The totals are in, and including the Mayor’s Ball held at Casa Marina on January 13, the nine annual events held during Mayor Craig Cates’ term have raised nearly a quarter million dollars for the Florida Keys Children’s Shelter.

The primary underwriter of the event during Mayor Cates’ term has been Meisel Holdings, whose principals have been involved in development of hotels in Key West for nearly 30 years – as long as the Children’s Shelter has been helping kids stay safe. Its boutique properties include the H2O Suites, Santa Maria Suites, and Southwinds Motel. “We are incredibly grateful to Deborah and Joel Meisel for their continued support, and of course Mayor and First Lady Cates,” said Florida Keys Children’s Shelter co-CEO Ben Kemmer.

The residents of Key West have purchased over 3,000 tickets to the event during the last nine years. So many children and families have been helped thanks to the energetic and enthusiastic support of this popular annual event,” Kemmer said.
This year will go down in history, and marked with sentiment, as Mayor Cates’ final year in office and last time hosting the Mayor’s Ball.

Elected officials in attendance at the 16th Annual Mayor’s Ball included Florida Keys Children’s Shelter board member Andy Griffiths, along with Bobby Highsmith, Mindy Conn and John Dick all from the Monroe County school board, Marathon mayor Michelle Gridiron, state attorney Dennis Ward, Judge Mark Wilson, Jill Cranney-Gage from the Mosquito board, Key West commissioner Sam Kaufman and of course Key West mayor Craig Cates.

To make a charitable contribution to the Florida Keys Children’s Shelter in honor of Key West Mayor Cates, and First Lady Cheryl Cates, visit

To learn about sponsorship opportunities for the 2019 Mayor’s Ball, contact Jennifer McComb at 305-852-4246 x222.