If you’re traveling south on 22nd off of Hillsborough Avenue, you can’t help but see the newest addition to East Tampa, The Skills Center. Almost five hundred people convened in the majestic facility in their dinner jackets, evening gowns and of course, sneakers. High fashion and comfort seldom exist in the same space, unless of course, you’re at the SNKRs Ball.
Celeste Roberts, Chris Ward and John Arroyo sprinted to the first gala held at their center in Tampa, which is still under construction. This was the fifth year for the event but their first year hosting it in their own facility. For 16 years, they have been providing a safe place for the children of Tampa to come to after school. There through sports, they can receive assistance with school work, life skills and a community of love provided by individuals around the Tampa Bay area. While there’s more to learn about The Skills Center, their Sneakers Ball was off the chain.
A Who’s Who of contributors from around the world filled the huge gymnasium transformed into an elegant event hall. The venue was mesmerizing and charming to say the least. Black draping and the green turf laid throughout created the ambiance for the evening. The sneakers on the grassy field were perfect and everyone was quite comfortable. Individual and group photos were taken as you entered the venue. Awards were presented throughout the night to the major sponsors while dinner was served, followed by a live auction where approximately $200,000 was raised.
The Skills Center facility is a $23 million dollar project, funded by generous donors such as: Outback Steakhouse, Rooms To Go Foundation, The Toronto Raptors, East Tampa CRA, several other organizations and individuals contributed to this wonderful 501(c)3 allowed this dream to come into fruition. The staff worked vigorously through the kinks to host this event in an unfinished facility but overall, it was a fabulous Sneakers Ball where everyone had loads of fun.
The Skills Center is the venue in East Tampa that will be talked about for years to come. The history of the bowling alley and the skating rink that existed there in the past will live on in the future through The Skills Center.
The 14th annual Power Couples Ball is the next big gala scheduled at The Skills Center on New Years Eve. Tuxedos and evening gowns required with champagne on every table.
Join us! It will be a great time!
By: Daryl Johnson
Check out the slideshow below