There’s no shortage of good causes in the Tampa region. If you’re interested in attending some of the important fundraisers in Tampa Bay, look no further. Check out this list of the top fundraisers and get ready to get giving.
Balanced Tampa Bay Masquerade Ball
There’s something about a masquerade ball that brings out the best in people. Every year for the past few years, the Balance Tampa Bay Masquerade Ball is proof of that. The ball is a celebration that brings together people from all walks of life in an effort to raise money for Empath Partners in Care (EPIC).
EPIC is an HIV/AIDS support organization that prides itself in serving the local community. In an effort to gain support and raise money for the organization, Balance Tampa Bay hosts a night of music, food, dancing, and more. There’s an auction that features some unique and exciting items.
Since the first masquerade ball, the event has brought in more than $80,000 for EPIC. In 2018 alone, the event collected $16,000. And it’s no surprise that the event has been such a success. The event has an exciting and opulent ambiance, which is fun for all who attend. It’s a chance to escape reality and enjoy a judgement-free night out.
Equality Florida St. Pete Gala
Equality Florida is the largest civil rights organization that fights for the Florida LGBTQ community to have equal rights. For years, they have been using education, lobbying, and other techniques to fight harassment and discrimination.
At the Equality Florida St. Pete Gala, you can support the organization. In 2018, the event took place at the Mahaffey Theater. It brought in $354,287 and attracted 708 people. They danced the night away and bid on auction items. In the auction alone, more than $26,000 was raised.
This event doesn’t only attract St. Pete residents, but also attracts those from the surrounding areas as well. Designed to be a celebration, the fundraiser is an annual event that shouldn’t be missed by anyone who loves a good time.
A highlight of the iconic GeckoFest, the Gecko Ball is a fundraiser and party that’s been occurring for over a decade. It takes place in Gulfport, and 2018’s event was in the Gulfport Casino. Every year, the funds go towards a different non-profit organization.
Although 2018’s theme was comic book and pop culture, every year brings something new. No matter what the theme may be, the concept remains the same. Attendees are supposed to dress as creatively as they can. If your costume is unique enough, it will earn you a prize in the costume contest.
The ball also features live music and plenty of dancing. As you party the night away, you can snack on hors d’oeuvres and desserts. Quench your thirst with cocktails, beer, or wine. To remember your night, take pictures in the photo booth. Or, buy a work of art created by a talented local artist.
This fundraiser ends with the crowning of the Gecko Queen. In the past, a panel of judges chose the queen. However, it’s recently become the responsibility of the public to vote on the new queen. This fundraiser is like no other, and makes for a night that you will not forget.
ALSO Youth Giving Challenge
Although the LGBTQ community has made great strides over the past few decades, they still face obstacles. Discrimination and intolerance happens on a daily basis, but organizations like ALSO work towards combatting the bigotry.
The organization works with LGBTQ youth to fight bullying of all types. In addition to providing them with emotional support, the organization also helps them graduate high school and make their employment dreams come true.
ALSO has been active in Sarasota for over 27 years. Currently, they are hosting a youth giving challenge. They are asking people to donate money towards things like headsets, art supplies, book club gatherings, and scholarships.
Although this fundraiser doesn’t involve any fancy evenings out or silent auctions, it does involve giving back to those who need it the most. At-risk youth benefit greatly from the proceeds of the giving challenge.
Sarasota County Out of the Darkness Walk
Mental health is a topic that often gets swept under the rug. Instead of hiding from the issue, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention – Southwest Florida Chapter attacks it head-on. With their annual Out of the Darkness walk in Sarasota, the organization aims to raise awareness for suicide prevention.
In 2019, the event took place in Nathan Benderson Park. Money from the event went towards suicide prevention research, education programs, advocacy, and more. With over 300 attendees, 2019’s fundraiser was a huge success. People from all over the Tampa Bay region gathered to raise money and show their support for the organization.
In addition to participating in a walk, attendees also were encouraged to take advantage of mental health resources. There were free snacks and refreshments to all who attended. Future events will likely draw an even larger crowd.
Dining Out for Life
An international event, Dining Out for Life is a fundraiser that supports those who are living with HIV or AIDS. For more than a decade, this fundraiser has been taking place in the Tampa Bay region. The money raised from the event remains in both Pinellas and Hillsborough County.
To make the event memorable, restaurants in Tampa, Dunedin, and all areas in between come together. They give at least 25% of your check to EPIC, also known as Empath Partners in Care. Whether you go out for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, your patronage will be supporting a good cause.
This event is unique in that you don’t need to do anything out of the ordinary. Simply visit your favorite participating restaurant, and know that your money is helping out a charitable organization.
Attending Important Fundraisers in Tampa Bay
Why not give back to the community in a way that’s fun and exciting? Check out one of these fundraisers and you can do just that.
For a full list of Florida Pride Festivals, click here.
**Disclaimer: There is a good chance that this post contains affiliate or sponsor links. If you make a purchase through them, we may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you (for which we are extremely grateful).
Also, while we do our best to highlight LGBTQ-friendly destinations and businesses, info provided is based solely on personal experience and recommendations by community partners. We hope that nobody experiences discrimination or homophobia while visiting Florida, but we make no guarantees. Please inform us if you experience discrimination or homophobia while visiting any destination so we can make updates to our recommendations.