Wishes really do come true! The money raised at the December 3, 2015 Holiday Luncheon & Style Show, “Wondrous Winter Wishes” will enable Assistance League® of Indianapolis to continue their mission of caring and commitment to Indianapolis area children and adults. The generosity of attendees at the event will have far reaching effects whether the funds go towards an ALI Bear given to a child suffering from trauma; a birthday present received by a senior citizen from ALI Friends; Assault Survivor Kit® clothing accepted by a crime victim; new school clothes selected from Operation School Bell® as well as handed out from Beyond the Bell; or athletic shoes placed on a student’s feet at Shoes: a Division of Operation School Bell®.
The event, held at the Ritz Charles in Carmel, was an occasion filled with fun and friendship as 530 members and guests enjoyed the beautifully decorated room while partaking in several fun activities. Participants placed bids on the silent auction’s offerings of festive gift baskets with contents ranging from children’s items to college logo objects, holiday baked goods, gift cards, and even premium bottles of wine in lovely seasonal bags. There was also a “Wine Pull” where a random cork purchased from a basket was matched up with a mystery wine to take home. Raffle tickets were available for a sparkling tree decorated with over $500 worth of local area business and restaurant gift cards which were donated by Service Plus Heating and Cooling in Carmel. The Secret Ingredient Boutique Indianapolis and Kits & Kaboodle Classic Toys Carmel set up mini stores which allowed for some merry holiday shopping for clothing, accessories, games, and toys. Both the Assistance League cookbook, Assistance in the Kitchen, and the gorgeous white poinsettia plants which decorated the room were for sale as well.
As the luncheon began, Holiday Luncheon Chairmen Jo Craig and Jane Williams extended a warm welcome to all. Representatives from businesses and charitable foundations that support Assistance League were recognized by Patty Johnson, President. In attendance were Danielle Biederman, Susan Bonner, Kendra Fauth-Edwards, Jill Hudson, and Kelly Jones from CarDon & Associates, the premier community sponsor of the event. Also on hand were Pam McNealy and Amber Pirtle from Hunt Construction Group, an AECOM Company as well as Jill Hall from Repro Graphix, Inc. who donated signage for the event. Other valuable community partners present were: Beth Casselman, Mary Ellen Moore, Erin Trisler, and Estherre Wohlenhaus from The Clowes Fund; Dorothea Genetos and Kathy Jenkins of the Shaw-Burckhardt-Brenner Foundation; Pat Alvis and Marjorie Wilkerson from Margaret Cole Russell Foundation; and Jacquie Winters from Sertoma Club of Broad Ripple. Advisory Council members Billie Breaux, Kathleen Hart, and Kelly Young were also present.
Carol Valentine, Chairman of Grants, announced two recent grants awarded to Assistance League. Ramona Banks and Kelly Tingle from the Indianapolis Rotary Foundation announced that Assistance League has been awarded a $10,000 grant. David Hillman, Lee Ann Hoy, and Jeff Small from the Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust presented Assistance League with a $20,000 check.
During the Fund-a-Cause presentation, a recently updated video highlighting Assistance League’s outreach to the Indianapolis community was introduced by Patty McGoff, Vice President Philanthropic Programs. She explained how grateful the organization is for the many caring individuals who continue to support these needed programs. In addition, she described the gratitude expressed by the agencies Assistance League aids.
The Secret Ingredient fashion show delighted members and their guests as they viewed models from the agencies, senior facilities, and schools that Assistance League serves through its philanthropic programs. Representing ALI Bears was Jill Pierce, Volunteer Coordinator of Brooke’s Place. Marketing Manager Joanna Low and Caregiver Program Manager, Candace Preston, both of Joy’s House, modeled on behalf of ALI Friends. Involved with both Assault Survivor Kits and ALI Bears were Holly Renz, Program Director of Madison County Sexual Assault Treatment Center and Kelsie Scaringe from IU Health Methodist Hospital, Center of Hope. Models who are involved with Operation School Bell were: Abigail Borders, Parent Involvement Educator in IPS; Angela Johnson, Parent Involvement Educator in IPS; Tracy Pruitt, Coordinator of Support Services for IPS; and Janie Smith, Dean of Students for Lakeside Elementary in the Metropolitan School District of Warren Township.
The Holiday Luncheon Steering Committee built a joy filled bond of camaraderie while planning the event. The committee was comprised of: Jo Craig and Jane Williams, Chairmen; Jane Edington, Decorations; Nancy Bennett and Margie Graham, Silent Auction; Ellen Bernstein and Karen Marie Taylor, Auction Tally; Kathy Detzler, Invitations; Sandy Speer, Models; Julie Yates, Publicity; Judy Tomke, Reservations; Nancy Farris, Programs; Patty McGoff, Fund-a-Cause; Barb Zurek, Gift Card Raffle Tree; and Susan Kwiatkowski, Vice President Resource Development. Although this fundraiser is over for another year, all who attended can know that they have played a part in helping Assistance League continue their spirit of caring and commitment in the Indianapolis community.