Palm Beach Day Academy Gala Begins Centennial Celebration Countdown

The countdown has officially begun! As Palm Beach Day Academy looks forward to celebrating its 100th birthday, more than 250 Palm Beach Day Academy supporters toasted to Florida’s first independent school on Saturday, March 3rd at the Henry Morrison Flagler Museum. The “Inaugural Centennial Celebration Evening,” was the first of a series of celebratory events leading up to the milestone achievement. PBDA parents Frances and Jeffrey Fisher and Amanda and Charles Schumacher chaired the 2018 gala. PBDA grandparent and alumnus William Matthews was the evening’s Honorary Chairman.


Amanda and Charles Schumacher (CAPEHART)

“As we look toward Palm Beach Day Academy’s future and its centennial year on the horizon, we are thrilled to be here this evening to celebrate this extraordinary educational institution and the way it shapes our children for the future,” said Matthews. “Tonight, we kick off a series of pre-centennial celebrations, which will take place leading up to our milestone achievement in 2021.”


Guests enjoyed a cocktail reception with passed hors d’oeuvres, while bidding on their favorite silent auction items, which included a Peloton bike, weekend getaways, spa treatments, tickets to sporting events and more. An annual favorite category, Bulldog Bounty, included dozens of special experiences for students that were offered by the faculty, administration and staff.


“On behalf of my husband Charles and Co-Chairmen Frances and Jeffrey Fisher, we would like to thank the many generous committees, auction donors, underwriters and corporate sponsors that made tonight a success,” said Amanda Schumacher. “It is your involvement and support that allows the story of a unique school that shares the history of Palm Beach, to thrive with honor and distinction. For us and future generations, Palm Beach Day Academy will continue to serve as a hallmark of academic and personal achievement.”


The “Lucky Feather” drawing took place during the dinner, where one winner received a reserved parking space at either PBDA campus for the 2018-2019 school year. The highlight of the evening was the live auction, run by PBDA alumnus, faculty member and parent Jan-Marie Cook. Incredible items included a private dinner with Sue and James Patterson, trips to Austria and Casa de Campo in the Dominican Republic, Head of School for the day, Mayor for the day and a two-year lease of a brand-new Volvo XC-60, courtesy of Schumacher Automotive Group.


Following the Live Auction, the traditional Call-to-the-Heart raised more than $200,000. Each year the Call-to-the-Heart is dedicated to supporting a specific school purpose.  This year Sue and James Patterson and Binkie and Christopher Orthwein initiated the idea to direct this year’s appeal to benefit PBDA faculty and staff. To show their commitment, each couple donated $50,000 to inspire others to join them in thanking the teachers.  The overwhelming community response was another indicator of the respect, affection and admiration that the school parents have for the faculty, staff and administration.


“Palm Beach Day Academy’s auction and gala is our annual signature fundraising event,” said Dr. Edwin Gordon, Head of School for Palm Beach Day Academy “Each year, the dinner and auction raises more than $400,000 for PBDA. Thank you to the parents and faculty that devote thousands of hours of their time and energy to make this event amazing.”


Striving always for the highest academic excellence, Palm Beach Day Academy has grown from a cottage colony school started in 1921 into an innovative, top-ranked day school serving nearly 500 students from the greater Palm Beach area. The educational program, for age 2 through grade 9, exemplifies the school’s vision to provide exceptional opportunities for academic development, intellectual growth, artistic and physical self-fulfillment, and moral awareness.


Key sponsors included Florida Crystals, First Republic Bank, Big Time Restaurant Group, Carpenter’s Roofing & Sheet Metal Inc., Wells Fargo Wealth Management, Bruce Gendelman Insurance Services and Gunster.


The “Inaugural Centennial Celebration Evening” committee members include Molly Austin, Lyanne Azqueta, Robin Azqueta, Sarah and Tim Benitz, Whitney Bylin, Pilar Caprio, Lisa Cha, Allison Charnick, Maura Ziska Christu, Monica Coleman, Jackie Delgado, Mae Ferguson, Christie Gannon, Shari Grimaldi, Melissa George, Jill Glazer, April N. Grant, Brandie Herbst, Andrea Huainigg, Jutta Kassalty, Jessica Kelty, Melissa Knight, Jessica Koch, Amy Lagae, Marie Leidy, Robert and Cheryl Lerro, Helene Lorentzen, Paula Martin, Eva Maurice, Beth Moross, Nicole Munder, Peter Nicoletti, Cristina Kaiser Osborn, Phatavanh Olsen, Mina Patel, Ruby Patterson, Jill Petcove, Afsy Pottash, Kourtney Pulitzer, Caroline Rafferty, Kim Russo, Saara Salminen, Missy Savage, Carin Searby, Sandy Singer, Lori Stoll, Teresa Tomeu, Lauren Torres and Katy Thompson.


Palm Beach Day Academy is located on two campuses 1.3 miles apart in Palm Beach and West Palm Beach. For more information on Palm Beach Day Academy, please visit or call 561.655.1188.