​Star Gala to light up the Ritz in Naples

February 21, 2018 CONRIC PR

An elegant night of dancing will benefit hundreds of people in Southwest Florida. The Foundation for the Developmentally Disabled Inc. extends a warm invitation to its black-tie-optional 2018 Star Gala on March 10 in the Grand Lawn Pavilion at the Ritz Carlton Golf Resort Naples.

The “Dancing Under the Stars” theme is designed to inspire giving to benefit the Foundation’s life-changing programs and the more than 250 people it serves. Pzazz Productions dancers dressed in period costumes will perform choreographed classic dances from the 1920s, in the style of the Ziegfeld Zollies, the 1940s, evoking memories of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, the 1970s, when disco was king, as well as today’s hits. The numbers are designed not only to entertain but to encourage guests to get on their feet and dance, too, amid sparkling decorations of rich blue and silver.

“Our intent was to create a fun and beautiful evening for guests,” says Carrie & John Cooney, 2018 Star Gala Event Chairs, “but most importantly to inspire and educate them on the amazing work of the Foundation and its unique and innovative programs that are changing lives every day. The Star Gala is our most important fundraising event and we hope to raise much-needed funds in order to address the unmet needs in our community.”

It all begins at 5:30 p.m. with a cocktail reception featuring a silent auction with luxurious items including weekend getaways, spa retreats, tickets to professional sporting events, wine, boating excursions and more. Back by popular demand is the Diamond Drop, where guests can purchase glasses of champagne for a chance to win a stunning diamond necklace donated by Carlson’s Fine Jewelry of Naples. Dinner will follow, and shortly thereafter, auctioneer Rick Gallo will accept bids for enticing auction packages including:

· A Napa Valley Harvest Weekend for two couples, hosted by Gargiulo Vineyards.

· A personal guided tour through Tuscany with all transportation provided, wine & food tastings, a welcome wine dinner, luxurious accommodations and more.

· Tickets to the Broadway premiere of “Mean Girls,” a behind-the-scenes tour of 30 Rock and a hotel stay in New York City.

Celebrity master of ceremonies Stacey Deffenbaugh of NBC-2 will keep the evening going and introduce an inspiring Fund-A-Need video that features some of the people the Foundation serves and ways the Foundation works to change their lives for the better. None of it would be possible without the generosity of the event’s sponsors:

Tango Sponsor: Kurtz Homes Naples

Fox Trot Sponsors: Stofft Cooney Architects, Woods, Weidenmiller, Michetti & Rudnick, LLP, and Waterside Shops

Quick Step Sponsors: Calusa Bay Development, The Wellington Group at Morgan Stanley, (Scott & Jennifer Odell/Charles Weinrich), Howard Anker, and Southwest Florida Estate Planning, PLLC.

Media Sponsors: Gulfshore Life and the Naples Daily News.

Special thanks are also extended to the following people:

Event Chairs: Carrie and John Cooney

Entertainment Underwriter: Exteriors by Koby Kirwin

Auction Services Underwriter: Community Resource Network of Florida Inc.

Beverages Underwriter: Laura Georgelos Luxury Homes – Coldwell Banker

Program Underwriter: Collier Enterprises

Invitation Underwriter: Ficarra Design Associates

Valet Underwriter: Stock Development

Photography Underwriter: DeAngelis Diamond

To purchase tickets or learn about becoming a sponsor, visit fddswfl.org/gala.

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