Darrell Hammond Jon Lovitz Dennis Miller Robert Lochrie Brooke Lochrie Richard Welch Christine Welch Rob SchneiderDarrell Hammond, Jon Lovitz, Dennis Miller, Robert Lochrie, Brooke Lochrie, Richard Welch, Christine Welch, Rob Schneider – Downtown Photo

FORT LAUDERDALE – The Broward Performing Arts Foundation’s Annual Celebration raised $300,000 for the award-winning education and enrichment programs at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts.

The Saturday Night Live, chic-themed benefit began with a cocktail reception under a beautiful sunset overlooking the New River at the scenic Huizenga Pavilion and Wendt Terraces. Guests then moved into the Au-Rene Theater for “An Evening with SNL All-Stars” featuring some of Saturday Night Live’s biggest stars and former cast members, Dennis Miller, Rob Schneider, Darrell Hammond and Jon Lovitz.

Following the performance, the curtain rose on a spectacular New York City scene complete with an authentic Checker cab set center stage before a Manhattan skyline, signs for prominent landmarks such as the Brooklyn Bridge and Madison Square Garden, vintage lighting and more scenes from the city that never sleeps. Guests took their places on stage where they enjoyed an elegant dinner and dancing well into the night.   

Recognizing the importance of the Annual Celebration in raising funds for the Center’s education and enrichment programs, Broward Center President and CEO Kelley Shanley said, “While the Broward Center is best known for the shows that take place on the stage, our impact goes far beyond our walls,“ he said.  “We are especially proud of the fact that we have one of the largest arts-in-education programs in the country serving more than 150,000 students annually, thanks to our supporters who are so passionate about our mission.”

Richard Welch, chair of the board of the Broward Performing Arts Foundation, spoke of the Broward Center’s initiative to renovate the beloved Parker Playhouse. “Thank you for sharing your appreciation for the arts with us,” he said. “But there is more to do. The Foundation’s $27 million capital campaign to fund the transformation of the iconic Parker Playhouse is well underway. It will take all of us working together to restore this jewel in our community. We hope you will join us.”

The Annual Celebration was made possible through the generous support of Presenting Sponsor The Haller Foundation; Gold Underwriters Raymond C. Griffis and Mark R. Tews, Marie Morris, and Deborah and Gary Wendt; Silver Underwriters AutoNation, BBX Capital, Ann M. Burris, Terri and Marty Cole, Jim Ellis/EDI, Hudson Family Foundation, Sean Donovan and Lori Macpherson, Northern Trust, Laura and Charles Palmer, PNC, Salah Foundation, Stiles Corporation, Thermal Concepts, Linda and Douglas Von Allmen, Christine and Richard Welch and Weston Nissan Volvo; and additional underwriters Starmark, Southern Glazer’s Wine and Spirits of Florida and Southeastern Printing.

For more than 25 years, the Broward Performing Arts Foundation has been instrumental in providing support for the Broward Center for the Performing Arts. The Foundation was established in 1985 to deliver the required private funding to build the Center and create an endowment to sustain its operations. Over the years, the Foundation has successfully raised funds to support the Broward Center’s innovative and diverse programming, arts-in-education initiatives, community engagement activities and capital projects. Most recently, the Foundation raised $60 million to complete the Encore! capital campaign to renovate, renew and revitalize the Broward Center. The Foundation held groundbreaking ceremonies in April on the $27 million transformation of Parker Playhouse with renovations set to begin in Summer 2019 and completion expected in winter 2020.  The entertainment venue will remain operational during the 2019-2020 season. 

For more information about the Broward Performing Arts Foundation, call 954-468-3284 or email Foundation@BrowardCenter.org.

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