The Valerie Fund's Thanksgiving Ball Gala has been the highlight of the organization's fall/winter fundraising season and after 26 years, a change in venue set the tone for an all-out effort to dazzle guests. Close to 350 guests came to the beautiful facility, The Grove in Cedar Grove, NJ and soon realized they were a part of the most memorable evening to date! Towering autumn centerpieces filled the tables in the massive ballroom. But the room couldn't contain the enthusiasm and generosity of the guests in response to the honoree speeches and interactions with our patient ambassadors.
Before the lineup of speakers took to the podium Valerie Fund patient, Olivia introduced the evening's 15 ambassadors. Ranging in age from six to 19, each current or former Valerie Fund patient spoke a little bit about themselves and mingled with guests in the ballroom.
Pat Tully, the Gala's auctioneer, rallied the crowd during the evening's live auction which featured tickets to see Bruce Springsteen on Broadway plus a signed guitar, and dinner for ten in the private dining room of the esteemed L'Artusi restaurant in New York City. Close to $600,000 was raised --- the second largest fundraising total in the Ball's history!