(March 29, 2019) The Believe in Tomorrow Children’s House by the Sea will host its 18th annual gala and present its Hero by the Sea award on Saturday, April 13.
The event will take place from 5:30-10:30 p.m. at the Holiday Inn Oceanfront on 67th Street. Doors will open at 5:30 p.m. in the second-floor ballroom of the hotel with a cocktail hour kicking off festivities and music by Joe Smooth.
“Out of all the events we do this is my favorite. This is the first one I ever started here,” said Wayne Littleton, coordinator for the Believe in Tomorrow Children’s Respite Housing Program. “The difference between the [other] events and this event … this is strictly about Believe in Tomorrow.
“I find everybody who attends this event is there because they support Believe in Tomorrow,” he continued. “I feel like everybody there cares so much. It’s just a great event.”
During the cocktail hour, guests can enjoy tenderloin sliders with a choice of sauces from Longboard Café. Seacrets will provide jerk chicken and Sunset Grille will have a raw bar selection complete with oysters, shrimp and ahi tuna. Ocean 13 will provide some appetizers.
In addition, Touch of Italy will feature its antipasti and pizza in addition to a mozzarella maker.
Sweet Disposition will provide desserts and Believe in Tomorrow will set up a chocolate fountain. Complimentary beer and wine will be provided.
Tickets to the black-tie optional event generally cover gala expenses, which makes the evening’s activities and auction vital to the organization.
This year, attendees can purchase mystery boxes for $10 or wine glasses with a hidden gem for $25, courtesy of Park Place Jewelers. One of the wine glasses will hold a diamond, and the rest will have another gems hidden inside, such as topaz and pearls.
There will also be an ice luge with Seacrets spirits, a deejay and a silent auction featuring sports memorabilia, restaurant gift cards, baskets, beauty products and weekend getaways.
Each year since 2004, Believe in Tomorrow gives out its “Hero by the Sea” award. Jason Gulshen, general manager of the Holiday Inn Oceanfront in Ocean City, will be honored at the gala this year.
“Jason just typifies what a Believe in Tomorrow volunteer is,” Littleton said. “He just constantly looks out for us. He’s just got a heart of gold and I’m very pleased to announce him as our winner this year.”
Gulshen goes out of his way to contact the pilots during the Ocean City Air Show so they can meet with the children visiting the House by the Sea. He also offers the families staying at the 66th Street Believe in Tomorrow house free access to the hotel’s swimming pool and magic shows during the summer.
Gulshen was a Believe in Tomorrow prom king participant four years ago and raised $18,000 for the organization.
Gulshen said he is “very honored, humbled and surprised” to receive the “Hero by the Sea” award.
“The list of recipients is very prestigious, very established people in the town,” he said. “It’s nice to be included among those people who have done a lot for the community.”
Gulshen said he was inspired to work with Believe in Tomorrow when the hotel became part of an initiative to help the community around 10 years ago.
“We’re looking for what can we do and right next door was Believe in Tomorrow,” Gulshen said. “I walked over one day and about the same time they actually were headed in our direction and they were asking about a child who because of their treatment, couldn’t be in the sun for an extended period of time, so they were asking about using the pool. We came up with an agreement so they could come use the indoor pool during the daytime.
“It started out that way; very small, little deeds,” he continued. “Overtime it became, ‘What can we do for you’ and ‘How can we be more involved with the organization’ and we just built a relationship from there.”
To end the evening, Littleton will announce the 50/50 winner. Tickets costs $50 each and only 100 will be sold. The winner will take home $2,500.
The Michael G. Mann Foundation once again is the title sponsor of the gala.
“We have different sponsorship levels and are always looking for more,” Littleton said. “The levels are $1,500, $3,000 and $5,000.”
The event program will also feature ads. A full page costs $125, half a page is $75 and a business card is $35. Patron ads cost $10.
The deadline to purchase an ad is April 3, April 5 for sponsorships.
Only 200 gala tickets will be sold. The cost is $75 per person or $150 per couple.
For more information or to buy tickets and inquire about sponsorships or ads, call Littleton at 410-723-2842.
The Believe in Tomorrow facility on 66th Street is open year-round to provide a free getaway to the beach for critically ill children and their families whenever they may need to escape the stresses of their child’s illness.
Families can also vacation at the Believe in Tomorrow House in Fenwick Island and House by the Bay on 28th Street.