By Dawn Krebs
ST. LUCIE COUNTY -- What better way to celebrate a milestone anniversary than with a party?
And for this special anniversary, the 50th anniversary of the United Way of St. Lucie County, the residents are invited to be a part of the festivities.
The black-tie event will be held from 5:30 to 11:30 p.m. on Feb. 16 at the Harbour Ridge Yacht and Country Club in Palm City.
"This is the first formal black-tie ball held by the United Way of St. Lucie County," said Monte Kosoff, the vice president of development and marketing for the organization. "Our purpose in holding the signature event is to gather the many volunteers, community and business leaders, as well as the many representatives from our funded partner agencies together who have contributed to our organization throughout the years."
It will feature music from a classical quintet led by Esther Underhay of the Elegant Harp during the cocktail hour, a plated dinner with wine service and the live band Eklektik Storm will provide music for dancing after dinner.
A silent auction will also be available, with donations from area residents and businesses, to help with the proceeds.
"This is a special event in celebration of the 50th anniversary," Mr. Kosoff said. "The proceeds raised will be directed toward local initiatives supported by the United Way of St. Lucie County."
The organization was first formed in the county in 1962, raising $67,000. Just this past year, the organization invested $1,240,291 in the community.
The choice of the name "Orange Blossom Ball" was to help create a local identity for the event.
"The Orange Blossom was a natural choice, and was suggested by Bradley Guffin, a St. Lucie County resident and the board chair for this year's United Way board."
Planning for this extravaganza began almost a year ago by the dedicated committee made up Mr. Kosoff, Mr. Guffin and Terri Sloan-Bartz. The silent auction chairwomen are Julie Bland and Marsha Thompson. Employees from Seacoast National Bank will be handling the silent auction that evening.
The event is being co-sponsored by Seacoast National Bank and Florida Power and Light.
The goal of the United Way of St. Lucie County is to focus on education, income and health, and create long-lasting changes to better everyone in the community.
"We're extremely proud of the work all United Way-funded programs are accomplishing," said Karen Knapp, the CEO of the organization. "Our donors will continue to see a tangible return on their investments as our community works collectively to improve lives."
The Orange Blossom Ball will take place from 5:30 to 11:30 p.m. on Feb. 16 at the Harbour Ridge Yacht and Country Club, 12600 Harbour Ridge Boulevard in Palm City. Tickets are $150 per person, or $250 per couple.
For more information, call Monte Kosoff or Roxanne Wells at (772) 464-5300.