Family Picnic committee meeting puts focus on fun

Leadership for the 21st Annual Hanley Center Foundation Family Picnic are planning to put more “fun” in their fundraiser this year.  At their most recent committee meeting, held at Table 26 in West Palm Beach, the group gathered to discuss entertainment for the family-friendly benefit, including a child-only silent auction, tug-of-war competition and possibly an inflatable obstacle course.  The Picnic takes place on Saturday, February 6 at the International Polo Club in Wellington.  The Polo Club is a new venue for the annual event, which allows more opportunities to create memorable family fun.  Funds raised are earmarked to support the Foundation’s research-based prevention programs in public and private schools, including many schools in Palm Beach County.


Led by Chairmen Michelle and Bob Diffenderfer; Co-Chairmen Kai Li Fouts and Chris Jette; Honorary Chairmen Dorothy and Sheriff Ric Bradshaw, Honorary Media Chairwomen WPTV NewsChannel 5’s Roxanne Stein and Honorary Media Chairmen Jill and Rich Switzer from Legends Radio 100.3FM, the 2016 Family Picnic committee includes the following members: Amy and Scott Angelo, Lyanne Azqueta, Jack Barrett, Todd Barron, Krista Basore, Turner Benoit, Ryan Bridger and Amy Royster, Karyn Cartledge, Susie Dwinell, Hailey Emmitt, Valerie Fennon, Charles Freeman, Kathryn Gillespie, Donna and Bob Goldfarb, Jennifer Herrington, Kelly Husak, Kim Koslow, Jean LaMarca, PJ Layng, Lauren Lieberman, Brent Leslie, Celeste Lioce, Michele Martin, Paula Martin, Sandy McElveen, Celeste Miller, Colleen Orrico, Jillian Percella, Ruby Patterson, Judy Pipal, Michelle Poole, Liz Quinn, Amy and Drew Rothermel, Virginia Savietto, Eddie Schmidt and Ozzie Medeiros, Tracy Sherman, Courtney Tellier, Karen Vaughn, Scott Velozo, Deb Willard, Giselle Winter and Jereann Zann.


Eddie Schmidt, Ozzie Medeiros (Courtesy of LILA PHOTO)

Eddie Schmidt, Ozzie Medeiros (Courtesy of LILA PHOTO)

“The Hanley Center Foundation Family Picnic is all about coming together as a family,” said Kae Jonsons, CEO of the Foundation.  “Research shows that family time is time well spent when it comes to preventing substance abuse.  We are proud to host this event for more than 20 years in our local community – fostering fun, but also valuable family discussions about substance abuse and prevention efforts in our community. Funds raised support our statewide prevention programming.  Starting with this current school year, Hanley Center Foundation’s prevention funding will serve more than 40,000 students in nine Florida counties over the next three years.”


Hanley Center Foundation prevention staff Ashleigh Lintz, Ryan Wertepny and Abby Hamilton attended the meeting in order to illustrate the Foundation’s mission and need for support. They shared stories about their travels to various schools and how their methods encourage an open dialogue.  The Foundation continues to expand its reach, currently employing 15 staff members in nine counties.


“We are so thankful to the Family Picnic committee and our sponsors for their hard work to create a memorable event,” said Michelle Diffenderfer, Family Picnic chairwoman.  “We know that this event makes a meaningful impact on attendees, but also on the students and parents that benefit from the Foundation’s prevention programming. Events like this get people talking about substance abuse, and the more people are talking, the better.”


Generous sponsors of the Family Picnic include: Bee Understanding; Sarah Cortvriend, Esq.; Florida Power & Light Company; GL Homes, Hanley Family Foundation; The First Tee of the Palm Beaches; Legends 100.3FM; Lewis, Longman & Walker, P.A.; LILA Photo; McLaughlin & Stern, LLP; Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office; Oceana Coffee; Searcy, Denny, Scarola, Barnhart & Shipley, P.A.; Table 26; WPTV NewsChannel 5; and the South Florida Fair.


In addition to its substance use prevention and education programming, Hanley Center Foundation provides scholarship aid to help families that cannot afford the hope that comes with recovery.


For more information about the Hanley Center Foundation Family Picnic, local prevention programming or sponsorship opportunities, please visit, email [email protected] or call 561-841-1166.  Tickets are $220 for adults (18 and over), $50 per child (4-17 years of age) and children 3 and under are free.