A Musical Mission


Jon Lappin ’88 keeps his father’s legacy alive with a musical mentoring foundation.


In 2013, the Palm Beach Pops, an orchestra dedicated to the Great American Songbook for more than two decades, was at a crossroads. Its founder, Bob Lappin—a successful businessman, talented conductor, and pianist, who performed with and welcomed such stars as Tony Bennett, Lena Horne, and Frank Sinatra Jr.—had died. Jon Lappin took the helm and honored his father’s legacy, addressing the erosion of culture by creating a foundation to help the next generation keep the music playing.

The Legacy Foundation provides funding for lessons, instruments, camps, and other programming for talented South Florida students who otherwise would not be able to afford their musical aspirations. Over the last two years, the foundation has funded approximately 70 students with nearly $150,000.

For Lappin, whose career as a chief executive included posts at the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, his green e-commerce firm Greenerful, and his former New York advertising agency, this work is more personal. Now he keeps alive the work of his father by preparing future stars.

“A community is not a community without culture,” Lappin says. “Giving is the greatest gift of all, wouldn’t you agree? Willy instills those values.”

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