Wednesday night’s fundraiser for New Reach started off with a table full of friends. We claimed our seats around the large round table before staking out stations of cheese and crackers, stuffed mushroom and clams, escarole and beans and various pasta and eggplant dishes. I hadn’t seen some of my friends all winter; we played musical chairs, moved around the table to talk and catch up with each other.
Once fed, we joined the other 350-plus people busy writing down their bid numbers on sheets of lined paper corresponding to silent auction items. I connected with old and new friends, some I only see at the auction, some I hadn’t seen in years, some I ran with last week, others I see often. Being offered to the highest bidder were sports tickets, gift baskets, tablets, designer purses, sunglasses and jewelry, multiple gift certificates. I jotted down the number to each item I bid on in the back of my program, knowing I would never remember, and referred to the list often as I checked my stats. When bidding closed I was the winner of a few gift cards to restaurants and theaters, entertainment for Bill and me in the upcoming months. A live auction followed but first we took our seats and listened to Kellyann, CEO, talk about the agency’s mission.
I was honored, along with two others, for the volunteer work I do with New Reach (my running group and another volunteer group I’m involved with help whenever I ask). I had been interviewed for a video that was shown, along with another video highlighting some of the women and children the agency serves. Seeing myself projected on multitude screens around the room was a bit daunting but it’s an honor to be recognized and I congratulate the other honorees and New Reach for all their great work.
At one point, during the festivities, I looked left from where I stood and saw my mother standing next to my sister. I was expecting Liz, I was not expecting my mother so it took my brain a second or two to process who I was seeing, I don’t think I even reacted initially but once I realized mom had flown up from FL to surprise me I got a little teary eyed. We’ll be meeting in South Beach in May for our annual long weekend, it never crossed my mind that I’d be seeing mom before then.
Being honored was really special, being surrounded by friends and family even more so. Congratulations, New Reach, for another successful fundraiser! I look forward to working with you for many years to come.
*all photos taken by New Reach staff