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More than 150 guests attended a private fundraiser thrown by Dr. Daniel and Marlena Husted in support of House of Hope’s nutrition garden programs at their grand waterfront home Saturday, Feb. 24, 2018. A clarinet foursome musically set the mood as the crowd gathered within the Husted’s extensive fountain-centered garden while they sipped libations from the Tito’s Vodka Martini bar. The weather was perfect, the venue exquisite, and the attendees were dressed to thrill.

Dr. Daniel Husted, a prominent orthopaedic surgeon based in Stuart, and his wife Marlena, appealed to their extensive connections within the medical community aiming to raise support for House of Hope’s rapidly growing nutrition initiatives. The program focuses on improving the community’s health via nutrition education, cooking and gardening skills, along with enhanced access to fresh produce via the agency’s four Client Choice pantries. Martin County has high levels of childhood obesity -- more than 30% -- and in certain economically challenged communities, that number is a high as 60%. With these same communities struggling with higher-than-normal rates for adult diabetes and other obesity-related illnesses, growing support from the local medical community provided a logical strategy.

Generous hostess, Marlena Husted expressed:

“As my husband and I both grew up in a lower socio-economic status and remember relying on the kindness of strangers to feed our families, it is our passion to help break the cycle of poverty. House of Hope embodies this and in all ways imaginable extends a helping hand of kindness to those in need. It was our honor to help raise money for their nutrition initiatives.”

After a jovial cocktail reception, Pure Energy Entertainment filled the dancefloor with energetic tracks inspiring the crowd to get on their feet. Adding to the festivities, MC David conducted a rousing live auction and raffle drawing engaging party goers to further support the mission to empower Martin County residents to overcome hunger and hardship. Daughters of the hosts, Isabella Camejo, age 15 and Ava Camejo, age 10, adorably assisted the fundraising effort with their impromptu modeling of the auction items.

Decadent desserts were prepared to honor the evening’s theme with cascading fruits and vegetables adorning a four-tiered cake custom designed by The Cake Lady of Food Network fame. An on-site sommelier offered expert pairings to accompany the extensive selections of charcuterie, raw bar and tapas expertly prepared by The Chef’s Table.

The exclusive evening was sponsored by The Husted Family, Falconhurst Rd Consulting, The Arruda Family, Kilwin’s, The McCarver Family, The Fine Family, 82nd Airborne Division, The Cake Lady, Chef’s Table, Clarinet Fourplay, Ibis Golf & Country Club, Jewels on Worth, Nelson Family Farms, Tequesta Brewing Company, Tito’s Handmade Vodka, Pure Energy Entertainment, PGA National Resort and Spa, The Reiter Family, Robert Erneston Produce, Republic Spine, and South Forty Ltd.