Giving Gala

Honoring Our Legacy, Embracing Our Future

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.

If you were unable to attend the 2018 Giving Gala but would like to support the Y’s scholarship program, you can make an online donation.

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Stories of Impact

The 2018 Giving Gala’s mission focus was brought to life by three videos that shared YMCA stories of impact. Guests were 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.”

Thank you to our 2018 Giving Gala Committee:

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.

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.


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