"Once in a Blue Moon -- An Affaire to Remember," the annual fundraiser for the Anna Maria Island Community Center, was held March 31.
Event chair Trudy Moon, Executive Director Pierrette Kelly and Assistant Executive Director Scott Dell, along with the staff, board members, volunteers, especially Pastor Ed Moss and his team from CrossPointe Church, sponsors, businesses, guests and generous donors put together an extraordinary event.
More than 300 guests were treated to a VIP champagne reception sponsored by Air & Energy, as Frank Sinatra (Rob Satori) and Marilyn Monroe (Marianne Barnebey) entertained many of Manatee County's most charitable philanthropists. John Horne and the Anna Maria Oyster Bar contributed to the fun by sponsoring the open bar. Ed Chiles and his team from the Sandbar, BeachHouse and Mar Vista, provided exceptional hors d'oeuvres, salads and dinner rolls. Harry's Continental Kitchens of Longboat Key created a delicious menu, served by some very special waiters, a new addition to this year's event.
Bobby Smith, professional auctioneer and Center alum, began the live auction followed by an amazing singing group of very talented children led by, Katie Rose Dell, encouraging generous guests to open their hearts.
The event raised more than $221,000 to support quality programs and great outcomes provided by the Anna Maria Island Community Center. The support ensures that no child is turned away due to a parent's inability to pay from before and after school programs, summer and seasonal camps as well as other educational programs designed to provide a safe, learning environment for children and teens to grow and develop into capable, drug-free, young adults. The Center also provides quality parenting, individual and family therapy for those most at-risks.
-- Sharen Pittman, Anna Maria Island Community Center