Who doesn’t love cocktails and kids? Don’t worry it’s not what you think!! With their big Miami event launching tonight at The Shelborne South Beach, I had a chance to sit down with The Paradise Fund’s Miami Chairperson, Christopher DiSchino, to see what happens when 20 somethings come together to make even bigger things happen. I’m proud to be friends with a couple members of this impressive group and I hope it inspires some of my readers to come out tonight and drink for a good cause. Enjoy!
WHEN, WHERE, HOW:
How did The Paradise Fund get started?
The Paradise Fund started back in 2004-2005. In Palm Beach, as you know, Black Tie is all the rage, especially during the holidays. Our friends and I used to attend a NYE party called “Young Friends of the Red Cross”, an over the top (cirque du soleil sytle) gala designed by Bruce Sutka. When the Young Friends stopped hosting their gala, there was nothing left for the young set from Palm Beach to get involved with over the holidays. So we created the Paradise Fund, originally created as an “event-centric” organization to get our generation of young students involved in charitable causes. With Bruce as our advisor, quickly, our events, particularly Paradise Ball (NYE) grew bigger and bigger. It was a particular hit with our friends from New York City who spent winters in PB. Responding to the demand for more events, we created Paradise Casino in 2007, an event designed to make a real impact. With a professional, upscale and stylish event like the Casino, we were not able to continue to grow our constituency but get our parent’s generation involved as well.
What is TPF’s biggest accomplishment to date?
It’s hard to say really – each project that we work on is so different. I would even go so far as to say that growing the organization to have a national presence is one of our biggest accomplishments. Project wise, we are still working with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital – we recently began a $50,000.00 project with them. Even bigger, we’re becoming more “hands-on” – My Board and I recently returned from a trip to Port-au-Prince Haiti to assist in post-earthquake community redevelopment.
I see TPF is in Palm Beach, LA, New York and Miami. Do plan on expanding? If so, where would you like to go next?
This year really was the year of expansion – we were primarily based out of Palm beach until 2011. Miami’s official launch is on May 11th(you better be there) and New York is launching in mid-June. Each chapter is going to host its own annual, signature blacktie fundraiser like the paradise casino. We need to focus on building those and making them recurring events.