To the Editor:
The Tarpon Ball was an evening to remember! The Island School raised nearly $45,000 thanks to the outstanding support of the 175 guests and bidders, as well as the stellar support of our many sponsors and volunteers, illustrating yet again what a wonderfully generous community this is!
We would first like to thank our seven talented artists, Mary Cameron, Patti Middleton, Minnie Pulitzer McCluskey, Lilly Pulitzer, Robert Schneider, Jeannie Stevenson and Carol Swayze, for creating such remarkable one-of-a-kind tarpon creations. A big thanks also to captains Shane Sovan and Tommy Locke for the fishing trips they donated for auction. And many thanks to our terrific local stores, The Barnichol, Fugates, Hudson's Grocery, Johann Fust Library, Newlin's Mainely Gourmet, The Palm on Park and PJ's Seagrille for providing a temporary home for our school of tarpon.
Huge thanks to our generous sponsors, whose donations of talent and treasure ensured the success of the event: Compass Interiors, The Gasparilla Inn and Club, Gasparilla Properties, Grande Air Services, Gulf to Bay Sotheby's Realty, Gene and Montell Marra, McHugh-Porter Builders, Cory and Michael Moffat, Native Gardens, Palmetto Grill, The Temptation Restaurant and Terry Seitz and Associates.
Kudos to the ball committee members who created the magical art deco setting for the party: Cory Moffat, Montell Marra, Elaine Bresee, Mariela Camara, Lily Euwer, Edie Gardner, Karen Kelley, Stosie Sanderson, Carol Stewart, Melissa Joiner Steyer and Vicky Winterer - a great and dedicated group whose hard work gave us one of the most memorable affairs in quite some time.
We are indebted to James Voris, Steve Molaro and Hal Coleman for their engineering genius and Kim and Daniel Schwertman for their display skills. A special thank you to Ronica Davis, Tim Dumas, Melissa Joiner Steyer, Nancy Eddy, Mary O'Bannon, Nat Italiano and the Crowninshield House, The Woman's Club, the family of our beloved Susie Low, The Gasparilla Inn, Bob Green, Joe Weir, our caterer Mel Gionet, our generous and entertaining auctioneer Ron Thompson, Dave McHugh, Officer Joe Caiazza, Marcy Shortuse at the Boca Beacon and Debbie Kiewiet at the Gasparilla Gazette for their wonderful coverage, and everyone involved in making our first Tarpon Ball such a roaring success!
Finally, an enduring thank you to our Principal Rosa Ramos and all the Island School teachers for their tireless work and to all the children whose collective spark and love for learning inspire us to consistently forge ahead. And to this wonderfully generous community that cares so deeply for its youngest assets.
With deep appreciation,
The Board of Directors of The Island School
Joe Caiazza, Tim Dumas, Mark Futch, Montell Marra, Michael Moffat, Judy Morrison, Cookie Potter, Carol Stewart, Kathleen Turner, MaryAnn VanLokeran and Vicky Winterer