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TGH Foundation's 20th Annual Gala
TGH's Wizard of Oz gala

The 20th Annual gala was held Saturday, May 6, 2017, at the Tampa Hilton Downtown

Gala Committee Chairs
Philip & Theodora Carroll and Fred & Lesley Dobbins

Honorary Chairs
Jeff & Penny Vinik

The Tampa General Hospital Foundation’s 20th Annual Gala, “The Wizard of Oz: There’s No Place Like TGH!”, was held on May 6, 2017, at the Hilton Tampa Downtown. Guests at the exclusive Patrons’ Party arrived in twister-hit Kansas, and were whisked away down the yellow brick road to Munchkin Land, where they were greeted by gala co-chairs Fred Dobbins and Philip Carroll. While sipping on the Witch’s Brew Appletini, guests enjoyed music by TGH heart transplant recipient #421 Bill Ismer, and were able to memorialize the evening with a caricature artist drawing.

At 7:00 p.m. sharp, our lions and tigers and bears were escorted through the gates of Oz into the Hilton ballroom which had been transformed into the Emerald City. Vibrant emerald green lit up the room and covered the tables, which were adorned with Wizard of Oz themed centerpieces. With the tables set, guests were surrounded by a larger-than-life stage, a dancefloor illuminated with a winding yellow brick road, and greeted by characters from the beloved tale and movie.

Throughout the night, guests had the opportunity to give back by purchasing “Courage Cubs” that will be donated to children in the Children’s Medical Center and Health Park Clinic. They also enjoyed a Wine Pull and Lollipop Guild Jewelry game. Foundation Board Chairman, Doug Dieck, was accompanied by gala co-chairs Fred Dobbins and Philip Carrol to draw the winning ticket and announce the winner of this year’s $10,000 chance drawing. Music by the Bay Kings Band kept the dancefloor bustling before and after the seated program, which was emceed by longtime Tampa radio personality, Jack Harris. Our guests proved to be all “good witches” after the patient testimonial video, featuring Bill and Debbie Ismer who tugged at guests' heartstrings, raising over $70,000 for the TGH Heart Transplant and VAD Programs. The live auction had paddles in the air with packages ranging from trips to Telluride, Colorado and Boca Grande, to an ultimate Tampa Bay Rays fan package and a basket of extremely rare bourbon and cigars. The lively band, as well as the amazing dessert provided by Norman Love Confections, welcomed our 5th Annual After-Party guests, who arrived at 9:30 pm.  The After Party was chaired by Chelsea Cone-Suarez and Tyler Owens.

This year’s gala, under the guidance of Philip & Theodora Carroll and Fred & Lesley Dobbins and honorary chairs Jeff and Penny Vinik, raised a record-breaking $630,000 in net proceeds for Tampa General Hospital’s Heart Transplant and VAD Programs, and the Tampa General Hospital Foundation’s Fund for the Future.