Magnify supporters dance the night away

Oct 27, 2022
Bishop John Noonan and Caitlin, a Bishop Grady Villas resident, pray a blessing at Magnify of Central Florida’s Harvest Ball. Magnify serves to magnify the God-given gifts of people with disabilities. (GLENDA MEEKINS)

Residents, staff and guests purchased auction items and danced the night away at the Harvest  Ball of Magnify of Central Florida to benefit works that magnify the God-given gifts of people with disabilities.

Hundreds of supporters came out for the event held at the Rosen Shingle Creek Resort in Orlando Oct. 22, 2022. The night served to raise funds for the numerous programs that fall under Magnify: Project SEARCH, which trains and helps those with unique abilities find employment; and Bishop Grady Villas residence, which promotes independent living. The services are part of the reason for the rebranding ­— because Magnify is an outcome of so many programs born from the initial idea of providing a residence community for those with disabilities.

Bishop Grady Villas, St. Cloud residents dance the night away at Magnify of Central Florida’s Harvest Ball, Oct. 22. (GLENDA MEEKINS)

“We were so blessed by the opportunity to gather the individuals that we serve together with our supporters in a celebration of Thanksgiving for the God-given gifts of our brothers and sisters with disabilities,” said Kevin C. Johnson, executive director at Magnify of Central Florida. “We were overwhelmed by the generosity of our supporters and so far are amazed that we have broken our fundraising record for the Harvest Ball.”

This year the ball raised more than $400,000.

Brian Shields, WFTV Channel 9 meteorologist, and Ybeth Bruzual, anchor for Spectrum News 13, served as co-hosts for the event. Auctioneer Father Miguel González, rector of St. James Cathedral, showcased his fast-talking skills, rallying high bids from generous donors.

The night culminated in dancing, a favorite part for Bishop Grady Villas’ residents.

By Glenda Meekins of the Florida Catholic staff, October 27, 2022