Branches Celebrates 12th Annual Black Tie & Blue Jeans

Miami, FL (PRWEB) May 07, 2015

Branches celebrated its 12th Annual Black Tie & Blue Jeans benefit dinner and auction on Friday, May 1st, 2015 at the Trump National Doral in the beautiful Donald J. Trump Ballroom. Over 400 guests attended and helped to raise over $ 350,000 for Branches’ programs which provide services and life-changing opportunities to low-income children, youth and families focused on long-term success.

The event was co-chaired by Gala Chairs Mrs. Marielena Villamil and Ms. Laurie Zapletal and kicked off with a cocktail reception and a silent auction, followed by dinner and dancing, as well as an appeal and an exciting live auction, led by MC and Auctioneer Mr. Mark Trowbridge. The event also honored Trish and Dan Bell for their long-time and generous support of Branches, featuring the 1st Annual Trish and Dan Bell Community Empowerment Award. All proceeds from the appeal of that evening will support Branches’ Summer Shade Camp and all donations will be doubled since they are matched $ 1:$ 1 by a generous Challenge Grant provided by Trish and Dan Bell. The event was capped off with an incredible surprise from The Batchelor Foundation which presented Branches with a $ 50,000 check at the end of the evening.

Branches’ Executive Director, Brent McLaughlin, was extremely pleased with this year’s benefit dinner and states, “This event has become an important way for Branches to engage our community and build momentum to fulfill our mission. I am grateful to our co-chairs and sponsors for their commitment to Branches. This year in particular we were excited to recognize the Bells for their philanthropic leadership and the many ways they are compassionately making a difference.”

Thank You to the Premiere Sponsors:

Philanthropic Chairs

Trish & Dan Bell

Diamond Sponsor

The Batchelor Foundation

Platinum Sponsor


Norwegian Cruise Line

Sandy & Rodney Bell

Bronze Sponsor

Wells Fargo

Patron Sponsors


BBVA Compass Bank

Bilzin Sumberg

City National Bank

Homestead Hospital

JP Morgan Chase

Pacific National Bank

Ron Book P.A. & Lauren’s Kids


Washington Economics Group

About Branches

For over 40 years, Branches has made a positive impact in the community by delivering on its mission to serve, educate and inspire people through student, family and financial stability services. Branches provides long-term, holistic services for motivated individuals and families. We help people grow deeper and climb higher in life by building a foundation through education so they can achieve their goals and fulfill their potential. For more information about Branches, please contact Isabelle Pike at 305-442-8306 x1002 or or visit Branches at

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