The sudden impact of the Coronavirus has made it hard to imagine life as we once knew it. But as recently as March 7th we were focused on presenting our 28th Annual Black Tie Gala.
Proceeds from this signature fundraising event are essential for helping us to continually enhance our supports for nearly 600 adults with intellectual disabilities.
We feel so fortunate, and grateful, that we were able to hold our event this year before countless worthwhile causes like ours were abruptly cancelled.
This year’s event attracted a record number of major supporters who provided us with over $300,000 in sponsorship donations before our 600 guests even arrived at Delta Hotels by Marriott. Adding to our crowd was the presence of our families and supporters from Change, Inc., an organization that merged with Penn-Mar in January.
The evening’s festivities again included a Silent Auction — showcasing 123 items from clothing to experiences — and a Live Auction of six once-in-a-lifetime offerings that included a rare bottle of Bourbon, vacations and wine tastings in Colorado and California, a golf outing at one of the top 100 golf courses in the U.S., a yellow and white diamond ring and the NFL’s MVP Lamar Jackson sports memorabilia.
Together these two auctions raised an additional $129,000.
One of the dramatic highlights of the evening was our Special Appeal which provided guests with a unique opportunity to donate directly to the mission of Penn-Mar in support of innovative programming not funded by the government.
The appeal was an emotional one, made in memory of Patty Larrick, who recently passed away.
Patty was one of the first people to be supported by Penn-Mar and one of the first to be hired in the community. She worked for KELLY Benefits for over 30 years.
Patty’s story spoke so eloquently to our organization’s success and the audience acknowledged the value of our work by donating a record-breaking $264,000.
All told, proceeds from attendance and all of the Gala fundraising efforts helped us raise $775,000 in just a single evening!
So many people contribute to the success of Penn-Mar and we were delighted to honor a few of them that evening with two very special awards.
Our Distinguished Humanitarian Award was presented to the Kelly family, Senator Frank and Janet Kelly were joined on stage with three of their four sons: Frank Kelly III, John Kelly, and David. Their son Bryan was leading his Calvert Hall College High School Lacrosse team in a championship tournament in North Carolina.
Our honorees have dedicated their lives to servant leadership, making generous contributions to countless nonprofits, schools, hospitals and Christian and youth-focused programs.
They grew their small health and life insurance business into one of the nation’s largest and fastest-growing providers of benefits administration and technology, broker and consulting services, and payroll and workforce management solutions, serving some 10,000 corporate clients. All four Kelly sons work in the business.
Our Impact Award, recognizing volunteers who have had a lasting impact on our mission, was presented to longtime Penn-Mar supporters, Jill and Steve Golueke.
This extraordinary couple have been involved with our Gala for 20 years. Jill served as Co-Chair of the event for nearly 15 years and is on both the Human Services and Foundation Boards for Penn-Mar and is Secretary of the Foundation Board.
Steve’s business generously provides the beverage tables for the gala. And over the years, both he and Jill have been amazing ambassadors for Penn-Mar and the people we support, connecting many new friends to Penn-Mar.
It goes without saying that none of this would have been possible without the contributions of Gala Chair Wendy Gallo, Auction Chair Stephanie Aspey and our amazing team of volunteers who worked tirelessly behind the scenes to ensure the event would be a huge success!
Our thanks to them and all who continue to support our Gala and important mission.