A Night for the Record Books
After selling out two weeks beforehand, the Greater Joliet Area YMCA’s Giving Gala welcomed a record-setting 500 guests into the Bolingbrook Golf Club on Saturday, February 28. By night’s end, a whopping $140,000 was raised—the most in the event’s eight year-history. Those in attendance were not only treated to an elegant dinner and top-notch entertainment, but were also invited to bid on a number of silent and live auction items, including signed sports memorabilia, exclusive getaways and premiere golf packages.
The Greater Joliet Area YMCA has been serving families, regardless of age, income or background, from throughout Will County and its surrounding areas for more than 85 years. Since its inception, the Giving Gala has raised more than $450,000 to benefit families within our community, helping to ensure that that no one is turned away from the Y due to the inability to pay.
For the second consecutive year, the Gala featured a “Best of Live” Raffle, where, for only $50 a ticket, guests could win a live auction item of their choice without even lifting their bid paddles. This year’s winner took home a destination package that included a two-week stay in a beautiful condo on the Big Island of Hawaii. Fred and Maria Bliznick, the generous donors of the Hawaii package, subsequently donated an additional two-week package, which was then auctioned for $4,000.
Twelve more live auction items were up for bid, including a foursome of tickets to this summer’s Taylor Swift concert and a hockey stick signed by the 2014-15 Chicago Blackhawks, the latter of which was also sold for $4,000, making it the top-grossing item (along with the Hawaii package).
The evening also included a tribute to Giving Gala co-chair, Tim Stetenfeld, who unexpectedly passed away just weeks earlier. A portion of the funds raised at the 2015 Giving Gala will benefit the Timothy M. Stetenfeld Memorial Fund, which was established to ensure that Mr. Stetenfeld’s legacy will live on for generations to come through YMCA programming.
This year’s Giving Gala volunteer committee was co-chaired by Margie Bonuchi (Plainfield) and Tim Stetenfeld (Plainfield). Committee members included: Fiona Alston (Oswego), Judy Avery (Plainfield), Kathy Blessent (Plainfield), Lori Carlson (Plainfield), Kelly Eagan (Naperville), Rob Epley (Plainfield), Kathy Kazmar (Plainfield), Steve Leclair (Naperville), Maria Macris (Joliet), Nick Macris (Joliet), Victoria Matway (Plainfield), Julie Mellencamp (Plainfield), Mary Olson (Morris), Greg Schaefer (Minooka) and Marge Watts (Plainfield).
Elite Sponsors of the 2015 Giving Gala included:
Central Steel & Wire Company and Ron & Kathy Kazmar
Rousonelos Lean Pork Producer LLC
CASH RAFFLE SPONSOR & DIAMOND SPONSOR
Edward Jones – Office of Tim Stetenfeld
Bill Jacobs Auto
BMO Financial Group
Continental Audi of Naperville
Edward – Elmhurst Healthcare
First Community Financial Bank
First Midwest Bank
Heartland Bank and Trust Company
Hometown National Bank
Midland States Bank
Plainfield Area Chamber of Commerce
Rod Baker Ford
BID PADDLE SPONSOR
Mahoney, Silverman & Cross Law Firm
Ahoyt Family Dental
Roger and Margie Bonuchi
Brent Hassert Consulting, LLC
Bridgeview Bank Group
D’Arcy Buick GMC
Friedrich-Jones & Overman-Jones Funeral Home & Cremation Services
Joliet Bank and Trust, A Branch of Old Plank Trail Community Bank
DeGeus & Associates, Inc.
Rathbun, Czervenyak & Kozol, LLC
The Summit Center for Mental Health
The ninth annual Giving Gala will be held on Saturday, February 27, 2016. For more information about the Giving Gala or if you’re interested in joining the Giving Gala Planning Committee, please contact Carolyn Hamilton at [email protected].