Don’t miss some of the most important fundraisers in Southwest Florida. If you’re in a charitable mood, donate to one of these fundraisers.
Walk with Pride, Run for Equality
In 2019, Naples held its first Pride Walk and Pride Run. The fundraiser was a 5K run or one mile walk that took place at Eagles Lake Community Park. After the race, participants gathered together for music, refreshments, and comraderie.
The fundraiser was co-hosted by Bling Running Events and Naples Pride. Although some individuals participated to raise money for a good cause, others did it for the competition. For the top finishers, there were prizes. Trophies went to the top three male and female finishers in each age group.
Everyone who joined in on the fun received a medal, swag bag, and tee shirt. Those who couldn’t attend on the day of the race were able to do so virtually. Some of the proceeds from the entrance fee went towards Naples Pride, whose mission is to unite and empower Collier County’s LGBTQ community.
After this fundraiser, the Naples Pride Festival occurred. Winners of the race were honored at the festival in front of the crowd. If you plan on attending Naples Pride next year, this fundraiser may be the perfect way to kick off the fun.
Visuality – Crystal Ball
Visuality is a Southwest Florida organization that aims to maintain and improve the health of the local LGBTQ community and their allies. Throughout the year, they host activities, programs, and services focused on the rights and mental health of the diverse Southwest Florida gay community.
To accomplish their mission, Visuality needs some assistance. They have several fundraisers throughout the year. One of the most popular ones is the Crystal Ball. In a previous year, the ball was held at the Campo Felice ballroom. The event was along the scenic Caloosahatchee River and featured plenty of entertainment.
One highlight was live music, which featured the popular Girl Krush. Of course, no ball is complete without dancing, and most attendees danced the night away. There was also a silent auction featuring many different items. Those who were fashion-forward enjoyed a fashion show, which highlighted designs made by Alyssa Lemay.
At the event, appetizers and refreshments were also available. All of the proceeds went towards the youth support programs at Visuality. For an elegant evening of giving back, check out next year’s Crystal Ball.
ARAY Winter Wonderland Party
Although the winters in Southwest Florida don’t get very cold, you don’t need to let that stop you from being in a winter wonderland. At the ARAY Winter Wonderland Party, you can enjoy a night of snowy fun.
In 2018, the fundraiser took place at the Port Charlotte library. It featured a hot cocoa bar equipped with everything you needed to make a delicious cup of hot chocolate. There were bright holiday lights and more snowflakes than you’d expect to find in the North Pole.
Attendees were able to memorialize the night in a winter photobooth. Before the event, there was a cookie exchange to get you in the holiday spirit. The money raised during the event went towards All Rainbow and Allied Youth, or ARAY. The non-profit is an LGBTQ youth organization that supports the small but growing community of Port Charlotte’s adolescents.
Pet Lovers Gala
For decades, the Naples Humane Society has been helping the homeless animals of the area. There are several ways to give back to this non-profit organization, but few of those ways are as fun as attending the annual Pet Lovers Gala.
The gala is a fundraiser that has been taking place for over 20 years. In 2020, the event featured an opulent dinner and several auctions. Everything began with a cocktail hour, which was followed by the meal and live entertainment.
Towards the end of the evening, a parade of adoptable animals made their way in front of the crowd. The proceeds from the event went towards the humane society, and attendees also gave back by taking home some of the adoptable pets. Attendees wore black-tie attire and some brought their own pets. Although 2020’s event took place at the Naples Yacht Club, the venue varies each year.
Magic Under the Mangroves
For more than 50 years, the Conservancy of Southwest Florida has been dedicated to protecting the environment around Lee, Collier, Charlotte, and surrounding counties. They accomplish this goal through policy, wildlife rehabilitation, and public education. Every year, the organization raises money for its cause with the Magic Under the Mangroves celebration.
The fundraiser is a gala dinner and auction that takes place at the Conservancy of Southwest Florida Nature Center. As with most galas, this one has cocktails, appetizers, and an elegant dinner. A silent auction features art, experiences, and more.
Since the organization’s 40th anniversary, they have hosted this popular gala to raise more than $8.1 million. In 2016, the fundraiser brought in over $1.2 million. All of the proceeds go towards the Conservancy, which treated over 3,500 animals in 2016. The organization protected over 26,000 sea turtle hatchlings and educated over 50,000 people.
Celebration of Grace
The Grace Place is a non-profit organization that wants all families in Golden Gate to have access to education, regardless of their economic position. In an effort to raise funds, the organization hosts an annual Celebration of Grace. The event features food, entertainment, and much more.
In 2020, the event celebrated the 1920’s with a theme of the Roaring Twenties. The fundraiser took place at the Ritz-Carlton in Naples and featured cocktails, appetizers, and a silent auction. Then, there was a memorable dinner served in the Vanderbilt Ballroom. Attendees enjoyed music from the Brett Foreman Band. Proceeds from the event went towards the Grace Place for Children’s mission.
Enjoying the Most Important Fundraisers in Southwest Florida
What’s your favorite Southwest Florida charity? If you don’t yet have one, attend some of these fundraisers and find out what makes these charities so special.