When Noche de Gala began 8 years ago, I (Paul) photographed the event held in the Tioga Town Center. It was a great event, lots of people, amazing food and dancing. I don’t think anyone quite realized the crater of impact that first event had – it was the launch of something big. If you live in Gainesville you have at some point heard the story of how the Sebastian Ferrero Foundation was started (if you haven’t, click here), and the incredible courage and vision of Horst and Luisa Ferrero. They took on the monumental challenge of helping to build a dedicated children’s hospital and now, 8 years later, we can drive along 16th and see the bright, colorful exterior of UF Shands Children’s Hospital. We have supported the Foundation’s efforts since the beginning, but it wasn’t until just recently we realized how important this mission was. One recurring theme of the Foundation that I heard over the years is that children are not just little adults when it comes to medical treatment and dosing, and as we sat in a hospital room with our then 3 year old curled up on Kristin’s lap, just having undergone surgery, it became incredibly important to me in that moment that all of the doctors and nurses were specifically trained to treat my child. Lots of people have been a part of the fun side of the Foundation, supporting them through events like Noche de Gala, helping the dream of a dedicated children’s facility become a reality. My family has now experienced the results side of the Foundation, and I am eternally thankful for what they have accomplished.
We were honored to be a part of such an incredible event working alongside Keith Watson Productions, Frankel Media, the Sebastian Ferrero Foundation and many others. May God bless these efforts and especially the families and children who need them.