Scituate’s Community of Resources for Special Education (CORSE) foundation fundraised almost $19,000 at this year’s gala, with a record breaking 230 people in attendance.
The event was massively successful, said CORSE president Tracy Johnston, and funding will go to a variety of CORSE programming, including social development, academic support, and recreational programs.
“We provide social skills classes, academic tutoring classes and we have a [variety] of recreational programs from sports to cams to specialty programs – like maritime adventures and lose the training wheels program,” she said.
While CORSE has been around since its founding in 2006, and has hosted a gala annually to raise money for its programming, Johnston said this year was perhaps more successful because of its guest honoree – Jen Vitelli.
Vitelli, Scituate’s Director of Recreation, was honored with the COMPASS award, recognizing an individual who’s commitment and dedication to CORSE goes above and beyond.
“Without individuals like Jen, CORSE could not have accomplished all that it has over the past seven years,” CORSE organizers wrote on their website. “Jen personally has made sure that Scituate Recreation has become a partner, hand in hand with CORSE, to assure that not only is community recreation programming available to all children in our community, but that the programs are of the highest quality so that children with special needs can successfully access them, gain skill development, participate fully, form friendships and have fun with their neighbors and friends. Basically, she has helped us allow children with special needs to just feel like any other kid having a great time in a community program!”
According to Johnston, the Gala was perhaps also more successful this year because word is also slowly by surly getting out about the quality of the program.
“I just think a lot of people are just still very interested in supporting CORSE, cause it all goes back to the kids,” she said. “People like to know their money [is going far]; we hardly have any overhead, and they can see the programs. And all the kids in the community participate, so it really is a community-based organization, and people see that.”
With such a successful fundraiser behind them, CORSE organizers are looking ahead to the next event – the North Pole Express.
The organization’s biggest family fundraiser, the event features several trains leaving from Greenbush Station that are transformed into the Polar Express, with elves, cookies, holiday stories, and even a visit from Santa.
"We just finished one and we’re going right into the next!" Johnston said.
The event takes place on Dec. 9, and will have four trains that passengers and their families can sign up on.
Done with the SHORE organization at Scituate High School, the event typically is a big success, Johnston said.
For more information or for ticket sales, visit the event website.