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Sebastian Ferrero Foundation to Host 2nd Annual Fundraiser, Noche de Gala

GAINESVILLE, Fla., Aug. 14 /PRNewswire/ -- Noche de Gala 2009 promises to be an elegant and fun-filled evening benefiting the Sebastian Ferrero Foundation. The charitable event is scheduled for October 3, from 7 p.m. to midnight, at the spectacular 642-acre Besilu Collection in Micanopy, generously hosted by owners Benjamin and Silvia Leon, Jr. The theme is a Venetian masquerade ball and will feature extravagant live performances by Italian Opera singers along with Broadway sensation, Ted Keegan, who has played the lead role in the Broadway production, "The Phantom of the Opera", a live band and dancers, Paso Fino champions horse shows, cigar rolling and exquisite dining. The event, which is black tie with masks encouraged, will also feature a silent auction and exquisite dining by Dean Cacciatore. Keith Watson of Keith Watson Productions is the event producer and has been in charge of all preparations.

Last year's inaugural, sold-out Noche de Gala event generated close to $1 million in sponsorships, ticket sales, silent auction, pledges, in-kind donations, and the founders, Horst and Luisa Ferrero's dollar for dollar match moving the Foundation a major step closer to reaching its mission: to advocate and fundraise for a state-of-the-art, full-service, children's hospital in Gainesville, Florida while promoting excellence in patient safety and insuring that all families are treated with compassion, courtesy and dignity.

"To maximize the impact of all contributions raised through this year's Gala, Luisa and I have decided to continue our match program, matching dollar for dollar, up to $1 million dollars," said Founder Horst Ferrero. "The match program is allowing us to dedicate 100% of every dollar donated to support the Foundation's mission. Our match dollars are paying for the fundraising efforts, such as Noche de Gala, patient safety initiatives, educational programs and all administrative expenses." The foundation expects to have at least 1,000 guests at this year's event. For sponsorships, ticket sales and more information, visit

Ted Keegan, Broadway Sensation of "Phantom of the Opera" to Perform Live:

The Sebastian Ferrero Foundation is honored to have an extraordinary performance by Broadway sensation, Ted Keegan, who recently performed the lead role in the Las Vegas production of "The Phantom of the Opera." Keegan has generously donated his time as an honorarium guest to support the Foundation and will perform songs from the Broadway show including his signature song "Music of the Night." "The mission of the Sebastian Ferrero Foundation struck a very close and personal cord with me, anything I can do to help improve patient safety and pediatric care is very significant to me," said Keegan. According to critic reviews, Keegan's performances are emotional and perfectly capture his portrayal of the Phantom. His emotional connection with the audience is astounding - when it's over, you want more. "He really is the best kept secret in American musical theater," say long-time friends, Keith & Roberta Watson of Keith Watson Productions.

Noche de Gala 2009 Event Chairs, Dr. Doug & Macky Barrett:

This year's event chairs are Dr. Doug Barrett and his wife, Macky who have lived in Gainesville since 1980. Dr. Barrett recently retired as the UF Senior Vice President for Health Affairs and has returned to clinical practice and teaching on the pediatrics faculty in UF's College of Medicine. Dr. Barrett also serves on the Board of Directors of the Sebastian Ferrero Foundation. "We are proud to serve as Event Chairs for the 2009 Noche de Gala," said Doug and Macky Barrett. "The Foundation has galvanized the community and many long-term dreams of UF&Shands' medical and nursing staff. The goal is to transform today's excellent pediatric care into the safest and most outstanding care provided in a world-class Children's Hospital," said Dr. Barrett. "The ripple effects of the Foundation's unwavering efforts continue to improve the quality of pediatric care throughout our community and beyond."

Macky Barrett further commented, "I'm a mother and a grandmother. Our children and grandchildren are the most precious part of our lives. A facility that specializes in their needs is the last piece of the health care puzzle that already features an amazing world-class pediatricians and nurses here in Gainesville."

Silent Auction to include art, jewelry, travel packages, sports memorabilia and much more:

The silent auction will offer guests a chance to win a bevy of prizes including cross-country getaways, autographed musical and sports memorabilia, original artwork from our local Gainesville artists, and beyond, beautiful baubles in jewelry cases from local jewelers, spa and dining vouchers, and much more.

Event Sponsors of Noche de Gala 2009 as of August 13, 2009:

The Foundation is grateful to have many generous event sponsors supporting Noche de Gala 2009 including: the University of Florida Department of Pediatrics, Dr. Doug and Macky Barrett, Tioga Town Center, Charles Perry Construction, HOK, BDR Partners, Healthy Steps Pediatrics, Tower Hill Insurance Group, Kid-Works, Tioga Dental, Gator Domino's Pizza, Mi Apa Latin Cafe, Kids Doc Pediatrics, Worthington Pediatrics, Dr. Cassissi, Drs. Bill and Marci Slayton, Frank and Cheryl Urban, Dr. and Mrs. Jackson Sasser, Dr. and Mrs. David E. Kemp, Barry Bullard Homes, Coleen DeGroff of MM Parrish, Davis and Judi Rembert Foundation, Go Gator Green, CAMPUS Credit Union, Tower Dental Associates, Dr. Angel Reyes and Associates, Lang Jewelers, SaDove Cosmetic Surgery and Oscar Rodriguez of

Corporate and individual sponsors will be recognized in over $100,000 in donated event advertising, media, signage, event promotional materials and public service announcements. As with last year's event, Horst and Luisa have generously committed to continue to match all funds raised up to $1 million.

About the Sebastian Ferrero Foundation

The Sebastian Ferrero Foundation was created by Horst and Luisa Ferrero in November 2007 to honor the memory of their happy and healthy three-year-old son, Sebastian, who died in October 2007 as a result of a series of preventable medical errors in Gainesville, Florida. The mission of the Sebastian Ferrero Foundation is to advocate and fundraise for a state-of-the-art, full service children's hospital in Gainesville, Florida while promoting excellence in patient safety and insuring that all families are treated with compassion, courtesy and dignity. In 2008, the University of Florida Center for Leadership and Service awarded the Foundation as the "Most Outstanding Community Agency." The Foundation also received the Institute of Safe Medication Practices' national "Cheers Award", in recognition of the Foundation having set a superlative standard of excellence in the prevention of medication errors and adverse drug events.

CONTACTS: Linda Michalisin or Ryan Frankel of Frankel Media Group for the Sebastian Ferrero Foundation, +1-352-331-5558,

SOURCE Sebastian Ferrero Foundation
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