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Tickets selling fast for Believe in Tomorrow’s April 12 gala

(April 5, 2013) Tickets are going fast for Believe in Tomorrow Children’s Foundation Beach Respite Housing Program’s spring gala, set for April 12, at the Clarion Resort Fontainebleau Hotel on 101st Street.

Only 210 tickets will be sold. Wayne Littleton, coordinator for the Believe in Tomorrow Children’s Foundation Beach Respite Housing Program said Monday that fewer than 30 tickets remain. The cost is $75 per person, or $150 per couple. The deadline to purchase tickets is today, April 5.

Until last year, a musical act had been featured during the organization’s annual gala. The 11th annual gala, however, featured “International Champion of Magic” John George.

“[It] was, by far, the best event we’ve had,” Littleton said of the 2012 event, adding that attendees were in a good mood and happy when they left.

Comedian/magician Bruce Gold is set to headline the 12th annual event on April 12.

The 2013 fundraiser for Believe in Tomorrow Children’s Foundation Respite Housing Program, which provides critically ill children and their families a much-needed getaway to the beach from the everyday stresses of a child’s medical illness, will begin with cocktails at 6 p.m. followed by a sit-down dinner. Sweet Disposition of Selbyville, Del. will provide the desserts.

The gala is black tie-optional and will include silent, live and “top hat” auctions.

“The auctions are going to be great. Everybody has been so generous to us,” Littleton said. “I was really trying to think outside the box and get some unique things this year. There will be a little something for everybody.”

Some of the items featured in the silent action include sports memorabilia, jewelry, artwork, horseriding lessons, gift certificates for area restaur-

ants and retail shops and themed gift baskets.

The live auction will feature dinner for 10 people at Sunset Grille in West Ocean City and at least one all-expense paid trip.

The “top hat” auction includes “a little bit more unique, high-dollar packages,” Littleton said. Some of the items up for grabs in the “top hat” auction include a three-hour party at Seacrets for 15 people with open bar, appetizers and light fare, dinner for eight at Fresco’s, dinner for six at Mancini’s, an in-home meal prepared by Chef Paul Suplee and football jerseys signed by Washington Redskins’ Robert Griffin III “RG3” and Baltimore Ravens’ Joe Flacco.

Ravens tickets will also be available for bidding.

Music will be provided by DJ BK of Ocean 98.1. JJ Roth of 93.5 The Beach will be the gala emcee.

The “Hero by the Sea” award will be presented to a longtime supporter Pete Meeks, owner of Delaware Elevator. Meeks is spearheading the project of installing a full-service elevator in the Believe In Tomorrow House By The Sea four-unit apartment building on 66th Street. Meeks has donated the elevator.

The project is about 65 percent completed, Littleton said Monday.

The building currently has a wheelchair lift. Because it is exposed to the salt air, the lift is prone to mechanical issues and rust. The lift only goes up to the first floor of the facility so just one unit is handicap accessible. With a full-service elevator, the three units on the second floor will be handicap accessible, as well.

“It will be great when it’s done. It’s something we really need here,” Littleton said. “It’s going to be unbelievable the difference it will make here.”

Several families who take advantage of the program’s services will attend the gala. One of the mothers will talk about her family’s experience with the organization.

Billed as “Clean, Clever Comedy & Magic,” Gold will take the stage after dinner. Gold, who at the age of 12 discovered he was related to Harry Houdini, has appeared in comedy clubs across the country and on the world’s largest cruise ships. He has been featured on more than a dozen TV shows, including “Evening At The Improv,” “Oprah” and the 1980s-90s sitcom “Full House.” Gold also showed off his talent in an award-winning “Got milk?” television commercial.

“It should be a nice event. We’re looking forward to it,” Littleton said.

Proceeds from the April 12 event will help pay for upkeep of the organization’s three resort facilities, as well as fund activities such as cookouts for the children and their families who stay at one of the houses.

The resort facilities include a four-unit apartment building on 66th Street; a house on the bay at 28th Street, the first respite house in the country to focus on the needs of military pediatrics; and a townhouse in Fenwick Island, Del.

Rarely is there a time when the facilities are empty. Six families fill the houses each week throughout the summer, typically from mid-May through September. In the off-season — the winter, spring and fall — at least three or four families on average stay at the facilities each week.

Last year, approximately 176 families vacationed at the houses, Littleton said.

For additional information, call Littleton at 410-723-2842.

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