An Evening by the Sea
February 3, 2017
The Friends of Birch State Park, Inc. hosted its 2nd Annual “An Evening by the Sea” event on the lawn of Terramar, Hugh Taylor Birch’s home within the park. Almost 180 guests attended to honor the following community leaders: Ken Evans, Camp Live Oak – “Children’s Champion Award”; Tyler Chappell, The Chappell Group, Inc. – “Bring Birch Back! Award”; Linda Carter, Community Foundation of Broward – “Community Leadership Award”; and Joe and Wini Amaturo, The Amaturo Foundation – “Community Lifetime Achievement Award”. Major sponsors included: ACURE/The Hudson Family Foundation, Ellis Diversified, Inc., JM Family Enterprises, Ultimate Software, I. Lorraine Thomas, Bank of America, Nova Southeastern University, The Las Olas Company and Paramount Refreshment Solutions. Special thanks to Gordon Latz for serving as our auctioneer and helping us to net $85,000 for special projects in the park.
Light Up Birch! Terramar Society Reception
December 8, 2016
The Friends of Birch State Park honored its Terramar Society members on December 9th with a holiday-themed reception at Terramar, Hugh Taylor Birch’s historic oceanfront home located within the park. Hosts for this event included Peter & Janet Buhl, John & Fran Custer, Steve and Jeannie Hudson, Dominick & Meike Miniaci, Bob Swindell & John Cotter, and Jim Ellis and Olya Salehi.
A Garden Party
October 19, 2016
The Friends of Birch State Park held “A Garden Party” on Wednesday, October 19th at the Garden Center in Hugh Taylor Birch State Park. Nearly 200 attendees gathered to raise matching funds provided by an anonymous donor for a meditation garden within the park. The event was chaired by Marti Huizenga and a hostess committee that included Pamela Huizenga Alexander, Mimi Bauer, Pamela Baynes, Nancy Blosser, Peggy Fucci, Barbara Grevior, Fonda Huizenga, Jennifer Huizenga, Alice Jackson, Janet Jordan, Ginny Miller, Ellen Murton, Jamie Stiles and Kim Sweers. Sponsors of the event included Lorraine Thomas, AutoNation, Bank of America, Ellis Diversified, ACURE, Bahia Mar Hotel & Marina, Rick Case Auto Group, My Own Cruising Journal, Stiles Corporation, Daoud’s Jewelers, The Grateful Palate and Water Taxi. The event featured a champagne bar as well as silent and live auction items.
An Evening by the Sea
January 22, 2016
The Friends of Birch State Park’s first-ever event held on the lawn of Terramar, chaired by Suzanne Watson with assistance from Seagull Committee Chair Janet Buhl, brought in over $90,000 net for special projects in the Park. Almost 200 guests braved the stormy weather and enjoyed a Silent Auction during the reception and a Live Auction during the program honoring three outstanding community leaders: Commissioner Chip LaMarca, Marti Huizenga and Jim Ellis. Thank you to our wonderful sponsors: AutoNation, Hudson Family Foundation, JM Family, Southern Wine & Spirits, Bahia Mar, NSU, BB&T, The Las Olas Company, Tripp Scott, Paramount Refreshment Solutions, The Amaturo Foundation, The Chappell Group, Circle of Friends Foundation, Express Lending Services, and Zimmerman. Special thanks goes to Gordon Latz who donated his time as auctioneer.
S.E.A by the Sea 2015
June 17, 2015
The Seagull Society, chaired by Janet Buhl, hosted a successful reception for hotel concierges in the breezeway at the beach entrance on Wednesday, June 17, complete with catering and live music entertainment. Thank you to Rosa Reyes of Capital Grille who donated the catering and to John Magee of Southern Wine and Spirits as well. Also a thank you to Adorned Photography for their great pictures. Over 120 people attended. One of the highlights of the event was the viewing of the beautiful mural on the north side of the breezeway building. Artist Todd Michael created a mosaic of Helen’s Tree, the huge Banyan tree by Pavilion One. It is stunning and colorful and depicts some of our Park critters in it. A big thank you to Bill Feinberg of Allied Kitchen and Bath who donated the special one-square inch tiles for the piece of artwork.
Night of History & Legacy
May 5, 2015
On Tuesday, May 5th, at the beautiful home of Wayne and Marti Huizenga on the New River, over 100 community leaders gathered to hear more about the plans the Friends of Birch State Park have to “Bring Birch Back!”. The rain held off just long enough for the guests to enjoy being outdoors on the river and watch a video on the legacy of Hugh Taylor Birch and the historical significance of the gifts of land he gave to both the City of Fort Lauderdale (3 miles of open beach!) and the state of Florida (180 acres between the Atlantic Ocean and the Intracoastal Waterway for a state Park). During a brief program, President of the Board of Directors, Jim Ellis, and Gale Butler, executive director of Friends, recognized the contributions of Birch Willey, nephew of Hugh Taylor Birch, for his willingness to help promote the Park, and William Walker, CEO of the Water Taxi, thanking him for the Park’s new partnership which made Birch Park an official Water Taxi stop. Our heartfelt thanks go to Wayne and Marti for their graciousness in hosting the gathering.
Terramar Membership Reception
February 12, 2015
Our thanks to Marshall and Suzanne Watson for, once again, hosting our annual Terramar Society Membership reception at their private home in Harbor Beach. Almost 85 members and guests attended and listened to a progress report by Friends of Birch State Park Board President Jim Ellis. Guests also were able to meet and welcome our new Park Manager David Dearth and new Assistant Park Manager Jennifer Roberts
December 6, 2014
The Seagull Society of the Friends of Birch State Park hosted the First Annual Christkindlmarkt, a holiday gift fair, at the Garden Center of the Fort Lauderdale Garden Club located in Hugh Taylor Birch State Park. In addition to gift displays from major sponsor Macy’s Aventura and a Clay Couture fashion show by Artist Steven Sylvester, the St. Anthony’s School choir and the New River Middle School jazz band entertained the guests. The Ambry German American Restaurant brought German specialties and baked goods. The Christkindlmarkt was inspired by the Christkindlmarkt held in Nuremburg, Germany since 1545.
October 22, 2014
On Wednesday, October 22nd, the Seagull Society, our support group for the Friends of Birch State Park, organized an evening hosted by GALLERYone – A DoubleTree Suites by Hilton as a fundraiser and to introduce Gale Butler, our new executive director. The evening included a cruise on the Intracoastal donated by Sun Dream Yacht with entertainment provided by a string quartet from the Symphony of The Americas. Part of the celebration was the announcement of a $2 million state grant to repair the seawall on the Intracoastal side of Hugh Taylor Birch State Park won with help from Senator Maria Sachs, Senator Eleanor Sobel, and Representative George Moraitis.
S.E.A. by the Sea 2014
July 10th, 2014
On July 10th, 2014, Friends of Birch State Park held their first “Sea by the Sea” event. Professionals from the hospitality industry of Fort Lauderdale were invited to explore and appreciate our lovely park and all its amenities. Everyone had a lot of fun learning about our local park, riding on segways and bikes available through M. Cruz Rentals, the park’s concessionaire, and discovering why it is considered one of South Florida’s most important historical sites! We’d like to thank The Capital Grille, Fort Lauderdale Water Taxi, Premier Beverage Company and M. Cruz Rentals at Birch State Park for their support and contribution to this event.