Goodwill Manasota presents annual Mardi Gras Gala

Popular annual event to feature Cajun food, live music and dancing, live auction and more

Published Monday, January 11, 2016

SARASOTA/BRADENTON, FL – Goodwill Manasota invites the public to the most anticipated event of the season, the Mardi Gras Gala. This event features amazing Cajun food, open bar, fabulous live auction items, live music by Skip’s Dixie Band and dancing. The 2016 Mardi Gras Gala will take place on Thursday, February 4, 6-9pm at Michael’s On East (1212 East Avenue S., Sarasota).

This is the eleventh year of the event, which was conceived by Michael’s On East co-proprietor Philip Mancini. Guests dress in beads and masks and enjoy New Orleans style drinks and dinner offerings such as shrimp etoufee, crab cakes, jambalaya and much more.

Co-chairs are Lisa and Stanley Eding, who are both Goodwill Ambassadors – community members who have made a commitment to share the mission of Goodwill Manasota with the greater community by volunteering at events, speaking on its behalf, creating new fundraisers, and introducing Goodwill to their friends, family and colleagues. Major sponsors are CS&L CPAs, Rapid Security Solutions, LLC, and RE/MAX Alliance Group. Proceeds from the event will support Goodwill’s mission of changing lives through the power of work.

In addition to the items donated for the silent and live auctions, i tesori Clothing Jewelry and Accessories boutique in downtown Sarasota (1405 1st Street) will donate 10% of each mask sold to Goodwill Manasota. The masks sold at i tesori are handmade in Venice, Italy and feature traditional Mardi Gras colors. Starting at $45, masks are available in paper mache and laser cut metal, trimmed with crystals, glitter and feathers for women and men.

“For Goodwill Manasota, Mardi Gras is a wonderful celebration – a celebration of lives we have helped to change through our employment services and other programs and services,” said Goodwill Manasota Foundation vice president Veronica Brandon Miller. “Last year’s event raised more than $150,000 to help those with barriers to employment find career opportunities and move toward self-sufficiency. We are grateful to our generous event sponsors and supporters for helping to make our work possible.”

Tickets are $175 per person and this event will sell out quickly; visit or call (941) 355-2721, ext. 104 for reservations.

About Goodwill Manasota

Goodwill Manasota is an industry-leading, 501(c)(3), not-for-profit organization that changes lives through the power of work. With the sales of donated goods and philanthropic donations, Goodwill is able to assist people with disabilities and other barriers to employment by providing job skills training and employment opportunities. In 2014, Goodwill Manasota served more than 16,000 people, placed 680 people in jobs and assisted 520 veterans as they reintegrated back into the civilian workforce. Goodwill Manasota’s economic impact back to the community is worth $81.3 million. Goodwill is one of the pioneers of the reduce-reuse-recycle movement and this past year diverted 39 million pounds out of the landfill. We accomplish our mission through a network of Good Neighbor Centers in Sarasota, Manatee, Hardee and DeSoto counties and our Mission Development Services (MDS) around North America. Goodwill Manasota is accountable to a local Board of Directors. Goodwill Manasota in essence belongs to this community, and is not owned by any individual or company. For more information, visit