Some very special local children had their night to shine on February 9, at the 14th Annual Little Smiles Stars Ball presented by Florida Public Utilities. The gala, held at the Palm Beach County Convention Center, benefits Little Smiles of Florida, a local nonprofit organization that helps bring smiles to the faces of children in hospitals, shelters and other facilities.

Each year, nurses representing hospitals from Port St. Lucie to Miami partner with Little Smiles to nominate children to receive special recognition at the Stars Ball. The “stars” are chosen for their extraordinary bravery, character and determination. They are treated like celebrities for the day, complete with makeovers, gowns, tuxedos and complete red-carpet treatment.

“This evening is truly all about the kids,” said Little Smiles Executive Director Nicole Grossmayer. “From the fanfare of the red carpet and personal award presentations to the kids-only beverage station and candy cart raid, the Stars Ball is considerately designed to provide a night of celebration and respite for our ‘stars’ and their families.”

Downtown West Palm Beach was abuzz with Hollywood glamour as the “stars” hit the red carpet escorted by Palm Beach County Sheriff deputies and West Palm Beach police officers. More than 400 guests participated in the spectacle as the “stars” signed autographs, hugged family members, and posed for photos. Artist Pasta Pantaleo created a painting live at the gala. It was purchased at the auction later in the evening.

Guests were treated to a night of opulence as they participated in a once-in-a-lifetime experience celebrating these young “stars.” Kevin Rolston, Virginia Sinicki and Jason Pennington from WRMF’s “The KVJ Show” emceed the high-energy event, which also included dinner, live music, award presentations, silent auction, live auction and much more.

Due to the kindness of local businesses and individuals, funds raised during the Stars Ball will benefit thousands of South Florida children facing devastating circumstances including terminal illness, abandonment and other trauma.

“Florida Public Utilities had the pleasure of being the presenting sponsor for this year’s Little Smiles Stars Ball,” said Florida Public Utilities Operations Administrative Supervisor Kelly Monaco. “Our brand values are reflected in Little Smiles, with their personal connections to the community and their relentless perseverance to help any children in need. We strive to partner with organizations that make an impact on the lives of families within our service territory. Each year we become more invested in the organization and the very special ‘stars’ they connect us with. Florida Public Utilities is proud to say we support Little Smiles and the meaningful impact they make daily.”

Little Smiles also keeps the “stars” and their families connected with a variety of activities throughout the year.

Check out the 2019 Stars Ball Photo Gallery.