The Salem News
---- — BEVERLY — A Gloucester man helped push more than 800 residents to part with $34,000 at a live auction to benefit the YMCA of the North Shore, of which the Cape Ann YMCA is a part.
The spirited auction, led by Rick Doucette of the Cape Ann YMCA, was part of the 15th annual gala event at the Danvers Doubletree by Hilton that raised a half-million dollars for the regional Y.
This year’s event set a record for fundraising for the Y and, according to CEO Jack Meany, it is happening in the nick of time.
“Our Y provides financial assistance to more than 12,500 deserving kids, adults and families on the North Shore, and the need continues to grow.” Meany said. “In 2013, the YMCA of the North Shore will award, with the help of generous donors, over $2.7 million in financial assistance. ... We need this significant fundraising growth in order to do more for more people.”
“Our work in the community calls for greater innovative teen services, a significant commitment to closing the achievement gap for elementary school children, and health initiatives that fight childhood obesity and chronic diseases in adults,” Meany said. “The money raised through our gala event will directly impact our North Shore communities.”
This year’s theme, “Donors Rock the Y,” was a classic-rock tribute honoring donors and supporters who continue to help the local YMCA and its mission.
“This year’s gala was a huge success,” said Beth Francis, chief development officer of the YMCA of the North Shore. “Our online auction, as well as our generous corporate sponsorships, enabled us to raise more than $250,000 before we even opened the doors!”
Guests bid on weekend getaways, sports tickets and an African safari adventure during the live auction.
One of the most exciting moments of the evening was the flurry of bids for Y camp scholarships. Guests stepped up to the plate and raised more than $200,000 to send kids to Y camps.
This year’s volunteer committee was co-chaired by Amy and Don Bowen and supported by Annie and Tod Brainard, Cindy and Ken Cavallaro, Liz and Lee Dellicker, Stacey DeScenza, Joan and David Fix, Ro and Hollis French, Phil Gillespie, Heidi and Trevor Hanson, Kathy and Brian Hines, Courtney and Mark Kagan, Ann and Bill Leaver, Lynn Lindsey, Bob Moffett, Debbie and Jeff Loeb, Rachel and Rob Lutts, Michelle and Brian McCarthy, Maura McGrane and Bob Eastman, Betsy and Peter Merry, Wendy and Peter Richardson, Marge and Rich Robb, Mary and Tom Spittle, Carol and Jim Townsend, and Nancy and Jim Warner.
Sponsors included People’s United Bank, Blue Vase Marketing, Institution for Savings, and Addison Gilbert and Beverly hospitals, Meridian Associates, Pepsico, Groom Construction, Shatswell, MacLeod & Company P.C., Energi Inc., Seaboard Products, Windover Construction and Eastern Bank.