Major Kravis Center Donors Honored at Founders Dinner in Recognition of Their Support

More than 200 of the Raymond F. Kravis Center for the Performing Arts’ major donors recently attended a special evening on Saturday, March 17 in honor of the Center’s Founders and Grand Benefactors, Benefactors, Grand Sponsors, Sponsors and Patron Members of the Dress Circle.


Donors and special guests enjoyed a welcome cocktail reception prior to entering the Gimelstob Ballroom for a delectable three-course dinner by Catering by The Breakers at the Kravis Center. The ballroom was awash with candlelight, and the tables were decorated with table linens in shades of spring greens and lavenders.  Green hydrangea, lavender roses and burgundy stock accented with areca palm fronds adorned each table.

The annual dinner was sponsored by Northern Trust, which was acknowledged for its sponsorship of this event for 22 consecutive years.  The evening’s performance by Audra McDonald followed the dinner and was sponsored by Founder members Sheila Engelstein, and Zelda and Allen Mason.

During the dinner, Judith Mitchell, CEO of the Kravis Center, introduced Board members in attendance: Michael Bracci, Chairman; Bill Meyer, Past Chairman; Jane Mitchell, Immediate Past Chair and current Vice Chair; Sherry Barrat, Dr. Barbara Golden, James Harpel, Bradley Hurston and John Kessler and Life Trustees in attendance: George Elmore, Judy Goodman, John Howard, John Jenkins, George Michel and Lee Wolf.

“Tonight, we celebrate and thank each of you for the important role you play in supporting our mission to enhance the quality of life in Palm Beach County,” said Ms. Mitchell. “In our last fiscal year, the financial commitment of donors at your level from $10,000 to over $100,000 and above represented 77 percent of our annual fundraising goal of $5.8 million. This fiscal year, which ends on June 30, has an annual goal of $6 million. Thanks to your generous support and the extraordinary success of our two signature fundraising events – the Gala “Night of Stars” and the Palm Beach Wine Auction — we are well on our way to meeting and exceeding that goal.”

Ms. Mitchell then introduced Michael Bracci, Kravis Center Board Chairman and President of Palm Beach and Treasure Coast Region of Northern Trust.

Mr. Bracci thanked Ms. Mitchell and her team at the Kravis Center and welcomed new Founder members in attendance: Carol Auerbach and Albert Berger, Sandra and Richard Bornstein, Carol and Mike Cohen, Patricia and Edward Falkenberg, Rona Forstadt, Eleanor Pao, Calvin and Arlene Paris, Diane and Richard Ross, Martie and Bob Sachs, Susan Stautberg, and Dr. Sharon and Otis Warren.

He also acknowledged West Palm Beach Mayor Jeri Muoio and her husband, Charles Muoio, who were in attendance.

A highlight of the evening was Mr. Bracci’s presentation of the “Rejuvenation Project,” a video of the Kravis Center’s expansion project to enhance the customer experience.  The attendees were the first group of Kravis Center supporters to see the presentation.

“When we asked what can we do to make the Kravis Center even better, the Strategic Planning Committee responded we can enhance this amazing institution with incredible new features, including creation of an open park space and a new valet parking garage.  I want to thank Bill Meyer, who has agreed to serve as the Operations Chairman of this project and John Kessler, who will take the lead in chairing the Capital Campaign.  By implementing this new plan now, the Center will continue to lay a sound foundation for the future,” said Mr. Bracci. “It will perpetuate its mission of enriching the lives of residents and tourists, will continue to drive economic development and last but certainly not least, it will continue its position as a leader in arts education.”

To be able to fulfill its mission, the Kravis Center depends on the support of its generous donors. Among the many donor privileges is the opportunity to purchase tickets to all Kravis Center-presented events before they go on sale to the general public including the exciting Kravis On Broadway series.  Donors ensure that the Kravis Center will continue to present world-class artists and comprehensive arts education programs for the entire community.

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

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). For information about the Kravis Center’s special events, contact the Development Office at 561.651.4320. Follow the Kravis Center on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.