King Jewelers Celebrates 100 Years
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|TOP: Maxine and Scott King are presented an award for their support of the Holocaust Documentation and Education Center. BOTTOM: Scott, Dwyane Wade, and Maxine at the Aventura store during a fundraiser for the Wade’s World Foundation|
With so many worthwhile causes, which ones capture the bulk of your attention these days?
MK: When it comes to cancer or children, I have a hard time saying no. My mother died of breast cancer at age 57, and I’d like to see a cure in my lifetime. As for children, I can’t bear the thought of a child being sick or hungry. These days, I’m also passionate about animals. I never let my kids have a dog, but now they’re grown and we’ve been very involved with the Humane Society. We started a line of jewelry for dogs called Fancy Bones, and donated to the organization a portion of the proceeds.
There must be some incredibly proud moments. What stands out most?
MK: We’ve always worked hard for the Holocaust Documentation and Education Center here [in Hollywood, Florida]. And Mel Dick from Southern Wine & Spirits wanted to ship from Poland one of the train cars that had been used to transport Jewish people to the concentration camps. Over 400 guests came out that night, and a Holocaust survivor spoke about her experiences, urging us to keep the memory alive. It was overwhelming to see people reaching into their pockets this way.
How do you think Miami measures up to other cities in terms of charitable giving?
MK: There are people here who truly believe in their causes and are in it 100 percent. They work very hard to raise money and make the events successful. They put in the time and money. And then there are people who join charities for the social experience, to see their names on letterheads and invitations. It’s a good thing because it raises awareness for a cause. But hopefully when people look at the magazine photographs, they’ll also see the message behind the pictures. I just like to make sure that if we’re going to host a fundraiser in our shop, the board members are there to support their own organizations.
It sounds like there isn’t a single organization you’d turn away.
MK: With the exception of Israel, I don’t give to charities outside of this country. One time, a fighter pilot was in the store buying a $5,000 Breitling watch. He was just back from Afghanistan and told me he’d started a foundation there to help children. I couldn’t participate, I explained, because I want to start with the people here, in our country. And I feel strongly about that.
What is the future of philanthropy in South Florida?
MK: I think the idea of giving has become more stylish, and the people who support causes are younger than ever. Probably in part because giving is something that was instilled by their parents, and also because younger people are more affluent these days. But regardless, at the end of the day, helping other people makes you feel good.