Coral Gables Community Foundation Hosts its Annual Biltmore Ball

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Coral Gables Community Foundation

This year's gala was themed "London Calling: Windsor Wonderland", following the previous nation-themed galas.

On Friday, Oct. 11, the Coral Gables Community Foundation hosted its annual gala to raise funds for the foundation’s many causes within Coral Gables. The attendees of this ball were residents of the city of Coral Gables who gathered to support the foundation’s hard work and devotion to the community. The theme for this year’s event was “London Calling, Windsor Wonderland”, meaning that attendees wore attire pertaining to British royalty, culture or even celebrities such as Elton John. Gables students volunteered during this special event, not only to support the community with their service but to also show their gratitude for the scholarships given by the nonprofit.

Established in 1991, the Coral Gables Community Foundation has connected individuals and corporations looking to positively impact the growth of the community. This foundation aides the Gables’ youth, as well as elderly and disabled residents through a variety of services such as sponsorship of cultural activities and awarding of thousands of dollars of scholarship money for college tuition. Proceeds from “The Biltmore Ball: London Calling, Windsor Wonderland” will help fund these scholarships, enhance historic landmarks and support the arts and cinema within the Coral Gables community.

Ketty Dones
Some of the student activities members ready to attend the gala.

“I was excited to work the gala because I had never been to one. It was such a great experience to see the attendees dressed up to the British theme and auctioning affluent vacation places. I am grateful to have been a part of an event that greatly benefits our community,” senior Adriana Meijaard said.

The event consisted of a cocktail party, silent auction, dinner and a live auction. The cocktail party was a small introduction to the rest of the event, where guests got to interact and chat over a few appetizers. The silent auction, which was held all night long, gave guests an opportunity to purchase items donated by residents and local businesses to raise money for the foundation and its cause.

The dinner was an extravagant three-course meal for the guests to enjoy, set to the England theme as well. In the live auction, four vacation destinations, including the Al Capone or “Everglades Suite” with a 360-degree view of coral gables, were auctioned off, giving the guests opportunities both to vacation and to help improve their own city.

For the duration of the event, several students that participate in Student Activities helped run and work the event to maximize the experience of the guests. Dressed in formal attire, the students had different assignments, ranging from registration to even coordination of all the volunteers during the event. Other students also assisted with the silent auction by helping the attendees with bidding and answering any questions the attendees had with the process.

Coral Gables Community Foundation
Brianna De la Osa, a former Gables student, speaks to guests about the opportunities her scholarship allowed her to have.

“I had a fun time volunteering at this event and interacting with a lot of people that help provide our school with so many scholarships. This is the third Coral Gables Community Foundation event that I’ve worked and I’ve always had a fun time. I’m always more than happy to help the foundation because I know how much help they provide to the Coral Gables community,” senior William Fay said.

Towards the end of the night, the Activities members split up into groups to tackle the pledge collection and live auction process. Some students collected donation pledges made by the guests, as each table was given a box with the pledge cards to receive any other donations. The rest of the students worked on the live auction by either raising a light-up stick to indicate that a person in their designated area would like to bid or by collecting information from the winners.

Overall, this event gave both the guests and the Gables students volunteering the opportunity to grow within the community and experience something that was new to many of them. These students got to enjoy themselves while giving back to a great cause that may benefit them or their peers in the future.