Family Day Dinner 2016


On Monday, Sept. 23, the Banner Lake Club was filled with over 120 local residents enjoying a community dinner to celebrate Family Day. The second annual Family Day Dinner at Banner Lake was a collaborative effort between House of Hope, The Banner Lake Club, Treasure Coast Food Bank and the United Way of Martin County. A national initiative, Family Day was created to promote parental engagement with children and teens in an effort to discourage substance abuse. The movement encourages frequent family dinners as the setting for strengthening bonds within the household.

“This collaborative approach aspires to create significant, communitywide progress by enlisting all sectors to work together toward common goals that benefit all of us,” said United Way President/CEO Carol G. Houwaart-Diez. “Strong families have children who reach their full potential, live safe and healthy lives, and contribute positively to society, which is United Way’s aspiration for our community.”

Attendees included a mix of local residents, Banner Lake Club members and community figures. Dinner guests included newly elected county commissioner Harold Jenkins; superintendent of schools, Laurie Gaylord; county administrator, Taryn Kryzda; county attorney, Michael Durham; Suellen Milroy of the Hobe Sound Community Chest;  and Anne Scott, county commissioner.

Banner Lake Community kitchen volunteers Shelia Harris, Valder Gibson and Darlene Haston prepared a southern feast. Delighted guests enjoyed homemade turkey, ham, collard greens, cornbread, sweet carrots, potato salad and desserts prepared from food donated by the Treasure Coast Food Bank.

United Way of Martin County’s CHARACTER COUNTS! program decorated the tables with cards displaying suggested conversation starters that parents can use to engage their children at the dinner table. These cards offered ideas such as “What is your favorite song to sing?” and “what is your favorite family tradition from your childhood?”

The guests enjoyed dinner and a show with performances by the B.L.A.S.T Dancers: D’Sani Escobedo, Syrenity Christie, Janavah Sumpter, A’Reon Dames, Gianna Young, Remy Jones, Harmoane Keahey and Elizabeth Straughter. Throughout the evening, magician Jamie Jimenez kept the crowd guessing with card tricks and other magic. Once again a successful event, the community and family spirit was especially evident when everyone in the room joined hands and sang along to “We are the World.”