Hundreds of masked people adorned in colorful beads gathered at Xanadu Beach Hotel Friday night for the annual Children’s Home fundraiser.  Despite the winds, rain and cold temperatures, many Grand Bahamians made the effort for a very worthy cause.  Guests went all out, dressing in bright colours, wearing masks and even traditional outfits for the fun Mardi Gras themed party. 

“It was an amazing evening shared with long-time friends, new supporters and members of our government. We enjoyed a delicious dinner, drinks and fun entertainment. Everything about the evening was exquisite,” said Sheila Smith, Executive Committee Member for the Grand Bahama Children’s Home. “Thanks to Mario Donato and the Xanadu staff we have had a real ball tonight!”

Among the hundreds in attendance were Minister of Labour and Social Development, Dion Foulkes, Minister of Housing, Kenneth Russell and Mrs. Georgina Russell, Minister of State for Lands and Local Government Byran Woodside and Senator Kay Smith, Parliamentary Secretary.

 A major highlight of the evening was the delicious food. Guests dined on tasty treats with New Orleans flair all coordinated by Chef Maycock, Barb Stollery, and the culinary team of the College of The Bahamas.  Food donations for the event were given by: Sawyers Market, G.B. Food, Butler’s Specialty as well as local restaurants – Agave, Luciano’s, Magnolia Café, East, Sabor, The Ferry House, Viva Fortuna, Isle of Capri, Zorba’s, and others who supported the event through their contribution of delicious appetizers or main course delicacies. In addition, many individuals took time out of their busy schedules to make appetizers.  A special thanks goes to these wonderful ladies who worked tirelessly to make the event a success. 

Entertainment for the evening was directed by Karen Ferguson-Bain of Port Lucaya and included tunes from deejay Dr. Funk, live music from the Fourplay band and a dance ensemble by Bahamas Dance theatre performers.   At the end of the performance the dance team assisted by Ms.Bain managed to get two of the Ministers dancing along with other guests.

Three lucky attendees walked away with door prizes including two round trip tickets on Regional Air, a gift certificate from Instep and an Lladro china piece.  There was also a silent auction with amazing prizes including a week stay at a villa in Abaco, yoga classes, a Top Notch handbag, Ocean Motion sports passes, a Pelican Bay stay and more. In addition, guests could also buy festooned masks and entered into a 50/50 raffle where the winner walked away with $600 and with the other half of the pot going to the children of the Home.

“We thank the community for helping us take care of our children,” said Caron Smith, Assistant Administrator of the Grand Bahama Children’s Home. “Our goal is to ensure that these special children have every opportunity possible for a fulfilling childhood. The fundraising goes a long way in helping us achieve our goals.”

All of the proceeds from the event will go to offset the operational costs of the Home, which depends on corporate and private donations in addition to the partial funding by The Bahamas Government. The Home currently cares for nearly 30 children between the ages of nine months and 12 years old. For more information, please call 352-7852.

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Photograph Slideshow from Mardi Gras 2009