The Heights Foundation/The Heights Center‘s 13th annual fundraiser, Love Your Neighbor, on May 17, raised $500,000 to support the organization that works to build strong, self-sufficient families in The Harlem Heights neighborhood of Fort Myers. The event typically hosted in a private home in Gulf Harbour was moved to The Heights Center this year, and the number of attendees was limited.
Guests enjoyed cocktails and a performance by The Heights MOSAIC woodwind students on The Heights Education Center’s rooftop terrace, then proceeded to The Heights Center auditorium and were greeted by emcee Kellie Burns of NBC-2. Chef Norman Love of Norman Love Confections and Chef Harold Balink of Harold’s Restaurant provided an “amuse-bouche” chocolate and wine tasting. Chef Harold served a farm-to-table dinner featuring Twelve Seasons Farm tomato tartar, Hokkaido scallops, forty-eight-hour sous vide short rib, and wines paired by wine writer Gina Birch. Chef Norman provided a bittersweet chocolate mousse with a raspberry crème Brulee interior for dessert.
Scott Robertson of Scott Robertson Auctioneers conducted the fundraising ask to support the organization’s summer camp and afterschool programs and the live auction. Donors exceeded a $100,000 challenge match by Gaye and Jim Pigott. In addition, the Danny Sinoff Trio performed during dinner and after the auction for dancing.
Top auction items included a one-of-a-kind pendant created and donated by Mark Loren Designs, a wine and culinary trip to Sonoma, a VIP day for six at Trucks Gone Wild donated by The Kelly family, and The Redneck Mud Park, and two bottles of exceptional Screaming Eagle Cabernet Sauvignon.
“Our Love Your Neighbor event is our biggest fundraiser of the year,” said Kathryn Kelly, founder, president, and CEO of The Heights Foundation/The Heights Center. “The families in Harlem Heights are extremely vulnerable, and our enriching afterschool and summer camp programs ensure that parents can work and kids can have fun, be safe and learn. We were amazed by the outpouring of support by our friends and donors.”
Event supporters included Harold’s Restaurant, Mark Loren Designs, Norman Love Confections, Gaye and Jim Pigott, Dede D’Arcy, entech, Dean and Janie Schreiner, Lisa Bommarito Floral Designs, Bon Soiree Events, Crave Culinaire, Creative Sound and Lighting, Davis Brothers Limo and Buses, Elly Hagen Marketing & Public Relations, Gina Birch, Hyatt Regency Coconut Point Resort & Spa, Jennifer’s Boutique, Joelene Barb, Jordan Vineyard and Winery, Kellie Burns of NBC-2, Danny Kelly and The Kelly Family, Lucas Century, Mauritson Winery, Mix Marketing, R.S. Walsh Landscaping, Redneck Mud Park, Scott Robertson Auctioneers, Valette, Healdsburg, Brenda Krieger, Heights Event Coordinator, Cindie Barker and Teri Palmer, event chairs, event committee, and volunteers,
For more information about The Heights Foundation/The Heights Center, visit www.heightsfoundation.org or call (239) 482-7706. To donate, visit www.heightsfoundation.org/donate