By Tamas Mondovics

“Secure your boarding pass to sail away under the stars,” reads the Campo YMCA online message drawing attention to the organization’s annual fundraiser: Corks and Forks.

Promising a fun-filled evening extravaganza of food and beverages, accompanied by music and dance as well as auction items, the event is scheduled to be held on Friday, November 16, from 7-10 p.m., poolside at the Campo Y, located at 3414 Culbreath Rd. in Valrico.

“We want to be sure folks know that we shifted this year’s event to a Friday night,” event director Dawn Turner said. “Guests will enjoy an evening of open dining with local restaurants such as Beef O’ Brady’s, Formaggio’s and You Say When Yogurt (Bloomingdale location) so far on board as they strut their finest cruise style cuisine.”

While on board—under the theme, “Anchors Away! Sail the Seas on the YMCA Mission Success”—attendees will get to purchase unique gift items during a silent auction and join in the excitement of a live auction hosted by the voice of the Rays, Dick Crippen. The proceeds will go to the community.

For the second year in a row the event is chaired by YMCA Board Member and Financial Advisor with Principal Financial Group Rick Lewis, while DJ, lights and video will be provided by Gary Randolph with Pure Power Production.

According to Campo Y Senior Program Director Christy Lowe, last year more than 250 people attended the celebration and helped to raise close to $30,000, but added that the cause is simple and it is in harmony with the Y’s long-standing goal of supporting children, family and community.

“Corks and Forks is a celebration of a great cause possible through the generosity of the members of the community,” Lowe said. “The funds raised are used in the Brandon area giving local youth and families the chance to experience the Y at its best.”

True to her words of funds used within the community and in harmony with the facility’s goal of not turning anyone away, Lowe said that just last year the Campo Y has given away approximately $40,000.

For this year’s event, sponsorships are once again available and tickets which also include beer and wine purchased prior to Wednesday, October 31 are $50 ($75 thereafter). Any county, government or military employee can purchase a ticket for $25 prior to Monday, October 31. Cancer survivors and those currently battling the disease are also invited to attend for $25.

For tickets and more information, please visit or call the Campo Y at 684-1371 or the Brandon Y at 685-5402.


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