2003 – Palm Beach Gardens, Florida
Born in Pennsylvania and raised in Massachusetts, Reneé Silvester was an early entrepreneur, honored by the Newton newspaper as one of the youngest and most successful business owners. In 1956, she and her now late husband, Arthur W., moved to Florida to build a jai alai fronton in the area. In Palm Beach both became highly active community leaders. Reneé served as chair of the March of Dimes, as longtime member of the of the Palm Beach Opera Governor’s Board (of which Arthur was president), was founder of the Civic Opera’s Guild and was honored by the Cancer Foundation. She was named 1994 Woman of the Year by Il Circolo, the Italian cultural society. In the 1970s the Silvesters established a second home in Newport, Rhode Island, where Arthur built another jai alai fronton and Reneé became involved on the board of the world renowned Newport Music Festival. Always active in their businesses, Mrs. Silvester retains a fifty per cent ownership of the Newport Grand Jai Alai and serves on its board. Though the West Palm Beach Jai Alai was sold in 1993, she remains active in the Palm Beach community. The “go” person when things need to be done, Reneé’s early and enthusiastic support for Northwood is legend. A philanthropist with both time and funding, she is a long-time member of the Northwood National Women’s Board Palm Beach chapter, has sponsored scholarships for the Palm Beach Opera and recently honored her son Arthur W. (of Stuart, FL) with the naming of Northwood’s new Florida baseball stadium, and her daughter Diane Hurley (Jamestown, RI) with the naming of a Newport school.