Don Taft

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Taft Taft, Don Don Taft was a philanthropic leader, blessed with intelligence, wit and an infectious sense of humor. He not only supported many worthwhile not-for-profit causes, but also gave of his personal time and skills to these organizations. Mr. Taft served as Honorary Chairman for Gilda??s Club; Board Member of Special Olympics Broward County; Board of Governors of the Wayne Huizenga School of Business and Entrepreneurship at Nova Southeastern University (NSU); Board Member of Children??s Diagnostic and Treatment Center; Advisory Board Member of Children??s Cancer Center at Broward General Medical Center; Board Member of Ronald McDonald House; Advisory Committee for the Jeff Conine Golf tournament; Member of Jack and Jill Center; Member of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and was a proud member of Pinion, Inc. In February 2009, NSU announced the naming of its 366,000 square-foot University Center in honor of businessman, entrepreneur and philanthropist Don Taft, in recognition of the largest gift to NSU from the Don Taft Foundation. The Don Taft Special Olympics program at NSU was started as a result of the gift. The university is now the only private college to have a Special Olympics chapter located on its campus. Don contributed generously to the organizations on whose boards he served and to many others, including the Joe DiMaggio Children s Hospital; he gifted the Chapel to the new Joe DiMaggio Children s Hospital and the Conine Club House. Don was most proud of his personal involvement in the activities of the organizations he supported. Numerous honors have been presented to Don. In April 2009, he received the Spirit of Healing Award from the Memorial Foundation and the Joe DiMaggio Children s Hospital Foundation. He was named the 2009 Board Member and Volunteer of the Year Award by Special Olympics Broward County. In recognition of Don s support of the athletes of Special Olympics the Don Taft Athlete of Year Award was established in 2009. Victory Living Programs recognized Don Taft as the 2010 Pillar of the Community . Don also received the 2009 Philanthropist of the Year Award by the National Association of Fundraising Professionals as well as The Chancellor s Community Award from NSU in January 2010, and was selected as 2010 Entrepreneur of the Year Award by the H. Wayne Huizenga School of Business and Entrepreneurship at NSU. On March 13, 2011, Don Taft will be named Humanitarian of the Year by the Emerald Society of Fort Lauderdale, Inc. Don had over 50 years of senior level business experience, having founded, owned, or managed both private and publicly traded companies. His business expertise had been applied across a wide range of industries including manufacturing, distribution, wholesale, retail, and entertainment. Mr. Taft was involved in the formation of Funnel Cake Factory, the New York Style Bagel Chip Company and ??Storecast??, a division of Comcast Cable. Mr. Taft was a principal in various entities in the entertainment industry, which included management and representation of actors, writers, and directors. A private funeral service will be held on Monday February 28, 2011. A public celebration of Don Taft s life will be held on Monday February 28, 2011 at 6 P.M. at the Don Taft University Center, located on Nova Southeastern University s Davie Campus. Refreshments will be served immediately following the ceremony. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Special Olympics Broward County, 3301 College Ave., Fort Lauderdale, FL 33314 (954) 262-2150 or any of the above mentioned Charities.

Published in Sun-Sentinel on Feb. 24, 2011
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