Highlights from the Mystery Trip Suitcase Party
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hose who attended the Mystery Trip Suitcase Party on April 12th, were whisked away to a different time and place. Imagine a room filled with Mad Men era stewardesses serving cocktails, complete with real airplanes, in a large hangar. All guests were entered in a drawing to win a surprise dinner destination by airplane, boat, or limo.

“The night couldn’t have turned out any better,” said Tyler Morris, Director of Marketing and Development for the ILRC. “The venue was beautiful, all the guests enjoyed themselves, and best of all we were able to raise over $30,000 for persons with disabilities.”

Katie Jeffries from First Coast News was the local celebrity emcee. The University of Florida Jazz Ensemble played live  music throughout the course of the night as well.

Mystery Trip Suitcase Party Host: Katie Jeffries
Mystery Trip Suitcase Party Host: Katie Jeffries and Auctioneer Win Lavender.

All guests dined on food provided by Longhorn Steakhouse. After dinner everyone was encouraged to participate in a silent auction. There was a range of auction items for people to bid on. The items ranged from jewelry, and golf packages to trips Antigua and Panama.

Once the silent auction was over, auctioneer  Win Lavender began the live auction. Lavender was lively and actively encouraged the crowd to buy the live auction items. The live auction items included: Skydive Palatka, a tandem jump, Jacksonville Jaguars Ultimate Fan Package, Cirque Du Soleil Experience, Jacksonville Suns First Pitch, Wheelchair Art from Abilities in Art event, and a North Georgia Mountain Retreat. All funds raised went directly to benefit persons with disabilities.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NVabgtXACRA]

Independent Living Foundation:

Attendees of the dinner were also able to play a part in ILRC history. A new period for the Independent Living Foundation was launched. The branding for the foundation and the new logo were launched at the event.  The Independent Living Foundation (ILF) was the host for the Mystery Trip Suitcase Party. The ILF was founded in 2001 to promote and support the initiatives of the ILRC. The Foundation was able to gain tremendous momentum by collaborating with St. John & Partners Advertising and Public Relations Agency.

New Branding for Independent Living Foundation
New Branding for Independent Living Foundation

During 2013 the ILRC met some impressive milestones:

  • Achieved 100% graduation rate for students with disabilities
  • Provided 303 pieces of durable medical equipment
  • Interpreted 5,500 hours for the deaf and hard of hearing
  • Empowered 1,400 people with disabilities to achieve their independence goals
  • Provided information and referral to 2, 046.

All funds raised go directly to benefit persons with disabilities. The event was a great success, and the ILRC is already planning for next year.

For more pictures from the event click here.

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