SYL-002-round2-PROOFBy Kathy L. Collins

The Sylvia Thomas Center, a local non-profit, which provides comprehensive post-adoption support to keep the “forever” in forever families, will hold its 1st Annual Gems & Jeans Ball. This event will be Saturday, November 23 from 7-10 p.m. inside Brandon Harley-Davidson located at 9841 E. Adamo Dr. in Tampa.Tickets to this event are just $40 per individual and $65 per couple. This price includes an open bar, food and entertainment. Attendees will be treated to a delectable feast provided by Uncle Mike’s Smokehouse featuring sliced smoked prime rib, passed hors d’oeuvres and signature cocktails. Entertainment will be provided by the Star 80 Band featuring Billy Catalina. The host for the evening is Meredith, the morning show co-host of Wild 94.1 FM. The evening will also feature a unique and fantastic silent auction. Items to bid on will include the opportunity to be a guest on Meredith’s morning show, an in-home private chef cooking for two and a day spent with a SWAT team member.Denise Jamieson, President and CEO of the Sylvia Thomas Center said,

“This will be a fun and exciting evening. It is the first time that Harley-Davidson of Brandon has allowed its gorgeous facility to be used for a charitable event.” Jamieson added, “We came up with the idea of the Gems and Jeans Ball because we wanted an event that would be classy, unique, lots of fun and affordable for both the Sylvia Thomas Center and the families in our community who would like to attend.Funds from the event will enable us to continue our healing services for adopted and foster children and their families. Thanks to our successful case management services, we have a greater than 99 percent success rate at keeping forever families together,” explained Jamieson.The Sylvia Thomas Center, a Non-Profit of the Year finalist in 2010, is the only agency in Hillsborough County that provides comprehensive post adoption support. According to Jamieson,

“It is estimated that 14 percent of foster children placed in a home for adoption are returned to foster care without being adopted, and four percent of adoptive homes dissolve the adoption and return the child to foster care.”For more information and to purchase tickets, please visit or call 651-3150.

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