The fundraiser's profits will establish a scholarship for local youth through the nonprofit.
Monopoly fans were on a mission to pass "Go" and collect $200, at Channel Side in Palm Coast on Sunday, June 30, to benefit Christmas Comes True, a nonprofit that has assisted Flagler County families since 2009.
Black Tie Events' Lee Filipe approached Christmas Come True founder Nadine King to partner for this entertainment evening as a first of its kind in Flagler County. Flagler County School Board member Andy Dance dressed the part as Mr. Monopoly, complete with a cane and top hat. Guests played the classic board game at tables with real bankers from CenterState Bank, until the final round where three players competed to be the grand winner. Different local businesses "bought" the Monopoly board properties as event sponsors. Including silent auction items and catering, over 40 Flagler County businesses were involved in the event.
Palm Coast resident Drew Dance won first place at the tournament, earning a goodie bag and a certificate from Hasbro Inc., as this event was officially sanctioned from the toy/board game company. Heather Felmet earned second place, and Steve Bolter earned third.
"I wanted to give back to the community, and this was my way of doing it," Filipe said. "This supports children here in Flagler County and helps them to become future leaders."
King said the event raised about $7,000 for the nonprofit. The money will specifically go toward establishing a scholarship for local teens, with the goal of inspiring them to continue their education at technical and trade schools.
Going into the nonprofit's 11th year in 2020, King said she has big desires for the future of Christmas Come True.
"I have a dream of having a huge building, over 20,000 square feet, my own property, that would house my store, Begin Again Home Goods, as well as my office for Christmas Come True," King said. "But every year, I have to start looking for a piece of property that I can do my distribution in. ... I need about 10,000 square feet. ... This past year, I had 9,000-square feet about I was busting out of the seams, so I really need a building."
King said that since Christmas Come True is fully funded by the community — no government funding — events like these are crucial to helping hundreds of families not only be gifted with Christmas presents and meals, but also receive help for necessities year-round. Last year, Christmas Come True supported 457 children in 153 families. Her goal this year is to raise $80,000 for locals in need.
"If we don't have success at our events and people don't donate to us, then we are not able to help," King said.