A toast worth $100,000

300 guests raise funds for charity at third annual Joe’s Stone Crab event

Friday, May 23, 2014
Ana Rodriguez-Soto – Florida Catholic

Sisters of St. Joseph Benedict Cottolengo who work at the Marian Center, one of the beneficiaries of Cheers to Charity at Joe’s, pose for a photo at the event; from left: Sister Lidia Valli, Sister Filomena Mastrangelo, Sister Paola Nofori, Sister Germana Sala, Sister Zina Degli Agosti, Sister Mary Ellen Doyle and Sister Carla Valentini. Sisters Zina, Mary Ellen and Carla work at HOPE Outreach Center in Davie.

MIAMI BEACH | Ending the season on a tasty — and charitable — note, around 350 people gathered at Joe’s Stone Crab May 18 for the third annual Cheers to Charity at Joe’s.
Guests lingered over mojitos and mimosas, stone crabs and key lime pie while raising nearly $100,000 for the Archdiocese of Miami, the Marian Center School and Services, and Schott Communities for the Deaf and Disabled.
Based in Miami Gardens, the Marian Center serves people with intellectual disabilities, while Schott Communities, based in Southwest Ranches, serves the deaf and disabled.

Archbishop Thomas Wenski poses with Cheers to Charity guests Carlos Gimenez, mayor of Miami-Dade County, left, and U.S. Senator Marco Rubio.

Among those in attendance for one of the last stone crab servings of the season were Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez. They were joined by parishioners from throughout Miami-Dade County, many with their pastors in tow.
Joe’s officially entered its summer season — sans stone crabs — May 21.
“It’s nice that Joe’s does this,” said Bunny Bastian, noting that the archdiocese is one of the few charitable groups allowed to hold an event at the world-renown restaurant.
Bastian was one of the “jumbo” sponsors of the event, along with Michael and Lynda Gordon. Mario and Bibianne Murgado and Jorge Luis and Marilé Lopez were “claw” sponsors, and corporate sponsors were Ron Atlantico and Joe’s.
A similar event was held March 16 for Broward parishioners: Cheers to Charity at Anthony’s Runway 84. Cheers to Charity guests purchase tickets to the event — $150 for Anthony’s, $200 for Joe’s — and the net proceeds benefit the archdiocese.

One of Cheers to Charity’s sponsors, Bunny Bastian, right, poses with her daughter, Raphael Bastian.

One last charitable event remains before South Florida’s summer lull begins: the second annual Man Cave with Archbishop Wenski, set for Friday, May 30, from 7 to 9 p.m., at Cuban Crafters, 3604 N.W. Seventh St., Miami.
The Cave is for men only, who for $100 each will get to spend a Havana-style evening smoking cigars and playing dominos with the archbishop. The funds raised will benefit Catholic Charities’ Unaccompanied Minors Program, which serves children who have come into the U.S. alone, without parents or family members to care for them.
For more information about the Man Cave and other archdiocesan fundraising events, email mvelasquez@theadom.org or call 305-762-1051.

Enjoying Cheers to Charity, from left: Bibi and Mario Murgado of St. Thomas the Apostle Parish, and Laly and Ramon Rasco.