Seventh Annual Gems & Jeans Ball will be held on Friday, November 15.

The Sylvia Thomas Center for Adoptive and Foster Families, a local nonprofit agency devoted to serving the needs of adoptive and foster families located in Brandon, is hosting its Seventh Annual Gems & Jeans Ball. This evening of celebration will be held on Friday, November 15 at The Barn at Winthrop, located at 11349 Bloomingdale Ave. in Riverview.

The festivities will begin at 7:30 pm. Attendees can enjoy an evening filled with delicious food and drinks, craft beers, live entertainment and a fantastic silent auction. All attendees will be entered to win a beautiful, white gold, blue sapphire pendant donated by McAuley Fine Jewelry.

Advance tickets are $40 each, or $75 for a pair, and can be purchased through Additionally, tickets may be secured at the Sylvia Thomas Center, located at 500 Lithia Pinecrest Rd. in Brandon. Tickets at the door will be $50.

November is recognized as National Adoption Month to bring awareness to the thousands of children and youth in foster care who are awaiting their Forever Families.

Mary Ann Kershaw, CEO for the Sylvia Thomas Center, said, “We are thrilled to host Gems & Jeans once again. It is an honor to be able to celebrate Hillsborough County Adoptive Families and Adoption Professionals in this big way.”

Kershaw added, “A highlight of the evening is often the adoptive parent(s) who share their personal stories of adoption. Last year’s speaker, Francis Martin, had our guests riveted with her anecdotes. The attendees reacted with laughter and tears. It was a truly moving night.”

The Sylvia Thomas Center has been a reliable source of information, advocacy and support for adoptive families across Hillsborough County since its inception in 2000. Thanks to successful therapeutic and supportive services, the Sylvia Thomas Center has a greater than 99 percent success rate at keeping Forever Families together.

Kershaw said, “This event allows us the opportunity to raise awareness of who we are and what we do, all while enjoying a great time.”

You can help it continue to provide support for this outstanding organization by attending the Seventh Annual Gems & Jeans Ball. So, grab your dancing shoes, fancy jeans and boots or little black dress and join it in celebrating its success at providing adopted children with Forever Families.

For more information, visit or call 651-3150.

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