Northrop & Johnson Host 4th Fundraiser For Kids in Distress

By Ben Roberts

The 2013 Fort Lauderdale Boat Show acted as the backdrop for the fourth annual Boys and Toys Yacht Hop, hosted by Northrop & Johnson, which successfully raised $118,000 in collaboration with Kids In Distress (KID) of Broward and Palm counties.

“Kids in distress is a non-profit organisation covering kids in Broward and Palm Beach counties,” explains Sheila Malone Jones, Vice President of Support Services for Kids in Distress. “It’s been around for over 30 years and basically the entire mission of the organisation is to prevent child abuse and neglect as well as educating the community so that parents who have lost their children can learn to be better parents, and hopefully and eventually, get their children back. Our goal is reunification.

We take care of over 11,000 children and families throughout the year through a myriad different services and we have about five signature events during the year. These help supplement the operating costs so we can keep the programme alive for the community and help take care of those families.”

With an array of superyachts available for tour at the show with Northrop & Johnson, Kids in Distress were able to invite major donors to enjoy live music, fine wines and a silent auction to help the vital programme.

We are proud to be a KID partner and support their programs by hosting a unique event,” said Kevin Merrigan, CEO of Northrop & Johnson, which hosted the Boys N’ Toys fete. Not only did Northrop & Johnson provide the location in the heart of the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show, but Merrigan even won a silent auction item.

The silent auction tables boasted a spectacular array of items including a trip to New York, a 100-inch pearl necklace, one-of-a-kind artwork, the opportunity to be Broward County Sheriff for a Day, a Channel basket and other luxurious gift baskets. Near the end of the night the guests were surprised with two exclusive live auction items. The atmosphere turned electric as a bidding war began for a VIP Dinner at Valentino’s prepared by owner and chef Giovanni Rocchio. Chef Giovanni was so impressed by the generosity of the guests that he offered two VIP dinners, one for each bidding side, for an impressive $3,700 each.

Mark Dhooge, President and CEO added, “We have several of our major donors here who are actually on our committee who are here to network with people from the boat show and interact with Northrop & Johnson. You never know, maybe we can get one of our big donors to buy a yacht.”

By Ben Roberts