The Golisano Children’s Museum of Naples’ (C’mon) annual pirate event, Yabba Island Pirate Ball, proved a huge success this year, raising over $240,000 to support the Museum’s programming and outreach. On Wednesday, May 4, 2011, more than 200 guests from Naples and surrounding communities gathered for an evening of music, dining, and conversation that highlighted the Museum’s impact on children and their families.
All funds raised from the event, the Museum’s annual fundraiser, will benefit all areas of Museum operations, including outreach activities such as field trips for schools in under resourced communities and free Museum experiences for children with special needs and other life challenges.
“The support of everyone here this evening allows us to continue to provide carefully planned and innovative learning experiences for all children of all ages in our community, regardless of whatever physical, developmental or financial barriers they face,“ Executive Director Joe Cox said. “I have personally witnessed the impact of hands-on, interactive play in the development of a child’s creativity and imagination. We are honored by the show of support this evening,” he said.
Sonia Sawyer, CFO at Home-Tech, announced a gift of $50,000 after a touching video documenting the Museum’s community outreach program, Museum without Walls, made possible by Comcast. Museum without Walls has reached over 12,500 children and families since the program began in 2009.
With a nod to the pirates of the Spanish Main with the dancing, music and cuisine, the event took place in a tent adjacent to the Yabba Island Grill, magnificently decorated in pirate and Spanish style with linens and lighting in deep red and purple hues, accented by crystals and jewels.
The evening began with cocktails and a silent auction of nearly 40 packages. The featured packages from the live auction included a home in Marathon, Florida, which included fishing and diving trips, tickets to Lambeau Field for a Green Bay Packers game with box seats in the Johnsonville Sausage suite, an all-access pass to Daytona International Speedway with TRG Motorsports and a lavish stay at Castlewood, an award-winning estate in Telluride Colorado. Afterwards, the attendees enjoyed a superb three course Spanish-cuisine-themed dinner created by Yabba Island Grill. The Pirate Ball continued with Norman Love Chocolates, dancing and live music.
Entertainment for guests included two performances by the Fred Astaire Dance Studio and the three piece band, Small Craft Advisory, provided the music for the evening.
The ball was co-chaired by Museum Guild members Carla Degado Grippa and Jennifer Urness. Rick Adams, actor, comedian and radio host, emceed the event.
Title sponsor was IBERIABANK. Additional sponsors included Culinary Concept Charities, Gulfshore Life, P’zazz Productions, Van Cleef & Arpels, Heather Donlan Photography, Little Luxe Kids, Manhattan Kraft, Moraya Bay, Ocean Kids, Presstige Printing, Carter Wheeler Real Estate Team, Home-Tech, It’s Just 4 Dolls, The League Club, Thornburg Pediatrics, Six L’s Packing Company, Inc., Brimmer’s Custom Décor, South Breeze Day Camp and Verizon Wireless City.
About Golisano Children’s Museum of Naples
The Golisano Children’s Museum of Naples will be Collier County’s first learning environment devoted exclusively to child’s play, the serious business of discovery that helps children attain hallmark milestones on the journey into adulthood. C’mon will be a 30,000-square-foot museum for families located in the North Collier Regional Park. Scheduled to open in 2011, the Golisano Children’s Museum of Naples is envisioned to be one of the finest children’s museums in the United States and will be fully accessible to all children regardless of their physical or learning abilities. To learn more about C’mon, visit www.cmon.org
This story is contributed by a member of the Naples community and is neither endorsed nor affiliated with In The 239
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