“Party in Paradise,” the annual benefit for Youth Challenge, drew more than 325 guests to Ariel International Center in downtown Cleveland for a tropical-themed evening.

Guests enjoyed a fun night of heavy hors d’oeuvres, open bar, tropical tunes, an extensive silent auction and a chance to win a trip to Maui.

Youth Challenge provides year-round adapted sports and recreational activities for young people with physical disabilities. These youth participants with disabilities such as cerebral palsy, spina bifida and muscular dystrophy, are paired one-on-one with able-bodied teen volunteers. Together the partners participate in activities like baseball, swimming, skiing, art, ceramics, dance, soccer, rock climbing, kayaking and Paralympic sports. The interaction between participants and volunteers helps to foster friendship, camaraderie and respect among youth of all abilities. Youth Challenge embraces differences and strives to find creative solutions to life’s obstacles.

Funds raised at “Party in Paradise” will be used to grow summer’s “Krazy Kamp” for the youngest children into a year-round opportunity for participants of all ages, their families and teen volunteers.

Youth Challenge has offices in Westlake and Shaker Heights and offers free programming and transportation to participants in a six-county area of Northeast Ohio. STORY BY CYNTHIA SCHUSTER EAKIN/PHOTOGRAPHS BY ERIC EAKIN

Lori Coticchia, Tracy and Peter Dinin, Mary Sue Tanis and Sara Steimle

Dan and Sharon Douglas, Chris and Johanna Garr and Tessa Bender and Abi Dumm

Trish and Fred Martin with Gabby, Karen and Phil Bova

Gene and Marcia Obrock with Stacy and Steve Nock

Justin and Erin Thomas with Chris Hardesty and Dustin Applegate