Balance Tampa Bay’s Masquerade Ball a huge success for ASAP-Empath Health’s Home 3050

By : Jeremy Williams
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Balance Tampa Bay had everyone masked and ready to mingle for the inaugural Masquerade Ball at District 3 in Tampa Aug. 8.

The event was attended by over 400 people. At press time actual dollar amounts were not available; however, with the ticket price for the event being $40-50, the event brought in thousands of dollars. Proceeds from the event were donated to AIDS Services Association of Pinellas (ASAP) and Empath Health.

The night began with a private VIP party that poured out into the main room where the main event featured exotic costumes and dance performers, along with some of the Tampa Bay area’s best bartenders and music by DJ CK.

“The Masquerade Ball was an amazing success. So many people I spoke to that night said how they loved the idea of a masquerade and they were having a really good time,” says Steve Watson, a Balance Tampa Bay boardmember.

Balance Tampa Bay hopes to make this an annual event that will just get bigger and better every year.

“Balance Tampa Bay is very happy with the turnout for the Masquerade Ball benefitting ASAP-Empath Health,” says Scott Kligmann, Balance Tampa Bay President. “The response from our members, guests, media and general public has been very positive and we look forward to next year’s 2nd annual Masquerade Ball being even better.”

Balance Tampa Bay is an LGBT volunteer organization founded in 2011 with the mission to promote Fellowship, Fun and Philanthropy throughout the LGBT community and Tampa Bay as a whole.

Balance Tampa Bay’s events are well known throughout the community, including Party for Presents, which is a holiday drive for needy children, Kickball for Kids which is a spring benefit for children charities and monthly public service events that help other non-profits in the area.

“Balance Tampa Bay did such an incredible job with this event to raise money for ASAP. The vibe was awesome. The people were awesome. I would give it two enthusiastic thumbs up,”says Masquerade Ball Committee member Dustin Chase.

The inaugural Masquerade Ball was a community effort put together with more than a dozen local sponsors coming together to benefit ASAP-Empath Health.

“The Ball was a huge success and Balance did a great job putting on the event,” says ASAP Executive Director William Harper. “The venue was stunning. It was filled with light – from lasers to chandeliers, entertaining dancers, creative masks and costumes, music and so much more.”

The time and effort put into the event was noticed by Harper and ASAP-Empath Health.

“It was evident that a great deal of work went into the multiplicity of details that it takes to put on such an event,” Harper says. “ASAP sincerely appreciates Balance Tampa Bay for naming us as the beneficiary of this wonderful event.”

The proceeds raised from Balance Tampa Bay’s Masquerade Ball will help to fund the current renovation at ASAP that will become Home 3050.

Home 3050, named for its location at 3050 1st Ave. S. in St. Petersburg, will offer primary care, HIV specialty care, pharmacy, counseling, benefits services, medical case management, HIV and STD testing, therapeutic and support groups, and prevention and wellness education.

“The funds donated to ASAP will go directly to our Home 3050 medical home project and be used to directly benefit those we serve daily,” says Harper.“ASAP has partnered with Pinellas Care Clinic to bring a one-stop experience to our clients. Clients will be able to access medical care, labs, case management, counseling, food pantry, support groups and more, all on one campus.”

The facility is expected to be open this fall.

“Each of these direct client services benefits from all donations that come to ASAP, thereby giving us the opportunity to provide quality and compassionate services to our clients. Our goal is to have the medical home up and running by October 1, 2015,” Harper says.

Photos by Jake Stevens. 

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