Firefly Gala 2016

Click here to view full Gallery!!

Click here to view full Gallery!!

Firefly Gala 2016

Forty Carrots Family Center and The Dart Foundation presented the Seventh Annual Firefly Gala featuring Joan Jett & The Blackhearts at the Ritz-Carlton Members Golf Club on Saturday, April 30, 2016.

The Firefly Gala has sparkling cocktail attire…with an edge! Wedges, wide heels, or flats are suggested for the Ladies’ comfort on the lawn. Jackets, but no ties for the Gentlemen. Jeans are not permitted at The Club. Experience the sparkling night of Firefly Gala with incredible auctions and delectable dining. Marvel at the full stage and light production at this intimate, private concert. Help children and families create good beginnings to last a lifetime.

Committee Members : Tomeika Hunter-Koski, Ariane Dart, Jane Bennett, Tonya Getzen-Gowwan, Geri Jo Manson, Tina Granthon, Silvanna Medina, Michelle Kapreilian, Sandi Boyajian, Minta Getzen, Jessica Warr, Melissa Morsli, Katrina Otchet, Amber McCoig, Ashley Williams, Flora Oynick, DeAnna Creaturo, Sophia Emanuelli, Lesley France, Ann Goldstein, Kim Hickerson, Kim Hill, Vicki Hornberger, Sharon Kunkel, Keffie Lancaster, Heather Hoist-Knudsen, Marie Lusma, Bianca Lawrence, Ashley McLeod-Reeves, Sheri Nadelman, Lisa Olan, Anita Rahn, Mindy Rollins, Kristel San Juan, Julie Smith, Anna Varone, and Alisa Westberry.


Founded in 1993, Forty Carrots Family Center is guided by a vision that all parents will provide their children with experiences and environments that are emotionally and physically safe so that they can grow into capable and caring young people. The early years of life are crucially important to the overall development of our children and therefore offer unprecedented opportunities to provide experiences that have lifelong positive impact. Forty Carrots serves Sarasota and Manatee counties and has three core components:

Parenting Education Program aims to empower families with the tools they need to ensure positive outcomes, both short-term and long-term, for children.  We believe strongly that all families should have access to parenting education, and strive to make appropriate services available for families from all walks of life. Our Free Community Outreach Program travels throughout Sarasota and Manatee counties utilizing community partnerships to efficiently and conveniently deliver critical information and support.

Mental Health Services: Services are offered for children, adolescents and families to nurture positive change and reinforce healthy familial relationships. We believe that intervention is critical, ensuring that every child can experience positive early relationships to become more resilient to stress and develop other aspects of emotional regulation. From our Infant Mental Health services offered at CYESIS Teen Parent Program at Riverview High School to our Child & Family Therapy, we provide different models and therapeutic approaches to help individuals facing myriad challenges.

Nationally Accredited (NAEYC) Preschool prepares children for success in school and in life by nurturing the whole child through a developmentally appropriate, play-based approach using the Creative Curriculum. Graduates leave with the social skills, academic knowledge and love for learning that set the stage for future success.



Forty Carrots was founded in 1993 by Betsy Kane-Hartnett and Diane Weiss. Betsy, a preschool director, and Diane, a parenting educator, had dreamed of opening a center that blended their respective skills of early childhood and parenting education, a place where families – regardless of economic status, educational background, age, or other factors – would find the resources, tools and support they needed to help nurture their families, educate their children and overcome the challenges inherent in those early years.

They called it Forty Carrots Preschool and Parenting Center. With their 40th birthdays just around the corner, the two women briefly considered “carat” and “karat” but felt putting down roots was more important than jewels or gems.

“Back then we didn’t know what a a business plan was…our board was made up of family and friends,” Betsy describes. “When we chose our staff, we chose people who would become part of our family.”

Each brought their own talents and skills to the mix. As a team, they shared a common goal: To strengthen and enrich the lives of local families through education, outreach and support.

“We knew that if we wanted to make a real difference in our families’ lives, and ultimately throughout our community, we had to provide parents with support and necessary tools to be successful from the beginning,” says Diane. “Those first five years are the most critical..nearly 40 percent of children abused or neglected in our country are five years of age or younger, wth the greatest risk being in the first year of life.”


Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *