Jay DiPietro Named First Hero of Hope by Place of Hope at the Haven Campus

Clubs and Organizations

October 12, 2014

From: Place of Hope

Place of Hope at the Haven Campus will introduce a new element to its annual Hope Bash Boca this year, in naming local philanthropist Jay DiPietro as its inaugural "Hero of Hope" for his tremendous support of children in need.


DiPietro is the President/COO/General Manager of Boca West Country Club and is chairman of the Florida Chapter of Club Managers Association of America (FLCMAA) Seminole Region Charity Golf Tournament & Gala Committee. FLCMAA underwrites programs that serve underprivileged and neglected children throughout South Florida.


The community is welcomed to congratulate DiPietro and the FLCMAA Committee for all of their good work at the Second Annual Hope Bash Boca 2014, 6:30 p.m., Nov. 8, 2014, at Boca West Country Club, 20583 Boca West Drive, Boca Raton, FL. The event will feature a VIP reception/silent auction, live entertainment and dancing, and a rousing, live auction.  Tickets are $250 and can be purchased at www.HopeAtTheHaven.org, under "Events."


Place of Hope at the Haven Campus recently received $50,000 from DiPietro and the FLCMAA Committee,  $25,000 of which will support the Hope Bash Boca 2014 at the Legacy Sponsor level. Sponsor Tiffany & Company is designing the "Hero of Hope" award for DiPietro, which will be presented at the gala.


The Second Annual Hope Bash Boca is also being supported by Hope Sponsor Lamborghini Palm Beach, Love Sponsors The Occhigrossi Family and The Geo Group, and Jewelry Sponsor Gregory's Fine Jewelry.


"The families and businesses of south Palm Beach County and Broward County have extended generous support since we opened our doors and began renovating the Haven campus last year," said Executive Director Charles Bender. "Thanks to the continued and growing outpouring through organizations, like the Seminole Region Charity Golf Tournament & Gala, we can help even more children in greater, lasting ways. Our Genesis Boys' Cottage welcomed children to their new home this summer, and our Alumni Impact Girls' Cottage is being readied for its makeover. People like our hero, Jay DiPietro, Bash Chair Marie Occhigrossi and co-chairs Denise Day and Jennifer Lentoski help make new lives possible."


DiPietro developed a love for helping underprivileged children because he was one himself. Growing up in the working neighborhoods of Boston, he left school to work and help support his family of seven children at 11 years old. DiPietro described himself as a "skinny kid," who worked daily in the kitchen of a local hotel. The job introduced him to kind people such as the chef who made sure he drank milkshakes and took home leftovers to his siblings.


Now head of Boca West Country Club, DiPietro never forgot his upbringing and at one time dreamed of creating a foundation for disadvantaged children from wishful lottery winnings.


"My wife, Sharon, and I realized that we were never going to win the lottery," he said, laughing. "So I got the managers of the country clubs together, and we started raising money on our own. The first year, it was rough; we raised only $5,000. But this year, we raised $600,000 and distributed it among 10 different charities. Can you imagine anything more important than helping children?"


Proceeds from the gala fundraiser benefit the programs and operations of the Place of Hope at the Haven Campus, an expansion of the Palm Beach Gardens-based Place of Hope. With campuses in Palm Beach Gardens, West Palm Beach and Boca Raton, Place of Hope is a faith-based, state-licensed child welfare organization that provides family-style foster care (emergency and long-term); family outreach and intervention; maternity care; safety for domestic minor sexually trafficked victims; transitional housing and support services; adoption and foster care recruitment and support; hope and healing opportunities for children and families who have been traumatized by abuse and neglect.


For more information, please contact Special Projects Manager Lisa McDulin at the Place of Hope at the Haven Campus, 561-483-0962. The Place of Hope at the Haven Campus is located at 21441 Boca Rio Road, Boca Raton, FL 33433; www.HopeAtTheHaven.org.


Hope Bash Boca Benefactor Levels

Legacy ~ $25,000

Hope ~ $15,000

Healing ~ $10,000

Love ~ $5,000

Ambassador ~ $2,500

Angel ~ $1,000

Hero Table ~ $2,500 (includes seating for 10 guests) 

Photo Credit: Ren Dittfield Photography, Boynton Beach, FL; 2014. 

Hero of Hope Group: (l-r) Neil Meany, group director of Tiffany & Co. in Boca Raton; Jennifer Lentoski, Hope Bash co-chair; Denise Day, Hope Bash co-chair; Sharon DiPietro; "Hero of Hope" Jay DiPietro; Charles Bender, executive director, Place of Hope