The Chamber of Commerce of Eastern Connecticut Foundation is preparing for its annual Holiday Gala, one of the region’s premier fundraising efforts that since 2002 has raised $768,000 to benefit children in eastern Connecticut.
Lou Ziegler, the Chamber Foundation board chair, has high hopes for a successful event on December 7th at Mohegan Sun in Uncasville. “We had a phenomenal experience last year and we are working hard to match or exceed that,” Ziegler said. “We were able to provide $86,200 in grants to 21 local organizations and I imagine the need will be just as great this year. With the continued support of Mohegan Sun and all of our sponsors, we are looking forward to an exciting, fun-filled evening."
The program begins at 5:30 p.m. in the Uncas Ballroom with a lavish champagne and hors d’oeuvres reception and a silent auction, followed by a live auction with vibrant veteran auctioneer Sam Piotrkowski and emcee Kevin Hogan of WFSB 3 Connecticut. As in past years, numerous items will be up for bid. Among them will be Red Sox-Yankee tickets, VIP tickets to the Daily Show with Jon Stewart, passes to Disney World, a guitar signed by Reba McEntire, and a plethora of gift baskets and certificates.
Ziegler pointed out that many local charity groups benefited from last year’s Gala and he hopes to be able to continue to support those who apply for grants early in the new year. “Over the years, we have supported many good groups,” he said, “and with the continued generous support of people in our region, we will continue doing that.”
Grant recipients last year included The Tommy Toy Fund, Covenant Shelter, Connecticut Adoption, United Way, High Hopes Therapeutic Riding Center, St. Vincent DePaul, MASH, and many others.
Tony Sheridan, president and CEO of the Chamber of Commerce of Eastern Connecticut, said the support for groups that work with children is an important effort.
“We are looking forward to a great evening where individuals and companies come together in the name of supporting our region’s young people and have fun while doing it,” he said. “Tickets are already starting to go, so I would urge anyone interested in attending to get theirs soon.”
To learn more, visit www.chamberECT.com and click on Programs and Events of the Holiday Gala homepage banner.