FCC Gala

Published on: March 15, 2017

Gala fundraiser for Firehouse Cultural Center well attended

The weather was perfect for outdoor dining and live entertainment at the Firehouse Cultural Center’s Spurs & Bling fundraiser gala held at Diehl Farms in Wimauma March 4.

The Firehouse Cultural Center in Ruskin held its annual gala fundraising event March 4 at Diehl Farms in Wimauma. About 250 guests were in attendance to celebrate and uphold the work being done at the center.

The Spurs & Bling event was hosted by Frank and Ora Diehl at their ranch facility. Along with the elegant dining arrangement, there were demonstrations by Diehl Farms’ cowboys and a local horseback square-dancing group.

Honored guests included the new executive director of the Hillsborough Arts Council Martine Collier; CFO of the Straz Center for the Performing Arts Lorrin Shepard; and Hillsborough County Commissioner Sandra Murman.

“Best event in my decade in this region. You can quote me on that,” said Dr. Allen Witt, of Hillsborough Community College–SouthShore.

Firehouse Cultural Center Executive Director Georgia Vahue would like to thank everyone who attended and especially those who bid on the live and silent auction items. All proceeds benefit programming and scholarships at the nonprofit cultural center. Thank you to Frank and Ora Diehl, Glenn and Danita Dickman (honorary chairs for the event), Commissioner Sandra Murman, Tom Cook, Ray and Patti Beckett, Patti Halloway, Harriet’s Flowers, Nola Moon, photographers Theresa Nesmith and Todd Wilson, and FCC staff Frances Hereford, Rudy Ortiz and Beth Ann Stein.

Diehl Farms iis available for weddings and event rental. For more information, call 813-634-5455 or visit diehlfarmsevents.com.

The Firehouse Cultural Center is at 101 1st Ave. NE, Ruskin. Visit firehouseculturalcenter.org, or call 813-645-7651 for more information about programs and entertainment. The center is a nonprofit 501(c)3 multiuse, cultural and educational facility offering quality programming with a focus on a full spectrum of the arts and education for all ages.

Hillsborough County Commissioner Sandra Murman, center, accepts a gift of appreciation from Bruce Marsh and Firehouse Cultural Center Executive Director Georgia Vahue, for her tireless efforts in bringing the center to fruition and for her continuous support. It was an original watercolor by British artist Barry Goodman. Goodman has a background in watercolors, printmaking and painting. His works are in public and private collections including the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. Goodman teaches watercolor classes at the Firehouse Cultural Center.

Cowboys from Diehl Ranch gave a demonstration on how they single out a calf from the herd .


Silent and live auctions brought in additional funds for the Firehouse Cultural Center. Above an autographed Bruce Springsteen guitar was one of many high-end items.


Thomas and Robyn Payant owners of Payant Wealth Management Group in Sun City Center, were in attendance.