19th Annual Gala
The Tampa General Hospital Foundation’s 19th Annual Gala, “A Night to Marvel: Celebrating the Superheroes of Health Care”, was held on May 14th, 2016 at the Tampa Convention Center. Guests at the exclusive Heroes’ Party arrived in capes and costumes and were wowed by a rotunda complete with an original 1966 Batmobile and Batcycle, which provided an awe-inspiring photo op. While sipping on Kryptonite, guests enjoyed music by Fretless Rock and were able to channel their inner child with a caricature artist and face painters.
At 7:30 p.m. sharp, our superheroes were swept away to the convention center’s large combined ballrooms into a world of MARVEL-ous character. Vibrant primary colored tables were lined with bright floral centerpieces, superhero action figures and themed comic book table lamps. With the tables set, guests were surrounded by a larger than life stage, a dance floor lined with pop art graphics, and multiple hero spotlights outlining the room. Throughout the night, guests had the opportunity to give back by purchasing “Superhero Sidekick Teddy Bears” that will be donated to the children in the Children’s Medical Center and the Pediatric Center at Healthpark. They also enjoyed a Wine Pull and Champagne & Ice game. Mayor Bob Buckhorn and Fred Hames of Skanska drew the winning ticket and announced the winner of this year’s $10,000 Chance Drawing. Music by the Bay Kings Band kept the dance floor bustling before and after the seated program, which was emceed by longtime Tampa radio personality, Jack Harris. Our heroes proved to be super after the patient testimonial video featuring Melissa and Evan Ranieri tugged at their heartstrings, raising $45,635 for the Children’s Medical Center. The live auction had paddles in the air with packages ranging from trips to the British Virgin Islands and Telluride, Colorado, a roadtrip with the Tampa Bay Rays and a National Geographic photography excursion with Tampa photographer Carlton Ward Jr. The lively band, as well as the LED-lit gaming area complete with a 4-person PacMan Battle Royale and life-sized Jenga proved to be a special enticement for our 4th Annual After-Party guests, who arrived at 9:30 p.m. The After Party was chaired by Ali St. Cyr and Jack Watters.
This year’s gala, under the guidance of Dianne and Mickey Jacob and honorary chairs Pam and Les Muma, raised over $380,000 in net proceeds for Tampa General Hospital’s Children’s Medical Center.