May 31, 2023 5:43 pm

Hi! I am so excited to share with you some highlights from my Dad’s Surprise 80th Birthday Party at the resort!

When my Dad entered the Lakeview Ballroom he was so surprised to see so many of our staff members singing Happy Birthday. He was then met by a very young version of himself, shirtless in a swimsuit back in the day. When I had this cut-out of him made from foam, I decided to help him with his lifelong dream of being 6 feet tall! It was hysterical! Then he walked through a sea of pretty strings hanging down from over 100 gold and black helium balloons. In the center of the room was a scalloped shaped table with a huge cake decorated with photos of him. Surrounding the cake were over 200 cupcakes from Sweeter Days with many flavors to choose from and several framed pictures of my dad. We even had his high school yearbook for our staff to enjoy.

During all of this excitement, Chipper from the Third Generation and one of Demi’s friends from Harvard treated the room to some great guitar music! Then we showed a video of all of our team members wishing a Happy Birthday to our “Fearless Leader” and expressing their feelings for him. Next, it was my turn to say a few words. How can I limit my speech to just a few words when Walter Banks has accomplished so much in his eighty years and means so much to so many?

Some of the awards he has received include The Excalibur Award, South Florida Business Journal Award, Hotelier of the Year for the State of Florida, and induction into the Fort Lauderdale Walk of Fame! He has sat on so many boards I could only touch on a few, including the following: Board Chair for Holy Cross Hospital and Pine Crest School, Chairman of the Florida Hotel Association. He also served on the Miami Branch of the Federal Reserve of Atlanta and currently sits on the Nova Southeastern Board, among others.

Someone once described my dad perfectly. “You either love Walter Banks or you love, love Walter Banks or you love, love, love Walter Banks.” Hope you enjoyed my blog about this amazing man and Happy Birthday, again, Dad!


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