Kravis Center’s Persson Society Luncheon Honors Endowment Support from Members

Supporters of the Raymond F. Kravis Center for the Performing Arts gathered recently in the Center’s Gimelstob Ballroom for a special luncheon honoring members of the Helen K. Persson Society.  Held on Wednesday, March 7, the event celebrated the Endowment supporters for their confidence, trust and investment in the Kravis Center’s long-term future, which ensures that the cultural institution will be enjoyed for generations to come.  Longtime supporters, Bernstein Private Wealth Management sponsored the luncheon for the ninth consecutive year.

Named for one of the Kravis Center’s ardent supporters, the late Helen K. Persson, the Society now has 142 members.  In the spring of 2014, the Center received a $5 million gift from the estate of Mrs. Persson. With that contribution and member gifts, the current market value of the Kravis Center’s Permanently Restricted Endowment Fund is $22 million.  Mrs. Persson served as a member of the Board of Directors from 1992 to 2007 and was elected to the position of Life Trustee in 2007.

“Today we honor and thank Persson Society members for their decision to make an impact that extends into the future of the Kravis Center,” said Judith Mitchell, CEO for the Kravis Center. “By making a current or deferred gift through their estate plan to our Endowment Fund, Persson Society members share a commitment to ensure that the Kravis Center will endure and flourish. We are deeply grateful to Helen K. Persson for lending her name to the Society that honors donors who contribute to our Endowment Fund. Helen’s vision in support of the Center’s future has been truly motivational.”

Ms. Mitchell recognized Alexander Dreyfoos, the Kravis Center’s Founding Chairman, for his leadership spearheading the fundraising campaign that exceeded all expectations to build the performing arts center. She also thanked and acknowledged members of the Board of Directors who were in attendance including immediate past Chair and current Vice Chair Jane Mitchell, Dr. Barbara Golden, Bradley Hurston, John Kessler and Richard Sloane.

Ms. Mitchell then introduced the afternoon’s guest speakers, Evan Deoul, Senior Managing Director of Bernstein Private Wealth Management and Brian Wodar, Senior Vice President of Bernstein Private Wealth Management. Mr. Deoul provided an insightful overview of today’s economic outlook before handing the microphone to Mr. Wodar, who shared with luncheon guests how to be more efficient in achieving their philanthropic goals, especially under the new tax laws.

Following the presentation, Ms. Mitchell gave a special commemorative gift to new Persson Society members in attendance: Janet and Stephen Barr, Dr. Barbara Evans Golden and Cindy Costello Mandes. Other Society members in attendance included Dorothy Adler, Ilene Arons, Marilyn Zelnick Berman, Margaret Donnelley, Gail and Irwin Cohen, Margaret May Damen, Alex Dreyfoos, Debra Elmore, Don Ephraim and Maxine Marks for the Donald M. Ephraim Foundation, Caryl Firth, Stuart Fischman, Esq., Maureen Gardella, Dr. Theodore Gerson, John Herrick, John Kessler, Freuma and Dr. Elliot Klorfein, Zelda Mason, Jane Mitchell, Judy and Jim Mitchell, John Mike, Barbara Suflas Noble, Barbara and Irving Reifler, Priscilla and Richard Schmeelk for the Priscilla and Richard Schmeelk Foundation, Beth Schwartz, Rachel Sommer, Sandra Thompson and Charles Williams.

Members of the Raymond F. Kravis Center for the Performing Arts Helen K. Persson Society receive invitations to special events, acknowledgment in Kravis Center publications and other benefits based on level of commitment.  For more information about the Helen K. Persson Society, please contact Margaret May Damen, Planned Giving and Endowment Officer at 561.651.4230 or [email protected].

The Kravis Center is a not-for-profit performing arts center whose mission is to enhance the quality of life in Palm Beach County by presenting a diverse schedule of national and international artists and companies of the highest quality, by offering comprehensive arts education programs, by providing a Palm Beach County home for local and regional arts organizations to showcase their work and by providing an economic catalyst and community leadership in West Palm Beach, supporting efforts to increase travel and tourism to Palm Beach County.

The Kravis Center is located at 701 Okeechobee Blvd. in West Palm Beach, FL.

For general information about the Kravis Center’s performances, please visit the Center’s official website at or call the box office at 561.832.7469 (561.832.SHOW). Follow the Kravis Center on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.