Broward Performing Arts Foundation Celebrates Members of the Robert B. Lochrie Jr. Founders’ Club

Lisa Kitei, Patrick Patel, Ladan Patel, Julia Yameen, Ty Sutton, Bonnie Barnett, George LeMieux (Photo credit: Broward Center for the Performing Arts)

Members of the Broward Performing Arts Foundation‘s Robert B. Lochrie Jr. Founders’ Club (Buddy’s Club), named for the founding chairman of the Foundation, were celebrated at a reception hosted by Ladan and Patrick G. Patel at their beautiful waterfront home.

Guests were treated to a magical evening from their red carpet arrival to their final farewell. Foundation President Lisa Kitei introduced the evening’s program by thanking the Patels for their generous hospitality. She went on to share a piece of Founders’ Club history, noting that a decade earlier, Carol Kalagher had hosted the annual reception in the same house before selling it to the Patels. “The legacy of the Founders’ Club is not only in our traditions, it is in our name,” Kitei said, as she recognized Robert B. Lochrie III, who, like his father, chaired the Foundation board and who later chaired the Performing Arts Center Authority.

The Founders’ Club is a prestigious group of more than 150 benefactors who have made cumulative gifts of $100,000 or more and maintain their giving annually. Senator George LeMieux, Broward Performing Arts Foundation Board Chair, spoke of the impact that their philanthropy has had on the Broward Center over the years. “In 2008, we had 18 members who raised a little more than $100,000. In 2024, 163 members raised more than $1 million,” and he reminded members that their gifts support the education programs of the Center.

Ty Sutton, attending his first Founders’ Club reception since becoming the President and CEO of the Broward Center in February, cited the Center’s national reputation and leadership role in providing educational content to the community. “The Broward Center’s commitment to education was a major reason I came to Fort Lauderdale.” In closing the evening’s remarks, he introduced Julia Yameen, a member of the cast of Mrs. Doubtfire, who performed for the group. The show, then playing at the Broward Center, was part of the 2023-2024 Bank of America Broadway in Fort Lauderdale season, presented by sponsor Nicklaus Children’s Hospital.

For nearly 40 years, the Broward Performing Arts Foundation has been instrumental in providing support for the Broward Center for the Performing Arts. The Foundation was established in 1985 to deliver the required private funding to build the Center and create an endowment to sustain its operations. Over the years, the Foundation has successfully raised funds to support the Broward Center’s innovative and diverse programming, arts-in-education initiatives, community engagement activities and capital projects. In the decade between 2010 and 2020, the Foundation successfully completed two capital campaigns raising nearly $100 million to restore, renovate and renew the Broward Center campus and the Parker Playhouse (now known as The Parker).

Ladan Patel, Steve Kalagher, Carol Harrison Kalagher

Robert B. Lochrie III, Dev Motwani, Doug Eagon, George LeMieux

J. Kenneth Tate, Beatriz Miniaci, Barry Somerstein, Lisa Kitei, Sandy Tate, Susan Somerstein

Steven Greenbaum, Deborah Greenbaum, Meike Miniaci, Dominick Miniaci

Ida Leightman, Ray Leightman, Perry Stamos, Sandy Stamos

Per-Olof Lööf, Wayne Weiner, Matt Mandell, Lucretia Weiner

Jane Eagon, Brooke Lochrie

David Arditi, Peggy Olin

Joyce Virga, Adrienne Barry