Lighthouse of Pinellas

11th Annual Point of Light Luncheon

September 8, 2017

Noon – 1:30pm

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For more information, sponsorship opportunities or ticket purchase, please contact Anna Cottos, at 727-544-4433, ext. 224 or via email at acottos@lhpfl.org.

The Point of Light Luncheon is Lighthouse of Pinellas’ signature fundraising event. Now in its 11th year, Point of Light features inspirational stories of personal strength, courage and triumph. We are pleased to have Evan Connell, a criminal investigative analyst with the Lee County Sheriff’s Office, as our keynote speaker. Evan is a Florida native who spent much of his childhood in Arcadia and Ft. Myers.  At age 15, he began losing his sight as a result of Retinitis Pigmentosa. Evan will share his moving story of courage and determination and how keeping a positive mindset helped him reach his goals.

Former Fox 13 News Anchor John Wilson will again serve as our Master of Ceremonies. In addition, we will honor Margaret Word Burnside and Aaron Fodiman, editors and owners of Tampa Bay Magazine, with our prestigious Beacon of Light Award. And, we are delighted to honor our own board member Joan Kline with the John Wilson Spot Light Volunteer Award for her tireless efforts in supporting Lighthouse of Pinellas

The Point of Light Luncheon is an especially important event for the Lighthouse as it brings awareness to the vital programs and services we offer to people of all ages – infants to seniors – in Pinellas County, who are visually impaired or blind. According to the National Eye Institute, one in three Americans over age 65 will be faced with a vision-impairing eye disease. Here in Pinellas County, the need is great.

It is crucial to ensure funding for Lighthouse programs and services is available. Your support has the power to impact the lives of many people and ensure our programs continue providing education, training and support to those living with vision impairment in our community. We invite you to come and join us for an inspiring afternoon and to help give folks in our community the chance for safe, independent and meaningful lives – gifts beyond measure!

2017 Point of Light Honorees

Beacon of Light Award
Margaret Word Burnside & Aaron Fodiman

John Wilson Spot Light Volunteer Award
Joan Kline





2017-09-08 12:00:00
2017-09-08 13:30:00
America/New_York
Lighthouse of Pinellas 11th Annual Point of Light Luncheon
Lighthouse of Pinellas’ signature fundraising event
Hilton St. Petersburg Carillon Park
950 Lake Carillon Dr.
St Petersburg, FL, 33716

LHP
acottos@lhpfl.org

Venue

Hilton St. Petersburg Carillon Park
Picasso Ballroom
950 Lake Carillon Dr.
St Petersburg, FL, 33716


Sponsors

Thank you to the following sponsors for supporting the 2017 Point of Light Luncheon!

Presenting Sponsor

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Beacon of Light Sponsor

Guiding Light Sponsor

Pat Grubb

POLCover  point-of-light-logo-1  achieva-300x201  Publix

POLCover  point-of-light-logo-1  achieva-300x201  Publix  LeeBurgessPhotography

Spot Light Sponsors

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Lions George & Kim Feaster/Dignity Memorial

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Geri Trautlein

Table Sponsors

The Bank of Tampa

Baskin Fleece Attorneys at Law

The Hon. & Mrs. Joseph Donahey

Gregory, Sharer & Stuart, CPAs

Pinch A Penny, Inc.

Transamerica Life Insurance Co.

Bay Area Retina Consultants

Lokey Motor Company

Marcy and Scott Daniels, Coldwell Banker Real Estate

Word of Life Fellowship Church

Betsy Schweitzer

Law Firm of Michael W. Porter

USAmeriBank

Point of Light Committee

Mrs. Joan Kline, Committee Chair
Mrs. Patricia Grubb
Mrs. Terry Porter

If you are interested in joining this generous group of donors, click HERE to download the sponsorship packet and contact Anna Cottos, 727-544-4433, ext. 224 or acottos@lhpfl.org.


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Keynote Speaker - Evan Connell

Evan Connell

Keynote Speaker, Point of Light Luncheon

POLCover  point-of-light-logo-1  achieva-300x201  Publix  LeeBurgessPhotography  Hancock-Bank  Largo-Lions2  Tucker  Raymond-James-Logo  Evan-228x300  Evan Connell has been employed by the Lee County Sheriff’s Office for the past 21 years working in the Intelligence Unit of the Special Investigations Division as a Criminal Investigative Analyst.

At the age of 15, Connell looked forward to becoming a licensed driver and he had aspirations of learning, and ultimately running his family’s citrus harvesting business. However, a life-altering diagnosis of Retinitis Pigmentosa slowly began to claim his sight.

Despite his vision impairment, Connell graduated from Riverdale High School in Fort Myers and then from the University of South Florida in 1997, where he obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice. In his senior year at USF, Connell was accepted into an intern program at the Lee County Sheriff’s Office. After graduation, he was offered a full-time position with the sheriff’s office, and he began to build his current position as an analyst working with pawnshops, second-hand dealers and metal recyclers recovering stolen property, identifying suspects of thefts and wanted persons.

“It’s very gratifying when I am able to assist a detective in solving a case or finding stolen property for a victim of a burglary when they have little to no hope of ever finding their sentimental items that were stolen from them,” Connell said.

Connell has a strong passion for giving back to his community and advocating for people who are blind or visually impaired. He is currently the immediate past president of the Lighthouse of Southwest Florida in Ft. Myers where he has served on its board of directors since 2009. He travels to Tallahassee annually on behalf of the Florida Association of Agencies Serving the Blind (FAASB) and the Florida Law Enforcement Property Recovery Unit (FLEPRU) because he said, “I believe showing a consistent presence to his local legislators at the State Capital is an important way to express his personal desires and to convey the needs of the blind community.”

In 2007, Connell was named the Regional Director for FLEPRU, and sits on its board of directors. In 2009, he was name as one of Gulfshore Business Magazine’s Forty Under Forty award recipients which recognizes 40 individuals who have distinguished themselves in their professions within the community.

Connell motivates his audiences by saying, “We can either shy away from our fears and obstacles or embrace them. We can allow our opportunities to pass us by or we can set aside our fears and take advantage of opportunities no matter what stands in our way.” Connell is a proud father of two beautiful daughters, 20 and 16, and has been happily married to his wife, Laura, for 11 years.

Beacon of Light Honoree

Beacon of Light Award – Margaret Word Burnside & Aaron Fodiman

John Wilson Spot Light Volunteer Honoree

John Wilson Spot Light Volunteer Award – Joan Kline


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