The event raised money for the Danny Fund at the University of Florida.
The Harbourside Ballroom has been expecting you, Mr. Bond, for over a year, and the Danny's Dream gala finally brought the British agent to Longboat Key. The gala, which raised money for Ewing's sarcoma research, was postponed in 2020 and the third edition was held May 15.
Longboat Key residents Sue and Chuck DiNatale began the Danny Fund after their son died from Ewing's sarcoma in 2016. He had been in his last year at Savannah College of Art and Design. The team at UF Health was in charge of Danny's fight for four years, and the Danny Fund was created to provide resources for those researchers.
Ewing's sarcoma is a rare bone cancer with a low treatment-success rate, so the DiNatales hope to provide funds to help doctors find potential causes and treatments. This year, the DiNatales raised nearly $400,000 before the event.
The event began with a cocktail hour and plenty of mingling as people caught up and commented how strange and good it was to have an occasion for which to get dressed up. Tables were decorated in James Bond posters and spy gear, and Daniel Craig lookalike James Taggart posed for photos with guests. Before dinner, Father Robert Dziedziak from the DiNatales' parish, St. Mary, Star of the Sea Catholic Church, gave the benediction.
The evening continued after dinner as University of Florida doctors researcher Elias Sayour, chief of pediatric oncology Bill Slayton and pediatric oncology doctor Joanne Lagmay discussed updates in their world.
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