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The “Living Work of heART” in North Florida

Gala Attendees

On Friday, April 13, Boys Town North Florida celebrated its 15th Annual Spirit of Youth Gala: "A Living Work of heART," bringing together the community to celebrate the children of Boys Town and the wonderful community who supports them.

A special thank you to this year's awesome Gala Chairs: Sean and Dr. Audra Pittman and Emory and Autumn Mayfield, for their remarkable dedication to Boys Town and for all their hard work creating a tremendously successful gala. The event raised an incredible total of $392,991 and will impact the North Florida community by directly helping the children and families through the six programs Boys Town North Florida operates.

"We are extremely grateful for the support that the Boys Town Gala received this year.  It simply wouldn't have been possible without the generosity of our sponsors, volunteers, and friends of Boys Town who helped make this year's event such a success," said Gala Chair Emory Mayfield.

This year's theme "An Evening at the MET" was another sell-out at 400 attendees and boasted some amazing auction items. Some of the auction highlights included an exclusive VIP Experience for 4 to the Orange Bowl Playoff game, two tickets to a Los Angeles Lakers game on a private jet and a one week stay in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

"We were humbled by the opportunity to be intimately apart of the Boys Town North Florida gala that raises the funds necessary to help these children. Those who supported the Spirit of Youth Gala through their time and contributions have had an extraordinary imprint in making this year a success, and we are very, very grateful to those supporters," said Gala Chair Autumn Mayfield. 

The event also featured a Children's "heART" Gallery, displaying beautiful works of art and mosaic bird baths. Thanks to all of our talented artists Anne Hempel and Joanna Angelos who spearheaded the two projects and Kelly Pettit, Dr. Audra Pittman and Rhonda Strauss who played a tremendous part in helping them.

Two celebrity fashion designers also helped make the night unforgettable. Alexandra Pijut's Supima collection was featured as guests entered the cocktail reception and Daniel Wingate donated a couture gown to the auction for guests to bid on.

In its 15th year, the gala has grown from 200 attendees to now maxing out at 400. The event, originally considered a fundraiser, is now referred to as a "thank you campaign" to show appreciation for all of the Boys Town North Florida supporters.

"I would like to give special recognition to not only our tremendous supporters, but our own Boys Town staff who went above and beyond to ensure the success of the event," said Development Director Dena Strickland. "The entire gala team, including our staff expressed that their efforts were worth the time spent because it shared what Boys Town North Florida is all about – the kids and our Boys Town community who supports them."