Staff Report

Congregation Beth Shalom of Brandon will hold its annual fundraiser at the River Hills Country Club on Saturday, February 17, starting at 7 p.m. For the third year, Congregation Beth Shalom is honored to partner again with the Special Olympics Florida Healthy Community for this family event. The monies raised at this worthwhile event will benefit both the synagogue and the Special Olympics Florida Healthy Community.

The Special Olympics Healthy Community is a premier, health care delivery approach that focuses on the whole person with an intellectual or developmental disability and provides integrated health care coordination.

Fundraising Chairperson Suzie Baylis said, “By offering a fun evening of dining, music, dancing and Mardi Gras, with a low ticket price, we hope to attract the members of our community to buy a ticket and come out and support those who need a little help.”

This year’s event, Mardi Gras, Gala for a Cause, will be especially memorable and fun. The evening will feature games, prizes, dancing, a delicious ‘Big Easy’ buffet dinner, along with silent and live auctions. Among the many items to be auctioned are a NASCAR driving experience, a Top Gun flight experience, two VIP tickets to Hamilton on Broadway and tickets for two to the Country Music Awards in Nashville. Ticket packages to area attractions will also be available.

Congregation Beth Shalom is a 27 year old reform synagogue in Brandon, and is a caring community devoted to ritual and faith. Chief among the congregation’s mission is to perform acts of Tikkun Olam, often rephrased as ‘repairing the world.’ Part of this is reflected in fundraising for worthy causes, in this case jointly Special Olympics Florida Healthy Community Tampa Bay and the congregation.

Baylis said, “Our congregation also does many other things for the community. We welcome all to come see what we are about. We have an inter-faith reach out group that does month get-togethers with other religions in the area to knock down stereotypes and extend a hand of friendship. We also support various food banks, and senior residents throughout the year.”

Tickets for the fundraiser cost $30 for adults and $15 for children ages 5-12 years ago. Children under 5 are free. Tickets may be purchased on line, at:

River Hills Country Club is located at 3945 New River Hills Pkwy. in Valrico.

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