Jess Parrish Medical Foundation Celebrates Gala Success

TITUSVILLE, FLA, February 8, 2018— Jess Parrish Medical Foundation’s annual benefit gala, Soirée by the Sea, was a tremendous success raising more than $145,000 in net proceeds to benefit The Children’s Center. Presented by the law firm of GrayRobinson, P.A. and Laura & William Boyles, the event was held at Cruise Terminal One, Port Canaveral and attracted more than 400 guests.

Event co-chairs Judy Allender, Holly Carver and Heather Loyd, along with committee members, planned an elegant 1940s cruise-themed evening complete with a captain’s dinner that included Captain Ed Lanni, who was the first to sail into Port Canaveral in 1950 aboard the LST-694 and Captain John Murray, Canaveral Port Authority CEO and Port Director. Guests were greeted by the sounds of Tropical Groove as they shopped the silent-auction and met characters reminiscent of the 1941 movie, That Night in Rio. Gala attendees were taken back in time with live entertainment by The EA Group, which included a dinner show complete with singing waiters, an improv artist and Broadway veteran Melissa Minyard who performed songs from the 1940s just as she has on cruise ships around the world.

Three bright and talented kids from The Parrish Children’s Center, Devon, Rachel and Jacob, captivated the audience. Rachel, with the assistance of Devon, shared stories about her experiences at The Children’s Center and those of friends who have also been helped by the many programs and services available. Jacob, whose dream is to entertain the world through his music, performed a freestyle dance and drum solo bringing the crowd to its feet.

The Children’s Center, a service of Parrish Healthcare and one-stop childhood development resource center, provides an array of health, education and human services under one roof. The center is home to many community agencies offering a variety of programs to children of all abilities. Because they have low student-to-teacher ratios and provide necessary services based on the child’s need, not the parents’ ability to pay, they have operational needs beyond what client revenues generate each year.

The Children’s Center Futures Fund was established to ensure these services are available long into the future by setting aside funds for annual operating needs, new or expanded services, unanticipated expenses and capital projects. Thanks to the generosity of organizations and individuals in our community, funds generated from Soirée by the Sea closed the gap and aided The Children’s Center in reaching the $1 million fundraising milestone for the Futures Fund.

“It was our privilege to be the presenting sponsor of this great event, and we are delighted to support the development of future generations of our children through programs and services offered at The Children’s Center. We believe in continuing the foundation’s mission of providing healing experiences to families throughout Brevard County,” said William A. Boyles, shareholder at GrayRobinson, P.A.

Judy Allender and Richard Boggs, underwriting co-chairs, helped secure more than 100 sponsorships from numerous community members and organizations. Sponsors included, at the First Mate level: Bermello Ajamil & Partners, Inc.; and at the Excursion level: Allender & Allender P.A./Port Commissioner Jerry & Judy Allender; Boggs Gases; Cocoa Beach Hospitality/Transportation Association; Susan Morse, UBS Financial Services; RUSH Construction, Inc.; N. Christine Sylvester; TD Bank, and Zumpano Patricios & Winker, P.A. Anchor level sponsors include: The Broome Law Firm, P.A./Chris & Kelley Broome; Canaveral Port Authority; Coastal Ambulance Service; Florida Cardiovascular Association; GT USA LLC; Hamlin Capital Advisors LLC; Industrial Steel, Inc.; Itani Family Pharmacy/Basil & Dania Itani; Dr. Nabil Itani, Internal Medicine; Jaguar Land Rover Merritt Island; Bob & Jessie Kirk/Kirk Realty; Loyd Contracting Co., Inc.; Mr. & Mrs. George Mikitarian; Precision Shapes, Inc.; Kindred; Ron Norris – Buick, GMC, Honda & Ford; Sodexo; Dr. Tanya Taival, Obstetrics & Gynecology; TeamHealth Anesthesia & Parrish Anesthesia Specialists and TeamHealth Emergency Medicine Division. Media sponsors include: Brevard Business News, FLORIDA TODAY and SCB Marketing. Other generous sponsors were recognized at the event.

“On behalf of the Jess Parrish Medical Foundation board of directors and staff, we extend our heartfelt thanks to all those who supported our 2017 gala and contributed to its success. We have been overwhelmed by the outpouring of community support which will impact and change our future generations,” said Gene Sego, chair, JPMF board of directors.

Committee members include Richard Boggs, Ginny Bradford, Winnie Brewer, Kelley Broome, Mary Coleman, Amy Craddock, Lori Duester, Voncile Franklin, Betty Greene, Dawn Hohnhorst, Melissa Lugo, Christina Morrison, Susan Morse, Candi Neuweiler, Elana Pitcher, Tara Ruch, Leigh Spradling and Dr. Tanya Taival.

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