Crowd Dances for Gulfport Historical Museum

From left, Mayor Sam Henderson and Zack Knight volunteer as amateur DJs for the Friends of the Gulfport Groove’s fundraising dance event at the city’s Casino on Friday, April 13. The event was a sellout with over 100 people enjoying music from the 60s to the present. 

Over 100 people in a sellout crowd danced for a Gulfport Historical Society fundraiser at the city’s Casino ballroom on Friday, April 13.

The event was sponsored by Friends of the Gulfport Groove, a small social and philanthropic grassroots group of volunteers formed five years ago by people that wanted to create fun events and raise money for their local community, said Laura Henderson, a member. “To join, just ask!”

The group met their initial goal of selling 100 tickets at $10 each shortly after 9 p.m., said Kelly Wright, a Groove group member.

Henderson and Wright were self-described “unofficial co-organizers” for the group’s dance.

“We wanted to have an event where people can come out and dance and have fun, like at prom or at a wedding reception,” said Henderson.

Mayor Sam Henderson and Zack Knight, both of Gulfport, served as the amateur DJs playing music from the 60s to the present, along with requests.

The group also included a cash bar along with free snacks and a photo booth complete with a polka dot backdrop and a bucket of eyeglass and mustache disguises.

“Take a photo that will last a lifetime,” said Sam Henderson between playing songs.

Tables were available for people to make additional donations or to join the Gulfport Historical Society.

“The society does a great job of managing our historical museum,” said Sam Henderson.

In the future, “we’re thinking of doing a kayaking expedition,” said Wright. “Our fun and fundraising is not restricted to dance events. It could be anything. We’re keeping it simple.” The group’s fundraisers can benefit any Gulfport non-profit organization.

The group raised $946.39 for the Gulfport Historical Society.

For more information, visit the group’s Facebook page:

Traveling from their home in Lakewood Ranch, south of the Skyway, Annette and Marc Riffel enjoyed getting the crowd started at the Friday, April 13 fundraiser dance held at the Historic Gulfport Casino. “We heard about the event from the internet, plus I get the weekly email flyer from Gulfport. I think it’s wonderful. It encourages a lot of good dancers and hopefully we’ll raise a lot of money for the Historical Society.” At just after 9 p.m., the dance was declared a sellout.


Gulfport husband-and-wife team Bradford Daniel and Elizabeth Hendricks, right, enjoy laughing together and having fun during a rock song played at the Friday, April 13 Casino dance that was a benefit for the Gulfport Historical Society, a non-profit group that manages the local historical museum. Daniel got his steam-punk-style goggles from the recent local faerie festival, said Hendricks. “I won the costume contest” at the festival.


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