With your help, we made our goal!

After months of planning and hours and hours of commitment to a goal of friend and fund raising, our gala was a giant success. And after 50 years of service helping disabled children, and then adults, as well as their families, live better, richer, and fuller lives—there was much to celebrate! We firmly believe that disability is diversity. And having almost 400 people show up to help us honor the legacy and mission makes all the hard work and 24/7 care for 50 years, worth it.

Thank you to all who bought a ticket or a table, watched from home, sponsored the event, volunteered, spread the word, helped to set up and tear down, or simply told their friends about us somewhere along the line. Your advocacy is critical, and your time, talent and treasure is mind blowing!

So, what was our goal? This year we wanted to make $350K, with dreams of raising $400K. Preliminary numbers are figured, and donations keep trickling in, but at this moment we can say we officially did it, WE MET OUR GOAL. This was our single largest event total to date, and we couldn’t do it without all of YOU.

A few highlights:

The 50th anniversary video featuring Karen and Galen Pate, former Executive Director, Kathy LeMay, and brothers Mike and Steve Polski was a beautiful testament to the determination of the founders, the dedication of the staff, and the love of families who know in their hearts that Living Well is a beautiful place to call home.

The Dreammaker videos brilliantly showcased the people who dedicate so much of their time and energy to our mission of providing exceptional services to people living with disabilities. Self-advocate, Denise Anderson; Community Partner Bluestone Physician Services; Volunteers Kathy Heinrickson, and Heidi and Alora Reichow; and Donors Mike and Tina Douglas all personified our mission with their testimonies.

Special guest EseraTuaolo, former Vikings player, Voice contestant and executive chef (he has many talents), brought down the house with a vocal performance of “Rise Up”. Many people commented that his singing was their favorite part of the evening. We adore his advocacy and appreciate all he does for marginalized communities. This guy is walking sunshine, his light shines bright!

We had almost 400 people come celebrate, and several people who call Living Well home joined the festivities as greeters and guests. They laughed, dined, and partied the night away—showing everyone that having a disability does not hamper a social life. Peggy is always the life of a party, Angelina’s creativity shines, and Kevin’s smile lights up a room just like Esera’s. We could tell you about all of the people we serve, but that is going to take several more blogs.

Auction items ranged from a small Raising Canes basket worth $35 that sold for $100to a new to the auction, Dormie Network golf stay and play that sold for a whopping $2300! There was truly something for everyone.

There were also live auction items including a Florida trip that sold TWICE! The donor was in the room and graciously offered a second week in Florida. An e-bike was ridden through the venue and trip to Montana at Erik’s Ranch and Retreats where we will generously share 20% of the winning bid with Erik’s, another nonprofit.

We also had a VIP room for gold sponsors with special appetizers and wine. The room was full of revelers and people catching up and sharing stories. It was a delight to see so many supporters enjoying themselves.

Last, but not least, the incredible music of Good For Gary. They brought the FUN and people were dancing under café lighting and fully enjoying a beautiful summer evening up until the last note was played. We even auctioned off a Steve Vai guitar from the bands stage! In truth, even as the lighting was coming down, people reveled in the celebration.

Thank you to all who helped us celebrate. We made our goal and couldn’t be more excited! If you are interested in helping us get to the stretch goal of $400K, it’s not too late to donate. Use the links below to donate or watch the full program. It was a delight to gather with friends, old and new, and fully celebrate Living Well and the past 50 years of growing advocacy!