- and moderate-income families and youth. Publix Super Markets Charities shines as the gold standard of corporate citizenship and truly strengthens the fabric of the South Florida community.
Wells Fargo, Visionary Corporation of the Year: Wells Fargo Bank’s extensive philanthropic, community and volunteer investment illustrates how the organization embraces its responsibility to Broward County and its residents. The organization helps create more resilient, sustainable communities through its support of programs benefiting low- and moderate- income individuals, families and youth, and initiatives supporting financial literacy like “Hands On Banking,” which opens up a world of understanding to young people. Big Brothers Big Sisters of Broward salutes Wells Fargo for supporting team members who serve on nonprofit boards, including Big Brothers Big Sisters locally and statewide. Ines Ross, Senior Vice President at Wells Fargo Bank, and William Saunderson, Jr., Financial Advisor and Branch Manager at Wells Fargo Advisors, provide exceptional leadership and guidance on the Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Broward County board of directors.
In addition to Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, Wells Fargo and Sixth Star Entertainment, sponsors of Déjà Vu included: Spirits Sponsor Republic National Distributing Company; Diamond Sponsors Comcast, iHeart Media (93.9MIA), JM Family Enterprises, Publix, and Publix Super Markets Charities; Platinum Sponsor PCA; Gold Sponsors AllPets Emporium, Bank of America, Gables Engineering, Marketing Matters, Ultimate Software, and Van Horn Law Group; Silver Sponsors Crowe Horwath, Stephens Distributing Company; and Bronze Sponsors Allrisks, Bahia Mar, Brock & Scott PLLC, Fanatics, The Loomis Company, Matthew J. Khan, Miller Construction Company, SCG & Associates, Servpro, and WSVN. South Florida Reporter, the Sunshine State’s go-to source for news and information, served as the media sponsor for the event.
About Big Brothers Big Sisters of Broward County
Déjà Vu is the signature fundraising event for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Broward County, which provides children facing adversity with strong and enduring, professionally supported, one-to-one mentoring relationships that change their lives for the better, forever. The organization partners with parents, guardians, volunteers and others in the community and holds itself accountable for each child in its program achieving: higher aspirations, greater confidence, better relationships, educational success and avoidance of risky behaviors. For more information, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 954-584-9990.