After allowing ourselves some time to truly solidify our programs, we returned with another fundraising event that became a celebration of our RCF family in a way. On Friday, February 22nd, 2019 at Armature Works, we held a tribute to 1920’s Tampa complete with prohibition inspired cocktails, signature Tampa cuisine, faux gambling, a horse race, cigars, and more.
Once again, our greatest support came from the Doyle Family & DEX Imaging, the Vinik Family Foundation, and the entire Tampa Bay Lightning roster. Ryan’s teammates came through in the greatest ways, auctioning off custom RCF branded jerseys, attending in full force, and pitching in themselves – helping land us at over $200,000 raised to keep our mission thriving.
Charley Belcher of Fox 13 agreed to join forces with us for a second time, auctioning off custom Jason Skeldon artwork of Dan Girardi, Victor Hedman, Steven Stamkos, & Ryan Callahan, an incredible trip to Trinchero Family Estates vineyard in Napa Valley, and driving up bids in the jersey auction. Guests delighted in the faux RCF horse race, betting on their favorite Lightning players and cheering on as Ondrej Palat “won” the race – triumphantly winning our top bidder a one-of-a-kind Founder’s Trip experience in Tennessee from Uncle Nearest Whiskey.
After our launch in 2016, our mission and focus each day began to evolve with the needs of the foundation families. Where we’d once budgeted money for carefree vacation giveaways, medical travel costs were covered; where we’d imagined subsidizing small bills and expenses, mortgages were paid to keep roofs over families’ heads. It was a thrill to share with everyone what their financial support had done for us and what their continued contributions could do for others. We had several members of families we’ve helped over the past few seasons in attendance and having them there brought a whole new meaning to every donation pledged.
A retro ‘20’s/’30’s cover band crooned over the Casino & Speakeasy while the guests mingled. The Nat Sherman International cigar lounge was a huge hit, giving us a chance to enjoy the best in premium cigars, relish in our victories, and connect with each other. Thank you to everyone who came out to the event to support the Ryan Callahan Foundation and the families we serve.