Last night’s Annual Boys and Girls Club Gala Evening broke records once again on many levels. Even before the 500 plus guests at the sold out event at the Ritz Carlton, Amelia Island were seated, it was announced that the donations had already passed the $50,000 mark. This was before the Silent Auctions concluded at 9pm and while young women were still going around the tables to sell raffle tickets.
An interesting technological introduction was the option to bid by cellphone, which made for an interesting spectacle. To see a room full of X and Y geners work their cell phones is a normal panorama these days, but to see a room full of Baby Boomers excitedly slide their fingers over phone LED’s until the big screen recognizes their bid, is living proof that technology has officially replaced the industrial revolution. More so because the same phone that was used to text bids, just minutes later turned into a camera to record the star guest of the evening, American Idol winner Rubin Studdard. Backed by a trio of exceptional musicians, Studdard who said he learned as a kid in the Boys and Girls Club of Central Alabama, how to shake his stage fright, performed some outstanding R&B and Jazz, from his coronation song “Flying Without Wings”, to Gershwin’s “Summertime” and a rousing “Ain’t Misbehavin”.
The very well organized Gala, with once again superb three course food choices and presentation from the Ritz Carlton’s kitchen, serving more than 500 guests and keeping the main course warm is a huge challenge in any circumstance, came to a 9:15 end and kudos should be given once again to Gala Chair Ann Moser and her staff of volunteers for a superb performance.