The Greater Joliet Area YMCA raised nearly $140,000 in scholarship funds at the 11th annual Giving Gala held Feb. 24 at the Bolingbrook Golf Club. The event included dinner, auction and live entertainment for 365 guests.
The Greater Joliet Area YMCA has been serving families, regardless of age, income or background, from throughout Will County and its surrounding areas for 90 years. Since its inception, the Giving Gala has raised more than $875,000 to benefit families within those communities, helping to ensure that no one is turned away from the Y due to the inability to pay.
The evening’s mission focus was brought to life by three videos that shared YMCA stories of impact. Guests were then asked to “Raise the Paddle” in an auction-style format to support the Y’s scholarship program. Contributions ranging from $5,000 down to $50 were made, totaling a record-high $50,000 in YMCA scholarships. One featured story was of Patrick, a Morris Community YMCA summer camper and Gala guest who delivered a surprise invocation after the audience viewed a moving video detailing how the Y’s scholarship program provided him with the “Best Summer Ever.”
Oswego’s Randy Miles volunteered his time as the event’s auctioneer. The top auction item was a two-week stay in a Hawaiian condo. After a lively bidding war, the package was auctioned twice, raising a total of $5,000. Other live auction items included a Chicago Entertainment package with “Hamilton” tickets and a Maserati Levante rental provided by Continental Auto Sports, as well as unique Cubs and White Sox experiences that included game tickets, transportation and signed memorabilia. Prior to dinner, guests also had the opportunity to bid on more than 100 silent auction items while enjoying complimentary cocktails and appetizers. The Gold Coast Orchestra gave a dance-inducing performance to end the night.
In the fall of 2019, the Y will host an all-new fundraising event that will lift up its mission and honor YMCA Annual Campaign supporters, while also continuing the Giving Gala’s tradition of excellence. Additional information will be announced at a later date.
This year’s Giving Gala volunteer committee members included: Annie Barrins (Morris), Rob Epley (Plainfield), Kathy Goeken (Shorewood), MaryKay Hrdina (Plainfield), Mark Johnson (Plainfield), Maria Macris (Joliet), Nick Macris (Joliet), Mary Olson (Morris), Kristin Orban (Joliet), Ryan Peterson (Plainfield), Karen Rouse (Plainfield), Adam Underhill (Minooka), Mike Wickkiser (Morris) and Barb Ziegner (Joliet). Senior Development Director Julie Wilkinson and Annual Giving Manager Brittney Halliday provided staff leadership.
CASH RAFFLE SPONSOR
BMO Harris Bank
MOBILE BIDDING SPONSOR
CITGO Lemont Refinery
41 North Contractors LLC
First Midwest Bank
D’Arcy Buick GMC
Law Offices of Samuel J. Erkonen, P.C.
Midland States Bank
Morris Hospital and Healthcare Centers
Plainfield Area Chamber of Commerce
Presence Saint Joseph Medical Center
Hometown National Bank
DeGeus & Associates, Inc
BID PADDLE SPONSOR
Mahoney, Silverman & Cross Law Firm
Rathbun, Cservenyak & Kozol Law Firm
Charles Vincent George Architects
Edward – Elmhurst Health
JP Morgan Chase
Rod Baker Ford
FRIENDS OF THE Y
Friedrich-Jones & Overman-Jones Funeral Homes & Cremation Services
Hamilton & Antonsen
Barvian Realty – Coat Check
Carlson Holmquist-Sayles Funeral Home – Wine Pull
Edward Jones – Check Out
Heartland Bank and Trust – Silver Circle
Laurie Peyla Rambo, Spring Realty – Heads or Tails
Lucas, Thompson & Wise, LLC – Champagne Display
SERVPRO of Joliet – Valet
State Representative Mark Batinick, 97th District – Check-In
IN-KIND MEDIA SPONSORS
Alpha Media- WJOL AM
Morris Herald News
Grundy County Chamber
New Lenox Chamber