2021 Fern House Spring Brunch
November 6 @ 9:00 am - 11:00 am$125.00
Fern House & Palm Beach Yacht Club Present
2021 Fern House
Chief Deputy Michael Gauger, PBSO (Ret.)
It’s not all that often that we find ourselves face to face with someone who’s devoted their life to improving other people’s lives. We plan to honor a gentleman that has devoted his entire professional career to the enrichment of the people of our community.
Our dear friend, Michael Gauger, retired this year following 50 years with the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office. A seasoned law enforcement officer, “Chief” has been dedicated to improving the neighborhoods in which he worked. As an advocate of community policing, he worked with a team of deputies to build after-school tutoring, mentoring and athletic programs, while also partnering with families to strengthen parenting and communication skills.
Chief Deputy Michael Gauger has been engaged in a myriad of programs providing mental health and substance abuse treatment, and has served on the Fern House Board of Directors for over three decades, helping to develop it from a fledgling program into the success it is today.
Chief Deputy Michael Gauger has received numerous distinguished awards and honors of appreciation from various agencies during his lengthy law enforcement career; below are just a few:
2018 – Citizen of the Year (Royal Palm Beach Rotary)
2017 – Trailblazer Award (Urban League of Palm Beach County)
2016 – Governmental Official of the Year (The Puerto Rican Hispanic Chamber of Commerce)
2016 – Law Enforcement Officer of the Year (Guardian Behavioral Health)
2014 – Nettie Finkle Award for Community Service (Palm Beach United Way)
2013 – Frank T. Gladney Community Service Award (Wellington Rotary Club)
1998 & 2000 – Rotarian of the Year
Featured Alumnus: Robbie E.
Since 2002, Robbie E. has been an integral part of the Fern House family. From facilitating groups, sponsoring newcomers, handling an emergency repair call to our A/C system, and even reaching a hand out to offer employment with his company, Robbie has generously remembered where he got his start and has always strived to remain of service.
Robbie will share many of his hair-raising experiences, from the pain of active addiction to the joyful experience of marriage and the birth of his first child, with us November 6; in the interim, you may want to check out his recently released book on Amazon. One thing is for sure: if a story of redemption and revival tends to leave a tear in your eye, bring an extra handkerchief to the brunch.
Foundations for the Future
Thirty-nine years ago, two defense lawyers and a biker enjoying a cup of coffee at the noontime AA meeting were talking about how there was not a place for alcoholics exiting the prison system, causing a high recidivism rate, and the idea for Fern House was born.
Approaching four full decades of service to this community, Fern House has evolved into so much more than that 10-bed house on Fern Street opened by those three men. Now serving over 300 indigent men afflicted with addiction each year, we are consistently at capacity at both of our facilities.
Honoring one of those men, James Robinson, who devoted 30 years of his life to the indigent addict and alcoholic, inspired an idea which evolved into a plan that will transform Fern House and prepare it for future expansion, enabling us to share our mission with more of those suffering from the disease of addiction.
As we come together once more, Saturday, November 6, 2021 at Palm Beach Yacht Club, we will honor Jim and celebrate the conclusion of the campaign for our most critical expansion to date.
Fern House is expanding, remodeling and we need your help!
2021 marks the fourth year of the “Foundations for the Future” Campaign, our five-year effort to raise $1,500,000 for construction of a new health-conscious cooking facility and dining room of increased capacity to serve the entire Fern House West Palm Beach and Lake Worth/Harry Hamilton Campus residency.
The two new buildings planned include a recreation room to promote residents’ wellbeing, study and relaxation; smartly configured office space that will pave the way to success in our future expansion efforts; a 60-seat dining area and a fully equipped commercial kitchen designed with the nutritional needs of our clients at the forefront.
Three years in, we have raised well over half of the funds necessary. In 2020, the first phase of construction began performing necessary upgrades to the sanctuary building in preparation for being without a kitchen for a year. Based on our current projections, we expect to break ground on the main project in the first quarter of 2022.
This capital project is necessary for both the overall improvement of the lives of our residents as well as preparing us for a planned future expansion to a third facility which will permit us to better serve those suffering from addiction within our community.
JOIN OUR CAMPAIGN!
The administrative Church Street building and several other opportunities are listed below. Join our friends that have already made their commitment to this critical project known.
AVAILABLE MEMORIAL OPPORTUNITIES:
Administrative Church Street Building: $250,000
Clock Tower: $75,000
New Kitchen/Dining Building: GEORGE BENEDICT
Kitchen: THE ARSENAULT FAMILY
Dining Room: In Loving Memory of James R. Robinson: your 30 years of effort made Fern House possible!
Recreation Center: MARGARET DONNELLEY
Executive Director’s Suite: $25,000
Managerial Suite: JONATHAN BESDINE
Lobby/ Reception Area: $15,000
Dining Room Tables: For only $5,000, you can join our partners Skip Smith, Dr. Donna Marks, The George F. Baker Trust, Community Foundation for Palm Beach and Martin Counties and the Nemec Family in sponsoring one of the five remaining tables inside our new dining room.
Courtyard Benches: The courtyard area between our current sanctuary building and the new administrative Church Street building will become a central gathering point for decades to come. For only $2,500, you can join our partners Barbara Pond, Bill Paty, Dr. Stephen Alexander and Chuck Cordle in sponsoring one of the four remaining benches that will create the new Clock Tower Courtyard.
Not into having your name on stuff? No worries! Join us anyway for what will be an amazing morning and help us celebrate recovery at its foundation.