Michelle Diffenderfer was featured in today’s Palm Beach Post for her involvement with the annual Lord’s Place SleepOut. Michelle Diffenderfer and Bob Diffenderfer are Co-Chairs of the Lord’s Place SleepOut 2015. Below is the full article:
West Palm attorney, and family, have made SleepOut yearly ritual
For Michelle Diffenderfer, the annual Lord’s Place SleepOut has been a family affair since it began eight years ago. She and her husband and daughters have slept out overnight every year except one to help bring attention to homelessness and raise money for the nonprofit organization.
This year, the Diffenderfers are the honorary family for the Friday event in downtown West Palm Beach.
“The first year, my mother came along although she didn’t spend the night — and you don’t have to spend the night,” Diffenderfer said. “It’s a great family event and helps me impress our kids about the plight of the homeless. The candlelight ceremony is very beautiful, and my girls will be singing.”
An environmental lawyer with Lewis, Longman & Walker, Diffenderfer, 45, helps clients navigate the regulations that protect water, wetlands and species. She became the firm’s first woman president in January. Her husband, Bob, is also a partner in the firm.
In her spare time, she enjoys going to the beach, bike riding, reading books and watching movies with her daughters, Hope, 12, and Lily, 10.
Born in Kingston, Jamaica, she has lived in West Palm Beach 20 years. Her community work helps the Hanley Foundation, Lords Place SleepOut, Girls II Women, Bethesda by the Sea and Rosarian Academy.
She also has been involved in leadership in Chamber of Commerce of the Palm Beaches, Homeless Advisory Board, Florida Bar and American Bar Association — Environmental Law Sections.
Favorite spot for Sunday brunch:
Testa’s. It’s a Sunday habit for our family and a very nice habit to have. We go there after we go to Bethesda-by-the-Sea. It’s a beautiful setting.
Testa’s, 221 Royal Poinciana Way, Palm Beach, 561-832-0992, www.TestasRestaurants.com
Favorite place to go out for lunch:
Cafe Joshua, of course, with Diana Stanley (CEO of The Lord’s Place and a good friend). I love what they do there, putting people back to work cooking and serving with really good people to train them. People are so grateful for the food. I always get the special and the food is good.
Café Joshua at The Lord’s Place, 2808 N. Australian Ave., West Palm Beach, 561-494-2811,www.thelordsplace.org/cafe-joshua-catering
Favorite place to go out for dinner:
La Sirena. I love Italian food and it’s true Italian. Delicious small plates. They have the best zabaglione, warm and frothy.
La Sirena, 6316 S. Dixie Highway, West Palm Beach, 561-585-3128, www.lasirenaonline.com
Favorite place to take out-of-town visitors:
Clematis and CityPlace. Clematis is on the water and has beautiful docks and good restaurants and good nightlife. Such a nice mix of foods. Anyone can be happy there. CityPlace is a good spot to do a little shopping.
Clematis Street, West Palm Beach, www.westpalmbeach.com/clematis/
CityPlace, 700 Rosemary Ave., West Palm Beach, 561-366-1000, www.cityplace.com
Favorite place to watch the sunrise/sunset:
The beach on Palm Beach. We like to go across from Charley’s Crab.
Favorite place to take the family on weekends:
Bike rides along Flagler Drive. The beach.
Favorite place to go to relax and recharge:
Eau Spa. It’s the best. They have a side for men and women; couples can have massages together, too. They make it fun for everyone, with cupcakes and Champagne and the wishing pond.
Eau Palm Beach Resort & Spa, 100 S. Ocean Blvd., Manalapan, 561-533-6000, www.eauspa.com
Favorite staycation spot?
The Breakers is my number one spot to stay and play in our area. They know how to run a hotel. They have cool nightlife, several restaurants, golf, spa and beach.
The Breakers, 1. S. County Road, Palm Beach, 855-511-4413, www.thebreakers.com
IF YOU GO:
Lord’s Place SleepOut
When: Friday registration 6 p.m.; music 6-8 p.m.
What: Inspirational program 8-9 p.m.; movie 9-11 p.m. SleepOut continues through 7 a.m. Saturday
Where: Meyer Amphitheatre, downtown West Palm Beach – Flagler Drive between Datura and Evernia streets
Parking: Meter parking on public streets; free from 7 p.m. – 7 a.m. Parking at city rates in public garage at Evernia Street and Olive Avenue.
Cost: Registration is $25; participants are also asked to get pledges. Food and beverages will be available on site for purchase from The Lord’s Place Café Joshua Catering.