Saratogians poured into Prime on Friday night for the YMCA’s Annual Campaign Party, so eager to show their support that a crowd began forming nearly half an hour before the event officially began. In it’s second year, this newly revamped campaign party has taken off, led by Co-Chairs Jennifer Perry and Alysa Arnold and a fabulous team of volunteers and YMCA staff.
Upon arriving at Saratoga National, guests popped into the Smile Booth Photo Lounge for pictures before heading into the ballroom, where Jen and Alysa, looking fresh faced and gorgeous in cocktail dresses, greeted guests. Sean Andrews, the YMCA’s new CEO was alongside them, welcoming guests as they made their way into the party to the sounds of The Garland Nelson Ensemble, whose music is the perfect way to kick off a Friday night. ON hand for the party were Mike and Linda Toohey, Susan and Bill Dake, Charles Wait, Jr., Gary Dake and Aimee Taylor, Brian and Heather Straughter, Susan Halstead and Andy and Kathleen Fyfe, mingling in the crowd of over 200 people. Sipping drinks and nibbling on delicious food from Prime (the mini Cuban sandwiches and mashed potato bar were among our favorites) we spotted Martha and Jason MacGregor, Elaine and Jeff Vukelic, Eric Snell, Beth Alexander, Erica and Scott Fuller, Allison and David Meyers and Toby and Cara Milde.
As the party got underway, Jen and Alysa took the stage to welcome the crowd and introduce Sean Andrews, who recognized the evening’s major sponsors, The Adirondack Trust Company, Fort Miller Group and New Country Motor Car Group as well as the efforts of the event committee. He also detailed the YMCA’s huge reach in the community, having served 40,000 people in 2015, including 8,000 children and the importance of the Annual Campaign, which provides the revenue to support their scholarship program. He described his job as ‘the best in the world’ as he is able to watch the impact the YMCA has on people’s lives in the community and went on to introduce a video profiling three members of the YMCA’s community who have both been impacted by the Y and given back to it. Watching the stories of a Donald, a teen leader, Mark, a cancer survivor and Livestrong coach and Helen, a participant in the intergenerational program in the YMCA’s early childhood initiative were a wonderful way to illustrate the significance of the evening and continued support for all the YMCA does in Saratoga. The presentation concluded after a large round of applause from attendeees including Brian and Katy Green, Skip and Colleen Carlson, Chris and Scotty Harris and Dominick and Christine Marchesiello. Guests were eagerly perusing the silent auction table and enjoying a wine pull, which raised $1700 by offering guests a chance to win bottles of wine with values up to $100. Over at the silent auction table Tim Provost snatched up a week trip to Fort Meyers donated by Nancy Trimbur and Chris and Lisa Keiper were silent auction rock stars, taking home 6 different items.
Organizers were delighted to report that the evening raised over $60,000 with Jen Perry telling us, “We are so grateful to the sponsors, auction donors, and everyone for attending and supporting the Y's scholarship campaign. Our fantastic committee and Y staff worked tirelessly to ensure the evening went off without a hitch” with COO Kelly Armer adding, “With over 200 guests in attendance, it really shows the support from the community towards the YMCA’s mission of welcoming all members, regardless of their ability to pay. After playing the video of testimonials from Y program participants the attendees were truly moved. For me, it is the impact on the community, that is very rewarding!”