Under the Sea Charity Christmas Party Rocks X04

Under_the_Sea_2011-93Music and dancing warmed the cool night air at the Orlando Apopka Airport last month thanks to a event put on by JH Audio. Held in Hangar 143, the Under the Sea Charity Christmas Party raised funds to benefit children afflicted with a rare disorder called pyruvate dehydrogenase complex deficiency (PDCD).

I have always been amazed at how a hangar can be completely transformed into an elegant party venue and this event didn’t disappoint. A party tent extended the hangar making room for a dance-floor, dining tables, two bars, a buffet and an entire section devoted to displaying the silent auction items. The whole room had the feel of an ocean with cool green lighting, bubble-like balloon arrangements, and even a floating shark swimming the room. Valets handled the parking, allowing guests to pull right up to the hangar.

Several of the PDCD children attended the gala along with their families, a rare chance to bond, share stories and support each other. I imagine just being able to sit down with another person who is dealing with the same challenges had to be therapeutic. Under_the_Sea_2011-51Kelly Strebelow-Vlcek, whose daughter recently lost her battle with PDCD, gave a heart-tugging speech explaining why the benefit would help all of the families. There weren’t many dry eyes left in the hangar when she was done.

After their eyes dried, partygoers placed bids on auction items ranging from fine art to autographed guitars while the DJ got the dancing started on the lighted floor. There were also raffle items, which is where I dropped my money for a chance to win one of the huge gift baskets or the glitzy jewelry. It was one of the largest collections of auction and raffle items I’ve seen−clearly a lot people care about the PDCD kids.

Under_the_Sea_2011-168Everyone had fun thanks to the music, food, and drinks, especially because they knew it was all for a good cause. I can’t begin to know who all contributed time, money and goods to the event, but I do know that Brittany and Jerry Harvey, along with the whole gang at JH Audio, did an amazing job of organizing the night. I must add that Jerry and Brittany did all of this while caring for their own daughter, Katie, who lives with PDCD as well.





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