The 13th annual Boys & Girls Clubs Leadership Breakfast honored two giants of their professions - Todd Jones, CEO of Publix Super Markets and ESPN sports personality and philanthropist Dick Vitale. Nearly 450 guests came out to the breakfast (catered by Mattison’s), to salute the two honorees.
Guests entered through the beautiful new Teen Resource Center on their way to the Dick Vitale Health & Fitness Center, where the event, sponsored by Intertape Polymer Group, was held.
Seen were Yolanda Mancha, Neil McCurry, Sara Bealor, Rosemary Chapura, June Howell, Sally Schule, Sandra Frank, Sheriff Tom Knight, Anne Garlington, Nora and John Patterson, Jen Rust and Steve Johnson, Sarabeth Kalajian, Stacia King, Lorraine Vitale, Terri Vitale-Sforzo, Mary Kenealy, Joe Barbetta and many more.
Boys & Girls Club member Alex Castanon led the invocation, while LaShaughn Waiters sang a beautiful rendition of the National Anthem.
Guests were then welcomed by Sen. Lisa Carlton and Florida Youth of the Year Rickey Tedesco, who shared a bit of his background, explaining that “Walking through those doors was the best thing that could have happened to me.”
Boys & Girls Club President and CEO Bill Sadlo then offered a few words of welcome. "We are able to be the place for teens to access award-winning programs and plan for success after high school because of the immense amount of support from local partners and the tireless efforts of community leaders," he said. 
Rachel Bennett, who works at Publix, then introduced company CEO Todd Jones, who spoke about the “legacy of lessons” passed down by Publix founder George W. Jenkins. Those lessons included investing in others; preparing for opportunity; respecting the dignity of the individual; treating customers like royalty; and giving back, which he described as “a responsibility, a privilege, we all have.”
Jakobi Davis then introduced “the one and only Dickie V.” Vitale, who raised $1 million toward the construction of the Lee Wetherington Boys & Girls Club, and has, with his wife, Lorraine, given more than 100 teens scholarship money over the last 20 years, talked about the importance of “chasing your dreams and chasing your goals,” and finding something in your heart for which you have a passion.
For Dick Vitale that passion is found helping the next generation, whether it is through organizations like the Boys & Girls Clubs, or helping children with pediatric cancer - a cause for which he has raised more than $25 million.

Jasmine Mendez, Omar Aca, Dick Vitale, Janyla Woodie, Kennedy Buchanan, Christian Knuth and Ruben Gonzalez-Vera.
PHOTO BY ROD MILLINGTON