Cheers at Joe’s raises $135,000

Funds help many archdiocesan programs throughout South Florida

Monday, May 11, 2015                    Ana Rodriguez Soto – Florida Catholic newspaper


Photography | Yamila Images

MIAMI BEACH | On the hottest day of the year so far, 450 people from about 40 archdiocesan parishes cooled off at Miami Beach’s legendary restaurant, Joe’s Stone Crab, and in the process raised $135,000 for the South Florida Church.
The April 26 luncheon was the fourth annual Cheers to Charity at Joe’s, which reserves its entire restaurant for the event.
Its goal is to raise funds “to assist the Archdiocese of Miami and its many programs,” according to Katie Blanco-Crocquet, chief development officer.
Cheers at Joe’s drew both Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez and Miami Mayor Tomás Regalado, many community leaders, and plenty of parishioners who donated $200 apiece.
Former ambassador to Belgium and school board chairman Paul Cejas was one of the $10,000 sponsors for the event, along with Epiphany parishioner Bunny Bastian and medical education pioneer Dr. Michael Gordon and his wife, Lynda.
Corporate sponsors were Atlantico Rum and TD Bank.
The $5,000 sponsors were local Catholics Teresa Buoniconti; Jorge and Marile Lopez; Sonnia and Miguel Viyella; and John Dooner of The Dooner Group, who chairs St. Thomas University’s board of trustees. St. Francis de Sales Parish in Miami Beach and St. Augustine Church and Catholic Student Center in Coral Gables also sponsored at the $5,000 level.
A parallel event takes place in Broward County each year for parishioners in that area: Cheers to Charity at Anthony’s Runway 84.
The next fundraiser being planned by the archdiocese’s Development Office is the third annual Man Cavewith Archbishop Thomas Wenski, set for Friday, May 22, from 7 to 9 p.m. at Cuban Crafters, 3604 N.W. Seventh St., Miami. That event is for people who enjoy dominos and Cuban cigars.
Tickets to the Man Cave are $100 per person and reservations may be made online, or by contacting Martha Velasquez, 305-762-1051 or