Living Well Disability Services is celebrating 50 years this year, which means this year’s Transforming Lives Gala is honoring five decades of advocacy and advancement in disability awareness and inclusion. Help us bring our mission of transforming the lives of people impacted by disabilities through the delivery of exceptional services to life by attending or watching the gala online!

The crew from Congress thanks you for your support!

Our gala has two main goals, to raise money and to build awareness. While we are excited to gather in person after two years of virtual galas, please know watching online is an easy way to support us as well. Dollars raised in person and online will help with expenses not covered by government sources and will fill the gaps in services. Money donated on Friday will open up access to experiences and wellbeing programming. It will also help with costs associated with community activities. And the money will pay for extra nursing or occupational therapy not covered by government funding. The money will have a profound impact on the daily lives of the people we serve, by opening the door to opportunities to get into their communities and enjoy the extras we all too often take for granted.

Karen and Galen Pate.

Our Transforming Lives Gala will feature a heartwarming video featuring one of our founding families, Karen and Galen Pate, as well as Kathy LeMay, the executive director who worked with the organization for 28 of our 50 years. Mike and Steve Polski, brothers who have been with Living Well since the beginning, one who lives here, one who supports him, will also share their journey. The program beautifully tells the story of how Living Well came to be, why the services we provide are essential and need to be exceptional, and why the people we serve deserve the highest level of dedication and support available.

Blast from the past, enjoying a field trip to a farm.

As we all know, the need for quality care has been around for decades and is not going away. The people we serve are not looking for a cure, as their disabilities are varied and often uncurable. Rather, the people who call Living Well home are simply looking to be seen and accepted by the communities they live in. It has taken years to get to where we are, 50 to be exact, and there is still work to be done. But the support of our volunteers, donors, staff, and advocates has helped us move the needle in the direction of inclusion.

After months of planning, and digging through decades of memories, we are almost at the finish line. We have several ways to help us reach our goal of $350K and fully celebrate turning the big 5-0! Take a look at the ways you can support us:

Register online to watch the livestreamed portion of the event. You can register for free or click back on Friday and watch the event live. After Friday the video will be uploaded and available for viewing for months to come.

Bid on auction items. This year we have silent auction items with values from $35 to $3,800. With a minimum bid of $20 you can start the bidding on a Raising Canes Basket. And with a minimum bid of $2,000 you can get things going on a Dormie Network Gold getaway. There is something for everyone.

Buy a Raffle ticket. If you buy a ticket, you are part of a $10K donation! With just 200 tickets to be sold at $50 each, you have better odds of winning. And the prizes are great, too. What can you win? First prize is 150,000 points from Radisson Rewards Americas. Second prize is a $500 Gift Card to Parasole Restaurants (Good at Manny’s, Salut, Pittsburgh Blue, Good Earth, The Living Room & Prohibition) + $200 Gift Card to Let’s Dish. And third Prize is a $100 Gift Card to Hometown Meats.

Purchase a Birdhouse. New this year we have 35 birdhouse hand painted by people served at Living Well. They are instant buys and sell for $25 each. It is an easy price point for people wanting to give, but on a budget. Be sure to check them out.

Donate. And if you are simply in the mood to give, go on the site and hit any dollar amount on our fund a need. We have a big lift this year, with a staffing crisis and ever enlarging living expenses. Each and every dollar counts.

Read. Sign up to be on our mailing list and encourage your friends to do the same. Maybe this isn’t the year to donate, but you are still interested in helping us with advocacy. You will get weekly blogs sent to you, and you will be able to keep up to date on what is happening at Living Well as we look forward to the next 50 years.