HOLLYWOOD, FLA. (WSVN) - The United Way of Broward County hosted a celebration of service for a family that is no stranger to giving back to the community.

The Mayors’ Gala was back in a big way this weekend after a two-year-long pandemic-related pause.

7News cameras captured pop star Taylor Dayne as she took the stage at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, Saturday night.

“How are you feeling at the Hard Rock? United Way, let’s go!” she said as the crowd cheered.

Dayne’s high-energy performance was only a part of the night’s festivities. The event gave South Florida business leaders the chance to interact and even bid on auction items.

The gala was also a celebration of the Ansin family, who owns WSVN, and their patriarch, Ed Ansin, who passed away in July of 2020.

Attendees’ recognized Ed Ansin’s commitment to philanthropy in South Florida.

“Mr. Ansin was so important to United Ways: Broward, Miami, Boston,” said United Way of Broward CEO Kathleen Cannon, “but I was so fond of him. It was so awesome to see him at work and see how he supported the community.”

From the TV business to giving back, it’s a path the Ansin family has forged and followed for generations, from grandfather Sidney, Ed Ansin and now the Ansin children: Andrew, Stephanie and James.

The Ansin brothers, now CEO and co-president and general manager of Sunbeam Television, were on hand for the presentation of the Champion of Philanthropy Award. They were joined by their mother, Toby Lerner Ansin, Andrew’s wife, Tatsiana Ansin and Cannon.

“Our family’s support for United Way has been in our DNA for at least three generations, particularly because the organizations funded by the United Way are carefully vetted and help those most in need,” said James Ansin.

Journalism was just one reason Ed Ansin’s passion for the TV news industry held strong for so long.

“[He used] the television stations to amplify the message of the philanthropic organizations in town and to help those organizations get their message out, let the community know what they’re doing, help raise money, help attract volunteers and help them complete their mission,” said Andrew Ansin.

It’s a mission that will continue making a major difference through the United Way and other nonprofit organizations in South Florida and Massachusetts, opening doors that might otherwise remain closed.

“His kids are now picking up the mantle, securing his legacy, doing so much in this community,” said Cannon. “I’m just so grateful that generation after generation after generation of Ansins are community-oriented and giving back to our community.”

Also honored at the Mayors’ Gala were A Decade of Women United Magnolias and Broward County Mayor Michael Udine as the Community Game Changer.

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