It was truly a night to remember as a record-setting crowd of nearly 400 area residents helped the Greater Joliet Area YMCA raise more than $68,000 at its sixth annual Giving Gala on Saturday, February 23, at the Bolingbrook Golf Club. Funds raised from the annual event benefit the Y’s scholarship fund, helping to ensure that no one is turned away from the Joliet-based organization due to the inability to pay.
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 84 years. As one of the nation’s leading nonprofits, the Y is strengthening communities through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. Since its inception, the Giving Gala has raised nearly $300,000 to benefit families within our community.
One of the area’s premier fundraising events, the sixth annual Giving Gala was truly a glamorous evening. An elegantly decorated ballroom set the stage for the evening’s festivities, which included cocktails, dinner and an exciting live auction led by Auctioneer John Knudson. Guests also placed their bids on wonderful silent auction items and enjoyed live entertainment provided by the Connie and Johnny Jazz Combo and the Gold Coast Orchestra.
This year’s live auction netted $15,000 as attendees bid on weekend getaways, diamond jewelry and a high-speed experience at Joliet’s Autobahn Country Club. The top-grossing items from this year’s live auction included a day trip for eight on a private 56-foot Carver Yacht on beautiful Lake Michigan and Blackhawks tickets.
This year’s YMCA Giving Gala was co-chaired by Robert Epley (Plainfield) and Victoria Matway (Plainfield). Committee members included: Fiona Alston (Oswego), Judy Avery (Plainfield), Maryl Betzwiser (Yorkville), Kathy Blessent (Plainfield), Margie Bonuchi (Plainfield), Georgia Brissa (Plainfield), Mark Griglione (Shorewood), Kathy Kazmar (Plainfield), Cathy Kuchenbecker (Plainfield), Maureen MacDonald-Stein (Shorewood), Maria Macris (Joliet), Nick Macris (Joliet), Meghan Moreno (Shorewood), Mike Noonan (Joliet), Chris Parker (Joliet), Diane Racich (Plainfield), Gina Schroeder (Plainfield), Tami Sender (Channahon) and Tim Stetenfeld (Plainfield).
Elite sponsors for this year’s Giving Gala included Central Steel & Wire Company; Ron & Kathy Kazmar; CITGO Petroleum Corporation; Continental Audi of Naperville; Edward Hospital; First Midwest Bank; Plainfield Area Chamber of Commerce; Star 96.7; and Wells Fargo Bank, N.A.
Director of Marketing & Community Relations
GREATER JOLIET AREA YMCA