The Philanthropists: Part 2

Lifestyle celebrates nine prominent professionals whose charitable efforts impact countless lives in South Florida

For our December cover story, Lifestyle celebrates nine prominent professionals whose charitable efforts impact countless lives in South Florida. This week, we highlight Erica Morse, Heiko Dobrikow and Liz Caldwell

 

Pictured above—Carlton Washington, Jessica Triana, Julie Jones-Bernard, Richard Weissman, Andy Cagnetta, Erica Morse, Heiko Dobrikow, Liz Caldwell, O.J. McDuffie

 

 

Erica Morse

Local philanthropist & community leader

Charitable Involvements: Boys & Girls Clubs of Broward County (event chair for Wine, Women & Shoes), Muscular Dystrophy Association (through the Ed Morse Annual MDA Golf Classic), and other efforts

Why it’s personal: “Our family is involved on a personal level with several charities that work with and assist children and families. There’s much satisfaction and joy in knowing that [the organizations with which Erica is involved] are helping children to rise above their challenges, enjoy their lives more and maximize their potential.”

Sources of pride: “We’re directly involved with the Muscular Dystrophy Association through our family’s golf tournament, which raises more funds for muscular dystrophy research than any other in the state.”

“Last spring was the first [of what’s intended as an] annual Wine, Women & Shoes event. We saw an opportunity to get women together for the Boys & Girls Clubs, sip some wine, raise money—and make a difference in the lives of countless children. We’re already looking forward to next year’s event [May 9, 2020].”

Words to live by: “When I see the hurdles that the children and young adults with muscular and neurological diseases face every day—while maintaining a positive outlook on life—it puts life’s little hardships into perspective.”

 

Heiko Dobrikow

Executive Vice President/General Manager, The Las Olas Company/Riverside Hotel

Charitable involvements: Broward Business Council on Homelessness (United Way of Broward County), Real Men Wear Pink (American Cancer Society), Salvation Army of Broward County and several others

Why it’s personal: “At age 6, I joined a service club in the mountain village of Sieber in Harz, Germany. It was a folklore club that did its fundraising through live performances of song and dance. The club also performed community service projects for the betterment of our village residents and visitors. Learning about the power of giving set the path for my future [charitable] leadership engagements.”

• “Earlier this year my good friend, Sam Robbin, a cancer survivor, asked me to join the American Cancer Society as a “Real Men Wear Pink” [campaign] candidate. The task was to raise $2,500 and wear something pink every day in October. The campaign took on a life of its own; we raised much more than the goal, and partnerships were created to turn Las Olas Boulevard pink for the entire month with the engagement of restaurants, retailers and galleries. We all have friends, acquaintances and family members [Dobrikow’s aunt died of cancer; his grandmother, a breast cancer survivor, lived into her 80s] who are affected by this disease. These cancer warriors are a true inspiration.”

Source of pride: “In June 2018, my friend Juliet Roulhac asked me to join her as a co-chair for the fundraising team of the Broward Business Council on Homelessness. The goal was to raise funds to help homeless individuals along the downtown Fort Lauderdale encampment. It was remarkable to see how the business community, government, faith-based organizations, nonprofits and service providers all came together. We raised the funds and resolved the encampment in a humane way. This put more than 80 people on the pathway to a better life. We still have some 3,000 to go.”

Words to live by: “Life is a gift—and it becomes more valuable when you give back to lighten the burden of others.”

 

Liz Caldwell

Team Leader of the Liz Caldwell Group, Compass

Charitable Involvements: Jack & Jill Children’s Center, Broward County Chapter of the American Red Cross, Tiffany Circle of the American Red Cross (members who donate $10,000 or more annually), Junior Welfare Society

Why it’s personal: “My mother always encouraged me to be involved in the community in one form or another. She was a great inspiration about the importance of giving back, which she did her entire life.”

• “When I was the Project Chair for Junior Welfare Society a few years ago, I had the task of reading 40 requests a month for emergency needs or one-time financial assistance for families in need. Given the allocated amount of funds each month, many families couldn’t be helped. My heart went out to these families; the majority were single mothers who couldn’t make their rent payment or pay the electric bill. Some were in between jobs or had medical emergencies that caused them to miss work—and they had no medical insurance. Making those heart-wrenching decisions had an impact on me; you realize that there are never enough resources—and that our job as volunteers is never done.”

Source of pride: “The fundraising efforts by the Jack & Jill Friends board [Caldwell serves on that board, after rotating off the main board] have been most innovative in drawing young and old alike—as far as attendance, money raised, and the ability to share the mission statement. The commitment from so many affluent families, foundations and local corporations that support Jack & Jill Children’s Center speaks [to one of the pillars of a thriving community]—making sure our children have love and a good education at an early age.”

Words to live by: “We can’t solve the world’s problems, but if we help one person or family get to a better place we are a success.”

 

 

Photography by James Woodley

Shot on location at La Maison Blanche in Fort Lauderdale Creative direction: Melanie Smit

Copy by: Kevin Kaminski

Creative assistant: Evelyn Suarez

About the location: Sprawling La Maison Blanche, encompassing some 1.4 acres and nearly 17,000 square feet (under air) on the point of Southeast 10th Street overlooking the Intracoastal, features 11 bedrooms, 12½ baths, a home theater, great room/entertainment center, formal dining room, chef’s kitchen, fitness room, pool and outdoor kitchen, and a two-bedroom guest house. Contact Julie Jones-Bernard at [email protected] or 954.328.3665 for additional details.

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