Annual Gala Honored Loyal Supporters and Raised $600,000 for Services - Penn-Mar

Annual Gala Honored Loyal Supporters and Raised $600,000 for Services

Posted on March 13, 2024

By Jackie Summers, Penn-Mar Human Services Senior Director of Development
A woman smiling talking to a man at a formal black tie event.

Jackie Summers at the 2024 Gala.

I’m finally catching my breath from the year-long planning of Penn-Mar’s 32nd Annual Gala. Yet again, it was so heartwarming to experience the magnificence of the event and its impact on all who attended.

As the event planner, I am so grateful to our volunteers who played such a big part in helping us raise over $600,000 and counting in just one evening!

And it never gets old for me to see first time Gala attendees marvel at the spectacle before them, from the moment they walk in the door to the last dance at midnight.

Our March 2nd Gala featured gourmet tastings, crafted cocktails, hand-selected wines, and our ever-popular oyster bar.

Due to the closure of our long-time venue the Delta Hotel by Marriott Hunt Valley, we moved this year’s event to the gorgeous, new Marriott Owings Mill Metro Centre, where 500 guests could peruse our Silent Auction tables and enjoy a delicious dinner, honoree presentations, Special Appeal, and Live Auction in the Ballroom. Many of the partygoers even had energy left to pack the dance floor until the band played their final note!

Our Live Auction featuring vacation homes, Bruce Springsteen tickets, jewelry, premium liquors, and a lunch with football great Ozzie Newsome, brought in a record-breaking $75,000! Contributing to that were two bids for a Waterfront Home in the Adirondacks that totaled $40,000.

Our Gala provides the much-needed funds to support adults with intellectual disabilities to live their best lives. As part of this year’s Special Appeal, our President and CEO, Greg Miller, introduced a beautiful video featuring a number of people we support who spoke about the services they receive at Penn-Mar and how they empower them to live fulfilling, independent lives. 

The Special Appeal was once again focused on raising funds for Penn-Mar’s Career Ladders Program which provides training, certification, and increased wages for many of the Direct Support Professionals (DSPs) who are providing the person-centered supports that make those lives possible.

For 43 years Penn-Mar has been providing life-changing programs and services to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities but none of that would be possible without the generous support of our Board, Donors, and Sponsors.

To recognize exceptional contributions, Greg presented the newly named Jonathan R. Kinsley Impact Award to Timothy Chase, Chairman and co-founder of WMS Partners, a dedicated champion who has served on the Penn-Mar Human Services Board and is the past chair of the organization’s Foundation Board.

Tim also co-chaired the Business and Foundation’s Division of last year’s Building Bold Futures Capital Campaign and continues to serve as chair of our Foundation Investment Committee. The award was in appreciation for his financial and strategic direction that has helped shape our organization for so many years under his leadership.

This year’s Distinguished Humanitarian Award recipients were Joe and Kris Crosswhite, humble award recipients who spoke eloquently about their commitment to Penn-Mar’s mission.

Joe started at M&T Bank some 40 years ago and retired in 2023 as Senior Executive Vice President with its Commercial Bank. When he came to York in 1997, he immersed himself in the community, supporting the civic sector for York County and beyond and serving on over a dozen non-profit boards. Joe has always believed in the notion that a business or organization succeeds only to the extent that the communities in which they serve also succeed.

Kris grew up in West Baltimore, neighbor to a physically and intellectually disabled boy. This experience helped her learn that people with disabilities who are integrated into communities enrich those communities in many ways. A retired lawyer who started her own litigation firm, Crosswhite, Limbrick & Sinclair, Kris has served on Penn-Mar’s Board for many years and is currently Secretary.

If you missed this year’s event, don’t worry. You can plan to join us at the 33rd Annual Gala event on March 1, 2025. We hope to see you there!

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