Branches, to celebrate 16th annual Benefit Dinner and Auction, Apr. 27

Miami's Community Newspapers

Branches, a local non-profit dedicated to providing life-changing opportunities to working families and their children, will celebrate its 16th annual Black Tie & Blue Jeans Benefit Dinner and Auction on Saturday, Apr. 27, 6 p.m., at the JW Marriott Marquis.

More than 500 guests are expected to attend and help raise funds for Branches’ programs focused on long-term personal success.

“Almost 60 percent of families in our community are struggling to make ends meet,” said Brent McLaughlin, executive director of Branches. “Branches serves to create opportunities for these children and families to break the cycle of generational poverty and succeed in school, become more financially stable, and attain a high quality of life. With generous support from individuals, church and corporate partners, we are making an impact for thousands of our neighbors in need.”

The event begins with a cocktail reception and an extensive silent auction, followed by dinner and dancing, as well as an appeal and an exciting live auction. A few of the notable auction items include a private Bahama Island home stay, a Seaplane Flight & Lunch in the Keys, a VIP Shopping Experience, a Blimp Ride, and more.

Emcee and Zoo Miami Ambassador Ron Magill and auctioneer and Branches’ board member Scott Howard will lead the evening’s program and auction.

Individual tickets are $300 and tables start at $3,000.

The benefit dinner will include the presentation of the Trish and Dan Bell Community Empowerment Award to Marile and Jorge Luis Lopez, Esq.

One hundred percent of the proceeds from the benefit dinner’s appeal will support Branches’ Summer Shade Camp. The seven-week Summer Shade day camp serves more than 400 Branches children and provides employment for more than 30 of Branches youth to serve as Summer Guides or camp counselors. A Challenge Grant provided by generous Miami philanthropists Trish and Dan Bell will match the evening appeal contributions dollar-for-dollar.

The 16th annual Black Tie & Blue Jeans is made possible thanks to countless volunteers, many of whom have taken a leadership role in planning this annual event. Victoria and Jason Randolph are chairing the gala along with philanthropic chairs Trish and Dan Bell.

Premiere and corporate sponsors of the event include the Himan Brown Charitable Trust, Sandy and Rodney Bell, FIU Foundation, as well as Aetna, Amicon, Center State Bank, City National Bank, Crowe, JP Morgan Chase, Missy and Jim Morgan, PMG, Publix, The Tonkinson Foundation and more.

For more details, visit or contact Isabelle Pike at 305-442-8306, ext. 1002, or by email at

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