Preserve Vision Florida says it selected Richard Gonzmart and Andrea Gonzmart Williams as its 2024 "Persons of Vision" in recognition of their leadership in Tampa Bay's history and its future.
The 45th "Annual Persons of Vision Award Gala" will be held at 7 p.m. Monday, Feb. 5, at TPepin's Hospitality Centre in Tampa, with a reception starting at 6 p.m.
Richard Gonzmart and daughter Andrea Gonzmart Williams are the fourth- and fifth-generation owners and caretakers of the 1905 Family of Restaurants, a 118-year-old family-owned hospitality company based in Tampa that includes Columbia Restaurant, Ulele, Casa Santo Stefano, Goody Goody Burgers, Cha Cha Coconuts and Café Con Leche Ybor City, according to a news release from Preserve Vision.
Richard Gonzmart was recognized by the Business Observer as a 2019 top entrepreneur. Andrea Gonzmart Williams has received numerous community awards and currently sits on the University of South Florida Foundation board.
Over the past 26 years, the Gonzmart family has raised approximately $4 million for local non-profit organizations through its month-long Community Harvest program, Preserve Vision officials say in a Monday news release. It is among several fundraising events and programs the family sponsors each year.
"Philanthropy runs deep in the Gonzmart family: from more than $3 million raised for Moffitt Cancer Center by Richard's Run For Life and Richard's Father's Day Family Walk-Jog over the past decade, to the extraordinary caretaking of its employees and nonprofits during the COVID-19 pandemic, they've positively impacted the lives of so many in our community," says Joanne Olvera Lighter, Preserve Vision's president and CEO. "Likewise, the services provided by Preserve Vision have had a profound, life-changing impact on many of the hundreds of thousands of children and adults we've screened and assisted with glasses and medical exams."
Gala speakers include Rhea Law, president of the University of South Florida; Dr. Doug Letson, executive vice president of clinical affairs and physician-in-chief of Moffitt Cancer Center; Pam Iorio, former mayor of Tampa; Ed Droste, co-founder of Hooters; and Chris Sullivan, Outback co-founder.
Founded in 1957, Preserve Vision Florida is a nonprofit offering vision screenings, eye exams and glasses for those in need, as well as health education to Florida's children and adults.