The following was submitted by Emily O'Brien, spokeswoman for the YMCA of the North Shore:
More than 650 area residents helped the YMCA of the North Shore raise over $400,000 at its 14th annual gala event on November 3 at the Danvers Doubletree by Hilton. The money raised supports the Y's financial assistance fund that gives over 9,500 deserving kids, adults, and families subsidized Y programs and services.
In 2012, the YMCA of the North Shore will award, with the help of generous donors, over $2.5 million in financial assistance.
This year's "Mad Men" themed event featured a beautifully decorated ballroom that set the stage for the evening's festivities, including a spirited silent auction, exciting live auction led by Rick Doucette of the Cape Ann YMCA, as well as dinner and dancing.
"This year's gala was a record-setting success," said Beth Francis, chief development officer of the YMCA of the North Shore. "Before the doors even opened we had raised more than $140,000 from 30 corporate sponsors. It set the tone for an amazing night that raises money for a great cause."
The live auction netted more than $30,000 as guests bid on weekend getaways, sports tickets and an African safari adventure. One of the most memorable events of the auction was a flurry of bidder paddles raised for Y camp scholarships. Bidders' generosity resulted in nearly $150,000 to send kids to camp.
Jack Meany, CEO of the YMCA of the North Shore, spoke to the crowd about why it's so important that we work together to help our neighbors in need.
"With your ongoing support, we can continue to make positive change in our community as we strengthen youth development, healthy living, and social responsibility," Meany said.
This year's volunteer Gala committee was cochaired by Brian and Kathy Hines of Manchester, and supported by Maryanne and Bob Bland, Kevin and Rosemarie Bottomley, Amy and Don Bowen, Stacy DeScenza, Dr. John and Joy Fisher, Joan and David Fix, Ro and Hollis French, Bill and Ann Leaver, Debbie and Jeff Loeb, Lynn Lindsey, Rob and Rachel Lutts, Michelle and Brian McCarthy, Dr. Maura McGrane, Greg and Maggie Meahl, Betsy and Peter Merry, Wendy and Peter Richardson, Mary and Tom Spittle, Kathy and Andy Sweetland, Carol and Jim Townsend, and Nancy and Jim Warner.
Gold sponsors included Brooks Brothers, Danversbank Charitable Foundation, Groom Construction, Institution for Savings, Pepsico, Shatswell/MacLeod, and Windover Construction.
To view silver, bronze and friend sponsors, visit northshoreymca.org.