News from Assistance League of Indianapolis
Attendees took a whimsical journey without leaving town during Assistance League® of Indianapolis’ 2016 Star Gala, “Around the World in 80 Days.” Held April 16th, at the beautiful JW Marriott in Indianapolis, the evening was packed with fun for all participants. Besides being the organization’s largest fundraiser, this yearly event is also an occasion to honor and celebrate the school systems, businesses, foundations and trusts that support Assistance League.
This year, One America Financial Partners, Inc. was the recipient of the Star Gala Award. When presenting the honor, Grant Chairman Carol Valentine voiced the organization’s appreciation of the financial support the company has given Assistance League since 2005.The honor was accepted by Scott Davison, CEO.
Other notables at the event were: Indianapolis Public Schools (IPS) Superintendent Dr. Lewis D. Ferebee and his wife Dr. Edye Ferebee; Ramona Adams, Rotary Foundation Indianapolis; Lee Ann Kwiatkowski, Assistant to the Superintendent, Warren Township; David Hillman, Program Director, Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust; and Dorothea Genetos, Director, Shaw-Burckhardt-Brenner Foundation, Inc. Advisory Council member Kathleen Hart, an Indianapolis attorney, was also present as were several representatives from Hunt Construction Group, an AECOM Company.
Guests began to enjoy the party as soon as they entered the Grand Ballroom. After picking up nametags at the registration table, guests began bidding on the varied silent auction items such as sports memorabilia, local attraction packages, and even super items such as use of a villa in Provence France. While they monitored the status of their bids, attendees enjoyed passed hors d’oeuvres, wine donated by Monarch Beverage Company, and the evening’s signature drink “Up, Up, and Away”. Available for purchase were 50/50 and Gift Card Tower raffle tickets. In addition, participants could try their luck at the wine pull and get a complimentary photo taken in the facade of a hot air balloon.
As guests sat down to dinner, they were charmed by the beautifully decorated room and the colorful images on two huge television screens. Assistance League President Patricia Johnson welcomed everyone by speaking about Assistance League’s mission and informing attendees that 90 cents of every dollar the organization spends is returned to the community through one of its four philanthropic programs. She specified, “Donations from the Star Gala make such an impact by providing children with clothes that they need to attend school, give a grieving or sick child or adult a teddy bear to hug, by letting assault victims know someone cares by providing for them new warm clothing and by offering friendship to a lonely adult. Attendees presence and participation in the evening’s various activities help to generate funds needed to continue our efforts to help those in need in our community.”
Next, event Co-Chairmen Sharon Gleason and Dorian Poole introduced the Mistress of Ceremonies, local media personality Marianne Lyles from CBS affiliate Channel 4 morning news. Dr. Frank Beard, Senior Pastor of Castleton United Methodist Church, led the invocation. Following dinner, Jane Vawter presented the Fund-A-Cause video which explains the philanthropic programs of Assistance League and the positive impact they have on the community. A lively action followed as auctioneer Michael Mensendiek skillfully led the live bidding on items ranging from: vacation packages in Phoenix and Hilton Head; Dinner for eight made by Chef Tony Hanslits; to sports offerings such as a signed Andrew Luck Jersey and Lucas Oil Stadium suite tickets.
The evening concluded with music from violinist Colin Matthews. As guests left, they knew that besides attending a wonderful party, they also enabled Assistance League of Indianapolis to continue its mission of caring and commitment to the Indianapolis community through the organization’s philanthropic programs.
The wonderful event would not have been possible without the hard work of event Co-chairmen Sharon Gleason and Dorian Poole together with their sub-committee chairmen: Cashier/Check out, Mary Reid; Check-In, Leslie Pascoe; Decorations, Rose Conrad; Donor Acknowledgement, Nancy Bennett; Games, Karen Snider; Invitations/Program, Kathy Detzler; Live Auction, Barb Hammer; Photography, Annette Suggs; PR, Jane Edington, Jane Vawter, and Joanne Wallis; Qtego, Beth Lammers; Reservations, Andrea Arbore and Linda Buckner; Set-up / Tear Down, Rosy Crowley; Silent Auction, Laura Williams; Solicitations, Cindy Potterack and Kathy Wylam; and Treasurer, Ellen Bernstein.
Click HERE to view photos of the event.