37th annual Foundation Dream Gala raises over $428,000

Donors make the "Good Times Roll" at Mardi Gras-themed gala

Tuesday, May 25, 2021
Written by: Seminole State Staff

PHOTO: "Brown Bag Brass Band" delights guest with New Orleans style jazz music for the 37th annual Dream Gala.

Capturing the excitement and vibrance of Mardi Gras, the Foundation for Seminole State College held it’s 37th annual Dream Gala at the Orlando Marriott Lake Mary on Saturday, May 22, with over $428,000 raised for student scholarships, faculty programs support and areas of greatest need throughout the College. 

View photos on Facebook

Presented by Addition Financial, the program highlighted the many opportunities for Seminole State students to “unmask” their potential. The evening’s video showcased two students pursuing healthcare careers: Jocelyn Abril, a nursing major, and Megan Anderson, a STEM student whose goal is to become a doctor. Both students shared how Foundation scholarships have made it possible for them to pursue their dreams. 

Seminole State students Joceyln Abril and Megan Anderson at the Foundation for Seminole State College's Annual Dream Gala held on May 22, 2021.
Joceyln Abril and Megan Anderson

Faced with social distancing attendance limitations, the Foundation innovatively created a new interactive virtual program with dedicated hosts. Virtual participants enjoyed competitive bidding in the silent, live and scholarship auctions in sync with in-person attendees. 

A combined 414 guests, composed of on-site and at-home participants, helped to raise over $90,000 during the Scholarship Auction segment, including three new fully endowed scholarships.  

“We are very grateful for the amazing spirit and generosity of our community partners to come together in this challenging year and provide the resources for Seminole State students to overcome financial obstacles to unmask their potential,” said Dr. John Gyllin, senior vice president of resource and economic development at Seminole State and executive director of the Foundation for Seminole State College of Florida. 

This year’s program began with guests entering via second line to “When the Saints Come Marching In,” followed by a gourmet dinner, silent, live, and scholarship auctions with live entertainment provided by Backbeat Entertainment, DJ Lindsey Leigh and Brown Bag Brass Band

Guests delighted in the fast-paced, spirited exchange of bids; actively competing to win packages such as a day with the Seminole County Sheriff's Office Special Ops team, a private party for 25 at Wekiva Island complete with a fully stocked granddaddy sized Yeti cooler, and floor seats to see Jimmy Buffet combined with a two-night stay at a Universal Orlando hotel. 

"A wonderful event - every year full of surprises," said gala attendee Larry Meador, president of Evok Advertising. “The Dream Gala continues to be an incredible opportunity to come together with fellow community leaders and support students attending Seminole State - a great time had by all."  

This year’s Car Raffle winner is Janet Balanoff, who will receive up to a three-year vehicle lease donated by the Central Florida Auto Dealers Association.  

The Foundation’s annual Dream Gala has raised over $6 million in support of Seminole State since its inception. The Foundation is a not-for-profit, tax-exempt corporation dedicated to enhancing Seminole State College’s programs and services through the development and management of private contributions, public grants and community partnerships. To give to the Foundation, visit the Foundation home page and click the Donate Now button. You can also connect with the Foundation on Facebook.

About the Foundation for Seminole State College

The Foundation for Seminole State College, founded in 1968, is a not-for-profit, 501(c)(3) corporation that enhances the College's programs and services through the development and management of private contributions, public grants and community partnerships. For more information, visit www.seminolestate.edu/foundation or email the Foundation directly at foundation@seminolestate.edu