This year’s Longboat Key Gourmet Lawn Party will hit closer to home than past luncheons.
Instead of raising money for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, the Kiwanis Club of Longboat Key will raise money for four local children’s charities: the Boys & Girls Clubs of Manatee and Sarasota counties, Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Manatee and Sarasota counties, Child Protection Center and Children First.
And local businesses are stepping up more than ever to help.
The party has garnered more than $20,000 in sponsorships, up from last year’s record $17,000, according to event secretary John Wild.
“Local businesses are really getting onboard to help local children,” Wild said.
The event has drawn not only businesses that are participating at levels ranging from $500 to $5,000, but also from individual patrons who give $150 and get two complimentary tickets.
The Kiwanis Club has printed 1,200 event tickets, 300 of which will go to premier sponsors. Tickets are $25 in advance and $30 at the gate.
Raffle tickets are priced at $100, and sales are capped at 400.
The grand prize is the winner’s choice of $20,000 cash; $20,000 toward any vehicle at any of the five Sarasota-Manatee Gettel dealerships; or a $20,000 “Uncrowded Serengeti” safari package from Admiral Travel.
Second prize is a three-day, two-night stay at the Longboat Key Club and Resort that includes use of all amenities.
Third prize is an oil painting by artist Malenda Trick valued at $1,500.
The event has 29 participating restaurants, along with beverages courtesy of Gold Coast Eagle Distributing, Sysco, Premier Beverage, Coca-Cola and Southern Wine & Spirits, and will also feature flowers from Exotica Florist.