BREVARD COUNTY — Before Palm Bay Mayor William Capote ends his second term as mayor, he will be sure to celebrate among friends and residents “Big Easy” style.
The annual “Mayor’s Ball” will return at 6 p.m. this Saturday, Feb. 22 at the Hilton Rialto, 200 Rialto Place, Melbourne.
Tickets are still available for $80 per individual or $150 per couple. This year, the Mayor’s Ball will be supporting the Palm Bay Firefighter’s Community Benevolent.
In his first year in office, Mayor Capote made a criticized decision to uplift the spirit of the Mayor’s Ball from honoring past mayors to highlighting local organizations that help make the community stronger.
Then, Mayor Capote moved the event outside of Palm Bay.
“My goal was that eventually a hotel would get built in the city because now the developers that are going to be coming in, always have talked to me about, ‘We want to build you a hotel so you can host your mayor’s ball,’” Mayor Capote said.
“By the time that it’s all said and done, I won’t be the mayor, but I wanted that thought process to be ingrained in people’s heads,” he continued.
Mayor Capote added that his hope is to see such a hotel built that can include a conference room large enough to hold 500 guests, enabling the city of Palm Bay to host larger events, such as the Mayor’s Ball.
Each year since Mayor Capote has been in office, the Mayor’s Ball has gone on to show support for youth programs. The very first one involved a young girl named Acacia Woodley, who created a friendship bench that sits in front of the City Hall Annex.
The following years highlighted groups such as the Boy Scouts of America, The Children’s Hunger Project, Disaster Relief Fund and the Certified Production Technician Program by the Space Coast Economic Development Commission.
The Palm Bay Firefighter’s Community Benevolent is a nonprofit organization that aims not only to assist firefighters and their families, but the community at large. The nonprofit is often seen participating in local events, raising funds to support various groups in the county from youth programs to cancer foundations.
“I stayed in the theme of helping 501(c)(3)’s, promoting to help youth, because I believe that’s a very important thing to be putting stock into,” Mayor Capote said. “As I came here to be mayor, I was an adjunct professor at Eastern Florida State College. I worked a lot with young people, and that’s always been my passion.
“When the journey first started, you go into mode, but after two terms of this, it’s sad in a way because you put so much time and effort into bringing positive things to the city,” he continued.
To date, Mayor Capote has helped to raise $126,730.55 (after expenses) toward these community organizations since 2014.
The Mardi Gras-themed event invites guests to wear their best and bring a mask, participate in a “Fat Tuesday” raffle, enjoy live entertainment, cocktails and the annual Community Leadership Presentation.
For more information and to buy tickets, visit www.palmbayflorida.org/mayorsball.