SunServe’s Annual Shine Gala a Huge Success

Photo by JR Davis.

A sea black sequins filled The Venue as hundreds of people packed in for SunServe’s annual Shine gala. Nearly everyone in the room found fun ways to comply with the Black & White theme, with glittery silver gowns and sparkly shirts and jackets nearly blinding you as you walked in.

The fun night with a serious purpose honored community leaders for their support and raised money for the organization.

“Black & White truly showcased our community's incredible strength and spirit,” SunServe CEO Tony Lima said. “It was a night where every moment was a tribute to what we stand for: support, compassion, and unwavering commitment to the most vulnerable in the LGBTQ+ community.”

After a cocktail reception and the salad course, SunServe’s Director of Youth & Family Services Mario DePedro opened the program. The highlight was a video of people SunServe has helped, hitting home the direct impact of the group. DePedro’s mother, who also has a background in non-profit work, was proudly beaming from her spot as she watched her son.

Then Lima came up to present the awards. Honorees were Cindy Arenberg Seltzer of the Children’s Services Council, Brett and Roby Tannenbaum of The Venue, state Senator Shevrin Jones, SMART Ride founder Glen Weinzimer, and Michael Kahane of AHF.

Misty Eyez, SunServe’s director of trans services, says the night is more important than ever. “This is our largest fundraiser, and we need this and the generosity of donors because many programs aren’t funded by grants.”

After the presentations, raffle, and live auction, the dancing started.

“Together, we celebrated a successful event and the shared values that drive us to support and uplift every member of the LGBTQ+ community,” Lima gushed. “Thank you all for standing with us, believing in our work's importance, and contributing to a night we'll all remember.”

SunServe’s core mission is providing mental health services, including help with substance abuse issues, youth and senior services, trans care and more.

Lima summed it up, saying, “This gala underscores our commitment to making a difference and supporting those who need us most.”


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