November weather in Wellington is magnificent, with beautiful, breezy days and brilliant, starry skies at night. It’s also the time clothing ensembles display the colors of proud reds and patriotic whites over blue jeans as the Wellington Community Foundation gears up for its growing tradition, the annual Red, White & Blue Jeans event.
This year, the Red, White & Blue Jeans fundraiser will once again be held at the Wellington National Golf Club on Friday, Nov. 9 from 6:30 to 10 p.m.
“We hold the event in November, so it is near Veterans Day,” explained Tom Wenham, chair of the Wellington Community Foundation. “It brings a lot of people together.”
The patriotic evening is where veterans and local heroes, their families and members of the Wellington community come together for a night of camaraderie, revelry, patriotism, charity, gratitude, good feelings and fun.
The Wellington Community Foundation is a nonprofit charitable organization committed to benefiting community residents by supporting and improving their quality of life, particularly for children, seniors and veterans.
Wenham, along with foundation board members attorney Mickey Smith of Lesser, Lesser, Landy & Smith and Robbin Lee, CEO of Wellington Regional Medical Center, are enthusiastic about the continued success of the November fundraiser, which has been growing each year.
The number of people in attendance last year was approximately 170. Although only begun two years ago, the event raised more than $55,000 last year — all of which is used to support those in the Wellington community.
Wenham explained that the 2018 edition is shaping up to be bigger, better and even more fun than its successful predecessors.
“It is cocktails, dinner and a dance. It’s red, white and blue jeans, with the emphasis on jeans,” Wenham stressed. “It is a casual event. There’s no need to get dressed up. Just a sports shirt and a red, white and blue combo. Consider it a chance to wear something patriotic and enjoy relaxing.”
Smith echoed that sentiment, highlighting the fun aspects of the event. “This event is just plain, laid-back fun,” he said. “An added bonus is the fact that all the money raised will stay right here in Wellington to help our children, seniors and veterans. It’s truly a win-win situation. I wouldn’t miss it for the world.”
Wenham explained that the fundraiser is a double event, designed to honor and recognize Wellington’s veterans and first responders, and to raise funds to help seniors, veterans and children.
Lee said that the foundation puts its focus on community awareness.
“We give back to our neighbors,” she said. “We help those in the community. For example, we have bought school uniforms, and done other projects supporting seniors and veterans.”
Earlier this year, the foundation signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Village of Wellington to work on charitable community projects.
“This has worked out very well,” Wenham said. “The village knows that we will get things done and done right. The village does the vetting, and we also have a good, cooperative relationship with other groups in the community.”
Wenham remarked that the formalized cooperation with the village helps the efforts to serve Wellington residents in need.
Wenham explained examples of how the MOU with the village facilitates the efforts of the foundation in helping seniors who are aging-in-place, by doing home modification programs, such as installing a new hot water heater for an elderly resident. They have put in wheelchair ramps for veterans in need and supplied 600 school uniforms to help provide required school clothing for children.
“The Red, White & Blue Jeans event is the best event of the whole year,” Lee said. “I am so looking forward to it. We have a good time doing it.”
Smith is excited about the social aspects of the evening. “After all, how many premier events can you attend in blue jeans and have the opportunity to chat with so many of your Wellington friends and neighbors?” he asked.
Wenham thanked the many volunteers and sponsors who make the event possible.
“We have assembled a super group of people from the community as volunteers,” he said. “Ticket sales are brisk with people buying tickets and tables.”
For questions about the Red, White & Blue Jeans event, or to secure your tickets, call Wenham at (561) 333-9843.