It appears time is ever moving forward, as here we are in mid-January with the holidays in the rearview mirror. People are hitting the gym, eating more veggies, and collectively creating goals both personally and professionally to make 2024 the best year it can be.

Sneak Peak of the 2024 gala artwork, artist Caroline lives at Lyndale.

Over at Living Well we have so much to look forward to this year. Close to the top of the list, and a whole lot of fun, is the Living Well Gala. Set for Friday, September 20, the Gala is our signature event, and we are super excited to gather for this incredible friend and fund raiser once again. But before we get ahead of ourselves, we would love to invite more advocates to be a part of our Gala Committee.

AJ, 2023 Gala Co-Chair and Board Member, Kevin Reilly, and Peggy, 2023 Self Advocate Dreammaker Award Winner.

What is involved? First and foremost, we are looking for energetic and creative people who are up for a fun time, who are willing to advocate for Living Well simply by telling their networks all about the incredible work we do. We ask Gala Committee Members to help solicit donations for the Gala Silent Auction. This can be done in person, via email, or within your friend group. With the help of our Committee, we often have a truly unique and varied selection of items up for bid.

Gala Committee Members also connect us to potential sponsors. Employers and families are often looking for meaningful ways to support their staff and loved ones, and when someone is passionate about a cause and involved with an organization, it is amazing what can happen.

Committee Members, Marissa, Julia, Tina, Carole Lee and Sally.

Our committee also volunteers the day or night of the event. Members help to set up the auction, games, table centerpieces, and whatever is needed to get things to go smoothly. And the really amazing one’s help with clean up—because after a really great party there is much to be packed up and taken home.

Sydney Polski with her Dad, Steve, and Uncle, Mike.

It is a fun committee and a special event to support. But above all else, the work will hopefully bring you joy. Sydney Polski, a lifelong Living Well advocate joined the committee for the first time in 2023. Sydney’s uncle was the second person to move into the original location back when we opened in 1972. Her dad, Steve, is a huge advocate, and she has been a part of our mission since birth and visited her entire lifetime. She had a blast on the committee last year, and had this to say about her experience, “I really appreciated that I got to work with a lot of people that are passionate about the same things I am passionate about.” Sydney was blown away by how many people reached out privately after last year’s gala and told her how much her advocacy meant to them. Adding, “I found out many people have someone with a disability in their family, or friend group, and it just made it clear that the impact of advocacy is widespread. I didn’t even realize how many people I knew were also advocates.”

You don’t have to be a born advocate. Having a kind heart and an interest in showing the world that disability is diversity and inclusion is essential, is all it takes. And who knows, you might just inspire someone to be of service to others in the process.

 

Interested in joining the gala committee? Email Heather at heather.heier@livingwell.org. Interested in sponsoring? Contact Jamee at jamee.ying@livingwell.org. 

 

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