More than 860 members of the Roper Xavier Society were transported to Morocco circa 1940 at the fourth annual Donor Appreciation Gala Saturday night at Charleston Place. Complete with mosquito netting, linen-covered tents, and splashes of orange and magenta, the Casablanca-themed affair demonstrated Roper St. Francis’ deep appreciation for the philanthropists who helped raise $19 million over the past year for the privately-funded hospital. Following a lively reception and a lavish dinner, attendees were honored with a presentation from the guest of honor, Tom Brokaw. Brokaw presented “An Anchorman’s Look at the World” to the packed ballroom, which remained in utter silence for nearly an hour. Brokaw described the range of emotions he experienced watching the country react to the work and assassinations of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Bobby Kennedy. In his concluding remarks, Brokaw reaffirmed his belief in the strength of the American people. “We have to get through a very daunting task. I have no idea if President Obama will be able to pull this off,” he said. “It will take the best efforts of everybody.”

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