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East County Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2009 8 years ago

Lakewood club to throw Monster Ball

by: Michael Eng Executive Editor

LAKEWOOD RANCH — Coldwell Banker Realtor Laurie Fox is no stranger to schmoozing with the stars.

Last month, Fox was in Los Angeles to help her friend — renowned saxophonist Dave Koz — celebrate earning his star on the Walk of Fame. There, she made small talk with Seinfeld’s Jason Alexander and Kenny G. and also ran into another old buddy — Barry Manilow.

“I’ve known those guys for years,” she says with a grin.

While catching up with Manilow, she mentioned one of her pet projects back home in Lakewood Ranch — the upcoming Monster Ball fundraiser. The famous singer didn’t hesitate to help and donated a “Basket of Barry” — a prize package featuring autographed CDs and more.

Barry’s basket is just one of many silent auction items that will be available at the Monster Ball, which will be from 8-11 p.m., Oct. 30, at The Polo Grill Fête Ballroom, 10670 Boardwalk Loop, Lakewood Ranch Main Street. The event will raise money for the Manatee Association of REALTORS’ My Community Makeover, an organization that helps local families in need complete renovation projects.

The Fête Ballroom will be transformed into a splendidly spooky scene complete with fog, cobwebs and more. Guests will dine on Halloween-themed hors d’ouevres and a special Halloween cake created by Pastries by Design’s Lyndsy McDonald. The event also will include a Costume Contest, which features a grand prize of a seven-day cruise from Blue Skye Lending.

Tickets to the Monster Ball are $50 in advance and $75 at the door.

“It’s going to be really cool,” Fox said of the event. “There’s going to be a lot of fun and a lot of great food. This is the first year, and hopefully, we can make it an annual event.”

Inspired by the popular TV show, “Extreme Makeover,” a group of Realtors launched My Community Makeover in 2007 to help Manatee families in need. In its first two years, the organization has adopted five families, including the East County’s Widners.

The Widners were a regular family until 18-year-old son Jeremy suffered a grass burn while playing football with friends. A month later, he was rushed to the hospital with a 104-degree fever and a leg that had turned black. Jeremy had developed a severe infection in the wound, which caused his liver and kidneys to shut down. He spent 74 days in intensive care and more than a year in a Fort Lauderdale rehabilitation center and is now confined to a wheelchair.

My Community Makeover volunteers and affiliates have adopted the family to retrofit its home to accommodate Jeremy’s wheelchair.

“It just makes you cry — it’s so rewarding,” Fox said of her involvement with My Community Makeover. “We’re making a difference for these people, and I feel so blessed. You get so much out of the giving.”

Contact Michael Eng at [email protected].

Monster Ball
WHEN: 8-11 p.m., Oct. 30
WHERE: The Polo Grill Fête Ballroom, 10670 Boardwalk Loop, Lakewood Ranch
TICKETS: $50 in advance; $75 at the door. Limited availability.
BENEFICIARY: My Community Makeover
INFORMATION: Laurie Fox, 730-7635; or Leslie Swart, 350-7606

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