Oldsmar, FL, February 21, 2014 – There was a lot of excitement in the air as we celebrated the Oldsmar Cares 4th Annual Wine and Food Gala. More than 500 people gathered at the Nielsen Ballroom eager to taste the delicious dishes prepared by fifteen area restaurants, bid on silent auction items, and sip craft beer, wine and our special drink the Sweetheart Gala-tini. The evening raised $66,500 with generous contributions from Diamond level sponsors including the City of Oldsmar, Nielsen, Oldsmar City Councilwoman Linda Norris, and Tampa Bay Downs.“We are proud to report a 20% increase over last year,” said David Wallace, Oldsmar Cares Gala co-Chair. “We have an amazing group of volunteers that work tirelessly all year to pull together a first class event.”
The sold out event surpassed expectations with the space at Nielsen transformed just hours before into an elegant Ballroom. The photo booth, donated by CCS Photography, and beer tasting and spin-the-wheel giveaway, provided by the Brass Tap, were both crowd pleasers. “No charity does more for the local community than Oldsmar Cares and that is why it’s my privilege to be here to support it,” said John Benincasa, Gala attendee.
This year twenty-one area restaurants and wine vendors delighted us with their signature dishes and wine tasting. The award for Best Food went to Salt Rock Tavern, Best Presentation went to Tampa Bay Cook’s Club, and Best Overall went to Amici’s Catering. “The restaurants outdid themselves again this year,” said Dan Saracki, Oldsmar Cares Gala co-Chair. “Oldsmar Cares gets people into the room but the variety of food and generous portions keep people coming back year after year.”
Oldsmar Mayor and US 103.5 radio personality Doug Bevis entertained the crowd as Master of Ceremonies and auctioneer. Oldsmar Council Members Linda Norris and Gabby McGee took turns at the microphone to auction off items like a Harley Davidson adventure weekend, a Saddlebrook golf and accommodation package, a 4-night getaway to a Highlands NC cottage, and a “Sunset St. Pete Style” package that included a BMW convertible rental and a stay at the Vinoy Renaissance Resort..
One of the highlights of the evening was the drawing for the Grand Door Prize: dinner for two from all fifteen participating restaurants. That’s a night out every other day for a month for one lucky couple! It’s not surprising that the lucky winner shouted in delight when her name was called.
Restaurants/Wine Sponsors: Amici’s Catered Cuisine, Applebee’s, Besa Grill, The Brass Tap, Buffalo Wild Wings, Chocolates by Michelle, Cook’s Club of Tampa Bay, Cracker Barrel, Cuban Breezes, Daddy’s Grill, Famous Greek, Flamestone, Green Market Cafe, PRP Wine International, Publix Boot Ranch, Republic National Distributing Company, Rumba Island Bar & Grill, Salt Rock Tavern, Starbucks Coffee, Tijuana Flats, and Yogurt Mountain.
Diamond Sponsors: City of Oldsmar, Nielsen, Oldsmar City Councilwoman Linda Norris, and Tampa Bay Downs.
Gold Sponsors: Coldwell Banker, Davis Bews Design Group, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Holloway Funeral Home, Senator Jack Latvala, Impact Grafx, MaxiVision®, Oldsmar Storage, Rotary Club of Oldsmar/East Lake, Schmalz Insurance Agency, Specialty Glass, StellarNet, Tampa Bay Times, TECO, and Turtle Beach Natural Foodservice.
Silver Sponsors: Sam and Sue Brandon, CSS Photography, Mercedes Benz of Tampa, Metro Bench, National Health Alliance, The Newhouse Media Group, Raymond James, Republic Services, and Zephyrhills Natural Spring Water.
Bronze Sponsors: Arthur Air, BankUnited, Dr. Mark Isenberg, Italiano Insurance, Moosehead Larger, Physicians Now, Jeff Taylor, Vology, and Zeigler Transmission and Auto Repair.
About Oldsmar Cares:
Oldsmar Cares is a 501(c)(3) all volunteer organization with a mission to provide stop gap rent and utility assistance, a food pantry, and a clothes closet – all at no cost – to those in need in the greater Oldsmar area. Oldsmar Cares is located at 163 State Road 580 West, Oldsmar.