Spooky season was in full swing Saturday evening, October 26, as folks danced the night away at the Gulfport Senior Center Foundation’s Sixth Annual Monster Mash at the Gulfport Casino ballroom.
The Casino, listed as one of Creative Loafing’s 20 most haunted places in Tampa Bay, was the perfect backdrop for the event, with the theme and decor of “black cats, pumpkins and magik.”
For the past six years, the Gulfport Senior Center Foundation has hosted “Monster Mash” for residents to come out and support local seniors and future Senior Center projects, according to Jim Williams, Gulfport Senior Center Foundation President. The foundation’s mission is “to raise and distribute funds that support and enhance health, educational, social and recreational programs and services of the Gulfport Multipurpose Senior Center.”
Attendees feasted on dishes and desserts donated from seven local businesses, competed for a slew of raffle prizes and participated in four costume contest categories.
Linda Slisher – whose identity remained unknown for most of the evening, her face hidden behind a disturbing, blue lit up mask and black cloak – won the prize for scariest. Veronica Champion, dressed as a French maid, was the judges’ choice for funniest costume.
Two monk costumes disguised Gulfport’s Vice Mayor Paul Ray and his husband, Wesley Ray, won them the title of best couple, and after slight confusion, an impromptu coven of witches won the award for best group. Though they didn’t attend the party together, Paula Roy, Michelle Laas, Ailsa Bennell and Elizabeth Hendricks were the members of this freshly banded coven.
Spine-chilling tunes were provided by Craig Singleton and the Big City Band with a surprise performance by none other than Elvis Presley himself.