Books, Bellinis & Bel Canto benefiting EW Foundation held at Cafe Boulud. Photos by CAPEHART

EWF Demonstrates Strength as a Nonprofit and a Harbinger of Things to Come

Palm Beach, Florida – EW Foundation, an educational nonprofit for children and youth, celebrated another year’s success with an enchanting musical brunch, BOOKS, BELLINIS & BEL CANTO, held on Sunday, February 7, 2016 at Café Boulud in Palm Beach, Florida.

Nearly a hundred supporters attended EWF’s fundraiser sponsored by Arthur E. Benjamin Foundation, Laurie A. Rumbaugh Family Foundation, BMO Private Bank, Daniella Ortiz, Gregory D. Albert, MD, BreakThru Beverage Group, Josephine Linder du Pont Bayard, Provident Jewelry, La Casa Hermosa, Irene Lummertz, MindiCorp, MontBlanc, Roberta Roller Rabbit and others.

Honorary Chair Gail Worth, Chair India Paul Hancock and Founder Loretta Neff hosted the Italian-themed event replete with a bellini reception on the terrazza followed by a seated Mediterranean style brunch. Vosges Haut-Chocolat Piemonte hazelnut truffles and signed copies of Great Get Togethers authored by Guest of Honor Lizzie Post, the great-great granddaughter of Emily Post, made a sweet ending to a book-driven event. Classically trained EWF Ambassadors, Anne-Marie Campbell and Summer Foley, performed famous arias of POPera and gave stellar performances.

Designed to reach the most vulnerable children and provide pathways for their success, the event specifically raised funds for outreach programs and book provision to low-income communities. A unique opportunity for donors to directly underwrite a book, class, grade, or primary school—with the option to facilitate the story time and book signing—replaced a traditional silent auction.

In the first year, EWF benefitted 3,000 children with their award winning character education programs and provided author visits and signed copies of their first book, Tame Your Manners, to seven (7) academies and schools and nine (9) charities. Having almost doubled their metrics to date, EWF is well on track to reach their goal to benefit 10,000 children in 2015-16.

Ms. Neff frequently highlights the importance of character education in early childhood development by citing compelling data from Journals of Character Education and Public Health, Dr. Michele Borba, Robert John Wood Foundation and her personal favorite, Paul Tough’s NY Times bestselling book, HOW CHILDREN SUCCEED, which suggests, “Character rather than cognition is central to a child’s future success.”

EWF’s book programs serve a dual purpose in these schools (where the unfortunate ratio of available books is nearly 1 for every 300 children), first by providing access to books needed to develop a love of reading, and second, by providing tools to develop valuable social skills to create a very powerful combination for a lifetime.

Rounding out the brunch, Ms. Neff shared a dialogue held between an elementary student and NY Times Children’s Author Mac Barnett during story time at a Title 1 School, in which a boy surprises Mr. Barnett in asking if he could keep the copy of his book. The student was accustomed to having use of books in the classroom, but not one to call his own and take home.

The heartfelt story provided a powerful message about the value books can provide to children and families in underserved communities. Ms. Neff emphasized that most of us own numerous books, even extensive libraries, but for many children in our society, the luxury of having a book of their own is a mere wish—granting wishes for book provision is central to EWF’s mission.

Summer Foley, a musical theatre major at Boston Conservatory, closed the event with a bubbly performance of Judy Garland’s “Somewhere over the Rainbow”, illustrating the “edutainment” style EWF has successfully incorporated into its KAMP curriculum and community outreach.

Ms. Neff’s first book, TAME YOUR MANNERS: at KAMP® Safari (Kids’ Animals & Manners Program) Safari, released late March 2014, received coveted reviews and continues to charm the hearts of critics and readers alike.

SIP TEA WITH MAD HATTER at KAMP® (Kids’ Arts & Manners Program), Ms. Neff’s second book, will release this fall and be another delightful concept for introducing children to core values and tea manners. The book will challenge kids to “Think outside the rabbit hole.” An adventure you don’t want to miss!

EWF gives all net proceeds from its books and programs back to its collaborative partners and the community, and has set its 2015-16 goal to reach more than 10,000 youth with its care, commitment, and resources.

To underwrite our books and champion character education and literacy in your school or organization, please contact us at [email protected] or 561.833.0131.