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A Year of Giving in Greater Gainesville

A Year of Giving in Greater Gainesville

In Gainesville, people take helping others seriously, but they have a good time while doing so! A year in Gainesville is full of events, from performances at Santa Fe College to farmers market festivals. The events that hold a special place in our hearts, however, are charity events. Throughout the year, people from the Gainesville community support their favorite fundraisers, not only to assist the worthy charities but to bring together people from all walks of life. Together, the people of Gainesville are helping the city become a better place.

Here, we collect a series of memories from this year’s charity events.


Darleen Morgan, Chrissi Norvelis and Angel Ramsey attend the annual Moonlight & Martini’s fundraiser for Al’z Place on February 4 at Mercedes Benz of Gainesville.

Moonlight & Martinis


The Moonlight & Martinis gala is an opportunity to dress up, enjoy a few drinks, a silent auction and even some dancing! The event, hosted by the ElderCare of Alachua County for Al’z Place, raises funds to provide therapy programs to senior citizens who have been diagnosed with dementia.





Daniel Drotos, Justin Mowitz and Josh Radeker enjoy the Ronald McDonald House Charities of North Central Florida annual Kids and Clays fundraiser at Bradford Sportsmen’s Farm on January 10
Participants in the Five Points of Life Kids Marathon on February 25 take off from the starting line.










Kim and JR Anchors, Freddie Wehbe and Valerie Riley participate in the 8th annual Run for Haven in Tioga Town Center on March 11.
Santa Fe College President Jackson Sasser with Dee Dee Smith, chair of the Women of Distinction Steering Committee, and 2017 Women of Distinction award recipients Nicole L. Klacko, Esther B. Kelly, Kathy C. Hobbs, the Rev. Dr. Marie Herring and Barbara B. Hall on March 16th at the UF Hilton.











Nathan and Amy Whitaker attend the Education Foundation of Alachua County’s annual fundraising event, A Night in the Big Apple, on March 31 at the Santa Fe College Fine Arts Hall.
Michael Garrett and Jackie Smith attend Tree Fest 2017 on April 15 at
Swamp Head Brewery.










March of Babies 

The March of Dimes held its annual fundraiser, March for Babies on April 1. Attendees took to the streets of Gainesville in a six-mile walk.

Participants in the annual fundraiser, March for Babies, walk six miles to raise funds for prenatal research to benefit premature babies. This fundraiser is hosted by the March of Dimes and gives walkers the opportunity to honor lost babies and hear inspirational stories.


Puttin’ on the Ritz

Keith and Roberta Watson attend the 30th annual Puttin’ on the Ritz fundraiser event for the Children’s Home Society of Florida on March 11 at the UF Hilton.


For the past 30 years, this black-tie event by the Children’s Home Society of Florida has aimed to help local families and vulnerable children. It’s a night filled with live entertainment, dancing, an extensive silent auction and the finest cuisine and beverages of Gainesville.







Maria Bolshakova and Alex O’Hanlon with their furry companions attend the 4th annual Pups in the Park benefiting Gainesville Pet Rescue at Dogwood Dog Park on April 8.
David Appel and Talia Grace attend the 100th Anniversary Gala of the Florida Museum of Natural History on April 22.









April Ponder and Carlonda McTier attend the annual PACE Girls Rock Rally at PK Yonge on March 15.

Taste of Greater Gainesville

Robbie and Evan Hudson attend the 8th annual Taste of Greater Gainesville event presented by Info Tech, Inc. on June 4 at the UF Hilton.

Taste of Greater Gainesville raises money while bringing attention to some of the best food Gainesville has to offer. This fundraiser features the best dishes from nearby restaurants to raise money for nonprofit organizations that benefit children and families in need.






Mary Wise Scramble Golf Tournament

Marilyn Tubb participates in the 17th annual Mary Wise Scramble for PACE Center for Girls on April 28 at the Mark Bostic Golf Course

The Mary Wise Scramble Golf Tournament turns a friendly golf tournament into an opportunity to give back to the community. By gathering golf teams from around Gainesville to play in the tournament, this event brings people together for a good cause. The money raised goes to the PACE Center for Girls, which provides young women with opportunities through counseling and education.



Kristen Schreiner, Kirk Klein, Dug Jones
and Jessica Blagdon participate in the 2017 JA Superheroes Bowl-A-Thon on May 10 at Alley Gatorz.










Hats, Hearts & Handbags

Sherly Eddie, Jennifer King, Leslie Florence, Veronica Morrison, Wendy Jones-Schwartz and Carol Platt celebrate their win at the Girls Place Hats, Hearts & Handbags annual fundraiser on May 5 at the UF Hilton.


The Hats, Hearts & Handbags annual luncheon challenges participants to wear their best hat and handbag combination. A group can reserve a table and decorate it with friends to compete for awards. This event is hosted by the Girls Place and the fundraiser directly benefits the girls in its programs.




See Also



Kevin Monroe, Maureen Tartaglione and Blake Fletcher attend the 2017 Santa Fe College Foundation President’s Gala on June 23 at the Santa Fe College Fine Arts Hall.
Holly and Domenic Scorpio attend the Boys and Girls Club of Alachua County’s signature fundraising event, Caribbean Cruise Gala for Kids on August 5 at the UF J. Wayne Reitz Union Grand Ballroom.










The Hope Weekend

Stephen Tanner and Brian Scarobrough attend the Tyler’s Hope for a Dystonia Cure Hope Weekend dinner on October 20 at the UF Hilton.



The Hope Weekend benefiting Tyler’s Hope for a Dystonia Cure is a three-day event with music, a cocktail hour, dinner and a golf tournament.






Gainesville Gone Austin

Lindsay Howell, Haley Hensey and Cristina Zeretzke-Bien attend the 9th annual Gainesville Gone Austin fundraising event benefiting the Child Advocacy Center on October 26 at the Santa Fe River Ranch.

With a country theme, live music, food and auctions, Gainesville Gone Austin brings a country twang to the Gainesville community. The event proceeds benefit the Child Advocacy Center to help neglected, abandoned and trafficked children in Alachua County.





Scott and Gia Arvin attend the 8th annual Girls Place, Inc. fundraising event,
Swamp Chomp, on September 28 at First Magnitude Brewery.


Matthew and Erika Cascio and Jenna Priest attend the 2nd annual Lemon Ball at the Florida Museum of Natural History on September 29.










Guest Chef Cocktail Party

The Peaceful Path’s annual Guest Chef Cocktail Party highlights the local talent of Gainesville chefs while raising money for domestic abuse victims and other Peaceful Path programs. This unique affair features local chefs serving their favorite recipes, and includes a silent auction. A complimentary wine and cheese bar tops off the night.

Kristen Rabell, Rebecca Johnson and Libby Motts O’Ferrell attend Peaceful Path’s 16th annual Guest Chef Cocktail Party on March 16 at the Gainesville Woman’s Club.



Photography by Erica Brough, Steffanie Crockett, Allison Durham and John Sloan

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