Dear friends and colleagues:
Ok, I know I said I’d never do this. I’m too shy, too old, too clumsy, too self-conscious.
But I lied.
This year I have agreed to become one of eight dancers competing for the coveted mirrored disco ball trophy in front of the entire town of Boca Raton (at least it feels that way) in the Sixth Annual Boca’s Ballroom Battle on August 16, 2013 at the Boca Raton Resort & Club.
I said yes to this not because I embrace the notion of risking my dignity in front of 800 people, but because I know first-hand what the George Snow Scholarship Fund does. I am on the committee that reviews the scholarship applications and I see how these students put themselves on the line day after day to get even the smallest shot at a college education. I read their stories, the accounts of families that are damaged or sick or struggling. Of mothers who work three jobs and kids who take turns sleeping so everyone can have a bed. But they are also stories of hope and courage, written by children who have the vision to look past these obstacles toward dreams of their own.
The least I can do is step out of my personal comfort zone to help them on their way.
Please help me raise even a small part of the $500,000 the George Snow Scholarship Fund gives out every year in scholarships to students who otherwise would not have a chance to attend college. No amount is too small (or too large!) and all of it goes to the charity. You may elect to contribute to the charity, or perhaps you’d like to buy some seats at one of the tables I have reserved for my friends (seats are $150 or $225 for a Preferred spot!) Either way, I am thanking you now from the bottom of my heart. It is never easy to ask for money, and I appreciate your allowing me to do it.
You can help by:
1. Clicking on the “Donate” button on this page and making a tax-deductible contribution to the George Snow Scholarship Fund. Be sure to click on the drop down menu under “Dancer I am supporting” and select my name.
2. Purchasing tickets to Boca’s Ballroom Battle, which will take place on August 16 at the Boca Raton Resort & Club. This is always the event of the summer in Boca, and I am here to promise at least a little comic relief from my end! You can also support the event as a sponsor or program advertiser.
Thank you and I hope you will cheer me on! The
Marie Speed was born in Alexandra, Virginia where she lived as a young girl until her family moved to London for two years. The London years were full of travel and ghost stories and a new way of life—and one magical night when Marie and her best friend in seventh grade got to see the Beatles perform in person at Victoria & Albert Hall. (And, yes, they both screamed). Her father, Hugh Speed, who was a Colonel in the Army and worked for the CIA, was transferred to STRIKE Command in Tampa after the Bay of Pigs event, and the family settled in St. Petersburg where Marie went to junior high and high school. This was probably when she began what would become a lifelong love affair with Florida, starting with water skiing all through the canals and bayous of northeast St. Petersburg to later camp outs and canoe trips, Everglades hikes and more.
Marie attended the University of Florida where she graduated with honors with a BA in English literature, followed by an MA in English literature with emphasis in Creative Writing; her major professors were Smith Kirkpatrick and Harry Crews and her thesis was comprised of her own short stories.
Following graduate school, Marie moved to Jacksonville, Florida, where she became the first female assistant vice president of Plantec Corporation, the economic consulting branch of the venerable architectural and engineering firm of Reynolds, Smith & Hills. She left that job to become managing editor of the fledgling Jacksonville Monthly magazine, and later, Jacksonville Today. After stints at the Jacksonville Business Journal and AT&T American Transtech, she moved to South Florida to become editor of Boca Raton magazine in 1991. Today, Marie is group editor of all JES publications, including Boca Raton, Delray Beach, Worth Avenue, Mizner’s Dream and the annual publication for the Boca Raton Chamber of Commerce. She also oversees editorial operations of the company’s Salt Lake City magazines.
Her community involvement has ranged from work with the Morikami museum and the Boca Raton Chamber of Commerce to a longtime board member position at Caridad Center. She is also on the George Snow Scholarship Fund review committee. She is a past officer of the Florida Magazine Association and a member of Class XVII of Leadership Florida. In her spare time, Marie enjoys South Florida’s natural world through hiking and kayaking, and she is an avid reader and an enthusiastic cook.
She lives in Ocean Ridge, Florida.