More than 400 guests attended the Jan. 31 United Way of Okaloosa & Walton Counties’ “A Night in the 40’s” at the Hilton at Sandestin Golf & Beach Resort. Guests arrived in their 40’s attire — women dressed up with 40’s hair all curled and pinned, hats in all sizes, long and short gloves, and even Rosie the Riveter showed up in her famous red scarf and red lipstick. The men, not wanting the women to have all the fun dressing up, arrived in dark suits, rim hats and, oh yes, those WWII outfits jackets were “just the balm.”

Sal Nodjomian, Matrix Design Group, was the evening’s emcee, and the “DownBeat Jazz Orchestra” brought back some good music of the 40’s highlighting, Benny Goodman, Glen Miller Band and many others. Special fun throughout the evening was the dance competition by local community leaders under the instruction of Fred Astaire. Our appreciation to the winner of the dance competition, Paul Schreiner, Carrabba’s, for coming in first, and the other dancers, Jean Dutton of Emerald Ladies Journal, Lynn Yort of Waste Management and Louis Erickson of Bit-Wizards.  

This annual event was made possible through the donations of community supporters and local businesses. Our deepest appreciation to our monetary sponsors, Cox Communications, Fort Walton Beach Medical Center, Gulf Power Company and CHELCO.

More than $55,000 was raised through the dinner, silent auction, dance competition and games. The United Way is deeply grateful to all those who attended and participated, our United Way Board members, Marketing Committee, and everyone that donated their time and support.