Ask Patrick Park what the secret is to hosting a successful fundraiser, and he will say it’s all in the details of the atmosphere—a visually stunning a ballroom or event space with
excellent cuisine, the finest wines and top-rated live music.
“You learn that people do, in fact, want to donate money,” he says. “People have the potential to be incredibly generous, but it helps when the environment is stress-free. Save the business for later, and instead enjoy music, food and drink. Making sure everyone has a great time correlates with a favorable outcome for an event.”
This year, Park—a Jupiter resident and well-known philanthropist—will co-chair the 13th annual Palm Beach Wine Auction along with his wife, Milly. In the last 25 years, he has chaired more than 200 fundraising events, mostly in Palm Beach County, while managing his family’s philanthropic efforts.
“I always try to put myself in the attendees’ shoes,” he says. “Unlike fundraisers up north [in New York], which are more corporate-driven, Palm Beach does things a little different. We try to make sure everyone has an unforgettable time, first and foremost. At the end of the day, coming together for extraordinary causes is what makes it all worthwhile.”
Set for Jan. 20, this is the first year the Palm Beach Wine Auction will take place at the private club at 1000 NORTH, a fine dining restaurant with spectacular views of the Jupiter Inlet.
Over the past 12 years, the auction has raised more than $4 million toward Kravis Center arts education programs, and Park believes this year will be another success.
“Hosting the auction at 1000 NORTH is a way for us to seamlessly marry unparalleled food with coveted wines,” Park says. “Though this year will not take place in a hotel or a ballroom, but instead a five-star restaurant that allows attendees to experience something different.”
Executive chef of 1000 NORTH, Lee Morris, will be at the helm of the evening’s gourmet dinner service while Brian Chamis, sommelier of Café Chardonnay in Palm Beach Gardens and co-owner of The Vine Post wine shop in Juno Beach, will return as the Palm Beach Wine Auction Sommelier for the event’s wine service.
“The Palm Beach gala season has many worthwhile events, but the Palm Beach Wine Auction is unique in its commitment to culinary excellence of the highest caliber,” Park says. “This event is an ongoing commitment to the future of Palm Beach County. With a vision to bring a new element of excitement and fun to this year’s event, Milly and I look forward to entertaining our guests in unforgettable fashion with one of our trademark cocktail parties.”