Nine organizations unite to honor veterans with ‘Military Room Makeover’

Front Row: Doug Weber and Peter Caspari, iReach America Foundation; Julia Costin, SMX Services & Consulting / iReach America Foundation. Back Row: Jason Recio; Edward Zaluski; Nunzi Canizzi; William Berardi; David Patlak; Joe McKeon; Arthur Drago; Martin Escoto; Brandon Paquette. Not pictured: Rhett Alexander, Rhett Alexander, LLC / Military Room Makeover Designer for iReachAmerica Foundation

Although the atmosphere at the recent “Tribute to Veterans – Military Room Makeover” was festive, the hundreds of guests and veterans who attended the kickoff program and street fair organized by the Dania Beach Design District (DBDD) and Dania Beach Chamber understood the importance of the day. Amidst clowns and classic cars and gourmet food trucks were our military veterans…some of them recently returned from Afghanistan and Iraq.

Elected officials and business leaders from the participating cities and chambers had the opportunity to honor “their” veterans and their families, and to personally thank them for service to our country. Under the leadership of Craig Urbine, DBDD President, lead sponsors emerged to help with this effort: Dania Beach Chamber, City of Dania Beach, Luxe Interiors & Design Magazine, the Aventura Marketing Council and event partners from The Florida Panthers, The Florida Marlins, The Continental Group, BankAtlantic, County Line Chiropractic Medical & Rehab Centers, Everbank, Waste Professionals, Sun Sentinel, CBS 4, Neighbors 4 Neighbors, Aventura News, Sunny Isles Beach Sun, Miami Beach News, Stepping Out Florida Events, Parksman Parking, Minto Communities, The Creative Workshop, Dania Beach Lions Club, Jimmie’s Chocolates, Jaxson’s Ice Cream Parlour & Restaurant, Gallery Art and CK Holding Group. Proceeds from the event benefited Wounded Warriors and the iReachAmerica Foundation, both organizations dedicated to helping veterans return to civilian life.

Natalia Zea, CBS-4 News reporter served as Emcee and the Blanche Ely Junior ROTC presented the colors before Nicole Henry, an internationallyrecognized award-winning singer mesmerized the audience with her emotional rendition of the national anthem. Youngsters from the Vladimir Classical Ballet School entertained the audience with patriotic dances, as a sumptuous VIP lunch reception was being prepared by the Fort Lauderdale Art Institute, International Culinary School under the direction of Chef Director Jack Kane.

Nine top interior designers were announced during the ceremony to recognize their donation of time, talent and resources to creating ‘dream rooms’ for the veterans. “The caliber of designers selected for this program is very impressive, and the Dania Beach Design District is proud to lead such a worthy program to thank veterans who have sacrificed so much for our freedoms,” said Urbine.

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