STAYIN’ ALIVE – An Evening on the Matanzas Gala to Benefit Council on Aging – Sunday, August 4th 2024 at River House

 TICKETS ON SALE NOW! Click here to purchase tickets.

Join us for STAYIN’ ALIVE, an Evening on the Matanzas to benefit Council on Aging, on Sunday, August 4, 2024 from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at COA’s River House, 179 Marine Street, St. Augustine, Florida. Experience a glittering, 1970’s-inspired gala overlooking the Matanzas River in downtown St. Augustine, featuring dinner, DJ, dancing, and an exciting travel charity auction sponsored by AmFund. 1970’s or resort casual attire is suggested for the festivities. Proceeds will support Council on Aging’s important work in service to seniors and caregivers in St. Johns County, Florida. We hope you will join us!

Tickets to the event are $150 per person and are on sale now! To purchase tickets online, click here. To purchase tickets via check, please make payable to “COA” and mail to Council on Aging, Attention Janel Graham, 180 Marine St., St. Augustine, FL 32084. Please include your name, mailing address, phone number, and number of guests attending.

Each year the American Fundraising Foundation, AmFund, carefully chooses organizations to support through their unrestricted funding programs to help worthy nonprofits accomplish their critically needed missions. This year, they have recognized Council on Aging for our important work in the community.

Thanks to their support, we will be offering a collection of eight exciting trips for silent auction at this year’s gala!

ONCE-IN-A-LIFETIME TRIPS TO BE AUCTIONED through silent auction at the Gala:

Wild Wonders African Photo Safari: 

3 Years to Travel/ No Blackout Dates/ 2 Travelers/ Land only

​Your dreams will come true the moment you arrive in Johannesburg and are taken to your luxurious lakefront safari camp nestled on the lush South African Savannah tucked beneath majestic mountains.

Welcome to your real life “Eden” where Mother Nature’s exotic wildlife roam free and every morning you’ll awaken to amazing sights and sounds inviting you to get up and explore! Experienced professional guides will take you on escorted photo safaris to view wild animals up close from the safety of your Safari vehicle. You’ll be awed by giant buffalo, tall giraffes, lumbering hippos, elusive leopards, and powerful crocodiles in their natural habitat adjacent to your private lodge.

One day, you’ll leave the lodge to go to an off-site Safari in search of the Big 5. In addition to your thrilling never-to-be-forgotten game drives, you can enjoy your own private plunge pool, spot magnificently colored birds perched near your balcony, or safely explore the lodge’s protected property where amiable antelope graze peacefully and free. In the evenings, you’ll enjoy romantic candlelight dinners at impeccably set tables at the lodge’s main dining hall or mouthwatering barbeques cooked over a crackling fire under South Africa’s vast starlit sky during your traditional South African bush braai.

After your game drives and delicious dinners, you’ll curl up in the cozy comfort of your palatial safari tent perched high on an embankment overlooking the moonlit lake while gentle breezes lull you into a good night’s sleep.

The two of you will have three full years with no blackout dates to enjoy this amazing adventure, which includes a night in classic Johannesburg, five nights at your luxury safari lodge in a premium rhino tent, four guided photo safari game drives on property, 1 Big 5 game drive off-site, traditional South African bush braai experience, all your in-country transfers, 15 scrumptious meals, and memories that will last forever! ​Your AmFund Travel Specialist will book your trip, and you will have 3 full years with no blackout dates to travel. Just think, you’re only one bid away from creating precious memories you’ll cherish forever!

Alaska Cruise – Explorer of the North:

3 Years to Travel/ No Blackout Dates/ 2 Travelers/ Land only

​With its 10,000 year old glaciers, whales and bald eagles, the sights and sounds of Alaska will thrill you!

Our winning couple will begin their adventure with an overnight stay in Seattle before boarding the cruise. The ship’s crew will pamper you and respond to your every need. Enjoy gourmet meals, exciting nightlife and try your luck at the casino! On deck, take time to relax and soak up scenery far more majestic than you ever imagined as you discover what life is like at the edge of our vast northern wilderness.

You can enjoy sightseeing adventures and thrilling tours at every port including Ketchikan, Juneau, Victoria and Skagway, Alaska’s most beautiful seaside town. You might choose a guided fishing and wilderness trip, a breathtaking glacier tour, or simply the opportunity to soak up the beauty and grandeur of one of the most pristine places on earth. As America’s last frontier, exploring Alaska is an adventure you’ll treasure forever.

This fabulous trip for two includes your overnight stay in Seattle, 6-night long cruise, comfortable outside cabin with balcony, all your gourmet dining on board, fabulous entertainment and exciting on-board activities with a $250 on board credit, the attentive service of your ship’s professional staff and memories of an adventure as big as Alaska itself! ​Your AmFund travel specialist will book your Alaska Cruise adventure and you have 3 full years to take your trip with no blackout dates.  This once in a lifetime adventure can be yours for your winning bid!

Greece and Greek Island Odyssey:

3 Years to Travel/ No Blackout Dates/ Roundtrip Air for 2

For sun-drenched days and magic moonlit nights, there’s no place more enchanting than the Greek Islands. Your idyllic adventure for two begins on sun-kissed Santorini for 3 days of sheer bliss on the island where blue-domed churches and snow-white houses dot the hillsides. In the rosy glow of sunset, you can sip fine wine and dine on fresh Mediterranean cuisine.

A scenic morning cruise takes you to Mykonos, renowned for its beauty, and the international jet setters who love to vacation there. For 3 glorious days on Mykonos, you can explore the island, shop in trendy boutiques, and stroll the beach as the Aegean Sea tickles your toes.

Finally, you are off to Athens to walk in the footsteps of Socrates and Plato as you visit the city’s ancient wonders. This is the stuff of legends and dreams.

Your once-in-a-lifetime 9-day Greece and Greek Islands Odyssey for 2 includes roundtrip air, 4+ star accommodations with breakfast every day, your fascinating tour of Athens, and your treasured time on the islands everyone dreams of visiting. Your AmFund Travel Specialist will book your trip, and you will have 3 full years with no blackout dates to travel. Just think, you’re only one bid away from creating precious memories you’ll cherish forever!

Irresistible Taste of Tuscany, Italy:

3 Years to Travel/ No Blackout Dates/ 2 Travelers/ Land only

​This is your chance to immerse yourselves in a land revered for more than 2,000 years as one of the most romantic and gorgeous places on Earth!

Your Italian adventure begins in the picturesque Tuscan countryside of Siena. After you check into your accommodations located in the heart of the “Walled City”, immerse yourself in renowned sites like the Piazza del Campo or the Duomo. Next, get ready to sample delicious local wines and savor the farm fresh ingredients of acclaimed regional dishes on an Italian gastronomy tour.

On another day in Tuscany, you’ll love stepping back in time and exploring quaint Castle towns like Castellina or Monteriggioni on your vineyard experience.

After three glorious nights in Siena, you are off to explore the gilded city of Florence via a private transfer with a professional guide who will regale you with medieval stories as you stop in San Gimignano and take the Chianti Road. Your next three nights in Florence will wow you with its historic sites, panoramic views, and cobblestone pathways that promise new discoveries at every turn. You’ll enjoy a guided city tour which offers VIP entrée at the Museum Accademia, where you’ll marvel at Michelangelo’s magnificent statue of “David”. On your final tour, you’ll have an opportunity to try your hand at creating authentic Florentine cuisine like bruschetta, pasta, and tiramisu during an Italian cooking class.

​Your trip for two includes 7-days, 6-nights in 4-star accommodations split between Tuscany and Florence, a Siena gastronomy tour, a winery and vineyard experience, a private transfer with a tour from Siena to Florence, a guided Florence city tour with VIP entrée to the Museum Accademia, and authentic Italian cooking class. This is your chance to see, feel, and taste all that makes Tuscany irresistible while supporting a very important cause.

Iceland: Land of the Vikings:

3 Years to Travel/ No Blackout Dates/ 2 Travelers/ Land only

Glistening glaciers, therapeutic hot springs, thundering waterfalls, and amazing wildlife make Iceland “The Land of Fire and Ice.” Summer evenings are bathed in sunlight as gleaming illuminations stretch skyward until the sun rises again in the vast blue sky. Between September and March, nature’s magnificent display of the Northern Lights, the Aurora Borealis, dances across the midnight sky.

Welcome to Iceland and your adventure of a lifetime! For 6 cozy nights, the two of you will stay in a centrally located hotel in Iceland’s capital, Reykjavik. This will be your home base as you explore this magical country founded by Vikings. Reykjavik is rich with museums, art galleries, shops, and historic landmarks, including the place where President Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev negotiated the end of the Cold War. You can shop in quaint boutiques along Old Harbor for Iceland’s famous woolens or browse for one-of-a-kind treasures at the Kolaportid Market.

Across the bay, you’ll enjoy stunning views of the volcanic Mount Esja. Bring your appetite for Icelandic seafood delicacies, baked goods, the creamiest ice cream, and dark-brewed coffee as award-winning chefs tempt your taste buds with new and different flavors. You’ll explore this pristinely beautiful country on a guided tour of Iceland’s Golden Circle. You’ll see bubbling water erupt from Strokkur Geyser, watch the Gullfoss waterfall “vanish” into the ground, and marvel at earth’s tectonic plates jutting like ragged puzzle pieces at a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Another day, you’ll treat your body and soul to a soak in the oceanside geothermal pool at the Sky Lagoon, where you’ll pamper yourselves during the 7-step spa ritual. Let nature relieve every care and worry in the world as you float in the warmly soothing waters of the lagoon, leaving you relaxed, rejuvenated, and radiant with a never-to-be-forgotten glow. You may want to book an evening excursion by land or boat in search of nature’s phenomenal Aurora Borealis, head out to sea on a whale-watching cruise, or walk on a glacier making its thousand-year march to the sea. Opportunities for exciting things to see and do are endless in this vast, unspoiled paradise.

This amazing 7-day journey to the land of Fire and Ice includes 6-night stay in your 4+ star accommodations in Reykjavik with breakfast every morning, your half-day walking tour of Reykjavik, unforgettable Golden Circle tour, and your rejuvenating visit to the Sky Lagoon and spa. You will leave Iceland renewed, refreshed and ready to tell all your friends about your adventures in the Land of Fire and Ice!

Wine, Wonders, and Romance of France:

3 Years to Travel/ No Blackout Dates/ Roundtrip Air for 2

You’ll fall in love with the French countryside the moment you step off your flight to Paris. You’ll stay in an 18th-century chateau in the Loire Valley, the famous wine region of France. You can sit in the garden and enjoy croissants and coffee for breakfast. Then, your guide will show you spectacular chateaux and castles and take you for lunch at a boutique winery in the heart of a vineyard.

There’s time for shopping at the world’s finest designer boutiques in Paris, and your city excursion takes you to such landmarks as the Eiffel Tower where you’ll enjoy a delightful lunch. The real essence of the city is captured by the river Seine. You’ll cruise the River Seine before you cuddle to sleep in your chic hotel.

Your trip for two includes roundtrip air, your 4+ star accommodations, wine-tasting lunch and chateaux excursion, guided Paris city experience, Eiffel Tower lunch, and River Seine cruise. For 7 days and 6 nights you’ll savor the best sights, sounds, tastes, and pleasures of France! This trip is booked by your own AmFund Travel Specialist and you will have 3 years with NO blackout dates to go on your trip.

Spain: Barcelona and Mallorca Vacation:

3 Years to Travel/ No Blackout Dates/Round Trip Air for 2

​Two of you will fly to beautiful Barcelona on Spain’s magnificent Mediterranean coast to begin your 7 day, 6 night getaway.  With its fabulous art and architecture, Barcelona is one of the most unusual cities on earth.  On your cultural tour, you’ll have skip-the-line entrée to see the lofty spires, fancy facades and colorful mosaics designed by the incomparable Antoni Gaudi.  One night, you’ll enjoy cocktails, tapas and dinner as you watch an authentic flamenco show, the dance of passion and love.

Next, you’ll fly to Mallorca for 3 days of pure pleasure.  This playground of Europe’s rich and famous has pristine beaches, charming restaurants, intriguing shops, and beautiful vistas.  On your breathtaking catamaran tour off Palma de Mallorca you’ll enjoy a delightful lunch the sunshine and balmy breezes warm your body and soothe your soul.  At night, party and dance ‘til dawn if you like!

​This 7 day, 6 night trip for 2 includes roundtrip air, flight from Barcelona to Mallorca, your 4+ star hotel accommodations, guided tour in Barcelona, fabulous dinner and flamenco performance, Palma de Mallorca cruise, and magical memories to last a lifetime! This trip is booked by your own AmFund Travel Specialist and you will have 3 years with no blackout dates to go on your trip.

Sedona Spa Getaway:

3 Years to Travel/ No Blackout Dates/ Roundtrip Air for 2

Refresh your mind, body and spirit at this oasis of personal pampering!  Relax, unwind, and rejuvenate in beautiful Sedona, Arizona!  The two of you will escape to the breathtaking beauty of wildflowers, sagebrush, and spectacular sunsets in the heart of the great American West.  The home of legends and wild beauty, Sedona is the perfect place to trade your daily grind for soul quenching serenity.

Nestled in this oasis of red sand, your lavish accommodations will delight your senses and refresh your mind, body, and spirit.  Here, at the spa, you’ll melt into a tranquil bliss during your massage and wake up refreshed to take a trip along the Grand Canyon’s awe-inspiring South Rim.  During your visit to this iconic landscape, you’ll learn about the fascinating history and culture of this area as you take in the views from places such as Yavapai Point, one of the best places to see the Colorado River as it snakes through the gorge.

Your incredible four-day, three night Sedona Spa Getaway for two includes roundtrip air, your luxurious accommodations, a perfect massage for each of you, your day at the Grand Canyon, and serene memories to last forever.  Remember, YOU deserve it! This trip is booked by your own AmFund Travel Specialist and you will have 3 years with no blackout dates to go on your trip.

Proceeds from the silent auction, the gala, and the companion golf tournament support COA’s programs and services for seniors and caregivers in St. Johns County.

Unable to attend? Need a proxy? No problem! For more information on this fabulous trip, contact the AmFund representative Chris Williams at cwilliams@amfund.org or at 407-719-2201.