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“I Will Survive”, Annual Fundraising Gala to End Homelessness Hosted at Royal Palm Place

Nearly 1,510 men, women and children live homeless in Palm Beach County.  Changing Lives focuses on meeting the immediate needs of the homeless, while helping them return to an independent and self-sustaining lifestyle, by offering resources, mental health and wellness referrals, mentorship, education, employment referrals, spiritual encouragement and more.  

(Samuel A. Soto, Lesly Morales, & Jason Lazar)

The pandemic brought homelessness to the forefront as innumerable businesses closed and jobs were lost. To meet the increased need, Changing Lives hosted “I Will Survive”, a fundraising event on Friday, May 21st at Royal Palm Place in downtown Boca Raton.  The evening gave guests a better understanding of a day in the life of our area’s homeless population and what Changing Lives accomplished since being established in late 2019.  The event generated over $146,769.40 to help further their mission.

Celebrities lined up to show their support for the cause including Darius Fleming, former linebacker for the New England Patriots, Alana Stewart, and Grammy Award winning singer Gloria Gaynor, for whom the event was named. 

It was a spectacular night as the sun set on the horizon and guests mingled throughout the clubhouse, putting green and the rooftop pool deck of Royal Palm Place in downtown Boca Raton. Nearly 200 guests contributed to the cause through sponsorships, tickets and participation in silent and live auctions featuring vacations, art, memorabilia, and boutique collectibles generously donated by local businesses. “It was truly heartwarming to see the community come together to help those in need, especially during these trying times” said Lesly Morales, Director of Operations for Changing Lives. 

(Marta & James Batmasian)
(Kellye Cocklin, Minister Charles Cocklin, Kelly Day, & Jessica Day)

Guests of honor and speakers of the evening included Samuel Soto, Director of Changing Lives; Pastor Marcus Zillman, Minister Charles Cocklin, Tony Lowden, James & Marta Batmasian, founders of Changing Lives; Michael Daszkal, Changing Lives Board Member.

Presenting and Platinum sponsors included: Alligator Landscaping, ALTIER Jewelers, Garabar Roofing Windows & Doors, Pastor Santana, Journey to Heaven Church, Jewels In Time, Ocean Properties, CBR Law Group, First Horizon Bank, and The Law Office of Fred Land Fulmer, P.A. 

(Gracie Freedman & Dr. Ronald Rubin)
(Ashley Bell, Travis Steffens, Rev. Tony Lowden, & John Szabo)

Special Interfaith Guests: Pastor Ronald L. Brown from Ebenezer Baptist Church, Pastor Don Karpinen from Victory Church, Pastor Joe Guadagnino from Solid Rock Church, and Pastor Tony Neal from Homeless Hearts ministries.

(Todd Frank, Alex Bennett, Pastor Santana Mackin, Rashmeika Sewpersadh)
(Natalie Poletto-Batmasian, Karol Lera)

“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in service of others” – Mahatma Gandhi

To learn more about Changing Lives, visit www.changinglives.me

View video of Changing Lives: 

Celebrity Addresses by Gloria Gaynor, Alana Stewart and Darius Fleming.

Opening Address by Changing Lives Director, Samuel Soto

Speakers Charles Cocklin and Tony Lowden, and Gala recap


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