More than 720 guests attended the 2018 Mayor’s Ball held March 10 at the Palm Beach County Convention Center.
The black-tie gala benefiting the Homeless Coalition of Palm Beach County exceeded expectations for entertainment and fundraising, with more than $340,000 raised. Upon entry to the ballroom, guests were invited to their tables by a twinkling centerpiece, starred with a reminder of the reason for the event, “Be the Change.”
Palm Beach County Mayor Melissa McKinlay continued the tradition by lending her name to the gala that benefits the Homeless Coalition’s Creating Housing Opportunities Program. The program pays rental deposits to move those who are experiencing homelessness or who are living in temporary housing into permanent homes.
“Seeing such a huge turnout from the community at the 2018 Mayor’s Ball, especially the Glades, generously contributing to make sure every family has a safe place to sleep at night is humbling,” McKinlay said.
The night’s entertainment was star studded. With music for the evening by Marcia Mitchell and a surprise guest performance by Vanilla Ice. “So many people have come together for a great cause and to make a difference,” Vanilla Ice said. “That is why I am here.”
Florida Crystals was one of the inaugural sponsors during the first event five years ago. “As an ongoing supporter of the Homeless Coalition’s Mayor’s Ball, it was thrilling to see this year’s event as unprecedented in how inclusive it was in geography and attendance from Palm Beach County,” Caroline Villanueva said.
There was immense support from the Wellington community at the event.
“What a great event for the entire community to get behind,” Mayor Anne Gerwig said. “If we work together, we can really end homelessness in Palm Beach County.”
Stephen and Krista Basore, Wellington residents, co-chaired the event with Neil Schiller and Pamela Goodman.
“The Mayor’s Ball was one of the best event experiences Stephen and I have had, thanks to the exceptional turnout from the western communities,” Krista Basore said. “We all helped take a step in the right direction to eradicate homelessness.”
As the night ended, guests listened to an emotionally moving success story from Virianna, a young woman who found herself alone and homeless before the age of 18. With the help of the 100 Youth Challenge program, she qualified for assistance and is now in college. Throughout the event, cards with success stories were easily found on tabletops. As guests left with giant pretzels in hand, some were spotted taking the stories home with them as a reminder of the purpose of the event, providing homes to the homeless.
For more info., visit www.homelesscoalitionpbc.org.