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Believe In Tomorrow's Gala by the Sea

OC Today – Ocean City, MD | March 9, 2018
Originally published on oceancitytoday.net by Kara Hallissey

The Believe In Tomorrow Children’s House by the Sea will host its 17th annual gala on Saturday, April 7, at the Holiday Inn Oceanfront on 67th Street.

Doors will open at 5:30 p.m. in the second floor ballroom of the hotel with a cocktail hour kicking off festivities and music by Joe Smooth.

“After 16 years, we are changing it up a little bit this year with an upscale dine-around in the lobby followed by a sitdown Italian dinner from Touch of Italy,” said Wayne Littleton, coordinator for the Believe in Tomorrow Children’s Respite Housing Program. “It is my favorite event. We have families who come to tell their stories and you really get to see what we do.”

During the cocktail hour, guests can munch on tenderloin sliders with a choice of sauces from Longboard Café. Sunset Grille will have a raw bar selection complete with oysters, shrimp and ahi tuna. In addition, Touch of Italy will feature its antipasti and pizza appetizers in addition to a mozzarella maker who will stuff the fresh cheese with olives or Italian meats right in front of guests’ eyes.

“Sunset Grille’s Buddy Trala and Rick Vach at Longboard Café were eager to participate,” Littleton said. “It is a beautiful evening. I feel like out of everything we do, this night is a true representation of what the Children’s House does.”

Sweet Disposition is slated to provide desserts and there will be complimentary beer and wine.

Tickets to the black-tie optional event generally cover gala expenses, which makes the activities and auction vital to the organization.

This year, attendees can purchase mystery boxes or a diamond in the cupcake sponsored by Park Place Jewelers. For $10, participants will receive a gift card or jewelry inside the mystery box. In addition, they could take home a diamond necklace while enjoying a cupcake for $10 as well.

There will also be an ice luge with Seacrets spirits, a deejay and a silent auction with sports memorabilia, restaurant gift cards, baskets, beauty products and weekend getaways.

Each year, Believe In Tomorrow gives out its “Hero by the Sea” award. Igor Conev, vice president of Mann Properties in Ocean City, will be honored at the gala this year.

“We are very happy to give it to Igor,” Littleton said. “He exemplifies the person we look for when we give out this award. He constantly does everything for us, has a good heart and is a very special person in the community.”

Littleton said Conev chairs the Believe in Tomorrow’s golf classic, which is in its 10th year and averages anywhere from $45,000 to $50,000 for the Ocean City nonprofit every spring.

“He does a lot for the Children’s House and is a major force behind many projects,” Littleton said. “He deserves it.”

Conev has helped with replacing the deck and railings at the house on 66th Street, in addition to advising with the new property acquired on 65th Street, Littleton said.

To end the evening, Littleton will announce the raffle winner, which costs $50 a chance. Only 100 tickets are sold and someone will take home $2,500.

The Michael G. Mann Foundation is the title sponsor of the gala this year. Pete’s Cycle, the Ocean City-Berlin Optimist Club, Avery Hall Insurance, Vogt & Associates and Chesapeake Employers’ Insurance are also sponsoring the event.

“We have different sponsorship levels and are always looking for more,” Littleton said. “The levels are $1,500, $3,000 and $5,000.

We also have program ads. A full page is $125, half a page is $75 and a business card is $35. We have patron ads for $10,” he continued. “There are different opportunities if you can’t come and want to make a donation.”

The facility on 66th Street is open year-around to provide a free getaway to the beach for critically ill children and their families whenever they may need to escape the stresses of their child’s illness.

In addition, another location was acquired on 65th Street and will serve military pediatric families and larger families that may require the assistance of medical support or extended family support because of their child’s illness and end-of-life circumstances with the inclusion of grandparents, aunts, uncles and special friends, in the near future.

The Believe In Tomorrow Gala by the Sea will take place Saturday, April 7, from 5:30-10:30 p.m. at the Holiday Inn Oceanfront on 67th Street.

Only 200 tickets will be sold and the cost is $75 per person or $150 per couple. Currently, plenty of tickets still remain, but the event does sell out every year. For more information or to buy tickets and sponsorships, call Littleton at 410-723-2842.

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