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Diamonds and Donuts, Boca Raton’s Exotic Car Meet at Diamonds By Raymond Lee

Boca Raton Jewelers Host Monthly Community Car Show For Charity

Diamonds by Raymond Lee, a family-owned engagement ring and wedding band retailer in South Florida, brings together exotic and classic car enthusiasts of Boca Raton for a monthly car show to raise funds for local charities. Last November, a local Boca Raton business, kickstarted a monthly community event bringing together luxury car owners in one place for charitable causes. Diamonds by Raymond Lee originated as Raymond Lee Jewelers (RLJ), a luxury watch and diamond boutique, founded by Jeff Josephson in 1983. Since its inception, Josephson was determined to cultivate strong family values in his business, providing unique and personal experiences for every occasion. Realizing a growing demand would be fast approaching for a new wave of upcoming age groups, Raymond Lee Jewelers began to look past the needs of Baby Boomers and Generation X. Whereas these groups had already celebrated monumental milestones in their lives, their children and grandchildren, had yet to reach these life marks. On the contrary, subsequent generations would soon be encountering engagements and proposals of their own, yet times had changed since their parent’s epoch. Additionally, styling had also evolved over generations. In 2016 Raymond Lee Jewelers revamped their traditional image, shifting their branding to reflect the evolution of a new succeeding generation, hence welcoming the name change to Diamonds by Raymond Lee. With the additional brand name change, also came the creation of a new commercial building. The former Boca Diner plot was bought and underwent eight months of construction to finally unveil Diamonds by Raymond Lee, the top authorized retailer for top designer and custom-made engagement rings and wedding bands. At its heart, though, the family-run business, continued to prioritize their services and operations. While the Boca Raton jewelry house might have added to its name, it was still concerned with nurturing positive and comfortable client relationships at a public scale. As such, following his father’s spirit, the Josephson’s second-generation owner, Lee Josephson, decided to honor his family’s founding legacy and remain committed to reaching a broader audience – this time on a philanthropic, regional level. Starting in the late 1800s, classic car shows began gaining worldwide recognition. On November 3, 1900, America’s first automobile auto show opened in New York City’s Madison Square Garden. Automotive history surpasses immense engines, flashy paint jobs, or custom modifications. It evokes the nation’s founding principles of freedom and resilience. Car meets can display anywhere from simple, day-to-day vehicles to incredibly fast and sporty makes. Every year, new models are released and customized by engineers, who experiment with performance, reliability, and demonstration. At these organized car shows, drivers and admirers from all over, congregate to see how these various ingredients cooked to form this or that auto. In the early years, American car shows were sequestered to the main metropolitan cities like Boston, Chicago, Philadelphia, Cleveland, or Detroit. Every stop afforded the citizens of those cities, or states, to flock to the designated venue and view the latest models and technology in real-time. The sketches planned out on paper had been produced and forged together to create incredible pieces of work. Since then, car meets have drawn crowds ranging from small-scale neighborhood gatherings to a weekend-long formal event. What makes people come out and appreciate these collector items? The communal aspect. Collector and exotic cars attract a broad scope of age groups, they cater to the young who sit down and imagine driving their own rare model toy car, adolescents who are merely stepping into learning the basic auto rules, not to mention budgeting their savings for their first car, and the older adult generations who have witnessed certain models and makes come and go throughout their years. As one vintage car consultant says, “You’ll see people with $3,000 cars and million-dollar roadsters sit down and talk for hours.” The appreciation for different vehicles, who literally come from all roads of life, promote personal connections between both visitors and owners. Regardless of the magnitude, the car community is known for being welcoming to beginners and aficionados. About 30 years after its founding, Raymond Lee Jewelers, and subsequently Diamonds by Raymond Lee, decided to inaugurate a monthly charity car show, bridging the grandeur of collector cars and experienced luxury diamond designers, with the local, insular Boca Raton community made up of around 96,000 residents. Diamonds & Donuts, held in Diamonds by Raymond Lee’s parking lot, is a monthly nonprofit car show that solicits luxury car enthusiasts of Boca Raton (and neighboring cities) to come together and raise funds for local charities or fundraisers. Visitors are able to walk around the car meet in Boca Raton and snap pictures of a Bugatti Chiron, a mid-engined two-seater sports car marketed as the “world’s most powerful production car,” a Lamborghini Aventador, the fastest production Lamborghini ever built that also houses a V12 engine, or a McLaren 720S, a 720-horsepower engine able to reach a top speed of 212 mph. Free to the public and family-friendly, Diamonds & Donuts, encourages South Florida residents to view high-profile vehicles first-hand, while simultaneously learning additional details about certain brands or models that may interest them. Whereas popularized nationwide auto shows include tens of thousands of vehicles, require entrance fees, and extended hours to browse, Diamonds & Donuts fosters an inclusive, community-feel. The South Florida car meet is not an international circuit with stops in Tokyo or Detroit, but it represents a notable community effort by residents and business owners alike, to raise money and have a great time. The car show is free for onlookers and while individuals wanting to display their autos do have to make a reservation, there are no associated charges. Car owners wanting to display their collector vehicles are comprised of local Boca Raton natives who wish to showcase their rare designs or modifications. Guests are residents in the South Florida area who hear about Diamonds & Donuts through word-of-mouth advertising, the official Diamonds by Raymond Lee Facebook event page, or online flyers and pictures that are shared and circulated amongst friends and family. Just like guests have the opportunity to walk around and learn more about certain cars they are interested in, owners, themselves, also have the chance to share their personal auto stories and network with other car hobbyists. Why would personal narratives of how one person bought their car be interesting? The luxury, nonetheless ultra premium auto world, is a small niche. It implicates large financial expenses, as well as detailed decisions about housing one’s vehicle. Each individual car owner also has their own story when it comes to choosing paint, interior, or exterior options. For example, Rolls Royce, owned by BMW, offers about 60 leather options, 30 variations of wood, over 64 standard paint choices, and multiple custom hues. A customer has a library of 44,000 colors to choose from and can still customize the shading on any piece. The moment a car enthusiast makes his or her purchase is significant, usually consisting of various personal events leading up to the big day. Diamonds & Donuts provides these stories a platform on a more intimate, community level, as car owners are locals of Boca Raton. On average, the car meet garners around 150-250 autos and offers light refreshments and snacks, including the event name’s main pastry: doughnuts. There are already active threads of online conversations occurring throughout various social media platforms, leading up to, or following, a Diamonds & Donuts car show. Auto owners in the Boca Raton area tend to tag or trade commentary with other car buffs. In one @diamonds_donuts Instagram post, you can expect to see more than 30 comments of conversation regarding who is coming out, who is looking forward to the car show, and what cars some might be displaying. One online user writes, “I had a great time chatting with friends, talking with Ian and seeing the Diamond Girls. It was a beautiful day with some beautiful machines, great food, and all for a good cause…and I even won a raffle prize! :-)” Scrolling through the Diamonds by Raymond Lee events page, you can truly grasp the community interest and excitement. Comments such as, “Who’s ready for the next one?!” or “Johnny’s having an amazing time surrounded by one of his passions, exotic cars and it’s for a great cause too. Can’t get better than that on a beautiful Sunday in South FL!” speak to the anticipation and build-up that has been nurtured in less than a year’s time. In January, Diamonds & Donuts partnered with Tri-County Animal Rescue, a no-kill, nonprofit animal shelter working to prevent the killing of over 170,000 unwanted pets in Broward, Miami-Dade, and Palm Beach counties. Since their inception, Tri-County has saved over 55,000 domestic animals from being euthanized, by placing them in homes through their adoption center. January’s’ car show offered pet adoptions for those domestic animals in need. That month the event raised $1000 for the shelter through guest donations and giveaways. The last Diamonds & Donuts event held this past March had a live DJ, coffee and doughnuts, a charity raffle, jewelry giveaways, and local catering from Ceasar’s Famous Ribs. Over 1k Facebook users marked they were interested and the event garnered an impressive 600 guests. With a ten dollar charitable donation required for a wristband entrance to a private bbq, over $1000 were raised for a major cause, The Boys & Girls Club of Broward County, a local chapter that provides diverse after-school programs for young people to meet their interests and development needs. The organization has served 4.2 million healthy snacks and hot meals since 2011 and provide focus on everything from education, social recreation, health and physical education, to leadership and citizenship development, cultural enrichment, and personal adjustment with one-on-one counseling. In addition to keeping visitors interested in social media posts, Diamonds & Donuts publishes picture albums for each event on a timely basis. Over 50 photos summarizing the day’s activity can be found in one album, highlighting the local displayed cars, attendees posing with their favorite model, and Diamond Girls, the Boca Raton car show models. In addition, every Diamonds & Donuts Car Show offers a live broadcast of the meet though Instagram, Facebook and YouTube. In this January 2018 clip, Finish Line Factory talks through the cars seen, such as a sporty, red Ferrari F430, a sleek, black Audi R8, and a black Ford GT. The live videos are a great presentation of the upbeat crowd and diverse collections of vehicles guests can expect, varying from vintage to exotic. For Diamonds by Raymond Lee, as well as the Boca Raton community, Diamonds & Donuts marks an exciting crossroad. The ability to organize a local effort such as this one, primarily through a small family-run business is impressive. Luxury cars and jewelry may seem to fall under the same umbrella of high-end pieces, but they truly have no overlapping similarities, until this Boca Raton car show came to be. Diamonds & Donuts is an intersection of local collective causes, joining together in one parking lot. Whether you are interested in looking at luxury cars or would like to give back to a local organization through some way, this community car meet hosted by Diamonds by Raymond Lee, offers an opportunity for all. This South Florida car show, is becoming a fun, organic part of the Boca Raton community, and a great outlet to spend the day doing something out of the norm. Pet-friendly, family-friendly, and locally-run, Diamonds & Donuts Car Show is an enriching experience that was missing in the community but has found a great home. The next Diamonds & Donuts car show will take place on Sunday, April 29, 2018, from 9am-12pm outside the Diamonds by Raymond Lee Boca Raton building, located on Federal Highway. Immediately following the car show, support the “All You Can Eat” Charity Barbecue from 12pm-2pm with all donations benefiting the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, MSDStrong victims fundraiser. All proceeds from MSDStrong will stay with Stoneman Douglas High School to support teachers and students as they transition back to normality over the next weeks, months, and years. For more information regarding Diamonds & Donuts, visit their official Instagram page or stay updated and follow the Diamonds by Raymond Lee Facebook page.

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