SEBRING — The Palms Foundation of Sebring held their 27th annual Benevolent Fundraiser Gala on Thursday evening, February 6. Many people regularly attend every year so they can dress up in their finest and dine on a gourmet five-course meal, while supporting a very worthwhile cause.

“This is a fundraiser for the Palms Foundation of Sebring, which is a 401 c3 non-profit organization,” said Palms Foundation Chairperson Paul Staik. “We raise funds to help other qualifying organizations in our community as well as help those residents living at the Palms who need assistance with medical supplies, but have depleted their funds. We believe it is up to the Palms Foundation to help defray these costs and worries.”

“The Palms of Sebring and the Palms Foundation split the ticket sales. The Palms sells most of their tickets to local healthcare networking partners. These organizations support us by purchasing tickets every year,” said Director of Marketing at the Palms Julia Mercer.

Every year 200 tickets to the event are sold. Guests can enjoy meeting old and new friends or making new networking connections to help further the mission and purpose of the event.

The name ‘Kesselring’ is well known to those involved with The Palms. Barbara Kesselring, a member on The Palms Foundation Board, was in attendance. “Many members of my family either worked here or volunteered here over the years.”

The team from Compassionate Care Hospice included Rachel Lovett, Melissa Erben, Abby Garcia and N.J. Carrow, attended the gala. “We come every year!” said Garcia. “Chef Mac serves a great dinner and it’s for a great cause.”

The program began with the Invocation by Rev. Cecil Hess (Chaplin at The Palms) followed by a welcome from Tom Johnson (Executive Director of The Trousdale Foundation, Inc.). “Thanks to all of you for loving all the people we truly love.”

Staik awarded a plaque to Palms employee, Nancy Hawk, for her dedication and hard work. The award was accepted by Executive Director of The Palms Chevonne Foster.

This year guests were served a delicious five-course meal created by everyone’s favorite, Chef Mac Gentleman. The meal began with a salad with portabella mushrooms, followed by roasted duck a L’orange, broiled lobster tail, grilled fillet mignon and dulce de leche cheesecake.

Silent auction items were up for bid and included art work, golf certificates and gift baskets. Live auction items included a dinner for four created by Chef Mac, a 49-inch 4K LED Smart TV, a vintage ‘Space Invaders’ game and a Yeti Cooler.

“The Palms donates the meal so we have no costs involved with the food. Their parent company, The Trousdale Corporation, matches the ticket sales amounts. All of the funds generated are profit to the foundation,” said Staik.

Some of the local organizations that have benefited from the foundation’s generosity include Sebring Meals-on-Wheels, Nu Hope Senior Services, Samaritan’s Touch and Changing Pace Adult Day Care.

“We’re always looking for new local charities who may need assistance,” Staik said.

The Foundation wants to recognize the assistance provided the Aktion Club and Sebring Meals on Wheels who helped to make the event a success.