The spooky speakeasy-themed Boo Ball, an elegant costumed fundraising gala, raised $174,000 to enhance vital academic and social programs at PACE Center for Girls, Lee County.

More than 260 guests donned costumes from the Roaring Twenties and bygone eras at the sold-out Boo Ball event on Oct. 6, sipping prohibition-inspired cocktails from the sweeping verandah at the historic Burroughs Home & Gardens in Fort Myers.

The fundraising event featured an exquisite dinner, dancing and a live auction. Proceeds from Boo Ball benefit PACE’s programs and services, which assist girls ages 11 to 18 who have multiple risk factors impacting their academic achievement, including family income, substance abuse, domestic violence, foster home placement, neglect, grief, incarceration of a family member and physical, emotional or sexual abuse.

“The success of Boo Ball will literally change the lives of young women in Southwest Florida for years to come,” said Meg M. Geltner, executive director at PACE Center for Girls of Lee County. “Over the past 10 years in Lee County, PACE Center has helped more than 650 girls and young women improve their academic achievement, behavioral health and emotional health, giving each of them an opportunity for future success in education, the workplace and life in general.”

Power couples Christin and David Collins joined Debbie and Bill Toler in chairing the event, with Sonya Sawyer as honorary chair.

The Boo Ball event was sponsored by Burroughs Home & Gardens, Uncommon Friends Foundation, Caloosa Tent & Rental, Fort Myers Police Department, Prima Luce, Red Door Photography, Gulfshore Life, New Beginnings Events, Ruth Messmer Florist, Crave Culinaire, Home-Tech, Priority Marketing, Bill and Debbie Toler, Jason’s Deli of Southwest Florida, Stilwell Enterprises & Restaurant Group, Cushman & Wakefield and Scott Fischer Enterprises, Lee Health, Markham Norton Mosteller Wright & Company, Dr. Stephen Prendiville, Ed & Connie Lizak, Publix Super Markets Charities and Enterprise Holdings, Eunice & Alexandra Bremner, California Closets, Deborah Campbell, Don & Catherine Canterna, Carroll Properties, Estero Bay Chevrolet, Get Efficient, LLC., Henderson, Franklin, Starnes and Holt, P.A., Lake Michigan Credit Union, Lee Health Foundation, Joe and Jenn Pavich, Private Client Insurance Services, Seminole Casino Hotel, Siesta Pebble, Southwest Florida Electric, Inc., TheraPouf and Wittenborn Plastic Surgery. Carbon Press provided printing services.

To learn more about PACE Center for Girls, Lee County and its programs, please visit www.pacecenter.org/locations/lee or call 239-425-2366.

About PACE Center for Girls, Lee County

Since 2007, PACE Center for Girls, Lee County has been providing girls and young women an opportunity for a better future through education, counseling, training and advocacy. The gender-specific, strength-based program is one of 20 Centers throughout Florida, and is known throughout the nation as a best practices model for diverting girls from the juvenile justice system. PACE is a registered not-for-profit organization that relies on the support of individuals, businesses, civic/community organizations and churches in Lee County in order to serve girls and their families. Since its inception, PACE Center for Girls, Lee County has served more than 650 at-promise girls and young women, believing each one deserves an opportunity to find her voice, achieve her potential and celebrate a life defined by responsibility, dignity, serenity and grace. For more information on PACE Center for Girls, Lee County, call 239-425-2366 or visit www.pacecenter.org/locations/lee.