Stetsons and Stilettos guests help give cancer the boot at gala event

VERO BEACH — Guests got duded up in their best western-wear for a special 10th Anniversary Stetsons and Stilettos themed Citrus Gala and Cattle Barons’ Ball to benefit the American Cancer Society.  The event was held at the Paris Air hangar, turned country chic with hay bales, greenery and picket fencing.  Red tablecloths were adorned with tiered candle holders, which gave the room a warm glow later in the evening as the lights were turned down.

Cowboy boots far outnumbered the few determined ladies in stilettos, but there were plenty of Stetsons and cowboy hats, dusters and fringed jackets, and an abundance of boleros and western styled jewelry.

But the best looking cowboy boots of the night were actually made of clay.  Artisan Heidi Hill’s hand sculpted, western-style clay boots had been artistically transformed by a group of local artists to help “Give Cancer the Boot.”  The gorgeous boots were on display in all their vibrant glory for guests to examine and decide which ones they’d be bidding on during the live auction.For the special “stepped up” anniversary party, organizers opted to take a turn from boot-stomping country music and chose the always amazing New Orleans jazz sounds of Bobby and the Blisters for entertainment and dancing.  Dinner, catered by Bono’s Barbeque and Grill, included a delicious mix of filet mignon, pulled pork, coconut shrimp and all the fixings.

Bidding on the twelve magnificent artists’ boots began after dinner, presided over by auctioneer Reed Hartman.  Beth and Ray Smith, of Long Shadows Cattle Co. were the evening’s big winners, taking home four of these elegant works of art.

Alyson Fogle, a young cancer survivor, spoke movingly to the group about her battle with acute lymphocytic leukemia and her experiences at the American Cancer Society’s R.O.C.K. (Reaching out to Cancer Kids) Camp at Boggy Creek.  R.O.C.K. Camp offers children and teens with cancer the opportunity to experience the fun and adventure of summer camp without having to feel different from other kids, and a “Call from the Heart” solicited donations so that other children might be able to attend.

Throughout the night, guests could also bid on a selection of silent auction items, try their luck at the Cattlemen’s Gaming Tables or show off their ring-tossing abilities at the always popular wine toss.

Proceeds from the Citrus Gala and Cattle Barons’ Ball support the mission of the American Cancer Society in the fight against cancer through research, education, advocacy and service. {igallery 161}

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