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Leading Men Make Fund-raising a Year-round Event

December 15, 2006

 Leading Men Photo
At 5 years old, Christopher Ricardo (center) joins his parents Ruben and Maria in the fight against CF.

Five-year-old Christopher Ricardo, who has CF, joined 11 outstanding corporation and community leaders as honorees of the Florida Chapter-South Florida Office's 9th annual Bluegreen Presents…Leading Men 2006.

Held on November 18, at the Design Center of the Americas in Dania Beach, Fla., the black-tie dinner drew 260 guests for an evening aimed to recognize the 12 Leading Men for their generosity and devotion to the CF cause.

Honorees included Cameron Benson, city manager of Hollywood, Fla.; Joseph Catania, president & CEO of Catholic Health Services; Michael Chizner, M.D., chief medical director of The Heart Center of Excellence; Shahrukh Dhanji, CEO of CounterBalance Investmests, Inc.; John Johnson, president & CEO of Holy Cross Hospital; Robert Kramer, president of Kramer, Green, Zuckerman, Greene & Buchsbaum, P.A.; Michael Levinson, city manager of Coral Springs, Fla.; Ira Martin, CEO of Martin Touch Consulting; Raymond Monteleone, CEO of Monteleone & Associates; Robert Roselli, attorney for Roselli & Associates, P.A.; Thomas Shea, CEO of Right Management; and Christopher Ricardo, “junior leading man” and CF Foundation youth ambassador.

To commemorate their work on behalf of the CF Foundation, they each received a gift and photo, while their short biography was read. In addition, the chapter created a 2007 calendar that featured one leader each month.

Later in the evening, Christopher’s uncle, Anthony De Vita, spoke to guests about the importance of funding CF research and was followed by Christopher’s mother Maria, who gave an inspirational speech about her hopes for her son’s future. “Even though he is only 5-years-old,” she remarked, “Christopher is my hero.” Donning a tuxedo and sitting on his father’s lap, Christopher, along with the rest of the audience, gave her a round of applause.

Under the leadership of Anthony J. Perri, the Bluegreen Leading Men 2006 raised more than $100,000. Special thanks go to corporate sponsors Bluegreen Corporation, West Boca Medical Center and 1st United Bank, as well as volunteers Mark Panciera, Bill Rutter, Vanessa D’Souza, Angie Scarfone, Brenda Bryant, Pam Beley, Ellen Devine and Lisa Thornhill.

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