I had the honor of photographing the Imagine Gala for the Children’s Home Society of Florida on Saturday. Alexis, Faith, Janelle and their entire team really created an amazing evening with honorary host Mike Alstott. Children's Home Society's branding statement is "we do good" but honestly it's so much more than that. They have services for foster children/parents, counseling, adoption, community schools like Mort Elementary and so much more. It was really cool to hear the vision that they have revolutionizing the foster system so that every child has a family. On each guests' chair there was a star from each of the kids from Mort Elementary with their name and what they want to be. I read things like "math teacher", "engineer so I can design cool things", "doctor, so I can help people with disabilities". Cocktail hour had lots of amazing silent auction items (my fav was the Justin Timberlake Experience:-). Matt Winter Band played as everyone ate dinner, they had to follow the kids choir who was pretty amazing singing "This is Me" from the Greatest Showman. Victor Sims, a young man who is a CHS Family Support Worker told his story of how he had gone into the foster system when he was just 3 months old. He moved from home to home for numerous years and when he was in Kindergarten he said he asked a classmate when they were moving to a new home. Of course the other child had no idea what he was talking about and said he lived with his parents, and Victor told him "those are really your parents" because he had never known anything different than moving house to house without parents. He later was adopted by his sister and is one of the small percentage of foster kids who go to, and graduate from college with a Bachelor's degree. It was pretty powerful. Mike Alstott, super bowl champion, 6 time Pro Bowler, fellow Purdue Boilermaker, and founder of Mike Alstott Family Foundation was the honorary host, former Bucs player Michael Clayton was also there but I have to tell you my personal favorite person I got to meet was someone who I randomly saw in the lobby in between speakers. There was a very tall man who looked familiar and it was Quinton Aaron, who played Michael Oher in the movie the Blindside! One of my personal favorite movies of all time. I asked him and Miss Galaxy to get together for a photo, so that I could get a photo with him too lol!!! It's on my Instagram @carriewildes if you want to see it:-) All the people below and so so many more donated their time and talents to help raise money so that kinds don't have to just imagine what they can be, but have the opportunity to be what they want to be.
Venue | Bryan Glazer JCC | Host | Mike Alstott Family Foundation | Band | Matt Winter Band | Centerpieces | ABC Event Planning | Step and Repeat | OAI Visual Branding | Video Production | The Kind Mouse Productions