On Saturday, Feb. 22, the Greater Joliet Area YMCA hosted its seventh annual Giving Gala at the Bolingbrook Golf Club, where hundreds gathered to raise a record breaking $93,000 for the Y’s scholarship fund. This year was the largest turnout in the event’s history with 432 guests who had the opportunity to bid on silent and live auction items that included premiere golf packages, signed sports memorabilia and unique weekend getaways, among other items.
The Greater Joliet Area YMCA has been serving families, regardless of age, income or background, from throughout Will County and its surrounding areas for more than 85 years. Since its inception, the Giving Gala has raised over $300,000 to benefit families within our community, helping to ensure that that no one is turned away from the Y due to the inability to pay.
New to this year’s Giving Gala was the Best of Live Raffle, where, for only $50 a ticket, guests could win a live auction item of their choice without even lifting their bid paddles. Thanks to a generous donation by Bill Jacobs and Cynthia and Christopher Thrall, the winner took home a destination package that included accommodations for 10 people to stay seven nights in an exclusive five bedroom home in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.
This year’s live auction featured 12 other items including One Direction concert tickets and a game-used hockey stick signed by the 2013-14 Chicago Blackhawks. The evening’s top grossing package— courtside tickets to a Chicago Bulls game—was sold for $2,300.
This year’s Giving Gala volunteer committee was co-chaired by Margie Bonuchi (Plainfield) and Tim Stetenfeld (Plainfield). Committee members included: Fiona Alston (Oswego), Judy Avery (Plainfield), Kathy Blessent (Plainfield), Rob Epley (Plainfield), Mark Griglione (Shorewood), Kathy Kazmar (Plainfield), Steve Leclair (Naperville), Maria Macris (Joliet), Nick Macris (Joliet), Victoria Matway (Plainfield), Diane Racich (Plainfield), Greg Schaefer (Minooka) and Marge Watts (Plainfield).
Elite Sponsors of the 2014 Giving Gala included: Adventist Plainfield Medical Campus, Ahoyt Family Dental, Bart Homes, Inc., Bill Jacobs Auto, Roger and Margie Bonuchi, Brent Hassert Consulting, LLC, Caterpillar Inc., Central Steel & Wire Company and Ron & Kathy Kazmar, CITGO Petroleum Corporation – Lemont Refinery, Continental Audi of Naperville, D’Arcy Buick GMC, Edward Hospital & Health Services, Edward Jones – Office of Tim Stetenfeld, First Community Financial Bank, First Midwest Bank, Friedrich-Jones & Overman-Jones Funeral Homes & Cremation Services, Heartland Bank and Trust Company, Hometown National Bank, L. DeGeus & Associates Inc, Northern Insurance Service, Ltd., Plainfield Area Chamber of Commerce, Rathbun, Cservenyak & Kozol, LLC, and Rousonelos Lean Pork Producer LLC.