Hibiscus Children’s Center Honored to Nominate Supporters for National Philanthropy Day


Hibiscus Children’s Center was honored to nominate three supporters who are helping to change the lives of the children living at the Hibiscus Shelter.   The National Philanthropy Day Awards Luncheon, presented by the Association of Fundraising Professionals, is always a special event to honor those in our community who make a difference.   Hibiscus CEO Matt Markley and staff members had the privilege to attend with our nominees:  Pam Gardner, Family Church of Jensen Beach and the US Sailing Center of Martin County.   

Pam Gardner was nominated and recognized as the Outstanding Volunteer Fundraiser.  Pam is a long-time supporter who was inspired to get involved by her dear friend LaVaughn Tilton, Hibiscus Founder.  Pam hosted the first Hibiscus Guild meeting in 1992 and was joined by 30 like-minded women which today has grown into over 100 members planning and executing successful fundraisers.  Since that time, this dynamic group has raised $12 million for the children!  Pam shared that what has motivated her to stay involved for over 30 years is that these children come from unimaginable situations and need the same love, care and guidance that our own children have received.  Pam’s love and concern for the children is evident as she encourages and inspires others to join her efforts in the fight against child abuse.   Pam is a very special volunteer and we are grateful for her many years of dedication to making life better for children. 


Family Church of Jensen Beach was nominated and recognized as the Outstanding Faith-Based Organization Supporting Philanthropy.  Family Church has been sharing its heart and love with the Hibiscus children since 2017.  They have shared that we are admonished in the Bible to take care of the orphans and to step into the gap when children need extra help.  This wonderful group has done just that for our children.  Volunteers visit the Shelter on a weekly basis teaching Bible study and sharing stories with the kids and Pastor Jeff Fields makes a point to challenge the kids to be the best they can be and live an upstanding life. Some of the wonderful activities they provide for the children include a Spa Day, Water Day, Good Friday events with an Easter Egg Hunt and Easter program, Santa’s Workshop with craft making so the children can be a part of the holiday giving spirit and wrap gifts they choose for friends and family, and the Quarterly Staff Appreciation Luncheon so those taking care of the children feel loved and encouraged.   We are grateful to Family Church for showing their love and support to our children and helping to make our staff feel special.

Hibiscus was honored to nominate the US Sailing Center of Martin County.  If you were to ask the children living at the Hibiscus Shelter what they think of the US Sailing Center, you would hear “Sailing Camp was the best thing I have ever done in my life” and “Sailing Camp was the best part of my week”.   Sailing instructors and volunteers provide the children with wonderful afternoons in sailboats. Since 2014, more than 600 Hibiscus children have benefited from this wonderful experience.  The children gain confidence in each lesson and learn valuable skills such as teamwork, patience, responsibility, caring about their environment, and other skills that they can use for the rest of their lives.   The Sailing Center has taught the Hibiscus children about sailing and boats, but the benefits the children have received are truly life changing.  Thank you for giving children this priceless opportunity and enriching their lives. 

Please visit us at to learn more about Hibiscus and how you can get involved to help children in our community.   

Hibiscus Nominees at the Awards Luncheon