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Black Tie and Tales
Black Tie Wednesday, Jan. 31, 2018 4 years ago

We Care Manatee hosts Rollin’ on the River Casino Night on Jan. 27.

Black Tie & Tales: Kayleigh Omang
by: Kayleigh Omang Contributor

Hitched a ride on a riverboat queen

We Care Manatee supporters took their chances and tried their luck last weekend at a fun casino night event.

Co-Chairmen Bob Turner and George Thomas

Rollin’ on the River was held Jan. 27 at The Riverhouse in Palmetto. After a live auction, silent auction bidding and dinner, guests hit the floor to play blackjack, craps and roulette.

The evening raised money for We Care Manatee, a nonprofit that facilitates free medical care for low income, uninsured residents of Manatee County.

Maverick Johnson of CTQ92.1 emceed the event, and Anna Maria Oyster Bar restaurants owner and President John Horne acted as the auctioneer for the evening’s raffles.

Kerry Evans, a former patient of We Care Manatee’s services, spoke during the event about the impact the organization had on her life when she became sick and didn’t have insurance.

Dr. Jennifer McCullen, a We Care Manatee Board co-chair, is also a volunteer provider. As chairman of OB-GYN Department at Lakewood Ranch Medical Center Hospital and member of the OB-GYN Women’s Centre of Lakewood Ranch, McCullen has witnessed the impact of helping women without insurance when they need medical care. She estimates the medical center gives out 50 free mammograms a month.

“We love to give back,” she said. “I’m an OB-GYN. I give. The patients know what they’re getting, and they’re so appreciative.”

— Jess Salmond

Sipping under city lights for the Florida Cancer Specialists Foundation

Under City Lights, a Party Under the Stars was hosted Jan. 27 by the Florida Cancer Specialists Foundation. In the Fete Catering & Ballroom, more than 200 people gathered to dine and sip wine while helping the foundation.

Terri Prechtl and Chairman Brad Prechtl, honorees of Party Under the Stars

In all, the event raised more than $200,000. The funds will be going to the FCS Foundation to support its mission of caring for cancer patients.

This year, the fundraiser honored FCS Foundation Board Chairman Brad Prechtl, who also serves as FCS CEO, and his wife, Terri Prechtl, the FCS Foundation lead patient support volunteer at the Lakewood Ranch location. Three FCS physicians, Drs. Richard Brown, Anjan Patel and Miguel Pelayo, served as honorary chairs of the event along with co-chairs Kim Wyar and Dwight Henry.

“The FCS Foundation would not have been able to raise more than $200,000 for cancer patients in need without the continued support of our local community and sponsors,” Foundation Executive Director Lynn Rasys said. “We are very appreciative and we look forward to another successful Party Under the Stars in 2019.”


A survivor's story … A special guest was in attendance at the

Designing Daughters Grant Ceremony. On behalf of More Too Life, survivor Felicity collected the $2,400 check and spoke to the audience. She told her emotional life story of being raised in a brothel, where she was a victim to child sexual abuse and was impregnated by her abuser. There wasn’t a dry eye in the audience after she spoke. Welcoming a baby girlMontana and Irwin Taplinger had their baby girl, Juliet Love, on Jan. 24 at the Sarasota Memorial Hospital. Baby came a few days early, but is healthy with a full head of hair. “Our hearts are bursting to welcome our sweet baby girl - Juliet Love - to our family! Good news is her big sis is keeping an eye on her vitals for us,” Montana said in an Instagram post.

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I’m Kayleigh, Black Tie reporter. My cats and I moved here from North Dakota and I earned degrees from Minnesota State Moorhead in photojournalism and entrepreneurship. You’ll find me covering all the big fundraisers in town. Reach me at 941-366-3468 ext. 330.

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