Published Thursday, January 18, 2024

As January quickly evolves, the Osceola Council on Aging (OCOA) team is gearing up for a busy 2024. With a host of new projects, community partnerships, fundraising initiatives, and opportunities to expand existing service programs, we expect another prosperous and productive year. One of our first philanthropic endeavors is our 2nd annual Gala celebration, this year titled “Havana Nights,” a Cuban inspired extravaganza.

The Gala will be held Saturday, February 24, at 6 pm at the BEV (officially known as the Barney E. Veal Center), located at 700 Generation Point on the OCOA Kissimmee campus. This highly anticipated fundraiser will host more than 300 of Osceola County’s leaders, dignitaries, local law enforcement, Council employees (both past and present) and their family members, along with a myriad of community partners for an evening of Cuban food, fun, entertainment, and highly sought after auction items.

Scheduled to entail a rich tapestry of Cuban culture, dance, salsa and rumba style music, the themed event will feature Cubano cuisine from top rated chefs, along with vibrant decorations, costumes, and Hispanic and Latino traditions of Havana. The evening also will reflect Cuba’s heritage including African, Spanish, and Caribbean hospitality, customs and traditions which are also consistently present in the diverse make-up of our Osceola community.

A cocktail party will kick off the event with a program highlighting our amazing 50-plus year history. Dinner will follow along with silent auction opportunities including extensive trips, theatre tickets, wine packages, theme park opportunities, private chef dinners, and multiple gift baskets.

Another highlight of the evening will be our Cigar Bar, hosted by Old Fashioned Cigars. Given the evening’s theme, we are excited to integrate such a popular, and authentic tradition of Havana, for this event.

We would like to thank both Disney and Goosehead Insurance for their presenting sponsorships. Additional sponsors include Toho Water Authority, Kissimmee Police Department, CareerSource, and Overstreet Law.

Entertainment for the evening will include Paradigm Band, with food for both the cocktail hour and dinner catered by Millenia Catering, and desserts by Tomato Express and Ice by Taylor.
So, make sure to reserve your seat, or book a table and bring a group of friends to join the OCOA team and community partners for a night experiencing Cuban culture, while philanthropically supporting our many Osceola County neighbors in need. For more information: https://osceolagenerations.org/gala/

I would like to also mention another important event, just around the corner, to note on your 2024 social calendar, is our annual March for Meals Run/Walk scheduled for Saturday, March 16, at Kissimmee Lakefront Park.

As a personal thought for the New Year, let us continue to focus on the blessings in which we are bestowed while keeping positivity, strength, faith, resilience, momentous determination, and dedication at the forefront of our minds throughout 2024. We hope to make this the best year ever, and to continue doing what we do best, supporting our seniors, disabled individuals, and disadvantaged families in the Osceola community.