By Dawn Krebs
TREASURE COAST -- With a new year of helping families on the Treasure Coast, the nonprofit United for Families unveiled its new location, the Black Forest of Germany.
As part of the annual fundraiser Le Bal Masque, a new exotic location is announced as the theme of the gala, now in its seventh year.
"Our attendance has been growing every year," said Christina Kaiser, director of community relations. "Our first year, we had about 100 attendees. Now we are expecting approximately 250."
The black-tie event will weave Germany's culture throughout the evening. There will be German-themed food and drink, special entertainment from the Swinging Bavarians, and authentic attire.
There will also be a number of items up for bid at the event, including restaurant gift certificates, fishing excursions and even an acoustic guitar signed by Taylor Swift.
In addition, a number of annual awards will be given, including the 2013 Case Manager of the Year award.
The monies raised at this fundraiser will go towards the Road to Success program, which prepares teenagers for the transition from the foster-care system into living on their own. Skills such as financial planning and budgeting are taught, which enables the students to focus on goals such as pursuing a higher education.
"More than 60 former foster children in our community are now pursuing post-secondary education and building a future for themselves," she said.
United for Families is the community-based care agency that coordinated and oversees child-welfare services in St. Lucie, Martin, Indian River and Okeechobee counties.
The Le Bal Masque will be held March 2 at 6:30 p.m. at the Marnier Sands Country Club. Tickets are $125 per person. For more information, call (772) 528-0362.