In the late 1970s, Eva W. Mack, a former teacher and entrepreneur, founded the Sickle Cell Foundation of Palm Beach County & Treasure Coast, Inc. to improve the quality of life for families dealing with the sickle cell disease/trait.
At first, the Foundation was created under the umbrella of many local organizations: the West Palm Beach Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., the CIBS Club, the Eldorado Civic Club, the Number One Travelers Club, Florida A&M University Alumni Association, the Two Spot Women’s Club, the Glades Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., and Omega Psi Phi Fraternity. The early meetings were held at Gaines Park.
Mrs. Mack’s dream of having a building for the organization became a reality in 1983 with the construction of the office at 1600 North Australian Avenue in West Palm Beach, where the agency remains today. An addition to the building came in 1993 and eventually the building was renamed the Eva Williams Mack Sickle Cell Foundation of Palm Beach County.
The agency’s staff was originally made up of volunteers and later a part-time office manager. The programs were funded by community support, largely with radio-thon fundraisers. Children’s Services Council of Palm Beach County provided the Foundation’s first grant for the purpose of education, counseling and referral services.
Today, the organization has grown to a staff of more than 10, including a chief executive officer. The services have been expanded to Martin, Okeechobee, St. Lucie and Indian River counties. Satellite offices have been set up in Belle Glade and Riviera Beach.