A Gala Reception & Dinner was held February 5, 2024 at TPepin’s Hospitality Centre, 4121 N 50th St, Tampa, FL 33610. Reception at 6 p.m. Dinner and awards at 7 p.m.
Preserve Vision Florida has selected Richard Gonzmart and Andrea Gonzmart Williams, above, as its 2024 Persons of Vision in recognition of their visionary leadership in Tampa Bay’s history and its future. The 45th Annual Person of Vision Award Gala was Monday, February 5 at TPepin’s Hospitality Centre in Tampa.
Richard Gonzmart and daughter Andrea Gonzmart Williams are the fourth- and fifth-generation caretakers of the 1905 Family Of Restaurants, a 118-year-old family-owned hospitality company based in Tampa that includes Columbia Restaurant, Ulele, Casa Santo Stefano, Goody Goody Burgers, Cha Cha Coconuts and Café Con Leche Ybor City.
“In addition to this most fitting honor for Richard and Andrea, the Persons of Vision Dinner is an opportunity to celebrate the Five Generations of the 1905 Family of Restaurants and support the vitally important work of Preserve Vision Florida,” said Preserve Vision Florida’s Board Chair Kevin Bakewell. “The family’s positive impact in the community and throughout the state is felt in so many ways beyond their amazing restaurants and the millions of guests whose meals and celebrations they host every year.”
Over the past 26 years, the Gonzmart family has raised approximately $4 million for local non-profit organizations through its month-long Community Harvest program. It is among several fundraising events and programs the family sponsors each year.
“Philanthropy runs deep in the Gonzmart family. From more than $3 million raised for Moffitt Cancer Center by Richard’s Run For Life and Richard’s Father’s Day Family Walk/Jog over the past decade, to the extraordinary caretaking of its employees and nonprofits during the COVID-19 pandemic, they’ve positively impacted the lives of so many in our community,” said Preserve Vision Florida’s President & CEO Joanne Olvera Lighter. “Likewise, the services provided by Preserve Vision have had a profound, life-changing impact on many of the hundreds of thousands of children and adults we’ve screened and assisted with glasses and medical exams.”
Celebrating its 45th year, the Person of Vision Award has honored Florida visionaries whose influence has been felt in the community, region, state, and world. Recent honorees include Jeff and Penny Vinik through the Tampa Bay Lightning and downtown redevelopment; H. Lee Moffitt, founder of one of the world’s leading cancer institutions; Joe Lopano, whose leadership in expanding Tampa International enhanced it as a top-ranked gateway to world travel; Tampa Mayor Jane Castor, whose collaboration across the region heightens business growth while preserving Florida’s heritage; and, most recently, Dolphin Tale/Dolphin Tale 2 Co-producer/Executive Producer David Yates who put Clearwater Marine Aquarium on the map with Winter the Dolphin’s story that inspired millions of people around the world.
Founded in 1957, Preserve Vision Florida is a non-profit organization offering vision screenings, eye exams and glasses for those in need and health education to Florida’s children and adults. Our focus is promoting a lifetime of healthy vision care through advocacy, education, screening and research.
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