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Guardian Angels Fashion Show and Auction tickets on sale

By Staff | Mar 21, 2019

The 11th annual Fashion Show and Auction, a fundraiser by the Guardian Angels for Special Population, has moved to a new location to accommodate the continued growth in attendance next month.

The popular event will be held Saturday, April 6, at the Westin Resort and Convention Center at Marina Village South Cape. The doors open at 10 a.m. and the event will begin at 11 a.m.

“We moved it into season. We usually have it in June. We are hoping it will give us some new people,” The Guardian Angels for Special Populations President Vince Marcucci said of the event.

Tickets are $40 per person and can be purchased by calling (239) 574-0574, visiting www.myspecialpops.org, or by stopping at the Freida B. Smith Special Populations Center, 410 Santa Barbara Blvd., or at Pop’s Cafe located in Cape Coral City Hall.

The cutoff for ticket sales is Friday, April 5.

“We hope to sell 100 more tickets to get to 300 or more tickets,” sold, he said.

Marcucci said he remembers the days when the event was held at the Lake Kennedy Senior Center and included scoops of salad and a handful of raffles. Fast forward to this year, he said they have already raised $23,000 before the event has been held.

“We are so thrilled,” he said, adding that they have included sponsors for the event this year – a major sponsor, event sponsors, as well as individuals sponsoring the models.

Last year the Fashion Show and Auction sold out with 250 tickets, which encouraged them to begin the search for a bigger venue. Marcucci said the new senior banquet manager at the Westin used to work for Special Pops and was able to talk with the chef to provide a decently priced meal that they could afford.

The North Fort Myers Academy for the Arts Jazz Ensemble will play the first hour of the event, after the doors open, while attendees pick up their tickets and find their assigned table.

Once the event begins a video clip will be shown to showcase Special Pops and its programs, as well as how the funds raised during the event will help Special Pops.

A surprise champagne toast will be held for all the guests to toast them for the 11 years of the event.

A DJ will play music during the event.

The fashion show portion of the event will feature styles from JC Penny.

“It’s not about the fashion. It is about our special need participants, who are our fashion models,” Marcucci said. “They pick out their own outfits.”

Last year, the fashion show included male models, as will this year. He said they have so many Special Pops members interested in the fashion show that they will have two models walking at the same time.

“We just can’t say no,” Marcucci said. “They love it. I have never seen four hours go by so fast.”

The event will include a silent auction providing bidders the opportunity to bid on hundreds of gift cards, services, entertainment and gift baskets. A live auction hosted by Fox 4 News Anchor Patrick Nolan will also be held.

In addition, a Pic-a-Prize Game will be held, which is similar to a Chinese auction. He explained that the items include things that people have donated – either gently used, or never been opened. Attendees will have the opportunity to buy tickets and put them in colorful bags of the items they wish to win. A winning ticket will be picked for each item.

Attendees can also play the square board, which includes two winners. The first will receive $1,200, or more worth of items and the other will receive $700 or more worth or items.

A 50/25/25 raffle will be held, allowing two attendees with the chance to win. Marcucci said 50 percent of the proceeds will go towards the Guardian Angels, and the remaining 50 percent will be split in half for two winners.

A lotto game provides attendees with a chance to win $100 in scratch offs. The popular Wine Pull is $10 a bottle for a chance at winning mostly red high quality wines.

A surprise photo booth is among the activities, as well, providing guests with the opportunity to have some fun.

Special Pops, which is operated by the City of Cape Coral, has been a staple in the community for 35 years. Special Populations provides programs for individuals with intellectual and physical disabilities, including Down syndrome, autism and cerebral palsy. The program is dedicated to developing confidence, independence and self-esteem through employment, training, recreation, social and life skills, as well as education.

The licensed adult skills facility has a budget, which is provided by the city.

“When the city budget comes to an end we will take care of the rest of the year,” he said of the Guardian Angels. “We are lucky enough to be able to cover it with these events.”

The Guardian Angels sponsors anyone in need with scholarships, which Marcucci explains to be many due to the growth over the years.

In addition, they have also purchased a shuttle bus with a low entrance – two steps and accordion doors. A bus with a wheelchair lift was also purchased.

Funds have also been provided by the Guardian Angels for kitchen renovations and new appliances, as well as anything needed for classrooms.