The 25th Frank Sinatra Back Tie Gala at Fantasy Springs Resort Casino

Celebrities, spouses and friends ~photo Pat Krause
Story and photos by Pat Krause
Story and photos by Pat Krause

The 25th Frank Sinatra Celebrity Invitational Black Tie Gala was held on Feb. 23rd at Fantasy Springs Resort Casino Spa Events Center. The Sinatra Celebrity Invitational was presented again by Starkey Hearing Technologies and they have sponsored this event many times before.The event was hosted by Fantasy Springs for the last four years.

The Gala awarded the winners of the golf tournaments. 1st place went to Willie Gaults team on Friday and a tie for 1st on Saturday was the Grant Fuhr and Rollie Fingers teams. Barbara Sinatra Children’s Center President Helene Galen and director John Thoreson gave awards to many others for the support of the Children’s Center including co-chair Ken Venturi and Bill and Tani Austin from the Starkey Hearing Foundation.

Tom Dreesen, a long time friend of Barbara and Frank Sinatra, has been the Emcee for all 25 years of the event. He tells of how he was asked by Frank Sinatra to help him start a golf tournament to raise money for the Barbara Sinatra Children’s Center. Barbara Sinatra tells of how it started as Frank’s little party in the Desert and has grown to the huge event it is today. Many of the celebrities and guests have been coming to this event for many years to support Barbara Sinatra and her cause.

Speakers told of how the Children’s Center has helped over 18,000 children over the years. One recent heart breaking story was when a 6 month old sexually abused child was brought to the center. Each client is helped regardless of the ability to play. Doctors, therapists and staff are all totally dedicated to this organization to help sexually, physically and emotionally abused children.

Frankie Valli was the much anticipated Gala headliner. Frankie Valli became famous as the lead singer for the group, The Four Seasons. He sang a lot of the songs he made famous during his career. He made a new album, Romancing the 60’s, because he said that who could make love to a lot of the music of today. He tours continuously and held a concert on Sunday Feb.24th at Fantasy Springs Casino Events Center.