Annual ‘A Night at Roy’s’ fundraiser raises awareness, funds for children’s advocacy group


More than 400 attendees gathered for a Hawaiian-themed fundraiser to benefit the Monique Burr Foundation for Children at the annual “A Night at Roy’s.”

Held April 19 at Roy’s Restaurant in Jacksonville Beach, this year’s event was the biggest yet, event organizers said.

Tents and tables were set up outside of Roy’s Restaurant, owned by James Beard Award-winning chef Roy Yamaguchi, who attended the event. Guests were presented with leis at the sign-in table. Inside the restaurant, attendees perused and bid on the silent auction items.

The night included live musical entertainment from Nashville artist Colleen Orender, Mack & Jack Hazel, Peyton Woods & Wesley Monzon, and Jack Rosa. Guests dined on Hawaiian influence gourmet cuisine and sipped on tropical cocktails. The live auction was conducted by MG Orender, who was assisted by event emcee Curtis Dvorak and Jacksonville Jaguar quarterback Blake Bortles, who helped to auction off one of his signed game jerseys.

Opening remarks were made by MBF Founder Ed Burr and retired teacher Karen Wolfson, who praised the foundation’s Child Safety Matters Program, a prevention education program that provides information and strategies to prevent bullying, cyberbullying, digital abuse and other types of child abuse and exploitation.

“This program truly works and the children understand the safety rules and use them,” Wolfson said. “I’ve seen it work in the classroom and as a volunteer at the Wolfson Children’s Hospital, I have seen the tragic effect of child abuse.”

The MBF Child Safety Matters curriculum is approved in 58 counties in Florida and its safety lessons have reached more than 1 million children. The foundation has trained more than 1,300 facilitators to implement the program, which is made possible through donations and fundraising events such as “A Night at Roy’s.” The foundation hopes to expand the program into other elementary schools nationwide following its recent launched in Dayton, Ohio.