On the evening of April 15, you didn’t have to fly to South America to experience the flamboyant dancers of the Rio Carnival, the lush wildlife of the Brazilian jungle, or the delectable food of the Latin culture. All you had to do was attend the 15th annual Starry, Starry Night fundraising event at Rollins’ Alfond Sports Center, where glittering dancers swirled to a rumba beat, monkeys and macaws perched in a tropical rainforest, and guests ate manchego frango to the rattle of maracas. Raising $150,000 for Hamilton Holt School student scholarships, this year’s Starry, Starry Night provided an instant trip to the exotic and the far-flung.
The night also offered a taste of local glamour with a dance contest called “Dancing With the Tars” after the school’s sailor mascot. Five community celebrities—Kyle Frakes, Rollins men’s golf coach and assistant men’s basketball coach; Martha Haynie, Orange County comptroller; Frank Herring, The Herring Group president; Margot Knight, president and CEO of United Arts of Central Florida; and Pennie Parker, Rollins director of athletics—performed Latin dances with
professional dancers for audience votes. Judges Kelly Ginsburg, philanthropist and Starry, Starry Night entertainment sponsor; Marc Taylor, 103.1 WLOQ Morning Show host; and Rick Walsh, Winter Park Magazine founding partner, made sure the lively show was even livelier.
Starry, Starry Night has raised more than $1.8 million in scholarship funds since 1997, helping hundreds of local students in Rollins’ evening degree program. The event’s success is a testament to the generosity and community foresight of local patrons.