By Kathy L. Collins

The Sylvia Thomas Center, a local non-profit which provides comprehensive post adoption support to keep the “forever” in forever families, is holding its Annual Coach Bag Bingo on Tuesday, October 18. The event will be held at The Regent located at 6437 Watson Rd. in Riverview. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and the games will begin promptly at 7 p.m.

Tickets to this event are $35 per person per ticket with only 200 tickets available. All proceeds from the event benefit the Sylvia Thomas Center.

The night will include food, drink and Bingo with a twist. Pearl Chiarenza, community liaison for the Sylvia Thomas Center said, “There is a lot more satisfaction in yelling ‘bingo’ when the prize is a brand new Coach designer bag. This game comes with a disclaimer to the moms: If you win, you will probably have to share your purse with your daughter.”

In addition to the chance to win a designer purse from Coach, there will also be a 50/50 raffle and a silent auction. Guests will have the chance to win items from local businesses such as A Caring Touch Skin Care, jewelry donated by Deborah Williams with Parklane, a gift certificate from Salons by JC and a healthy food basket donated by Bodyworks Health & Wellness Center. All of the designer bags have been donated. Companies can also put information on their business in the bags for a donation of $100.

The Sylvia Thomas Center provides comprehensive case management, support groups, counseling and education for foster and adoptive families in Hillsborough County. Chiarenza said, “While foster and adoptive families are ready to open their hearts and homes to children, it often takes more thank love to help a child overcome trauma.” That is what the Sylvia Thomas Center strives to do, and they do it with a small staff and team of volunteer interns from the University of South Florida. Since its inception in 2000, the Sylvia Thomas Center has assisted 6,000 families.

For more information and to purchase tickets to the Coach Bag Bingo, contact Chiarenza at 449-3308 or stop by Salons by JC located at 3448 Lithia Pinecrest Rd. in Valrico Tuesday through Saturday or call the Sylvia Thomas Center at 651-3150.

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