Palm Beach Civic Association 81st season logo

Protecting the quality of life since 1944.

Two Palm Beach Civic Association Directors Open Their Hearts to the Bahamas

John Scarpa and J. Ira Harris, two long time Palm Beach residents, have collectively pledged to match 200,000 dollars donated to the relief effort in the Hurricane Dorian ravaged Bahamas on behalf of The Town Palm Beach United Way ( and the Community Foundation of Palm Beach and Martin Counties  (

70,000 people have been left homeless in the northern Bahamas

“If you try to put yourself in their shoes, it certainly opens your heart to try to reach out and help”, said Scarpa a cable television and cellular communications entrepreneur with strong ties to Villanova Law school, who serves on the board of the Town of Palm Beach United Way.

Mr. Harris, the Chairman of J.I. Harris and Associates, is on the executive committee of the Town of Palm Beach United Way. Mr. Harris and his wife Nicki are well known philanthropists, with strong ties to the University of Michigan. Now they have risen to the call for help from the beleaguered Bahamas, by pledging 100,000 dollars toward the massive relief effort on the islands destroyed by the recent category five hurricane. Their generous donation was made to the Community Foundation of Palm Beach and Martin Counties.

“This extraordinary and immediate response to an unfolding tragedy just off our shores is not the least bit surprising given the charitable history of these two Directors”, said Mary Robosson, the President of the Palm Beach Civic Association

The money, in its entirety, will be vetted and earmarked for use by organizations that are focused on long term recovery.

“Seeing what has happened to these people, how could you not want to reach out and help”?

said Harris.

Scarpa and Harris are calling on others to join them.

All fees are being waved on gifts to the Bahamian Relief Fund through both organizations, the United Way of Palm Beach and the Community Foundation of Palm Beach and Martin Counties

“Ira Harris and John Scarpa are two extraordinary leaders of the Palm Beach Civic Association” said Robosson.

“Their drive and determination to help others, and those that they may never meet, is always reflected in their philanthropy. They inspire this community to do our best”, she said.

Hurricane Dorian has killed more than 40 people and the number is expected to rise dramatically.