In true academy awards style, nearly 800 corporate executives, community leaders and members of the non-profit sector attended the sold-out 4th Annual PNC Bank Non-Profit Academy Awards last Friday, which was  hosted by Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino and presented by 2-1-1 Broward.

The prestigious awards honor the work of Broward County’s non-profit organizations and leaders and the impact they have on the community.

The festivities began with a special warm welcome to all of the finalists at the Memorial Healthcare System Red Carpet Reception which featured live golden statues, photo booth, a red carpet with paparazzi, makeup artists and champagne. Upon taking their seats in the ballroom, the audience was treated to a performance by City Sounds, sponsored by Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino.

The suspense was then lifted as the distinguished winners of each of the 11 award categories were announced and honored for their dedication to Broward County and the impact they have on the community each and every day.  The winners in each category received an Academy Award statue and $1,000 for each of their non-profit organizations. The finalists in each category were awarded $500 each.  2-1-1 Broward awarded a total of $20,000 to non-profits in the community. Winners and guests were also invited to attend the after-party at SIROCCO Mediterranean Restaurant and Lounge located in Seminole Paradise at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino.

“To say that the Non-Profit Academy Awards is a unique experience is an understatement.  The energy and excitement at this event is only surpassed by the spirit and passion of the non-profits, that joined us,” said Shane Print, Vice President/Business Manager with PNC Bank.  “Being the title sponsor again gave PNC Bank the chance to demonstrate its commitment to the organizations and leaders that ignite change in Broward.  It is clear that by the sheer number and caliber of the sponsors we were joined by that there is a strong appreciation of the impact these non-profits have on our community.”

“2-1-1 Broward is delighted to bring awareness to the great work of the non-profits in Broward County,” said Sheila Smith, President and CEO of 2-1-1 Broward.  “Every day these agencies, their staff and their leaders quietly and profoundly impact the lives of individuals in our community.  We are very proud to partner with PNC Bank, the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino and the rest of our sponsors, to celebrate the non-profits at our annual Non-Profit Academy Awards Event.”

“Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino and the Seminole Tribe of Florida are proud to support the 4th Annual PNC Bank Non-Profit Academy Awards presented by 2-1-1 Broward – an event that brings together Broward’s philanthropic leaders who are being recognized for making a difference every day,” said Susan Renneisen, Vice President of Community Affairs and Special Events with Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino. “All of the nominated and winning organizations deserve the upmost praise for their diligent and extraordinary work in the community.”

The three event chairs included Print (Title Sponsor – PNC Bank); Renneisen (Host, Entertainment and Non-Profit Organization of the Year Award Sponsor); and Jen Klaassens (Collaboration Award Sponsor- The Wasie Foundation and Board Member with 2-1-1 Broward).

The sealed envelopes with the winning organizations and leaders were secured and delivered by Berkowitz Pollack & Brant Advisors and Accountants, the official accounting firm of the PNC Non-Profit Academy Awards. Notable speakers included Smith; Mike Walters,  Senior Vice President-Regional Manager of PNC Bank; Lynne Wines, President and CEO of First Southern Bank and Chair of 2-1-1 Broward; and Renneisen.

The categories and winners of the 2014 PNC Bank Non-Profit Academy Awards Hosted by Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino and Presented by 2-1-1 Broward are as follows:

Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Outstanding Non-Profit Organization of the Year – Broward Partnership for the Homeless.  Since opening 15 years ago, the non-profit organization has served more than 20,000 homeless individuals and families, providing short-term housing and other services to rebuild their lives. The other nominees in the category included ARC Broward and YMCA of Broward County.

Broward College Outstanding Non-Profit Leader of the Year –  Patricia Zeiler, Executive Director of Downtown Fort Lauderdale Transportation Management Association. Zeiler runs the Downtown Fort Lauderdale Transportation Management Association which coordinates the efforts of government and private employers, developers, and property owners in addressing common transportation concerns; improving accessibility and mobility; providing transportation services; and working cooperatively with local and state government for the continued growth and development of downtown Fort Lauderdale while avoiding traffic congestion. The Downtown Fort Lauderdale Transportation Management Association administers the Sun Trolleys which provide community transportation in the City of Fort Lauderdale to visitors and residents. The other nominees in the category included Kim L. Cavendish, Museum of Discovery; Dr. Steve Ronik, Henderson Behavioral Health; and Dennis Stefanacci, ACFRE, Broward Health Foundation.

Community Foundation of Broward Non-Profit Board Leader of the Year – Joe Rogers, ChildNet Board Chairman. ChildNet manages a network of child welfare services that provide foster care, adoption and family preservation services for the more than 3,600 children in care and their caregivers. Rogers is a ChildNet board member, financial supporter and father of three adopted children. The other nominees in the category included Jan Vrins, Covenant House; and Heather Geronemus, Mothers Against Drunk Driving.

Nova Southeastern University Non-Profit Organization of the Year – Arts – ArtServe.  ArtServe’s mission is to provide programs, events, business opportunities, and facilities that help local and emerging artists turn their art into business.  The other nominees in the category included Florida Youth Orchestra and Art and Culture Center of Hollywood.

The Wasie Foundation Non-Profit Organization of the Year – Collaboration – Kids In Distress.  Kids In Distress collaborated with Memorial Healthcare System and Legal Aid Service of Broward County to provide families in need with a continuum of services.  Other nominees in the category included Florida Hemophilia Association and KidSafe Foundation.

Brown & Brown Insurance Non-Profit Organization of the Year – Innovation – United Way of Broward County’s MISSION UNITED.  United Way of Broward County’s MISSION UNITED is a program supporting US military service members, veterans and their families in Broward County by helping them re-acclimate to civilian life.  Other nominees in the category included Broward Children’s Center and South Florida Community Land Trust.

Calvin, Giordano & Associates Non-Profit Organization of the Year – Rising Star – Firewall Centers.  Firewall Centers is a non-profit organization that provides free after-school mentoring, tutoring, and leadership development to low-income middle and high school students. Other nominees in the category included FLIPANY and A Prom to Remember.

Children’s Services Council of Broward County Collective Impact for Youth Award – HANDY. Founded in 1985, HANDY (Helping Abused Neglected Disadvantaged Youth) has met the needs of more than 45,000 Broward County children and youth in foster and relative/non-relative care under protective supervision. HANDY annually serves more than 1,300 at-risk children and youth, between the ages of birth to 23 years. HANDY’s programs focus on education, youth development, and economic self-sufficiency. The other nominees in this category included Crockett Foundation and HandsOn Broward.

OK Generators Lifetime Achievement Award – TIE:  I. Lorraine Thomas, Children’s Home Society and Dr. Susan Widmayer, Children’s Diagnostic & Treatment Center (CDTC).   Thomas has been a dedicated volunteer of Children’s Home Society of Florida for over 25 years. She played a vital role in initiating the capital campaign for I. Lorraine Thomas Children’s Home & Family Support Center, has served on the state, local and foundation Board of Directors, and is currently an Honorary Board Member and the Honorary Chair of the East Broward Auxiliary’s Gala. The widow of Dave Thomas, original founder of and owner of Wendy’s International, she has continued her late husband’s legacy of philanthropy and is well known throughout the South Florida community for her generosity and good-natured spirit.

Dr. Widmayer is the Founder and Former Executive Director of Children’s Diagnostic & Treatment Center.  For more than 30 years, CDTC has been at the forefront of serving children and families with special healthcare needs.  The Center provides care for all children and youth with high-risk medical conditions and developmental delays in Broward County. The other nominees in this category included Anthony Karrat, Esq., Legal Aid Service of Broward County and Marcia Barry-Smith, Russell Life Skills & Reading Foundation.

Tijuana Flats – Just In Queso Award – Rebuilding Together Broward County, Inc. Rebuilding Together Broward County is a non-profit organization that brings volunteers and communities together to improve the homes and lives of low income homeowners.  The Tijuana Flats – Just In Queso Award is a special award that was revealed during the Awards Ceremony.  Nominees not chosen as a finalist were eligible for this award. The winner was chosen by the Tijuana Flats – Just in Queso Foundation prior to the event.

Publix Community Choice Award – The Girl Choir of South Florida.  The Girl Choir of South Florida presents the compelling sound of young women’s voices in outstanding performances through a quality music education program.  Led by Artistic Director Wallis Peterson, The Girl Choir brings music to enrich life in South Florida through performances for a variety of cultural, civic, and charitable institutions.  Nominees not chosen as a finalist were eligible to win The Publix Community Choice Award.  The community voted for the organization of their choice via online voting prior to the event.

Event sponsors included PNC Bank; Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino; The Wasie Foundation; OK Generators; Broward College; Publix; Calvin Giordano & Associates; Nova Southeastern University; Community Foundation of Broward; Children’s Services Council of Broward County; Brown & Brown Insurance; Leo Goodwin Foundation; United Way of Broward County; JM Family Enterprises;  Consolidated Credit Counseling; Eye on South Florida; Student Loan Consolidation Center; FPL; Memorial Healthcare System; Florida Panthers Foundation; Tijuana Flats-Just In Queso Foundation; Sirocco Mediterranean Restaurant & Lounge; American Harvest Organic Spirits; Barefoot Wine & Bubbly; Timpano Italian Chophouse; Passion Nightclub; Wizard Creations; Berger Singerman; Kip Hunter Marketing; Gray Robinson, P.A.; Envision Web Development; Rock With U Entertainment; Berkowitz Pollack & Brant Advisors and Accountants; Canon Solutions America, Inc.; Fanatics, Inc.; Art of Glam Studios; Academy of Glam; MetroSigns, Inc.; IPS Realty; SAFAA; ARC Broward Culinary Institute; and Candy Cottage.

Get social! Follow 2-1-1 Broward at, @211Broward and use event hashtag #211Awards.

About 2-1-1 Broward
The mission of 2-1-1 Broward is to provide 24 hour comprehensive helpline and support services to individuals and families in our community seeking crisis intervention assistance and/or information and connections to health and human services in Broward County. Every call to 2-1-1 is answered by a trained, degreed counselor who listens to the caller’s concerns, identifies their needs and connects them with agencies and programs that can help them.  2-1-1 Broward relies on the generous support of government agencies, corporations, foundations, and individuals to provide this vital community service.  For more information regarding 2-1-1 and how you can help, please call 954-390-0493 or visit

About PNC Bank
PNC Bank is a member of The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. (NYSE: PNC). PNC ( is one of the nation largest diversified financial services organizations providing retail and business banking: residential mortgage banking: specialized services for corporations and government entities, including corporate banking, real estate finance and asset-based lending: wealth management and asset management. Follow @PNCNews on Twitter for breaking news, updates and announcements from PNC or visit

About Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino
Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino invites you to PLAYHARD!  Play, stay, dine, and shop at South Florida’s ultimate entertainment destination. Over 90 tables offer Blackjack, Mini-Baccarat, Pai Gow Poker, Three Card Poker, Texas Hold ‘em Bonus Poker, Casino War and Let it Ride on a nearly three-acre casino floor. Additionally, over 2,500 slots include the Native-American Casino linked Multi-Area Progressive Jackpots and Mega Jackpots. Separate high-limit rooms for table games and slots, in addition to a non-smoking room, are available for guests to enjoy. Loyal Player’s Club members also have access to the exclusive VIP Plum Lounge and VIP Chef’s Table show kitchen. The Poker Room at Seminole Hard Rock hosts various games and tournaments of Limit and No Limit Texas Hold ‘em,    7-Card Stud and two dollar and four dollar limit Omaha Hi Lo games. Located inside the casino is Hard Rock Cafe -Hollywood, part of Hard Rock’s 138 globally recognized rock ‘n’ roll restaurants. The Green Lodging Certified by the State of Florida, AAA Four Diamond-rated resort showcases 500 luxurious guest rooms, 40,000 square feet of meeting room space, Rock Spa, award-winning restaurants, high-energy nightclubs, lounges and bars, boutique retail shops, the 350-seat Paradise Live theater and the 5,500–seat Hard Rock Live concert arena. Located on State Road 7 (U.S. 441) in Hollywood, Florida. Take I-95, exit Stirling Rd. and travel west to 1 Seminole Way. For more information, call (954) 327-ROCK, 1 800-937-0010 or visit us online at,,, and