Hibiscus Children’s Center sponsors thanked with a VIP party

VERO BEACH — Sponsors of the upcoming Hibiscus Children’s Center Winter Gala were thanked at a special VIP cocktail party, held Thursday night at a gorgeous oceanfront house on Corona Lane.  Michael Thorpe of Treasure Coast Sotheby’s International Realty donated the use of the elegant property for the event. “I was delighted to do so.  It’s a chance to show this amazing home and it’s great cause,” said Thorpe.

As event co-chairs Raquel Tilton and Nadja Ricci greeted guests at the door, they divulged a few tidbits about the upcoming Gala.

“It’s going to be a little bit of everything Rio; from Rainforest to Samba and Carnival,” said Tilton. “This year we are celebrating our 25th birthday and we wanted it to be really special.”

Fé Domenech, founder of the south Florida based, The Event Firm International, will be establishing a Vero Beach division of her award winning event design agency. By way of introduction to our area, she is donating her innovative services for the Winter Gala, themed this year, “An Affair Rio Style.”

After guests had a chance to mingle over cocktails and hors d’oeuvres, Tom Maher, Hibiscus Children’s Center CEO, thanked the gathered sponsors and supporters.  He also spoke about the organization’s beautiful, new 25th Anniversary publication, which was later given out to each of the guests.

“It takes the organization from its conception in Jensen Beach to its expansion into St. Lucie, Palm Beach, Vero Beach and parts of Orlando,” said Maher. Crediting the numerous volunteers and supporters who helped along the way he added, “This would not have happened without great leadership.”

“This party is our thank-you to each and every one of you who are supporters of the Gala,” said Nadja Ricci.  “We are grateful for your participation.”

Maher introduced John Michael Matthews who, in addition to co-chairing the Annual Support Campaign for Hibiscus Children’s Center with his wife Carla, has also donated an exquisite pair of gold and pave diamond earrings to be auctioned at the Gala.

“They’re gorgeous,” said Victoria Kerkela as she modeled the earrings.

“And they’re mine!” quipped Helen Robinson, of her intention to be the high bidder at the auction.

Tickets for this 10th Annual Winter Gala, which begins at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday, December 11 at The Moorings Club, are $250 per person.  The evening features exciting entertainment, a gourmet dinner, and dancing to the band Private Stock Productions.  A host of silent and live auction items will also be offered, including a stay in a deluxe Chalet in France, and VIP pit passes for the Penske car during the Daytona 500.

Funds raised help to enable the Hibiscus Children’s Center, founded by LaVaughn Tilton in 1985, to provide services to prevent and reduce child abuse, neglect, and abandonment on the Treasure Coast through its residential care facilities, foster care licensing and training, community mental health services, and child development centers.

For tickets or more information, call Angela Astrup at (772) 978-9313, ext. 313. {igallery 310}

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