Seminole State Foundation’s 33rd annual Dream Gala raises $360,000

Thanks to the generosity of many supporters, the Foundation for Seminole State College of Florida’s annual Dream Gala raised $360,000 for student scholarships, faculty programs and areas of greatest need at the College. The gala was held at Orlando Marriott Lake Mary on Feb. 18.

“Sky of Dreams” was the theme of the evening, a fitting name to describe how throughout its 33 years, the Dream Gala has made countless students' educational dreams come true.  


“Once again, we see this great community join together in celebration to make dreams come true for so many of our students at Seminole State,” said Dr. John Gyllin, executive director of the Foundation for Seminole State. “The Dream Gala is our annual event to showcase this great College, support education and change lives. We did just that, and I am blown away by the generosity by our community partners.” 


Jorge Estevez, WFTV Channel 9 news anchor, served as master of ceremonies for the event. A reception, silent auction, Italian-themed dinner, live auction and scholarship auction made it a night to remember, as did the entertainment.


DJ Lindsey Leigh and the Weldon Street Jazz Combo entertained guests throughout the evening. Leading into the scholarship auction, SeminoleSound and the Concert Chorale, presented “Rainbow,” a moving adaptation of “Over the Rainbow” uniquely sung in both Italian and English.


Another highlight of the evening came during video testimonials featuring Seminole State students and scholarship recipients Andrea Avery and Felipe Mireles. Several guests were moved to tears as they heard the students’ stories and how the generosity of the College’s donors is helping them achieve their goals. Avery is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in construction to provide a better future for her two children. Mireles, who is studying physical therapy, hopes to open his own clinic one day.

During the scholarship auction, Estevez brought Avery and Mireles on stage so the 350 guests in attendance could meet them and hear from them personally.


The 2017 Dream Gala included a prize raffle for a Whynter 28-bottle, dual-zoned wine cooler filled with premium wines. The winner was Irina Mitina. The evening’s car raffle featured a 2017 Ford Mustang Coupe Premium, donated by the Central Florida Auto Dealers Association. Seminole County Sheriff Dennis Lemma drew the ticket for the car raffle, revealing former Seminole State Trustee Chuck Kovaleski as the winner.

In its history, the Dream Gala has raised nearly $5 million in support for Seminole State.


About the Foundation for Seminole State College: The Foundation is a not-for-profit, tax-exempt corporation dedicated to enhancing Seminole State College's programs and services through the development and management of private contributions, public grants and community partnerships. To give to the Foundation, visit the Foundation home page and click the Donate Now button. You can also connect with the Foundation on Facebook.