On February 13, FARA kicked off our fundraising efforts in Tampa with a literal BANG as supporters participated in “Pull for a Cure”, an annual clay shooting tournament held at Tampa Bay Sporting Clays and hosted by the Hunters & Liars Club.
After picking up their shells and a safety lesson, teams of four shooters each climbed into golf carts and headed back into the woods where the ten different stations were set up. At each station, machines flung clay pigeons into the air from different trajectories, angles, speeds, elevations, and distances to mimic actual hunting. While the teams with the highest scores at the end of the day did get bragging rights, the competition was all in good fun as both first-timers and seasoned hunters took to the course.
Those not interested in shooting stayed back at the pavilion to start the bidding on a nice array of silent auction items and to enjoy a craft beer and food pairing lesson put on by folks from World of Beer.
As the shooters returned and the sun began to set, cocktail hour began with World of Beer serving up appetizers and giant soft pretzels. As the sun went down, the pavilion was lit up with twinkle lights and tea lights. World of Beer catered a dinner of steak, chicken, mac & cheese, mashed potatoes, and salad followed by a delicious dessert of pretzel bread pudding.
After dinner and the silent auction wound down, Paul Avery, Felicia DeRosa, Sam Bridgman, and Mike Mezrah each took to the microphone to discuss how much our supporters in Tampa mean to FAmilies and, to quote Felicia, how “courage is a unifying characteristic of people in the FA community- FARA’s founders, people living with FA, family members, and scientists.”
After the speeches, the energy was kept going with a live auction. One of the most popular items was a Pig Roast catered by Danny Hernandez’s Holy Hog Barbecue, which sold for $2500 four times. Other notable items included a Quail Hunt for Two, a Grecian Island Vacation, and the WOB Suite at a Lightning game.
While the event was fun and filling for all those in attendance, everyone was there, above all, to support FARA as they do at the many events held in Tampa each year. Their generosity at this event netted over $70,000 to fund treatments and a cure for FA. We are so grateful to all of the volunteers and supporters who make this event such a success, particularly those at World of Beer and Mike Mezrah, owner of Tampa Bay Sporting Clays, who put in countless hours tending to the many details of this event.