Life in the D.O.

Insights from the Development Office at Tampa Prep

The 2017 Gala, A Night of Purpose for Prep

by Meg Huntley
Saturday's Gala was a huge success, raising over $300,000 for Tampa Prep as the community celebrated with auctions, dinner, dancing and music. We took a leap with a new venue and format which resulted in a really fun evening for everyone including parents, faculty, board members and Tampa Prep Alumni.

The weather was gorgeous all day which made for a beautiful cocktail hour in the floor to ceiling glass foyer and along the mangrove line on the veranda at The Grand Hyatt Tampa Bay. The ballroom doors swung open around 8 p.m. and everyone flooded into the ballroom to find their seats for a 3-course sit down dinner.

Student Body President Carson Black kicks off the Gala by thanking the guests
for supporting Tampa Prep to make his student experience absolutely incredible.

Our team worked hard to put together an auction and program that would make our 260 guests proud to be connected to Tampa Prep. Carson Black, Tampa Prep Senior and Student Body president welcomed the group to the event as he begins each Assembly, giving the "grown ups" a taste of the Tampa Prep school spirit and energy. We also highlighted each piece of our mission to think, create, be yourself, aspire to excellence and go beyond. "Create" was a message from Lee Hower, class of 1996 Prep alum who worked for PayPal in the startup phase and is the co-founder of LinkedIn. "Be yourself" was showcased with videos from students explaining why each of them feels they can be their true self at Tampa Prep. Before the auctioneer took over for the live auction, guests were treated to a performance by the Tampa Prep Chamber Chorus singing "I'll Be There" by Michael Jackson.

Following dinner, the Chamber Chorus performs "I'll Be There" by Michael Jackson.

The evening ended with a full dance floor, great music, and photo shoots with the giant letters spelling "PREP" that decorated the room. This event was a blast to plan and we are thrilled to be hearing such great feedback. Thank you to everyone who came out to support and celebrate our Prep family, and a special shout out to our leadership sponsors and volunteers. If you would like to relive all of the magic of The Gala, check out this beautiful (and short!) highlight video at We look forward to the 2018 Gala... and we are now taking ideas for themes and other fun details!

Watch for our POST-EVENT AUCTION coming soon, get ready to start bidding again!

Upcoming D.O. Events


February 10, 2017


February 25, 2017


March 31 - April 1, 2017