On Saturday, March 16th, our 22nd annual fundraising gala event Black & White...An Evening Over the Rainbow was held at IMG Academy Golf Club.
The event’s theme spoke to its occurrence on the eve of St. Patrick’s Day, and our fabulous planning committee created decorations that included a traditional St. Patrick’s theme with green shamrocks and pots of gold coins at the end of a rainbow. Every guest was greeted with a glass of champagne at the door and invited to mingle and meet the other guests while enjoying the h'orderves and cocktails. Throughout the night, guests participated in a fun photo booth, wine drawings, and raffles.
Once everyone was seated, HOPE Family Services’ CEO, Laurel Lynch, spoke and presented a video with an emotional, survivor’s story (see video here). After the video, the survivor, Amy, shared some thoughtful words about the help she received from HOPE Family Services. Stories like Amy’s helped to remind us about the impact of each donation and the importance of educating the community about domestic violence. During dinner, Laurel Lynch presented the featured raffle prize winners (Bucket of Booze winner - Terry Brennan and Lottery Pot O’ Gold winner - Shannon Schmidlin). The live auction was hosted by our wonderful grand auctioneer, Brad Laduciana. Items for auction included a week-long luxury getaway in Colorado, week-long sports camp at IMG, an ultimate local date-night including tickets to the Lion King at Van Wezel, and a limousine ride to dinner for 4 at Beach Bistro. The rest of the night included fantastic food and lots of dancing to DJ Keegs.
We were lucky enough to have 190 people attend our 22nd Annual Black & White. This event left us feeling incredibly thankful to have such a strong community supporting our mission.
Our Black & White Gala has been an important part of our annual fundraising efforts and this year was no different. Each contribution made, benefits those affected by domestic violence in Manatee County. We could not have asked for a better evening with better friends! Must be the luck of the Irish!
Click here to see more pictures.
We would like to give heartfelt appreciation to:
Presenting Sponsor: It Works! Gives Back Foundation
Event Sponsors: Fidelity Bank, GTL, Oneblood, Beach Bistro, and the Bradenton Herald
VIP Sponsors: Patti & Bob Wrobel, MaryEllen Wilson-Smith, Lawman Benefits Consulting, Inc., Blake Medical Center, Tim & Ashley Gruters, and Cross Country Wealth Management
Committee Chairs: Twila Averill & MaryEllen Wilson-Smith
Auctioneer: The amazing Brad Laudicina
Music: DJ Keegs, Charles Clapsaddle & the magnificent METV Team
Dedicated Board Members: Rosemarie Fisher, President; Mindy Hill, VP; Katie Williams, Secretary; Michelle Cross, CPA, Treasurer; Dr. Judy Smith, Immediate Past President; Ken Alicea, Twila Averill, Detective Yolanda Cox, Daniel Friedrich, Stacey McKnee, Christi Milan, Cheryl Roberts, Neil Unruh, MaryEllen Wilson-Smith, and Patti Wrobel.
We would also like to thank our wonderful volunteers and staff members who work every day to make the world a better place.