With the significant milestone of Palmetto Bay’s 10th anniversary coming up on Sept. 12, village staffers are planning a special event different from any other in the past that will not only mark the occasion in a big way but also help local schools.
“It’s going to be a major fundraising gala cocktail reception celebration,” said Bill Kress, village communications manager. “It’s going to take place closer to the actual anniversary date of the village, rather than tie it into a State of the Village time period in October. It’s going to be on Sept. 14, a Friday night, so it will be more fun.”
Kress said that it was important to get the word out ahead of time so people not only know what to expect and can plan their schedules, but also because the village is hoping to get corporate sponsors for the event.
Mary Fernandez, the village’s program and events coordinator, filled in some of the details.
“It’s from 7 to 10 p.m. in the Palm Room at the Palmetto Bay Village Center,” Fernandez said. “It’s a three-hour cocktail reception with dancing. We are going to have live entertainment with a five-piece band that’s going to play throughout the night.
“The entry is $50 per person and 50 per- cent of the proceeds will go toward our charitable cause, which is the Palmetto Bay public school system. We have some really great schools in the area so I think this is a worthwhile thing.”
The event at the center, located at 18001 Old Cutler Rd., will have wine, beer and champagne and possibly hot hors d’oeuvres and will be the primary event of the year.
“We have confirmed that Gary Nelson of Channel 4, who lives in Palmetto Bay, has agreed to serve as the emcee” Kress said. “County Mayor Carlos Gimenez is confirmed for the evening as well and we are looking at ways to acknowledge the people who are the early roots of the village and recognize them in a very special way.”
The village schools that will benefit from the special event are Howard Drive Elementary, Perrine Elementary, Coral Reef Elementary and Southwood Middle School.
“Our vision for this is a very elegant, formal adult event, which lends itself to that really great setting and celebration, and at the same time be a feel-good fundraiser,” Fernandez said.
Kress said that getting sponsorships from area businesses is important, and in return for helping defray the costs of the event, sponsors will benefit as well.
“We’re going to make all different levels of opportunities available to sponsors, such as preferred seating, space and advertisements ahead of time, and they’ll get onto WBAY-TV before and after the event,” Kress said.
Fernandez said there are others things they are exploring to commemorate the 10th anniversary beyond the reception.
“The celebration is just one evening but we want our message for that time period to be consistent as far as congratulations go, and one thing we would like to do is have posters that local businesses would be proud to put up on their window front with congratulations to the village,” she said.
Kress explained that with all the effort going into the 10th anniversary celebration, the State of the Village Address in mid- October will be different this year.
“We’re going to taper back on the size and scope of the State of the Village,” Kress said. “It will not be the big 500- attendee event this year. We’re going to be holding the State of the Village in the Village Chambers this year, so we’ll have the benefit of the live streaming video and live Comcast TV coverage. We’ll have probably greater participation because of those two things.”
A link to the anniversary celebration and information about purchasing tickets will be on the official village website at <www.palmettobay-fl.gov/>.