This is an extremely grand event with more than two thousand supporters in attendance. The evening began with a social hour in the beautiful grand hall just outside the Sebastian Ballroom of the beautiful Shingle Creek Resort, . As guests mingled amongst one another, throughout the crowd one could find popular morning show radio hosts, evening TV anchors, magicians, stilt-walkers, and other fan-favorite media personalities. There were also tables at which you could bid for items to help try and raise additional funds for Runway to Hope.
When it was time to enter the main ballroom, guests were immersed inside of a beautifully-decorated, lavish, extravaganza. Shingle Creek brought out its finest linens and centerpieces while playing host to the resort's owner, Harris Rosen, who sat in attendance with his family at the table immediately adjacent to the front portion of tonight's runway -- Mr. Rosen also took to the stage with his family a few times this evening, which drew the admiration and applause of all in attendance.
Guests were treated to a delectable dinner as our main emcees for the evening, Attorney Mark NeJame and his lovely wife Josie, guided us into the evening. The NeJames were immediately joined onstage by four celebrity hosts for the evening: Don Lemon (award-winning CNN news anchor), Howie Dorough (of Backstreet Boys fame), Maria Menounos (entertainment reporter and TV personality), and Nikki Bella (WWE wrestler).
But the real stars of the evening soon emerged: the more-than-150 children who are currently battling or have overcome their pediatric cancer. Tonight, these children strutted their stuff up and down the catwalk runway which coursed down the middle of the ballroom, walking hand in hand alongside local and national celebrities. It was inspirational, and it was powerful to see such strength in the eyes of these children. Guests lining the runways stood with outstretched hands to either high-five the models, and some were lucky to hold on just a little bit longer to hold hands with the child as the child reassuringly smiled back. The child models ranged in age from 2-18 years old, with some walking the runway in their first year, and others having graced this stage in years past.
This was probably the most grand fundraising event we've ever attended, and are so thankful to have been able to share tonight with the attendees, particularly with some of the models we met backstage after the event. We sincerely hope to be part of this significant event for years to come.
For more information:
Runway to Hope
189 South Orange Avenue, Suite 1800
Orlando, FL 32801