A Night Of Make Believe Comes To Life At Center Place Gala
By Carisa Biesecker
“Center Place believes that the arts make a positive difference in our lives, in our children’s lives and in our community,” states Executive Director Dawn Galia, announcing Center Place’s continued tradition of commitment to children’s arts through its 26th Annual Arts Gala. Guided by the theme Believe in the Arts, the annual celebration will be a fanciful and eclectic night for attendees, with festivities taking place on Saturday, April 17, beginning at 7 p.m. and a VIP reception initiating from 6-7 p.m., all at the TPepin Hospitality Center Ballroom, located at 4121 N. 50th St. in Tampa. After being wined and dined, guests will enjoy a night of dancing, a 50/50 raffle, a silent and live auction and the reveal of the winners for the S.L. “Spud” Clements Award and the Pat Odiorne Scholarship. Last year, well-known Brandon residents John and Kay Sullivan took home the S.L. “Spud” Clements Award and Plant City High School student Amanda Napier was awarded the $1,000 Patricia B. Odiorne Scholarship amongst more than 200 attendees who contributed a grand total of $39,000 towards Center Place’s programs. Hopes of some 300 residents’ attendance are planned for 2010’s event.  “Our Arts Gala is our biggest fundraiser of the year,” comments Galia. “With ‘arts’ dollars stretched beyond the capacity to nurture cultural development within the school community, Center Place knows that offering reasonable alternatives will benefit all of the children and impact our community in a positive way.” Tickets cost $125 per person, or by activating a membership of $250 with Center Place, residents can obtain two free tickets as bronze members, four tickets as silver members at $500 or eight tickets as gold members for $1,000, or for $2,500, one can become a table sponsor, seating eight and having the title of “Friend of Center Place.”    “This is a wonderful way to support the arts in the greater Brandon community…We would love to see our memberships to Center Place increase,” concludes Galia. Those who plan to attend are encouraged to RSVP by Friday, April 2. For more information on Center Place, located at 619 Vonderburg Dr., Ste. B, in Brandon, visit its new Website www.centerplacebrandon.org or call 685-8888. Silent auction items are still needed.

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